OTTAWA, ONT.: Support for Indigenous people by the federal government was “long overdue”, the Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook Liberal MP said.
Darrell Samson was speaking about the investments in the federal Liberal party’s second budget, announced March 22 in Ottawa. He spoke specifically about the monies allocated for Indigenous people for housing ($3 million); Opioid treatment; and mental health. He said the investments showed their importance to his Liberal government.
“To think some of their communities still don’t have drinking water,” he said. “If you look at the statistics it shows their education and success rate is extremely low. There’s so much that needs to be done to help them.
“We’re working closely with the Indigenous communities to make sure the next 150 years they see themselves as major players. That’s our focus, and it’s extremely important.”
He said the budget marks first time funding into mental health and home care through the new Health Accord the feds have announced with each province.
“Those are crucial, plus added funds in the Health Accord itself,” he said. “Those are very big ones.”
Samson said Opioid is a big issue in Western Canada, but not as big yet although he did say he has seen that it is making its way to the East Coast
“It’s moving towards Eastern Canada and is there now,” said Samson, noting 8-9,000 people have committed suicide in B.C. this year as a result of the drug. “That’s double what it was last year. Those are big numbers.
“That is an issue and we need to take control of it. This year we’re taking steps towards trying to make sure we take a preventative approach, which would be the key.
“We need to try and educate people around this problem.”