The governments of Canada and Nova Scotia work together to increase access to treatment options for people with substance use disorder

News release

March 14, 2019 - Ottawa, ON - Government of Canada

The opioid crisis is devastating individuals, families and communities across the country. Tragically, more than 9,000 people have lost their lives to opioid-related overdoses from January 2016 to June 2018 in Canada. Without increased access to effective, evidence-based treatment options, people with substance use disorder will continue to be at risk for overdose.

Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, and the Honourable Randy Delorey, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Health and Wellness, announced a bilateral agreement under the Government of Canada’s Emergency Treatment Fund.

This bilateral agreement—which will see more than $6 million ($3,160,108 from the Government of Canada and $2,910,108 from the Government of Nova Scotia) invested to enhance access to treatment for opioid use disorder—will:

  • support primary care providers in consulting with specialists in the treatment of opioid use disorder via a telephone service;
  • provide education, tools and training resources on opioid use disorder to support physicians and primary care teams throughout the province, including in remote locations;
  • provide training and education on opioid use disorder to emergency room staff across the province to facilitate rapid referral for treatment services; and
  • enhance existing treatment approaches, including specialized treatment programs for people with opioid use disorder.
The Government of Canada and its partners recognize that helping people with problematic substance use access treatment in their own communities will ultimately help people who use drugs to live healthier lives.


“Over a two-year period, 123 people in Nova Scotia lost their lives to opioid-related overdoses. This is nothing short of tragic. This bilateral agreement will make treatment services more accessible to those in need, including people living in remote areas of the province. By working together, we can help stop opioid-related overdoses and save lives.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

“Nova Scotia is doing significant work in Opioid Use Disorder treatment – saving lives with naloxone and getting more people into treatment programs. We know opioid use and overdose remains an issue in our communities and that the federal government shares our vision in responding to it.”

The Honourable Randy Delorey
Minister of Health and Wellness, Nova Scotia

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Thierry Bélair
Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

Carole Rankin
Department of Health and Wellness
Government of Nova Scotia
Media Relations
Health Canada

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