Due to the increased use of illicit drugs, especially methamphetamine, in December of 2018, city of Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman, Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen and Robert-Falcon Ouellette, member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre, created the Illicit Drug Task Force (IDTF).

The primary purpose of IDTF was to identify short and long-term recommendations to reduce the use of illicit drugs in Manitoba. Due to Main Street Project’s expertise in the fields of addiction and mental health, MSP was invited to sit on this task force.

Members of the Illicit Drug Task Force include:
Karen Herd (co-chair) Deputy Minister, Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living
Michael Jack (co-chair) Chief Corporate Services Officer, City of Winnipeg
Greg Burnett Policing Specialist, Strategic Innovation Unit, Manitoba Justice
Sel Burrows Winnipeg activist and volunteer
Real Cloutier President and Chief Executive Officer, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
Eric Costen Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Controlled Substance and Cannabis Branch, Health Canada
Dr. Rob Grierson Medical Director for the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service and the Chief Medical Officer for Emergency Response Services for Shared Health
Kelly Holmes Executive Director, Resource Assistance for Youth, Inc.
Dr. Michael Isaac Acting Chief Provincial Public Health Officer, Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living
Damon Johnston President, Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg Inc. Board Chair, Addictions Foundation of Manitoba
Rob Lasson Inspector, District Operations Officer, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Rick Lees Executive Director, Main Street Project
Randy Lewis Deputy Chief of Police, Brandon Police Service
Trevor Myshrall Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service
Kim Nicholson Manager of Strategic Affairs, Winnipeg Police Service
Ian Rabb Two Ten Recovery, Destiny House, Aurora Recovery Centre
Max Waddell Inspector, Organized Crime Unit, Winnipeg Police Service

The report is not calling for new infrastructure but rather is calling for an expansion to services already being provided. Main Street Project is pleased to see that many of the findings in this report recommend work that MSP already does, such as withdrawal management services, 24/7 safe spaces, utilizing peer experience and support. 

The final report of the IDTF can be viewed here: Illicit Drug Task Force Final Report

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