Province to fund Ottawa's opioid strategy

The provincial government has agreed to come up with $2.5-million to fund Ottawa's plan to deal with the opioid crisis.

The plan, put together by the Ottawa Public Health branch, includes funding for more treatment and detoxification spaces, and money for both police and firefighters to carry Naloxone kits, used to treat opioid overdoses.

Following a meeting with Premier Kathleen Wynne Monday morning, Mayor Jim Watson said there will be a task force set up, consisting of provincial health and legal officials, and municipal governments.

"Not just big cities, because there are smaller cities and smaller municipalities that are grappling with this terrible tragedy of young people becoming addicted, not having the necessary detox capacity or treatment facilities, and, literally, people dying every week in the province of Ontario," Watson said.

Wynne said the task force will use Ottawa's experience as a basis for their discussions.

"It's important that we get a sense of what the need is among municipalities that are dealing with this, using some of the work that Ottawa has done as a starting point."

Training continues to allow Ottawa firefighters and police officers to administer Naloxone injections in cases of opioid overdoses.

City officials say the cost of the extra kits will likely hit $150-thousand.