The province has approved $197,500 in funding for Grande Prairie for its part in an inter-municipal opioid response project.

Grande Prairie currently has province’s second highest fatal opioid overdose rate, and the extra money will bolster education across the board when it comes to prevention and progressive solutions to the ongoing problem.

“Municipal governments are directly involved in the opioid response. From our parks department to our fire department to social service agencies and in each community across the province we’re learning different things,” says Mayor Bill Given.

“Until now there hasn’t been a systematic way of sharing that knowledge and information. This provincial grant will help us do that,” he adds.

The city has long been at the forefront of fighting the opioid crisis in Alberta. Forming a Community Opioid Response Task Force as early as December 2017.

Given says cites like Calgary, Lethbridge, Red Deer, Wood Buffalo, and Leduc have also endorsed the grant application and hopes more will join in the near future.

“Local governments are directly implicated and I think it’s going to be the case for a long time. It is a response to an emerging situation where municipalities are learning and experiencing things every day, and we want to make sure that knowledge is captured and shared across the province.”

The money was provided through the Alberta Community Partnership program.