Bhutila Karpoche MPP, Parkdale–High Park

Government of Ontario

Ford denies approval to six overdose prevention sites, risking lives

Published on March 29, 2019

QUEEN’S PARK — Bhutila Karpoche, Ontario NDP critic for Mental Health and Addictions, released the following statement in response to news that the Ford Conservatives are approving only 15 overdose prevention sites — even fewer than the 21 sites the Conservative government said it would allow.

“The opioid crisis in Ontario is getting worse. Twenty-one overdose prevention sites was never going to be enough to meet the need. It’s simply unconscionable for the Ford Conservatives to literally put people’s lives at risk by denying approval to six overdose prevention sites, approving just 15 sites for the whole province.

What will happen to the people who rely on those overdose prevention sites is unthinkable. We need to give people suffering from addictions a chance at survival. For some, this callous decision could snuff out that chance.

Ford’s approvals leave regions like Windsor without any sites at all, leaving hospital emergency rooms to bear the full impact of the opioid crisis.

The NDP is urging this government to declare a public health crisis; fund the overdose prevention sites based on need, not an arbitrary cap; and listen to the front-line workers who perform this life-saving work.”