Leaders bring meth crisis concerns to Ottawa

Leaders in Manitoba are bringing their concerns about the meth crisis to Ottawa.

James Favel heads Bear Clan Patrol Inc.

He shared his knowledge with the federal government’s standing committee on health Tuesday, which is looking at the impacts of meth abuse in Canada.

Wednesday, Favel was back at work in Winnipeg collecting food donations for people in need.

He said when it comes to meth, poverty needs to be addressed.

“People are hungry and desperate,” he said. “People self-medicate to escape. The blinding realities of an existence, and that’s what we need to overcome.”

The Addictions Foundation of Manitoba said the number of adults who have reported using meth has more than doubled since 2014. One of the big reasons – it’s cheap.

AFM appeared at the same Ottawa committee last week.

It said some drug users are switching from fentanyl to meth because of the cost, and in addition to poverty, trauma is a driving force among people who use meth on a more regular basis.

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman will have his turn with politicians next week.

He said Wednesday, strengthening the border is an important piece and there is a role to play for officials to try and do a better job to mitigate the flow of meth into the province.

“I’ve been briefed and what we were advised is the meth is largely being produced is large factories in Mexico and are then being smuggled into Canada.

In May, Winnipeg police unveiled its new anti-drug strategy and the creation of a drug enforcement unit.

Wednesday Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister was asked about safe injections sites.

He said the Virgo report, a mental health and addictions strategy for Manitoba, didn’t recommended them, although many other measures set out in the report are being taken.