Opposition Voices Grave Concern over Federal Government Closure of Addictions Research Facility
CHARLOTTETOWN – Opposition Leader, Olive Crane is extremely disappointed that the Federal Government is choosing to close the Addictions Research Facility in Montague. The Centre has operated since 2001 and continues to be responsible for addictions research and development activities for Corrections Canada.
“The work that is being done by the competent and dedicated staff has had a significant impact on addictions research, the prevention of crime, and in the lives of people who deal with addictions each and every day. We have major problems in society with addictions and this appears to be a step backwards,” Crane says.
The majority of offenders admitted to the federal corrections system have problems with alcohol and drugs. In excess of 70% of offenders have identified substance abuse as a mitigating factor for their crimes. 56% of offenders actually admit to using drugs or alcohol during the time they committed their offenses.
Crane believes that both our Provincial and Federal government have lost their way citing the cuts that have been made by both levels of government attacking vulnerable groups in society. “We shouldn’t be doing less, rather we should be doing more to help educate and provide supports to people who face problems such as addictions. We are never going to solve a problem if we walk away from a possible solution.”
Crane also indicated her grave disappointment in the job losses. Prince Edward Island continues to be hit extremely hard by federal and provincial government cuts. The Addictions Research Centre employs twenty people and without the Centre, Kings County and in fact all of Prince Edward Island, will be delivered another economic blow.
Crane has corresponded with Ottawa on the issue and is calling on the Mayor of Montague and the Premier to join her in fighting to keep these jobs in Prince Edward Island. “My priority is and always will be to protect our province and our people.” Crane indicated she will continue to demand that these jobs or at least the funding for these jobs and the work remains on PEI.