Government of Canada provides funding to Nunavut to keep people safe from drug-impaired drivers
August 27, 2019
Public Safety Canada
The risks posed by driving after consuming cannabis are proven. The Government of Canada is working to protect citizens from drug-impaired drivers by investing in new technologies, tools and resources that can be used to keep our roads safe.
Today, the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, the Honourable Bill Blair, announced $964,800 over five years to Nunavut to support law enforcement by training and equipping them with Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) and Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) evaluation to detect and deter drug-impaired drivers as well as enforce new driving offences.
Funding will also be used to develop standardized data collection and reporting practices that will be used to analyze trends, identify gaps and provide an accurate picture of drug-impaired driving in Nunavut, and across Canada. This funding is part of the $81 million announced by the Government of Canada for provinces and territories to support public and road safety activities.
“Our front-line law enforcement officers work hard to keep us all safe and they deserve to have access to the latest technology and training. Today’s investment is an example of how the Government of Canada is delivering on its commitment to support community safety and keep our roads safe from drug-impaired drivers. When you consume cannabis, regardless of the method of consumption, you cannot - and should not - drive. You pose a deadly risk to yourself and others.”
- The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction
“The Government of Nunavut will continue to work in partnership with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to address drug-impaired driving in Nunavut. This funding from Public Safety Canada will ensure front line officers receive the training, tools and technology required to reduce the number of drug-impaired drivers and to keep our roads safe.”
- The Honourable Jeannie Ehaloak, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Nunavut
There are over 14,400 trained SFST officers across Canada (November 2018) and 1,115 certified DREs (August 1, 2019).
For this agreement, Nunavut plans to increase the number of front-line police officers trained in SFST to 36 by 2020, to bring the capacity to 33 per cent of frontline officers.
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada approved a second oral fluid drug screening device on July 10, 2019. This new equipment is another tool at the disposal of law enforcement, but it is not required to investigate drug-impaired driving.
Public Safety Canada introduced its second Don’t Drive High public awareness advertisement in April 2019. The campaign will continue to engage young Canadians and leverage partnerships with other levels of governments and organizations that are working toward the same goal to eliminate drug-impaired driving on Canadian roads.
Overall, 15 per cent of cannabis users with a valid driver's license reported driving within two hours of consuming cannabis, according to combined data from the fourth quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019. This was unchanged from the first half of 2018.
Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction
Public Safety Canada
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