Drug prevention and education programs in Ottawa will be getting a $1-million boost from the federal government.
Nepean-Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre announced Tuesday that the federal government is providing up to $1 million to the United Way-run fundraising campaign for Ottawa's residential youth treatment centres and prevention programs, dubbed Project STEP (support, treatment, education and prevention).
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Poilievre said the funds are intended to provide educational materials for schools, teachers parents and students that warn people of the risks, prepare them for the temptation and provide strategies for avoiding a lifestyle that leads to drug addiction.
"As someone who's had friends and people close to me who've suffered from drug addiction, it's very important to me that lives are spared from this terrible destructive path," he said.
Ottawa police Chief Vern White said this funding would greatly increase the capacity at a number of schools across the city to reach up to 10,000 young people in need of help and intervention.
"From our perspective, keeping them out of that system of drug use is our goal," White said.
"Hopefully, we won't need as many treatment beds in future if we are successful in the beginning turning the tap off to drug use."