Pubdate: Thu, 14 Aug 2014
Source: Tribune, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2014, Osprey Media Group Inc.
Author: Maryanne Firth
Page: A3


FRANCOPHONE SERVICES: Ottawa funds anti-drug strategy for students in
Grade 4 through 12

The federal government has committed more than $ 511,000 to help
prevent drug use among francophone youth in Niagara, Hamilton and 

Minister of Public Works and Government Services Diane Finley
announced the funding Wednesday at Centre de sante Communautaire
Hamilton/ Niagara in Welland.

The investment, divided over four years, was made under the
government's National AntiDrug Strategy and will support the C'est Mon
Choix! ( It's My Choice!) project, which will establish educational
workshops on drug prevention in 17 elementary and secondary schools.
The program will focus on students in Grade 4 to 12.

"This will allow us to best protect our most valuable resource,"
Finley said, speaking about the impact the program is expected to have
on Ontario's youth.

Work to get the project underway began in the spring, Jeanne Schmidt,
the centre's director of health and wellness, said. Roundtable
discussions were held with more than 100 teens, and consulting
committees were created to determine the most effective way to roll
out C'est Mon Choix!

Surveys were conducted to learn more about teen drug use in the
Niagara, Hamilton and Burlington areas.

Schmidt was impressed by the honesty of participants, but shocked by
the results as several teens admitted to having been introduced to
marijuana by their parents, among other sources.

A recent study, she said, shows that one-third of Niagara and
Hamilton youths in Grades 7 to 12 have used marijuana. These results,
she added, make it that much more important for a community anti-drug
strategy to be in place.

C'est Mon Choix is expected to launch in schools in

The funds announced Wednesday are part of a $ 16.1- million commitment
the government made earlier this year to support 34 drug prevention
projects under the Drug Strategy Community Initiatives Fund.

The initiative, geared at ages 10 to 24, is meant to help young people
make informed decisions about illicit drug use and ultimately reduce
risk-taking behaviours.

It's also meant to help strengthen the ability of communities to get
involved and prevent drug use before it happens.
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