June 11th, 2019

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath meets Peterborough mayor and health care workers to address city's growing opioid crisis

PETERBOROUGH--NDP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath was in Peterborough on Monday to meet with the mayor, municipal leaders and health care stakeholders regarding the city's growing opioid crisis.

Horwath met with Mayor Diane Therrien at City Hall to discuss the recent spike in opioid-related illnesses and deaths in Peterborough, which saw 13 reported overdoses over a 72-hour period earlier this month.

"Peterborough, like a number of Ontario cities, is facing a tragic opioid crisis. Peterborough has the third-highest rate of opioid-related hospitalizations in Ontario, and the fourth-highest rate of opioid related deaths. Peoples' lives are being ripped apart. No family should have to lose a loved one in such a devastating way," Horwath said.

"Communities, health care organizations and frontline health workers in Peterborough desperately need a provincial partner to join them in defeating the opioid crisis. Instead, the Ford Conservatives have threatened significant reductions in public health funding, placed an arbitrary cap on the number of overdose prevention sites allowed to operate province-wide, and are forcing frontline responders who are already run off their feet to do more work with fewer resources.

It is long past overdue that the Ford government declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency, and work with local health authorities and communities on the ground to ensure people have the supports they desperately need."

Horwath will meet with Peterborough Public Health officials Monday afternoon, to listen to their concerns about the ongoing crisis and the future of public health under Doug Ford.