Bilateral Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Nova Scotia under the Emergency Treatment Fund


March 2019

The opioid crisis is an ongoing public health issue affecting individuals, families and communities across Canada. As part of its efforts to address this crisis, the Government of Canada is working with all provinces and territories to increase access to treatment services for substance use disorder.

A bilateral agreement has been signed between the Government of Canada and the Government of Nova Scotia, which will be used to enhance access to treatment for opioid use disorder.

This bilateral agreement, totalling more than $6 million ($3,160,108 from the Government of Canada and $2,910,108 from the Government of Nova Scotia), includes funding that will:

  • enable primary care providers to consult with opioid use disorder specialists on patient treatment and the prescribing of medicine in rural and remote areas of the province via a telephone service;
  • provide education, tools and training resources for physicians and primary care teams with the goal of expanding access to treatment services for opioid use disorder;  
  • offer training and education on opioid use disorder to 1,350 staff from emergency departments and collaborative emergency centres across the province to facilitate rapid referral for treatment; and
  • enhance existing treatment approaches, including specialized programs for treating opioid use disorder, offered through the Nova Scotia Health Authority at treatment sites and satellite clinics.

These investments will help Nova Scotia meet the ongoing demand for treatment of opioid use disorder, particularly in areas of the province where current treatment gaps exist.

Emergency Treatment Fund

Announced as part of the Budget 2018 funding to help address the opioid crisis, the Emergency Treatment Fund provides one-time emergency funding of $150 million for provinces and territories to improve access to evidence-based treatment services. This fund is cost-shared with provinces and territories and will bring the total investment in emergency treatment to approximately $300 million once bilateral agreements are signed with all provinces and territories.

The federal government has allocated funding based on the severity of the opioid crisis in the province or territory and the size of the population in the jurisdiction. This ensures that provinces and territories most impacted by the crisis have enough support, and that other jurisdictions are able to prepare for possible future impacts. Federal funding is matched by the province or territory beyond the first $250,000 and the jurisdiction has up to five years to match the initial investment of money from the federal government.

As part of each bilateral agreement, an action plan will be posted on the website. In addition, each province and territory will be asked to report at regular intervals to share the progress made to increase access to innovative and evidence-based treatment in their jurisdiction.

For more information on federal actions on the opioid crisis, please visit

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