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.

Just Posted

The buoys are back in town

Watershed Wanderings column by Lake Windermere Ambassadors

Invermere council okay with ‘reverse grad march’ idea

Nothing finalized and complications aplenty, but Invermere council agrees to grad march idea

101-year-old man targets 101 block fundraising walk for food bank

A centenarian in Invermere has embarked on a new adventure to raise money for the food bank.

Wings Over the Rockies encourages nature viewing during pandemic

Three local photographers and Wings supporters offer nature viewing tips.

Hospital chief of staff provides guidance on COVID-19 and the Columbia Valley as we open up

Chief of staff says: “COVID-19 … is still here and is not going away any time soon.”

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Man recalls black bear chasing him up tree in Slocan Valley

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct

Most Read