November 25th, 2021

Ford must listen to the community and take action to prevent more opioid deaths in Sudbury: NDP

QUEEN’S PARK – NDP MPPs Jamie West (Sudbury) and France Gélinas (Nickel Belt) called on Doug Ford to listen to the community of Sudbury and Mayor Brian Bigger who issued an open letter to the premier asking him for immediate attention and assistance to deal with the emergencies of homelessness and opioid additions in Sudbury.

“The mayor of Greater Sudbury sent an urgent letter to the premier asking him to finally step in with funding to help with Sudbury’s growing homelessness and addictions crisis,” said West. “I spoke with the mayor last night. He told me that when the premier was in Sudbury a month ago, the premier gave his word that he’d follow up.

“It’s been 28 long days since that conversation, but the premier hasn’t done any follow-up. My question today is the same as yesterday. It’s the same question that I’ll keep asking:

“How many more people in Sudbury have to die before the premier helps Sudbury?”

Mayor Bigger’s letter released to media yesterday describes the tent city in Memorial Park and the 218 memorial crosses that stand at the intersection of Paris and Brady streets in Sudbury. Each of these crosses represents a life lost to drug addiction.

Sudbury’s mayor states in his letter “You and I have spoken about this situation previously on several occasions. You have assured me that you understand our needs and the urgency of the situation, but no significant assistance has been forthcoming.”

The letter from Mayor Bigger described some strong solutions for supportive housing, a supervised consumption site, and emergency funding to help with the COVID outbreak in our homeless population.

“It was seven degrees below zero last night. It will be even colder this weekend and 205 people are living unsheltered outdoors. They need housing. For that to happen, we need action from this premier,” said Gélinas.

“Doug Ford needs to answer the mayor’s call for help and fund these urgent provincial programs in Sudbury.”