THUNDER BAY – The Nishnawbe Aski Police Service is joining the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation leadership in questioning the Federal Government for not taking a leadership role in banning the production generic substitutes for the drug OxyContin.
OxyContin severely impacted First Nations communities policed by the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service. Addiction rates are much higher on a per capita basis in communities in the north than they are in southern Ontario. This year alone, illicit Oxycontin drugs valued at over one million dollars have been seized and prevented from ending up in northern communities. The market for these drugs in northern communities is so lucrative that criminal organizations from the Greater Toronto Area are targeting the NAN communities.
NAPS Deputy Chief Robert Herman shares, “What makes this decision more insulting is the fact that the Federal Government has told us they will no longer fund the Police Officer Recruitment Fund (PORF) after March of 2013. The Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service has 11 officers funded under PORF including a drug enforcement officer. The loss of these officers will have negative impact on our ability to police the communities we serve. Allowing generic versions of OxyContin to be produced and ultimately be illegally distributed to our communities, while at the same time reducing our funding and ability to do drug enforcement flies in the face of logic”.
“The government must take the leadership role they were elected to do. They must prevent this drug from being produced”, concludes Herman.