Nunavut addictions treatment program postponed

A residential addictions treatment program in the Kitikmeot planned to start in spring has been postponed until fall, says Nunavut's deputy minister of Health and Social Services.

Kitikmeot pilot program delayed until fall

The Government of Nunavut has postponed plans for an addictions treatment program in the Kitikmeot.

A few months ago Finance Minister Keith Peterson announced in his budget speech a pilot program for a 28-day residential addictions treatment would be launched this spring in the Kitikmeot region. 

Peter Ma, Nunavut's deputy minister of Health and Social Services, says a pilot program for residential addictions treatment in Cambridge Bay won't be launched this spring after all, but may be ready by September. (CBC)

But on Wednesday, Peter Ma, deputy minister of Health and Social Services, said it won't be launched this spring after all.

"Our two partners on that are Mamisarvik from Ottawa, and Ilisaqsivik in Clyde River, so it is very Inuit-culturally specific," he said.

"The challenge has been to take this from a 53-day program into a 28-day program in Cambridge Bay, and if it all works well, we'll try to roll that out across the territory."

Ma said working with partners and "getting the right program in place" will take time and the new program will likely start in September.

In the meantime, Nunavummiut continue to fly south for addictions treatment.

Tamapta, the Nunavut government's action plan, promised a substance abuse treatment facility in Nunavut by 2013. So far, nothing has been announced.

There are plans for a new mental health facility in Iqaluit but it won't provide addictions treatment.