Pubdate: Thu, 13 Sep 2007
Source: Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)
Copyright: 2007 The Calgary Sun
Author: Bill Kaufmann
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


Province In No Hurry To Implement Recommendations From
Klein-Era Task Force

The province is in no hurry to enact recommendations of a crystal meth
task force once described as urgent by former premier Ralph Klein's
wife Colleen, who co-chaired the panel, a spokesman for Alberta Health
said yesterday.

One year after the task force's report was released, Alberta Health
and Wellness spokesman Howard May said the government has decided to
roll some of the report's 83 recommendations into a broader strategy
targeting various drugs.

"I don't know the timetable on completing that," said May.

"It was decided it would make much more sense to not just look at one
drug .. not to have to turn around and say, 'Our work's done on one,
now lets do it for crack or cocaine.' All these drugs are a big problem."

The report recommends creating 100 detoxification and 200 treatment
beds, as well as a provincial fund for meth programs, an awareness
campaign and a crackdown on sales of drug paraphernalia.

The task force called for immediate action on the synthetic drug,
while then-premier Klein delayed his departure until the document's
release in a bid to solidify his legacy.

Task force member and Red Deer Tory MLA Mary Anne Jablonski voiced
concerns about the delays in implementing the report.

"I'm disappointed it's taking some time in rolling them into the
broader strategy," she said.

"The urgency is not quite the same."

But Jablonski said good work on drug treatment is still be done.

Liberal Leader Kevin Taft yesterday accused the government of
dithering in familiar fashion.

"The response of this government typically seems to be to strike a
task force, buy yourself six months or a year's time and then ignore
it when it comes," Taft said.
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