National Anti-Drug Strategy Annual Performance Report 2012-13

Accomplishments of the National Anti-Drug Strategy, 2012-13

Strategy Lead

Department of Justice Canada

Justice Canada, together with Strategy partners, implemented the actions set out in the Management Response and Action Plan to the Strategy’s 2012 Impact Evaluation. The main areas of focus of the Management Response and Action Plan included strengthening the governance of the Strategy, developing communication and knowledge sharing activities and improving monitoring and evaluation activities. Justice Canada, as the chair of the Policy and Performance Working Group, undertook a review and revision of the terms of reference for all Strategy working groups, updating existing or creating new terms of reference as required. Also in support of the Management Response and Action Plan, Justice Canada led the development of a Performance Measurement Strategy for the National Anti-Drug Strategy as described under Sub-Committee on Evaluation and Reporting above.

The Youth Justice and Strategic Initiatives Section at Justice Canada coordinates policy development and reporting, including the Strategy’s annual report, Report on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Report, working closely with partner departments.

Prevention Action Plan

Objective

The objective of the Prevention Action Plan is to prevent the use of illicit drugs, especially among youth and at-risk populations by promoting understanding of the harmful health and social effects of illicit drug use and supporting community-based initiatives to prevent illicit drug use. Led by HC, the Prevention Action Plan includes programming delivered through HC and the RCMP.

Health Canada

Preliminary evaluation results of the Drug Strategy Community Initiatives Fund (DSCIF) show that the fund has raised youth awareness of illicit drugs and their negative consequences and youth capacity (knowledge and skills) to avoid illicit drug use through the development of leadership skills, communication skills, positive supports/relationships, self-esteem and resiliency.

There is also some evidence to support the finding that DSCIF has led to strengthened community responses to illicit drug issues. Projects focused more on community development have increased access/availability and uptake of health prevention and promotion knowledge and resources; as a result of these projects, communities have implemented a number of new services, initiatives or programs. Information is being used in classroom settings, as part of youth workers’ daily work and incorporated into strategic plans and community programming. Additionally, some projects have been expanded beyond the original scope of DSCIF and have achieved full or partial sustainability beyond DSCIF funding.

As final evaluation results from DSCIF projects are becoming available and analyzed, it is clear that the majority of projects are having a positive impact on their intended areas, especially on the focus of DSCIF’s three main outcomes (awareness, knowledge and community engagement). Since 2008, more than 49,484 youth, 4,435 parents and 626 workers/schools have been reached through 29 DSCIF projects (reach of DSCIF projects will continue to be updated as projects are completed and reports are analyzed).

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The RCMP’s Federal Policing Public Engagement (FPPE - formerly Drugs and Organized Crime Awareness Service Footnote 3 ) delivered a range of initiatives intended to raise awareness of illicit drugs and their negative consequences. These initiatives target youth and are constantly updated to ensure accurate drug information as the drug market changes rapidly (e.g., types of drugs available, popularity with youth, consequences of use, etc.) and to ensure the information is geographically and culturally appropriate.

In 2012-13, FPPE gave 3,461 awareness presentations reaching 37,667 youths; 27,686 parents; and 8,612 professionals. FPPE also trained 150 facilitators for programs such as Drug Abuse Resistance Education, Aboriginal Shield Program, Racing Against Drugs, Kids & Drugs, and Drug Endangered Children. The majority of FPPE’s efforts and programs target school-age youth while informing and educating parents, community members, key stakeholders, as well as internal and external RCMP partners through presentations, consultative groups, partnerships and initiatives. FPPE teaches youth to influence adults and vice versa. FPPE educates the public about drugs and organized crime and their negative consequences. FPPE provides the public with information, tools and skills on how to recognize and avoid bad situations in order to make healthy decisions.

Treatment Action Plan

Objective

The objective of the Treatment Action Plan is to support effective drug treatment and rehabilitation systems and services by developing and implementing innovative and collaborative approaches. The Treatment Action Plan is led by HC. It works with Justice Canada, CIHR, and the RCMP to increase access to treatment services, improve treatment and rehabilitation systems, and deliver a range of treatment services and programs to targeted populations.

Health Canada

Drug Treatment Funding Program

HC’s Drug Treatment Funding Program (DTFP) provides funding to provinces, territories and national organizations to support drug addiction treatment systems and services. The DTFP has 26 active contribution agreements in place and is making progress toward its long-term outcome of improving treatment systems, services and programs.

