Gord Johns, Doherty's NDP counterpart, wrote to Minister Chrystia Freeland last week to ask that the upcoming budget prioritize the transfer. He said it would be "unconscionable" and "completely absurd" should the development of standards get in the way of a transfer at this point.
"There is a clear consensus from the mental health community (that) standards should not delay the Canada Mental Health Transfer," he said. "This is not how you respond to a crisis. This is not how you respond to ER rooms overflowing and a health care system near collapse."
Johns said he fears the current situation around service access will get worse with a recession underway. The cost of living is rising, and that added stress is going to exacerbate people's mental health issues and substance abuse, he said.