Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

April 09, 2010 09:27 ET

Government of Canada Announces Funding to Help Combat Homelessness and Illicit Drug Use in Fredericton

FREDERICTON, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwire - April 9, 2010) - Today, the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of National Revenue, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Minister for the Atlantic Gateway and Member of Parliament for Fredericton, announced funding for projects under the Government of Canada's Homelessness Partnering Strategy and National Anti-Drug Strategy. Minister Ashfield made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, and the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health.

"Our government is giving a hand-up to Canadians with housing needs and is helping those seeking to break free of the cycle of homelessness and poverty," said Minister Ashfield. "Through this investment, Partners for Youth will be able to find and help people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Fredericton."

Through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, the Government of Canada will invest $40,000 in Partners for Youth, Inc. to hire a street outreach worker.

"Our government is proud to be working with provinces and communities across the country to help prevent illicit drug use among youth," said Minister Aglukkaq. "This province-wide workshop will directly impact approximately 1000 youth by providing communities in New Brunswick with the important tool of their own action plan to address illicit drug use among youth. The health and safety of Canadian families is the highest priority of this government."

Through the Drug Strategy Community Initiatives Fund of the National Anti-Drug Strategy, the Government of Canada will invest $89,400 in Partners for Youth for a province-wide workshop designed to develop and implement community-based action plans on illicit drug use among youth.

"Hiring a street outreach worker is a very important initiative for many people in the greater Fredericton region. We look forward to working with our project partner, the Community Action Group on Homelessness, in order to make the most of this opportunity," said Mr. John Sharpe, General Manager, Partners for Youth. "Equally important is our two-year project through the Drug Strategy Community Initiatives Fund of Health Canada, which will increase community engagement. Holding a provincial workshop will allow communities to create an action plan that will be directed at youth aged 13 to 18 who either are at risk or have been involved in illicit drug use."

In September 2008, the Government of Canada announced an investment of $1.9 billion over five years for housing and homelessness programs for low-income Canadians. Canada's Economic Action Plan is building on these investments by making an additional one-time investment of more than $2 billion over two years in new and existing social housing, and by making available up to $2 billion in loans to Canadian municipalities over two years for housing-related infrastructure improvements.

The availability of safe and stable housing and related supports is an important element in addressing homelessness and helping individuals who are homeless achieve greater self-sufficiency and a better quality of life. The Homelessness Partnering Strategy emphasizes longer-term supportive and transitional housing by focusing on a housing-first approach to help people make the transition out of the cycle of homelessness.

Initiatives such as Engaging Communities to Prevent and Intervene in Illicit Drug Use Among Youth are another step in implementing the Government of Canada's National Anti-Drug Strategy, which was announced by Prime Minister Harper in October 2007.

The federal Drug Strategy Community Initiatives Fund provides financial support for health promotion and prevention projects at the national, provincial and local levels. It addresses a wide range of illicit drug use issues, especially among vulnerable populations such as youth. Partners for Youth will receive $89,400 in financial support for this important project.

For more information on the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, please visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca/homelessness.

Further information about the National Anti-Drug Strategy can be found at www.nationalantidrugstrategy.gc.ca/.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

BACKGROUNDER

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) is a unique community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness by providing direct support and funding to 61 communities across Canada. The HPS took effect April 1, 2007, with annual funding of $134.8 million for two years, and was extended in 2008 for a further two years until March 31, 2011. 

The HPS provides structures and supports that help people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless achieve self-sufficiency and full participation in society. This model seeks to address homelessness by working in partnership with the provinces and territories, other federal departments, as well as with communities and the private and not-for-profit sectors. 

The HPS uses a housing-first approach, recognizing that the first step is to provide individuals with transitional and supportive housing.

The HPS has seven funding streams:

  • Regionally Delivered:

    • Designated Communities

    • Outreach Communities

    • Aboriginal Communities

  • Nationally Delivered:

    • Federal Horizontal Pilot Projects

    • Homelessness Knowledge Development

    • Homeless Individuals and Families Information System 

    • Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative

For more information on the Homelessness Partnering Strategy and the seven funding streams, please visit the following Web site: www.hrsdc.gc.ca/homelessness.

The National Anti-Drug Strategy

The National Anti-Drug Strategy is a collaborative effort involving the Department of Justice, Public Safety Canada and Health Canada, and includes three action plans: preventing illicit drug use; treating those with illicit drug dependencies; and combating the production and distribution of illicit drugs.

Prevention

The Prevention Action Plan focuses on preventing illicit drug use among young people. It will provide information to those most affected by drug use, including parents, young people, educators, law enforcement authorities, and communities.

The Government of Canada has committed $30 million in new funding over five years to support the Prevention Action Plan. This funding will bolster existing prevention efforts.

Treatment

The Treatment Action Plan supports innovative approaches to treating and rehabilitating those with illicit drug addiction who pose a risk to themselves and the community.

The Plan will promote collaboration among governments and support agencies to increase access to drug treatment services.

The Government of Canada has committed over $100 million in new funding over five years to support the Treatment Action Plan. This funding will bolster existing treatment efforts.

Enforcement

The Enforcement Action Plan bolsters law enforcement efforts to investigate and prosecute drug crimes. It will increase law enforcement's capacity to combat marijuana grow operations, synthetic drug production and distribution operations.

The Government of Canada has committed approximately $102 million in new funding over five years to support the Enforcement Action Plan. An additional $67.7 million in funding will be made available under the Enforcement Action Plan if mandatory minimum penalties are enacted. This funding will bolster existing enforcement efforts.

Progress under the National Anti-Drug Strategy

To date, under the National Anti-Drug Strategy, the Government of Canada has:

  • launched a prevention-focused awareness campaign, with input from the National Drug Prevention Advisory Committee, aimed at discouraging illicit drug use;

  • announced more than $7 million in funding for Health Canada's Drug Strategy Community Initiatives Fund to help communities across Canada tackle the increasing challenge of illicit drug use by young people;

  • announced $3.3 million in new funding to enhance the ability of the Canada Border Services Agency to inhibit the cross-border flow of illicit drugs;

  • announced over $220,000 in funding for a drug treatment intervention program for Aboriginal youth with drug and gang involvement;

  • invested $10 million in funding for a Drug Prevention Strategy for Canada's Youth to be developed and implemented by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse;

  • invested $8.9 million to strengthen the RCMP's drug enforcement and Proceeds of Crime Teams;

  • announced $111 million over five years for Health Canada in new and ongoing funding for critical drug treatment initiatives for provinces and territories;

  • invested $30.5 million over five years to bolster services across Canada that will help First Nations and Inuit who suffer from drug addictions, including $2 million dedicated to the Vancouver's Downtown Eastside; and

  • announced $10 million to support new treatment services that will help to treat individuals living in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482
    or
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559
    or
    Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
    Josee Bellemare
    Press Secretary
    613-957-0200
    or
    Health Canada
    Media Relations Office
    613-957-2983