The 23 members will develop a strategy outlining recommended actions to increase quality and access to a recovery-oriented mental health and addiction system, with a particular focus on treatment, recovery and justice programs. Home care and primary care will also be addressed. A final report is expected in summer 2020.

“Our government is committed to a recovery-oriented system of care that is fair, firm and compassionate. We want to eliminate barriers to recovery and give hope to people facing mental health and addiction challenges.”

Jason Luan, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions

As part of government’s platform commitment, $140 million over four years is being invested into improving the mental health and addiction system.

“We will strengthen the recovery continuum and give hope to Albertans who are struggling with mental illness and addiction. Recovery will take a front seat in our journey to a healthy and prosperous Alberta.”

Pat Nixon, co-chair, Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Council

“We have the opportunity to partner, align and create pathways and services that support individuals and families as they pursue recovery.”

Laureen MacNeil, co-chair, Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Council

Budget 2019 reflects government’s commitment to making life better for Albertans by making key investments in our health-care system to achieve better outcomes and makes it easier for Albertans to get the services they need in the most efficient way possible.

Council members

Addiction co-chair: Pat Nixon, founder, Mustard Seed

  • Stacey Petersen, executive director, Fresh Start Recovery Centre
  • Jacen Abrey, Blood Tribe Fire and EMS director, and councillor for Town of Coaldale
  • Andy Crooks, lawyer/lived experience
  • Nick Mitchell, senior medical director, AHS
  • Insp. Rob Davidson, Calgary Police Service
  • Benny Xu, traditional Chinese medicine doctor
  • Bruce Edgelow, founder and managing partner, Edgemark Capital/lived experience
  • Brad Cardinal, executive director, Poundmakers Lodge
  • Ray Baker, addiction medicine expert

Mental health co-chair: Laureen MacNeil, executive director, Canadian Mental Health Association – Calgary Region

  • Police Chief Dale McFee, Edmonton Police Service
  • Xin-Min Li, professor and chair, Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta
  • Allison Bichel, senior provincial director, AHS
  • Curtis Stange, president and CEO, ATB Financial
  • Karen Gosbee, mental health advocate
  • Sally Zhao, CEO, the Immigrant Education Society
  • Whitney Issik, MLA, Calgary-Glenmore


  • Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health
  • John Cabral, ADM, mental health and addiction
  • Sherri Wilson, ADM, public health and compliance/opioid crisis
  • Bill Sweeney, ADM, public safety
  • Peter MacKinnon, ADM, population, public and Indigenous health

Budget 2019 highlights

  • Health’s expense is budgeted at $22.1 billion in 2019-20.
  • Budget 2019 includes funding over four years to fulfil government’s specific commitments related to health care:
    • $100 million for the mental health and addiction strategy
    • $40 million for the opioid response strategy
    • $20 million for palliative care
    • $6 million for a new sexual assault hotline
    • $4 million ($1 million per year) for the Health Quality Council of Alberta