Parliamentary Reception to Explore How Research Can Inform Solutions to Canada’s Opioid Crisis

OTTAWA, April 10, 2019 — More than 11 Canadians are dying every day on average because of opioids, according to new data from the federal government. Canada is the world’s second highest per-capita consumer of opioids, after the United States, which has led to widespread misuse, dependence and addiction. Western provinces have been hardest hit, but experts note that other provinces are catching up.

Following a luncheon event held in 2018, Research Canada and the Parliamentary Health Research Caucus, along with co-host HealthCareCAN, are proud to host the second in a series of events on the opioid crisis in Canada. Throughout this invitation-only reception, featured researchers from across Canada will delve into the deeper reasons for the crisis by focusing on five major themes and propose integrated solutions that research can provide. Guests will hear from Keynote Speaker Dr. Hance Clarke, Director of Pain Services and Clinical Research at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute at UHN, who will speak to the important role of research in finding solutions to this national epidemic. Guests will also have the opportunity to meet with Dr. Jeffrey Turnbull, Co-founder and Medical Director at Ottawa Inner City Health to learn about the impact of this crisis on Ottawa’s vulnerable homeless and street communities.

Date: April 10, 2019 from 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Where: The Valour Building, 151 Sparks Street, Ottawa

Social media: #HealthResearchCaucus, #OpioidCrisis

Who: Ten leading experts from across Canada will discuss their research under five areas of research.

Harm Reduction to Fight the Opioid Epidemic

Graciela Piñeyro, MD, PhD
Ste-Justine Hospital | University of Montreal
Mark Tyndall, MD, ScD, FRCPC
BC Centre for Disease Control (PHSA) | University of British Columbia

A Bridge to Nowhere: Challenging Transitions of Care for Opioid Patients

Klaudia Dmitrienko, MA, MHSC
Royal Alexandra Hospital (Alberta Health Services)
Aliza Weinrib, PhD
Toronto General Hospital (UHN) | York University

Integrating Public Health and Health Care Strategies to Combat the Opioid Crisis

Manon Choinière, PhD
University of Montreal | CRCHUM
Anthony Levitt, MD
University of Toronto | Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Cannabis as a Possible Solution to the Opioid Crisis

Gabriella Gobbi, MD, PhD
McGill University | McGill University Health Centre
Yang Qu, PhD
University of New Brunswick

Mental Health Disorders and Opioid Use

Colleen Anne Dell, PhD
University of Saskatchewan | Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction
Zul Merali, PhD
The Royal’s Institute of Mental Health Research, affiliated with the University of Ottawa

Parliamentary Health Research Caucus
Chair: Kim Rudd, MP (Northumberland—Peterborough South)
Vice-Chairs: Marilyn Gladu, MP (Sarnia—Lambton),
Carol Hughes, MP (Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing)
Senate Representative: The Honourable Judith Seidman

Research Canada
Dr. Robert McMaster, Chair
Deborah Gordon-El-Bihbety, President and CEO

About Research Canada

Research Canada is a national alliance dedicated to increasing investments in health research through collaborative advocacy and engaging government, academia, industry and non-profit sectors to build support for long-term health research funding. For more information, visit

Since 2009, Parliamentary Health Research Caucus events on Parliament Hill have helped to educate politicians on the social and economic benefits of Canadian health research and innovation, as well as introduce them to the multi-sector partnerships among academic, private sector and health charity stakeholders essential to a robust health research enterprise and innovation system.

About HealthCareCAN

HealthCareCAN is the national voice of healthcare organizations and academic research hospitals across Canada. We support and promote our members’ interests through advocacy, leadership development, research and policy in order to foster a world-leading health system. Visit for more information.

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For inquiries:
Christie Tomkins
Manager of Policy and Public Affairs
Research Canada