July 12, 2019 1:23 am
Updated: July 12, 2019 11:53 am

Blood Tribe detox centre visited by associate mental health and addictions minister

Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Jason Luan visits the Blood Tribe detox centre.

Chris Chacon/Global News

Editor’s note: This story originally stated the UCP government has frozen funding for “harm reduction initiatives”.  It has been updated to clarify the funding freeze is specifically for new supervised consumption sites.

His visit came as Premier Jason Kenney announced a freeze on funding for harm reduction initiatives, and is reviewing supervised consumption sites.

Alberta’s associate minister of mental health and addictions stopped in Standoff, the largest community on the Blood Tribe Reserve, to meet those on the front lines battling the opioid crisis.

“It’s a really unique experience, I’m so pleased that I took the time to tour the site here and talk to so many people,” said Jason Luan, the associate minister.

READ MORE: Blood Tribe marks opening of new detox centre

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Luan toured several facilities including the Blood Tribe’s safe withdrawal site, emergency services.

This was the minister’s first visit since the UCP was elected.

He wanted a first-hand look at the service’s provided and hear accounts from those using the facilities.

“Our government is committed that we work together with our community partners, hopefully find solutions and lots of participation from our partners including the tribes and so forth…. be a solution and create something that works,” added Luan.

READ MORE: Detox pilot project on Blood Reserve seeing more demand than expected

His visit came as Premier Jason Kenney announced a freeze on funding for new supervised consumption sites in the province in June.

While the minister did not make any specific commitments, he did show interest in working with Blood Tribe partners.

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