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Federal Health Minister discusses opioid crisis on first official Montreal visit

Last Updated Dec 11, 2017 at 7:20 pm EDT

MONTREAL – The country’s ongoing opioid crisis topped the agenda on Monday during Ginette Petitpas Taylor’s first official visit to Montreal as federal health minister.

Petitpas Taylor met with a team of researchers working in the Quebec and Maritimes branch of the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM) at the University of Montreal.

The CRISM is national research group helping to establish the federal government’s response to the opioid emergency.

Petitpas Taylor said $1.8 million of $7.5 million announced in September would go towards funding the researchers in Montreal.

“We certainly have to make sure that investments are made to look at best practices as to what’s available and … transfer those practices in other areas of the country,” the minister told reporters.

“This research for us is extremely important to look at exactly what is available (and) what works.”

Petitpas Taylor also met with Quebec Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois to discuss the opioid problem as well as cannabis legalization.

The federal health minister also visited the Sainte-Justine university health centre.