The Mayor’s opioid task force is still waiting to hear from the province of Alberta about grant funding that was expected by the end of January. $500,000 was committed by the government to the program which they say could cover 100 per cent of “program-specific” costs.
Alberta Health says they received more than 100 applications and expect to make an announcement soon. That pending announcement will help local efforts move forward on their plans.
Mayor Bill Given says the intent of the task force is for the city to provide a collaborative response.
“It isn’t intended to do the work of responding because there are many community agencies and individuals and organizations that are already doing that. It’s to ensure that we have a coordinated approach in our community. So if I imagine the kinds of resources that it would need on an on-going basis, that’s really is administrative support.”
The task force is already made up of HIV North, Alberta Health Services and other community groups and law enforcement. Given says there are still more people to include in the conversation.
“It also should include the faith community, the private sector through the Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Association I think would be an important voice, as well as some non-traditional agencies like the school boards and our education system. So, you know, it is pretty broad.”
Three different grant requests came out of the group. One from the city who partnered chamber, one from the RCMP in collaboration with the regional school boards and one from HIV North.