MINISTERS OF JUSTICE, PUBLIC SAFETY AND HEALTH MEET WITH U.S. DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL DRUG CONTROL POLICY
OTTAWA, November 23, 2010 - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and the Honourable Vic Toews, M.P. for Provencher and Minister of Public Safety, today met with the Director of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske, to discuss the continued importance of cooperation between Canada and the United States of America in the fight against illicit drugs, border management and crime prevention. The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, M.P. for Nunavut and Minister of Health, also met with Mr. Kerlikowske yesterday.
This meeting was a terrific opportunity for both countries to discuss our challenges and share our strategies for reducing the supply of and demand for illicit drugs," said Minister Nicholson. "
For our part, our Government is addressing these challenges with the National Anti-Drug Strategy, which focuses on prevention and access to treatment for those with drug dependencies, while at the same time getting tough on drug dealers and producers who threaten the safety of our youth and communities."
My meeting with Mr. Kerlikowske yesterday was an opportunity to share our successes and discuss effective strategies with the United States in preventing illicit drug use, and supporting treatment for those who need it," said Minister Aglukkaq. "
The Government of Canada is committed to keeping its communities safe and healthy. It continues to work toward reducing drug use among Canadians, particularly vulnerable groups such as youth, by supporting effective approaches to prevention and treatment."
Today's constructive discussions with the Obama administration continue to advance our cooperation in border management and crime prevention. We face the same threats, and share the same concerns," said Minister Toews. "
Joint partnerships, such as Shiprider, strengthen our joint ability to maximize law enforcement resources and make our communities safer. Our Government will continue to give our law enforcement the tools they need to prevent criminal activity and make our communities safe."
The production, trafficking and use of illicit drugs fuel organized crime in Canada and abroad and are a serious threat to public safety. Through the National Anti-Drug Strategy, the Government of Canada is allocating $232 million over five years in three priority areas: preventing illicit drug use, treating illicit drug dependency, and combating the production and distribution of illicit drugs. From this funding, significant investments have been made to improve border security to curb the cross-border transportation of illegal drugs and proactively target illicit drug producers. In addition, the Government of Canada recently launched the latest youth drug prevention television ad as part of its mass media campaign entitled DrugsNot4Me. The ad focuses on the harmful physical and social effects of drugs, and shows youth how experimenting with them can lead to lifelong addiction.
The Government of Canada is taking measures to protect Canada-U.S. borders from criminals who seek to exploit them. In October 2010, the Government introduced the Keeping Canadians Safe (Protecting Borders) Act to strengthen policing efforts between Canada and the U.S. to more effectively identify, assess and eliminate border threats in shared waterways. In a pilot of this initiative, the RCMP and U.S. officers were successful in seizing more than 1.4 million contraband cigarettes and more than 215 pounds of marijuana in 57 days. Successful pilot operations were also deployed to support the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, in February 2010, and the G20 summit in Toronto, from June 26 to 27, 2010.
For more information on the National Anti-Drug Strategy, please visit www.nationalantidrugstrategy.gc.ca.
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