Federal and Newfoundland and Labrador governments reach agreement to study new approach to addiction-related crime


July 7, 2016 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada


The Government of Canada is committed to a fair, efficient and effective criminal justice system that encourages the use of restorative justice processes and sentencing alternatives where appropriate.

Today, Nick Whalen, Member of Parliament for St. John’s East, on behalf of Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould, together with the Minister of Justice and Public Safety and Attorney General of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Andrew Parsons, announced a funding agreement of $30,000 between the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador under the Drug Treatment Court Funding Program. The funding will help to determine whether it is feasible to implement a Drug Treatment Court in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Drug Treatment Court Funding Program is a federal contribution funding program that aims to reduce crime committed as a result of drug dependency through court-monitored treatment and community service support for non-violent offenders with drug addictions.

Drug Treatment Courts are problem-solving courts administered by the provinces and territories that differ from the traditional court process, and are similar to mental health courts and domestic violence courts. They provide an alternative to incarceration, aiming to reduce the number of crimes committed to support drug dependency by offering judicial supervision, comprehensive substance abuse treatment, random and frequent drug testing, incentives and sanctions, clinical case management, and social services support.


“It is critically important that our criminal justice system is flexible enough to help those with drug dependencies turn their lives around. Drug Treatment Courts offer alternative sentencing options for eligible non-violent offenders by providing them with court-supervised drug treatment options instead of prison, helping to break the cycle of drug use and repeat offences.”

Jody Wilson-RaybouldMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

“Drug Treatment Courts have been working well in other provinces for a number of years and this funding from the federal government for a feasibility study is certainly welcome as we determine whether such a model can also be successful in Newfoundland and Labrador. Through the meetings I have had with community and legal groups, I anticipate full support for this study and, depending on the outcome, for the establishment of a Drug Treatment Court. I thank Justice Canada and Minister Wilson-Raybould for their support for this important first step of that process.”

Andrew ParsonsMinister of Justice and Public Safety and Attorney General, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

“Substance abuse affects too many families here in Newfoundland and Labrador. I am very pleased that the Government of Canada is helping explore how Drug Treatment Courts could benefit our communities. We are committed to properly designed programs that will help break the cycle of drug abuse.”

Nick WhalenMember of Parliament for St. John’s East

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Michael DavisDirector of Communications Office of the Minister of Justice 613-992-4621

Media RelationsDepartment of Justice613-957-4207

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