The RCMP says it has reached an agreement with China to try and stop the flow of illicit fentanyl into Canada.
The Mounties say commissioner Bob Paulson and the vice-minister of China’s public security ministry met this week and agreed to boost enforcement efforts to disrupt the flow of the drug and other opioids.
It also says discussions to formalize joint investigations will begin next week.
Paulson says fentanyl and other opioids pose a grave threat to community safety in Canada.
He says the meeting was an important step towards the two countries taking a co-ordinated approach to combat fentanyl trafficking.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says the world must take the fentanyl problem seriously and Canada needs international help to restrict the flow of the drug from overseas.
“The summit was very helpful in raising the profile, increasing the understanding and making sure all levels of government – and all agencies within government – are actively engaged on the topic,” Goodale said.
Saskatoon police Chief Clive Weighill said he’s all for any efforts to keep the drug out of the country.
“We know that a majority of the fentanyl – the synthetic drug – comes from China, so any help we can get from Chinese authorities may stem some of the flow,” Weighill said.
“Unfortunately there’s a lot of money to be made in this, there’s a lot of profit for people that are dealing in these drugs.”
Last week, B.C. Premier Christy Clark, whose province is on the front line of Canada’s fentanyl problem, urged Ottawa to take action to crack down on imports of the drug from China.
– With files from 650 CKOM.