Kinew and Fontaine Call for Solutions Following 700% Increase in Meth Use

October 23, 2018

Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew and Justice Critic Nahanni Fontaine criticized the Pallister government today after documents revealed there has been a 700% increase in meth uses at treatment centres.

Kinew pressed the Premier to acknowledge the alarming increase in meth usage across the province and to commit funding for new, progressive initiatives. Kinew tabled documents obtained through Freedom of Information laws which show the number of people entering treatment centres for meth use has increased by 700% since 2012.

“This alarming 700% figure shows just how serious this crisis is. We see the effects of meth in near-daily news reports of dirty needles on the street, massive meth confiscation by law enforcement and assaults on ER nurses,” said Kinew. “The Premier must acknowledge this is affecting our province. It’s time he stopped ducking and be a leader.”

The facts of Manitoba’s meth crisis are staggering. The number of patients going to the hospital because of meth has increased by 1200% in the last five years. The Bear Clan has picked up more than 30,000 needles in just eight months of this year. According to FIPPA, fifty per cent of all intravenous drug users in Manitoba inject meth compared to 6% ten years ago. Despite this, the Pallister government spent a year ignoring warnings from families, health workers and addictions advocates.

Nahanni Fontaine questioned the government on a recent report released by the Children’s Advocate that recommends to government on youth addictions, including building a safe consumption site.

“Front line workers and families have expressed support for a safe consumption site. We know the government’s own hand-picked consultant recommended building a one, until the Pallister government scrubbed it from his report,” said Fontaine. “Now we have the Children’s Advocate calling for action in the face of devastating impacts on children. The Premier cannot continue to ignore this because of his own ideologies. It’s time to take leadership.”