Joint News Release: The governments of Canada and Northwest Territories collaborate to improve access to treatment for people with substance use disorders

News Releases

Ottawa — January 22, 2019

The opioid crisis continues to devastate individuals, families and communities across the country. Without increased access to effective, evidence-based treatment options, people will continue to be at risk for overdose.

Today, on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, Member of Parliament, Michael McLeod, and the Honourable Glen Abernethy, Minister of Health and Social Services for Northwest Territories, announced a bilateral agreement under the Government of Canada’s Emergency  Treatment Fund.

This agreement provides more than $760,000—$500,000 in funding from the Government of Canada and $266,171 from the Government of the Northwest Territories—to help increase access to treatment for substance use disorder.

This funding will be used to:


  • enhance access to opioid agonist therapy;
  • increase practitioner training and knowledge of opioid use disorder through specialized educational opportunities;
  • help identify strengths and gaps in treatment resources in communities and regional centres outside Yellowknife; and
  • hire additional health care staff in the Northwest Territories to respond to the need for treatment for opioid use disorder.

The Government of Canada and its partners recognize that helping people with problematic substance use access treatment in their own communities—including those located in remote areas of Canada’s North—will ultimately help people who use drugs to live healthier lives.



“Opioid-related overdoses continue to have a devastating impact in communities across Canada. The agreement signed today with the Northwest Territories will provide resources to address substance use disorder in communities outside the major urban centre and will improve access to the resources available in Yellowknife today. We continue to work together in a comprehensive and collaborative way to help Canadians access treatment and supports for substance use disorder.”

Michael McLeod

Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories


“We are committed to reducing the prevalence and impacts of opioid addiction on NWT residents. Expanding our integrated and culturally safe Opioid Maintenance Therapy Program to smaller communities will help our residents struggling with addictions and provide them with an additional option for treatment.”

The Honourable Glen Abernethy

Minister of Health and Social Services, Northwest Territories


Related Products


Emergency Treatment Fund

Associated Links

Infographic: Government of Canada – Federal Actions on Opioids  National report: Apparent opioid-related deaths in Canada



Thierry Bélair

Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor Minister of Health



Damien Healy

Manager, Communications Health and Social Services Northwest Territories



Public Inquiries:




Media Relations

Health Canada