An evaluation of the DTFP in 2012-13 found that the program has made progress in the obtainment of all program outcomes including in the three treatment system investment areas (evidence informed-practices, linkage and exchange and performance measurement and evaluation capacity) and in improving treatment services.

For example, 84% of services respondents believed their ability to deliver evidence-informed drug treatment programs or services had been improved as a result of DTFP. Almost all of the services projects have reported providing training to staff and many projects reported hiring additional staff and/or being able to provide a wider range of services to clients. Mobile outreach teams and offering services outside regular hours and in other locations (e.g. schools) implemented by projects in Quebec, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Manitoba and Nova Scotia have allowed projects to reach out to high risk, vulnerable youth who would not have been reached via traditional treatment services.

A review of project reports demonstrated that some DTFP projects have started to secure funding from other sources in order to continue with their projects after the cessation of DTFP funding.

National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program

Since 2007, Strategy funding has contributed to strengthened addiction services for First Nations and Inuit communities. Achievements include more addiction workers certified and treatment centres accredited, treatment centres that are better able to meet community needs, and an evidence-based review of on-reserve addiction services, which led to the development of a new national framework to address substance use issues among First Nations people in Canada. In 2012-13, implementation of this framework began at community, regional and national levels, with the support and guidance of a national Renewal Leadership Team comprising First Nations representatives from across Canada.

HC’s First Nations and Inuit Health Branch is working towards a national goal of achieving 80% treatment center workforce certification. In 2012-13, the percentage of full-time treatment centre counselors with such certification increased to 71% (251 of 353). The Strategy has also contributed to more treatment centres achieving accreditation. In 2012-13, 84% (46 of 55) of treatment centres were accredited.

Furthermore, there are currently seven Mental Wellness Teams (MWT) working in six regions: British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Atlantic (two teams, one of which is Inuit-specific). Team composition varies and may include: social workers, addiction counselors, traditional or cultural advisors, occupational therapists, outreach workers, mental health workers, concurrent disorder specialists, nurses, psychologists and psychiatrists.

Preliminary results emerging from formal outcome evaluations conducted on the teams has demonstrated: the effectiveness of the MWT concept in developing collaborative relationships, including with provinces and between community, cultural and clinical service providers; enhanced continuum of care by improving access to both traditional and mainstream services, including for youth and clients who have previously refused help; increased community ownership and capacity to deliver culturally safe mental wellness services; promoted cross-sectoral collaboration; and supported ongoing community development.

Canadian Institutes of Health Research

CIHR has funded 18 projects related to illicit drug treatment over the first five years of the Strategy. Final and interim reports of these funded studies were received and an evaluation started. CIHR’s Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA) organized a workshop on Substance Abuse Treatment and Prevention in January 2013. Approximately 50 academic researchers, service providers, and representatives from government and other CIHR Institutes attended the workshop, which featured a series of presentations on research projects funded through the Strategy and grant money from INMHA and other CIHR programs.

Justice Canada

The Youth Justice Fund provides grants and contributions to provinces, territories, non-governmental organizations and individuals to support projects that encourage a more effective youth justice system, respond to emerging youth justice issues and enable greater citizen and community participation in the youth justice system. The Youth Justice Fund has three components: the Main Fund, Drug Treatment, and Guns, Gangs and Drugs.

In 2012-13, the Youth Justice Fund committed support to 23 projects to enhance capacity to plan/deliver a range of drug treatment services and programs targeted at young people in conflict with the law. Seven pilot projects were approved or ongoing in 2012-13; two other pilot projects were co-funded through the Guns, Gangs and Drugs component and the Drug Treatment component of the Youth Justice Fund as they had an emphasis on youth affected by both these issues. Through a call for proposals, 10 projects provided training for frontline workers or community assessments to increase the effectiveness of efforts to address substance abuse by youth involved in the youth criminal justice system. Two research projects focused on best practices and potential interventions for youth with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder or other cognitive impairments, who also struggle with substance abuse. There were also two projects with provinces which focused on training for frontline staff.

Justice Canada also administers the Drug Treatment Court Funding Program (DTCFP). The DTCFP is a 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. There are currently six federally funded pilot Drug Treatment Courts in Canada: Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Edmonton and Vancouver.

