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Minister Beaulieu returns from the Canada Northwest Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder meeting

Yellowknife (September 19, 2012) – Minister of Health and Social Services Tom Beaulieu attended the Canada Northwest Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Partnership Ministers’ Meeting on September 14 and 15 in Saskatoon.  The meeting, chaired by Saskatchewan Social Services Minister June Draude, celebrated the achievements of the Partnership and discussed its future.

“FASD is 100% preventable, but all of us still find it difficult to diagnose and to estimate the true magnitude of the problem in our jurisdictions,” said Minister Beaulieu. “We still have to rely on rough estimates of how many people are actually affected by FASD.  We need more accurate information to ensure that what we are doing prevents FASD and makes a difference in the lives of people who are already affected by it.”

Ministers from western provinces and territories reviewed the annual report and provided feedback and direction to the partnership’s research network. A number of speakers shared their knowledge on topics such as FASD prevalence and economic impacts.

Ministers also agreed to extend an invitation to their eastern provincial colleagues and to the federal government to attend the first international conference on prevention of FASD, to be held in Alberta in September 2013.

“Prevention is the most important thing we can do to eliminate FASD,” said Minister Beaulieu. “Communities have the answers we need to address the issue. As I move forward with the Minister’s Forum on Addictions, I hope to hear their suggestions.”

The NWT has been a member of the Canada Northwest FASD Partnership since 1999.  The partnership is an alliance of seven jurisdictions that works toward the development and promotion of an interprovincial and inter-territorial approach to FASD prevention, intervention, care and support.

For more information, contact:

Megan Holsapple
Media Liaison
Office of the Premier and Executive Council
Government of the Northwest Territories
Tel: (867) 669-2302
Fax: (867) 873-0111