Bhutila Karpoche MPP, Parkdale–High Park

Government of Ontario

Ford Conservatives continue to put lives at risk by not declaring opioid crisis a public health emergency

Published on September 20, 2018

With the Ford Conservatives’ backward priorities driving the Queen’s Park agenda, NDP Parkdale-High Park MPP, Bhutila Karpoche accused the Ford Conservatives of throwing away available public dollars that could be allocated to help address the opioid crisis simply by refusing to call it a public health emergency.

“Between January and March of this year, opioids have claimed over 1,000 Canadian lives, but the minister has refused to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency - which would quickly send resources and funding to where they are desperately needed.”

Karpoche said that by calling it what it is – a public health emergency - Ontario could take advantage of allocated federal emergency funding to help address the crisis in the same way that Britich Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Labrador and Quebec have. Instead, the Ford Conservatives are risking the lives of Ontarians struggling with addiction and the front line workers trying to help them.

“Instead, the Ford government has called into question the future of Ontario’s overdose prevention sites, putting more and more lives in jeopardy with every additional minute of inaction.” Karpoche said.

“Minister, why is the Conservative premier leaving money on the table when so many Ontarians lives are at stake?” Karpoche asked.

“Will the minister finally take action, today, and declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency?”