Minister's Opioid Emergency Response Commission

A dedicated emergency commission to help Alberta respond to the opioid crisis.


The Chief Medical Officer of Health is leading the response to the opioid crisis and is working closely with:

  • health experts
  • community groups
  • parent advocates
  • people who have used or continue to use opioids or drugs
  • law enforcement
  • the medical community
  • other Alberta government ministries

The Minister’s Opioid Emergency Response Commission was created in May 2017 under the Opioid Emergency Response Regulation in the Public Health Act.

The commission will oversee and implement urgent coordinated actions on the opioid crisis, focused on 6 strategic areas:

  • harm-reduction initiatives
  • treatment
  • prevention
  • enforcement and supply control
  • collaboration
  • surveillance and analytics

Commission members

The commission is co-chaired by Dr. Karen Grimsrud and Dr. Elaine Hyshka and includes representation from a diverse group affected by the opioid crisis, including law enforcement, Indigenous communities, harm-reduction program experts and parent advocates.

  • Dr. Karen Grimsrud, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Alberta (co-chair)
  • Elaine Hyshka, assistant professor at the University of Alberta’s School of Public Health (co-chair)
  • Karen Turner, president of Alberta Addicts Who Educate and Advocate Responsibly (AAWEAR)
  • Marliss Taylor, program manager of Streetworks, Edmonton’s needle-distribution program
  • Dr. Esther Tailfeathers, physician on Kainai First Nation (Blood Tribe)
  • Petra Schulz, parent advocate with Moms Stop the Harm
  • Atiya Ashna, Diversity and Community Collaboration specialist
  • Staff Sgt. Jason Walker, Calgary Police Service
  • Dr. Nicholas Etches, Calgary clinician with expertise in opioid addiction and treatment
  • Dr. Karen Mazurek, deputy registrar, College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • Kathy Ness, Assistant Deputy Minister, Health Services Delivery Division, Alberta Health
  • Bill Sweeney, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Security Division, Alberta Justice and Solicitor General
  • Kathryn Todd, Vice President, Research, Innovation and Analytics, as well as Executive Lead for Seniors, Addiction and Mental Health with Alberta Health Services
  • Dr. Gerry Predy, Senior Medical Officer of Health, Alberta Health Services

Commission reports

Commission records of discussion

Commission recommendations