Wednesday May 23, I asked in Question Period what the government was doing to prevent triggering another methamphetamine epidemic in the communities which are being evacuated this year. My question and the Minister's answer is below.
Community Evacuations - Prevention of Meth Epidemic
Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, we are about protecting a community which is in a pretty desperate situation right now.
Large numbers of people have been and are being evacuated from Sapotaweyak, from Little Grand Rapids, from Pelican Rapids and from Kinonjeoshtegon, and potentially from other communities like Pauingassi.
Last year, when people were evacuated, it triggered the meth epidemic which we are still dealing with in these communities because evacuees were preyed upon by drug dealers.
I ask the Minister of Health: What measures are being taken today to prevent meth epidemics in communities being evacuated this year?
Hon. Ron Schuler (Minister of Infrastructure): Well, again, Madam Speaker, the minister raises another very important and serious issue.
When we do bring individuals into the city of Winnipeg, they are often vulnerable to individuals in the city and the kind of product that they want to push upon them.
We have met extensively with the Red Cross. We've met with the federal government through INAC and Emergency Measures, and they do have a plan in place. However, Madam Speaker, I don't think it would be worthwhile to lay out that plan and allow everybody who might want to have access to these individuals know what our plan is.
I want to assure members and I want to assure all Manitobans we do have a plan in place to protect these individuals when they come to the city of Winnipeg.