In 2012-13, the DTCFP partnered with the BC Ministry of Justice on a research project examining the Vancouver Drug Treatment Court. The study found that the length of duration of a participant in the program is positively connected to the program’s effectiveness and a reduction in recidivism. In other words, notwithstanding if the participant actually completed the Program, the longer the time spent in the Program, the greater the positive participant outcomes and reductions in recidivism.

An evaluation of the Winnipeg Drug Treatment Court Program for the period from January to December 2012 showed that high admissions to the program increased access to treatment for drug-addicted offenders and that the recidivism rate for graduates of the program remains low. Typically, this cohort is described as “high needs” and has trouble accessing addictions treatment programs when not receiving the additional support that is provided by the routines established through the DTC processes.

Enforcement Action Plan

Objective

The objective of the Enforcement Action Plan is to help law enforcement agencies to identify, arrest, and prosecute those involved in illegal drug activities while also dismantling drug production operations in a safe manner. This includes targeting criminal organizations that are often associated with marihuana grow operations and clandestine laboratories, as well as individuals involved in the illegal production, trafficking, import and export of controlled substances, including the chemicals (precursors) used to manufacture these controlled substances.

Public Safety is the lead and national coordinator of the Enforcement Action Plan with involvement from the following departments and agencies: the RCMP, HC, Justice Canada, CBSA, CRA, DFATD, FINTRAC, PPSC, CSC, PBC and PWGSC.

Public Safety Canada

Public Safety oversees domestic and international activities to improve knowledge and information sharing with stakeholders, including organizations at the municipal, provincial, territorial, federal and international level, such as the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, Canadian Association of Police Boards, Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, Criminal Intelligence Service Canada, police services across Canada, United States Drug Enforcement Agency, United States Department of Homeland Security, the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs, and the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD).

Public Safety officials also participate in many national and international fora. For example, in 2012-13, Public Safety worked with the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) and co-led the development of the Enforcement Pillar of the CCSA-led national strategy to address the harms associated with prescription drug abuse, titled First Do No Harm: Responding to Canada’s Prescription Drug Crisis. Working with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), Public Safety developed a resolution on a national Prescription Drop-off Day, which was adopted at CACP’s Annual General Meeting. Further responding to the problem of prescription drugs in Canada, Public Safety hosted a workshop for law enforcement in October 2012 on how to hold a drop-off day, and also developed a Handbook on Prescription Drug Return Initiatives along with a complementary collaborative Website (Sharepoint). Public Safety officials also participated in the Strategy’s Synthetic Drug Initiative Working Group, and the National Council Against Marihuana Grow Operations and Clandestine Labs, initiated by the RCMP.

Internationally, Public Safety provided input to and/or participated in fora including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) and the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) as well as other bilateral meetings related to common security issues (e.g., Canada-U.S.). At the 56th Session of the CND in March 2013, Public Safety led the negotiations of a resolution entitled “Promoting initiatives for the safe, secure and appropriate return for disposal of prescription drugs, in particular those containing narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances under international control”.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The RCMP continued to advance the Strategy’s Enforcement Action Plan. Under the Marihuana Grow Initiative and Synthetic Drug Initiative, teams conducted a number of investigations which led to the search and seizure of numerous marihuana and synthetic drug production facilities.

During the reporting period, several investigations across the country resulted in the seizure of large quantities of synthetic drugs and listed precursor chemicals according to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) that are essential to the production of such drugs. This includes:

  • Seizure of a large quantity of gamma-Butyrolactone (GBL) which can be converted into gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB).
  • Seizure of a large quantity of Safrole which could be used to produce MDMA.
  • Seizure of N-Phenethyl-4-piperidinone (NPP), a non-regulated precursor which can be converted into a dangerous synthetic opiate, known as Fentanyl.
  • Seizure of a large quantity of alpha-phenylacetoacetonitrile (APAAN) which is used in the production of methamphetamine.
  • Seizure of a large quantity of Ephedrine, a CDSA precursor.
  • Seizures of ketamine, a CDSA listed synthetic drug.

RCMP investigations have disrupted organized crime operations in Canada and abroad. The Marihuana Grow Initiative and the Synthetic Drug Initiative have allowed the RCMP to develop new partnerships, both domestically and internationally, focused on disrupting and reducing organized crime operations in Canada.

