Winnipeg mayor reveals little about meth, safety strategy after meeting with Justin Trudeau

Winnipeg’s mayor is facing some criticism after a meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau revealed little about plans to tackle the city’s meth crisis.

After the closed-door meeting, Brian Bowman said he asked Justin Trudeau to take stock of the work already being done to deal with the meth crisis and safety issues facing the city.

“What I asked today was that we take stock of the implementation by provincial and federal officials, as well as city officials, so that we can identify the further work that needs to happen,” Bowman told reporters.

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When it comes to what action the city is currently taking, Bowman pointed to acting on recommendations from the Illicit Drugs Task Force, such as cracking down on the scrap metal trade.

“We haven’t had an assessment of what measures the federal government and the provincial government officials have taken when it comes to the illicit drug strategy at this stage so that we can ensure moving forward we’re coordinating our efforts,” Bowman said.

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Community activist Sel Burrows, who is part of the task force created by all three levels of government, said progress is being made but he would have pressed the prime minister for more.

“We do need action on helping the people who are addicted,” Burrows said. “We need a huge amount of energy put into prevention.”

Crime Wave: Meth in a flawed city
Crime Wave: Meth in a flawed city

The lack of an action plan is also troubling to city councillor Kevin Klein.

“It’s not surprising because, again, it puts us in limbo with regards to a plan,” Klein said. “It’s wonderful to have the meeting but I would rather come out of the meeting with some definitive answers and some deadlines.”

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The meeting between Bowman and Trudeau in Winnipeg came on the second day of a three-day federal cabinet retreat.

Bowman said a lot more work needs to be done by all three levels of government.

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