In Estimates on Tuesday April 24, I asked the Minister of Health for his actions with regard to the meth crisis in the Island Lake area of northern Manitoba. My question and the Minister's response are below:
Mr. Gerrard: The minister met, you know, not long ago with a group of people who had walked from St. Theresa Point, Wasagamack, and Garden Hill, and I wonder if the minister has any update in terms of what he might be able to do in terms of helping people in those communities who have got a meth crisis in the community.
Mr. Goertzen: I thank the member for helping arrange that meeting. I know we didn't have a lot of time to meet because we recessed this session essentially for 10 minutes to be able to meet with the walkers. But it was certainly an emotional 10 minutes for me, as I imagine it probably was for them. And the understanding that I got from that meeting is that among other things that they were looking for more education on the community. So we had contacted the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba who had indicated they would be willing to do an information session in the community on methamphetamines, so our officials are just checking to see what the status of that is. But there was a commitment made by the Addictions Foundation to do that, so I'm sure that it's being worked out in the time frame that works for them.
I know there was a desire as well for sniffer dogs, I think, is the right term for those dogs who are trained in detecting drugs–probably not just methamphetamine, maybe not unlike you'd see at airports, and I think they wanted it at the airport in the community. That would be a question I think that would be best directed in the Estimates of Justice. We don't employ, I don't believe–and if we do, I've never met them–I don't believe we employ sniffer dogs in the department.