On October 26th, Canada received a new federal Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Minister Carolyn Bennett, a Doctor by trade and MP for Toronto St Paul , is stepping into this crucial post at a pivotal time for Canadians. The Canadian Association for Mental Health and Addictions, Canada’s National Addictions Certification Organization, looks forward to working closely with Minister Bennett to take urgent action on the 3 Top Priorities the advocacy organization laid out during the recent federal election:

  1. To Close the Health Gaps for Children
  2. Work with Stakeholders
  3. Work with First Nation, Métis and Inuit Communities

“CACCF is delighted to welcome Minister Bennett,” says Alex Bishop , Head of Strategy and Public Affairs for the CACCF , noting that her “background and more than 20 Years working as a Doctor, community engagement make her a great choice”.

However, Bishop is quick to point out that the federal Ministry for Mental Health and Addictions has historically lacked dedicated funding or a true seat at the table in forming public policy, thereby relegating it to a “Ministry in name only, without any real power”.

“The pandemic has spotlighted just how much work the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has to do to support and protect  Canadians at a time when Mental Health and Addictions are at record levels,” he concludes. “This government made significant promises to address addictions inequalities—whether Minister Bennett will have the budget and power she needs to follow through on those promises remains to be seen.”