Health Canada

HC’s Office of Controlled Substances (OCS) monitored and regulated the movement of controlled substances and precursor chemicals in an attempt to prevent their diversion from the legal distribution chain to illicit markets and assisted law enforcement with the destruction of seized controlled substances. It was also responsible for Drug Analysis Services, which provided scientific advice, analyzed seized materials, provided training to law enforcement and border officers about illegal drug production and trends and on safe dismantling of drug labs, as well as giving expert testimony in court.

The OCS continued its compliance and enforcement activities in administering the regulatory framework for controlled substances and precursor chemicals. Through the development of a new risk based model, which allowed the department to improve its ability to target compliance and enforcement activities to the regulated parties that pose the highest risk, OCS contributed to an increased capacity in the control and monitoring of controlled substances and precursor chemicals. The addition of BZP, TFMPP and MDPV to the schedules of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) has contributed to minimizing diversion of these substances to the illicit market.

HC’s Drug Analysis Services continued its work in: assisting with investigations and the dismantling of clandestine laboratories; conducting analysis of suspected illicit drugs submitted by law enforcement agencies; and providing training sessions on topics such as drug analysis and identification, and dismantling a clandestine laboratory. These key activities further enabled law enforcement agencies to increase their knowledge, awareness and efficiency and to reduce the health risks related to investigations and clandestine laboratories dismantlement.

Department of Justice Canada

Justice Canada’s Criminal Law Policy Section, in consultation with other concerned departments and agencies, developed legislation (as part of Bill C-10) providing mandatory minimum penalties (MMPs) for serious drug offences under the CDSA’s Schedule I (opium, heroin, morphine, cocaine and methamphetamine), and Schedule II (cannabis-related, including marihuana) of the Act. This means that offenders found guilty of a drug offence involving either of these two schedules will be subject to higher maximum penalties. Furthermore, offenders found guilty of a drug offence involving either of these two schedules could be subject to a minimum penalty if any of the listed aggravating factors set out in C-10 were present during the commission of the offence.

Bill C-10 also amended the CDSA by transferring GHB and flunitrazepam, most commonly known as date-rape drugs, from Schedule III to Schedule I. Lastly, Bill C-10 increased the maximum penalty for production of cannabis (marihuana) under Schedule II from 7 to 14 years imprisonment.

Funding to implement MMPs for serious drug offences was approved on September 27, 2007 and was held over contingent to Bill C-10 receiving Royal Assent, which happened on March 13, 2012. The departments and agencies involved in responding to the impact of MMPs for serious drug offences were then able to access these funds.

Canada Border Services Agency

In 2012-13, the CBSA prevented cross-border trafficking of marihuana and other illicit drugs and precursor chemicals. It carried out border intelligence activities, a Precursor Chemical Diversion Initiative, and provided analysis and scientific services through its CBSA Laboratory Services.

The CBSA continued to develop tactical and strategic intelligence on precursor chemicals and synthetic drugs and shared this intelligence with Health Canada as well as domestic and international law enforcement partners. This facilitated the dismantling of the criminal networks trading in these commodities and limited the cross-border flow of illicit drugs.

Canada Revenue Agency

Strategy funding allows the CRA to devote additional resources to audits of individuals involved in illicit drug activity. Funding has also allowed the CRA to enhance its working relationship with the RCMP and other law enforcement agencies involved in enforcement activities involving illegal drug use, production and distribution. This has been achieved through increased liaison activities that allow partners to improve the number and quality of leads provided to the CRA related to drug activity.

Dedicated Strategy resources allow the CRA to contribute to the Enforcement Action Plan outcomes through civil compliance actions that address the accumulation of unreported, illicit wealth amassed by those involved in illegal activities. In conjunction with the actions of other initiative partners, the taxation of the proceeds of crimes reduces profitability and deters future criminal activities.

Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

DFATD provided policy coordination on the implementation of international drug conventions and programs for multilateral processes. DFATD’s contribution to the Organization of American States Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) has supported programming on drug control and law enforcement training. This programming has strengthened the capacity of local authorities to have reliable and timely information on which to base their decisions, analyze data in compliance with international standards, and to investigate and interdict drug traffickers. DFATD continues to fulfil its mandated role under the Enforcement Action Plan of the Strategy to support international training and capacity-building efforts through engagement with, and contributions to, key organizations.

