How Manitoba’s political parties pledge to tackle the meth crisis
The town hall was held Wednesday night at the Notre Dame Recreation Centre.
Published Thursday, August 22, 2019 7:28AM CST
Manitoba’s meth crisis was the hot topic at a town hall Wednesday night, with provincial election candidates offering solutions that include longer treatment facilities and safe consumption sites.
The event, which was held by St. Boniface Street Links, took place at the Notre Dame Recreation Centre.
Manitoba Liberal Party Leader Dougald Lamont, Green Party of Manitoba Leader James Beddome and Manitoba NDP candidate for St. Boniface Laurissa Sims were on hand to discuss their parties’ platforms for tackling issues of mental health, addictions and crime prevention associated with meth. The Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba didn’t take part in the town hall.
Executive director of Street Links Marion Willis said action needs to be taken now.
“The methamphetamine epidemic has, in my view and I think in the view of many people, has actually become a mental health and public safety emergency,” she said.
The discussion at the town centred on how the parties plan to tackle the meth crisis, and included calls for more beds and longer treatment.
“You’re talking 21 days, 28 days that’s just not enough. We have to make sure that people are able to stay in treatment as long as it takes,” said Lamont.
Some candidates also suggested safe consumption sites, a topic that has continually caused a stir at the Manitoba legislature.
“It would congregate some of the needle issues we have in terms of the needles being left around in a similar site. It would make sure there’s medical people there to assist them,” said Beddome.
Sims pledged to create additional addiction support systems, including a “managed alcohol program.”
Willis wants more research on harm reduction and a multi-level government plan. She said St. Boniface Street Links is planning a rally at the Manitoba Legislative Building in the coming weeks.
In a statement the PC party said:
"We believe in the value of speaking directly to Manitobans and are lucky to do so numerous ways during campaigns, including through all-candidates forums, other events we are able to attend, at their doors, and through regular e-town halls we have been hosting."
- With files from CTV’s Jason Gaidola