June 7th, 2019

NDP: Ford ignores growing tragedy of overdose deaths by refusing to declare opioid emergency

QUEEN’S PARK – Doug Ford continues to ignore Ontario’s opioid crisis by refusing to declare the crisis a public health emergency, Percy Hatfield, NDP MPP for Windsor-Tecumseh, said in question period Thursday, following the death last week of Windsor teenager Josh Chouinard, and the news that in Peterborough, there were 13 overdoses in 72 hours.

“They held a funeral on Monday in Windsor for 17-year-old Josh Chouinard, who tragically died last week from a drug overdose,” Hatfield said in the Legislature. “With the permission of Josh’s family, those who attended the funeral were given a naloxone kit.

“Statistics from Windsor’s regional health unit show that last year, Windsor saw 150 trips to the emergency room as a result of overdoses. In January alone, there were 22 emergency room trips due to overdoses — three times more than the year prior. And the health unit predicts these numbers will only get worse.”

In light of the opioid crisis facing cities province-wide, Hatfield said it is crucial that the Ford government declare an official opioid crisis, and work with communities and agencies to ensure the reduction of drug overdose deaths in Ontario.

“How many more lives have to be lost before the Ford government decides to do the right thing and tackle the opioid crisis head on?” Hatfield asked.