DFATD contributed funding to CICAD in 2012-13. With Strategy funding, this organization delivered projects focused on: developing capacities to gather, analyze and report information on drugs by creating Drug Information Networks (DINs) in the Caribbean and Central America; building capacity of National Authorities to monitor and analyze the impact of illicit drugs in the Americas; improving control and preventing diversion of precursor chemicals for illicit drug production; and, building investigative and operational counter drug activities.

DFATD made an annual voluntary contribution to the CICAD to enable the organization to fulfill its mandate and support international counter-narcotics efforts in the Americas. The goal of the contribution is to increase the capacity of beneficiary States and government entities to counter-narcotics and prevent and respond to criminal activity, and to improve the capacity of CICAD so that they can in turn enable greater international coordination and collaboration. All of these activities are undertaken in order to reduce the flow of illicit drugs into Canada, and to combat the impact of drug trafficking organizations on Canadian and international security.

Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada

While FINTRAC became an unfunded partner within the NADS initiative in 2012-13, it has internally reallocated resources to continue to provide actionable financial intelligence related to the suspected proceeds of drug production and distribution to law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

FINTRAC produces financial intelligence that assists Canadian law enforcement and national security agencies in combating money laundering, terrorist activity financing and threats to the security of Canada. FINTRAC’s financial intelligence assists hundreds of criminal investigations every year, including those where the alleged laundered proceeds were linked to drug offences. Information provided to law enforcement may also result in the seizure of proceeds of criminal activity, thus making crime less profitable.

In 2012-13, FINTRAC provided disclosures on 919 cases to law enforcement and security partners. Out of these, 241 disclosures were related to suspected drug offences; an increase from the 209 unique drug-related disclosures made in 2011-12.

Public Prosecution Service of Canada

Under the Enforcement Action Plan, the PPSC provided pre-charge legal advice and litigation support during police investigations. It undertook prosecutions of drug offences under the CDSA and also provided prosecution-related services to support drug-related investigations and charges, and disseminated information to Crown prosecutors on new legislation (Bill C-10) pertaining to illicit drugs.

In 2012-13, the PPSC handled 26,810 litigation files dealing with drug production and distribution offences (pursuant to CDSA sections 5(1), 5(2), 6(1), 6(2), 7(1), 7(2) and 7.1). Of these, 22,157 included distribution offences, 996 included production offences, and an additional 3,143 files included both production and distribution offences. The remaining 514 files had not yet been updated at time of publication to indicate which CDSA charge applies.

When Bill C-10, the Safe Streets and Communities Act, received Royal Assent on March 13, 2012, funding became available to the PPSC for prosecution-related advice and litigation support during police investigations and prosecution of drug charges resulting from the mandatory minimum penalties. There were 160 Strategy-related files that included a total of 241 charges where MMPs were applicable.

Public Works and Government Services Canada

PWGSC’s Forensic Accounting Management Group (FAMG) provides forensic accounting and evidentiary services to Strategy partners, most notably the RCMP and the PPSC.  By providing high quality and specialized forensic accounting analysis, the organization has enhanced the investigations and prosecutions of controlled drugs and substances cases that have financial components.

FAMG indirectly increased the capacity for proceeds of crime investigations, including those related to controlled drugs and substances, by providing forensic accounting services in support of Strategy cases. The expert advice provided by FAMG assisted the RCMP in investigating the financial aspects of cases involving illicit drug production/distribution. The associated forensic accounting reports are expected to directly support efforts to prosecute cases.

The organization works to remain at the forefront of forensic accounting techniques in unlocking complex schemes used by criminals to hide or launder the proceeds of illicit drug activities so as to assist the RCMP to investigate, and the PPSC to prosecute, illegal activities. For example, in fiscal year 2012-13, FAMG used scanning and analysis software, which meant less time manually entering banking information, thus increasing the resource capacity to work on more files/projects.

FAMG’s forensic accountants worked on proceeds of crime investigations, including those involving illicit drugs and substances. In 2012-13, FAMG issued 79 forensic reports, supported investigations and prosecutions by providing analysis and reports, and provided court testimony demonstrating gains made by alleged criminals through illicit drug activities. This directly supported federal efforts to remove the financial incentives of crimes by increasing seizures and forfeitures.

For more information on the National Anti-Drug Strategy visit: http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/anti-drug-antidrogue/index-eng.php

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