Bhutila Karpoche MPP, Parkdale–High Park

Government of Ontario

Ford Conservatives stall on overdose prevention sites as death toll climbs

Published on March 26, 2019

 

QUEEN’S PARK — Especially in light of a shocking new opioid-related death-toll number, Bhutila Karpoche, Ontario NDP critic for Mental Health and Addictions, said it’s simply wrong for the Ford Conservatives to delay the approval of licence applications for overdose prevention sites, and limit their number.

According to new data reported by the Canadian Press, the first half of last year, the opioid crisis claimed 629 lives, and from January through September, the crisis was responsible for 6,688 emergency-room visits.

“It is simply unconscionable for the Ford Conservatives to sit on their hands while the death toll for opioid overdoses climbs in Ontario,” said Bhutila. “How many more people need to lose their lives before the Conservatives acknowledge that we are in the throes of an opioid crisis, and do something about it?

“Capping the number of overdose prevention sites at 21 will result in more and more opioid-related deaths and ER visits every year.

Now we are just days from the expiration of all overdose prevention site licenses, and the Ford Conservatives haven’t said if even a single site will be legally allowed to operate beyond Sunday. We need answers, and action, today, if we want to avoid more lives lost and more ERs backed up with overdose victims.”