Bhutila Karpoche MPP, Parkdale–High Park

Government of Ontario

Statement on International Overdose Awareness Day

Published on August 31, 2018

"Today, on International Overdose Awareness Day, communities around the world come together to raise awareness and commemorate those who have been lost to drug overdose.

Here in Toronto, there was a commemorative walk from Trinity Square to Nathan Phillips Square, where a remembrance vigil was held. The CN Tower will also be lit up purple tonight to honour those we have lost.

As our province and country grapple with the ongoing opioid crisis that claims thousands of Canadians' lives every year, we recognize these deaths are preventable. It doesn't have to be this way. That's why New Democrats once again call on the government of Ontario to declare a state of emergency to combat this crisis.

We also call on the government to restore the $330 million a year in mental health funding they've cut, and heed the advice of harm reduction workers, public health and addictions experts calling for the opening of new life-saving overdose prevention sites.

Ontarians deserve a government that takes this escalating crisis seriously and will take immediate action to save lives."