BRANDON — Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont has unveiled his party’s addictions plan, including promises to create a provincewide public-awareness campaign against meth use and funding anti-gang and intervention programs for youth.
Lamont said Friday it focuses on prevention, rather than reacting to the symptoms of illicit drug use in Manitoba.
The Liberal election platform also lays out five promises on treatment, including creating "seamless service and a continuum of care" for people seeking addictions treatment; creating "drug stabilization units" for people in meth withdrawal; extending recovery times in public treatment beds; more funding for transitional housing and mental-health supports; and expanding harm reduction to reduce deaths from injection drug use.
The seriousness of the methamphetamine issue is provincewide, Lamont said.
"(Local candidate Kim Longstreet) helped introduce to me... that it wasn’t just something that was happening in downtown Winnipeg but that it was something in Brandon and around Brandon, and that it was a phenomenon that was happening around Manitoba. We want to make sure that we are having policies that work for everyone."
Longstreet has long advocated for more treatment beds and a detox centre in Brandon.
Should the party form government after the Sept. 10 provincial election, it would use revenue from legal cannabis sales to implement the plan, officials said.
Tory Premier Brian Pallister has previously said the province won’t profit from cannabis sales — something Lamont disputes. "If the premier can’t make money selling drugs, he’s got a pretty serious problem."
— Drew May, Brandon Sun