Government of Canada announces funding for the Elizabeth Fry Society of Peterborough

News release

Funding will help people who have experienced overdoses

June 16, 2020             Peterborough, Ontario                        Health Canada

Problematic substance use has devastating impacts on people, families and communities across Canada. In many cases, the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the situation for Canadians struggling with problematic substance use. The Government of Canada continues to address this serious public health issue by focusing on increasing access to quality treatment and harm reduction services nationwide.

Today, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development announced more than $1.2 million in funding over the next four years to the Elizabeth Fry Society of Peterborough, to better support people who have experienced overdoses.

With this funding, the Elizabeth Fry Society of Peterborough will ensure that individuals who have experienced an overdose are connected with a network of community aftercare services following their discharge from the emergency room. Evidence-informed peer support training will be provided to people with lived and living experience of substance use, so that they can engage with people who have experienced overdoses in a rapid, convenient and culturally sensitive way. Hospital staff will also receive training to raise awareness and understanding of the stigma surrounding substance use and the vital role of peer support workers.

The Government of Canada is committed to helping prevent, treat and reduce the harm of substance use, and will continue working with partners, people with lived and living experience and other stakeholders to reduce the harm related to substance use.


“The opioid overdose crisis is one of the most significant public health issues in Canada’s recent history. Problematic substance use is a medical condition, not a moral one. We’ve responded by investing in emergency response and treatment, restoring harm reduction, and authorized 40 supervised consumption sites. We know that COVID-19 has further complicated this situation. In this time of emergency measures, we’re taking action to ensure Canadians have access to the support that they need. ”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health

“The opioid crisis is about ordinary people - our neighbours, friends, parents, and children who are struggling with addiction. Bringing an end to this crisis will not be easy, but we will do it by working together as a community with support and compassion for victims, service providers, families, and everyone involved.”

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

“The answer to addiction is connection. People with lived experience will connect with individuals struggling with addictions in order to encourage and motivate them to move along the continuum of care to a healthier more stable place.”

Debbie Carriere
Executive Director
The Elizabeth Fry Society of Peterborough

Quick Facts

  • Problematic substance use is a treatable health condition. It is a major health and social issue with devastating effects on Canadians from every walk of life. It is estimated that approximately one in five Canadians aged 15 years and older experiences a substance use disorder in their lifetime.
  • This funding is provided through the Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program (SUAP). The SUAP is a federal grants and contributions program that provides financial support to provinces, territories, non-governmental organizations, Indigenous organizations, key stakeholders and individuals to strengthen responses to drug and substance use issues in Canada.

Associated Links


Cole Davidson
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health


Media Relations
Health Canada

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