Hay River North
In terms of combatting the drug trade, despite what the perceptions might be, it is my opinion that, the RCMP and the Department of Justice, this is the last line of defence. The first line of defence is preventative measures. It's ensuring kids have something to do in the evening so that they do not go out and get into trouble. It's ensuring that there is the type of supports that kids and adults need in terms of counselling, having easy access to those things. However, the Member's question is about what we are doing for enforcement, so I do have some information.
Enforcement is not just the RCMP. There needs to be a multisector approach. Of course, the Department of Justice and the RCMP have been working with health and education and NGOs over the years on things such as the Opioid Task Force, which included the department and subject matters in the RCMP who have been working closely to ensure that we do not see the type of opioid crisis here that we have been seeing in the South. There is also collaboration on the alcohol strategy.
We have all seen the significant number of drug seizures over the past number of years. Every time I look on the news, there is a photograph with a pile of drugs, a pile of money, and then guns, and we see those on a regular basis. In addition to those large seizures, the RCMP are also focusing on enhancing the frontline officers' ability to target drug trafficking at a community level through collaboration, training, and development. We do not hear a lot of the things that the department, that the RCMP do, as well. I know that, speaking with the RCMP in Hay River, they have partnered or they work closely with the RCMP in Alberta, and they stop drugs before they get into the territory. We don't see that. We do not hear a lot of the things they do. They are not self-promoters in a lot of ways, and maybe that is so the people do not figure out their tactics. However, I am always happy when I speak with them and I find out that they are doing things that I never knew were happening. There is also the development of a gun and gang strategy that the NWT is embarking on with support for the federal government. There are a number of things that we're doing. That being said, this is the last line of defence. We really need to work on the first line of defence.