Federal funding to combat guns, gangs and opioid crisis

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said illicit drugs are often main cause of guns, gangs violence

The federal government has announced $10 million in emergency funding to combat the opioid crisis from the frontlines in B.C., as part of a larger funding commitment to combat gun violence and gang activity across the country.

During the announcement at B.C. RCMP headquarters in Surrey Friday, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said a new $326 million in federal funding will be used to help support a variety of initiatives to reduce gun crime and criminal gang activities.

There were 2465 criminal firearms violations across Canada in 2016 – an increase of 30 per cent since 2013, Goodale said.

Exactly where the money will go will be determined during a Criminal Guns and Gangs Summit in March next year, which is expected to include stakeholders from law enforcement, all levels of government, health authorities and Indigenous groups.

Goodale added that the production, trafficking and sale of illicit drugs – such as fentanyl – are often the main cause of guns and gangs violence.

More than 1,100 people have died from overdoses this year in B.C., making it one of the hardest hit by the epidemic. Police, paramedics and frontline workers have all increased staffing in an effort to better respond to the increase in overdoses since death tolls began climbing in early 2016.

The announcement comes a day after the Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor announced federal plans to boost treatment options for opioid drug users during a conference Wednesday.

More to come.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rotary Club launches Fernie wide scavenger hunt

The City Ramble Trail Scramble encourages participants to explore Fernie’s trails and streets

City of Fernie recycles old concrete

Hadean Aggregate Solutions was in Fernie for three days recycling old concrete and asphalt

MP Morrison pushes for accountability following federal fiscal update

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian says it is time to restart the economy

UPDATED: Interior Health to add 495 long-term seniors care beds

Nelson, Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton to receive new facilities

No changes coming to Fernie’s Second Avenue

Following a public survey, council holds off on repurposing Second Avenue

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Commercial huckleberry harvesting restricted in Kootenays

The province of B.C. has banned commercial-scale picking from July 15 to October 15

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

Most Read