Doug Ford turned his back as opioid deaths skyrocketed

SUDBURY – Steven Del Duca joined Sudbury first responders to announce the Ontario Liberal action plan to save lives in the opioid crisis – something the Ford Conservatives can’t or won’t do. Since 2018, emergency department visits due to opioid overdoses have skyrocketed by 143% in the area served by Public Health Sudbury & Districts, and Doug Ford is nowhere to be found.

“Opioid addiction is the epidemic that the Ford Conservatives have ignored,” said Del Duca. “It’s tearing families and communities apart – but the Ford Conservatives increased stigma for those struggling with addiction while cutting funding from people who needed it most. Ontario has got to be a province where people care for one another, ensuring anyone that experiences a mental health or addiction crisis gets the help they need.”

Emergency department opioid overdoses have skyrocketed on Doug Ford’s watch – from 9,154 in 2018 to 12,527 in 2020. In 2021, the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network found that opioid overdoses were up more than 75% since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Ontario is hurting as the Conservatives slice and dice public health care services, opening the door to private companies looking to make a quick buck. Meanwhile, mayors report being ghosted by both Doug Ford and Christine Elliott. According to the mayor of Sudbury, Doug Ford “refuses to talk and his ministers refuse to respond or provide funding that we need… [we are] not even getting the courtesy of a callback from the minister of health.”

In contrast, Ontario Liberals will:

  • Reverse Ford Conservative cuts to mental health and addictions services and invest an additional $3 billion;
  • Invest $300 million over four years in preventing, intervening in, and treating opioid addiction and overdoses, including in Sudbury’s Réseau ACCESS Network;
  • Lift the arbitrary cap on new Consumption and Treatment Services sites and approve applications from unserved communities, particularly in rural and Northern Ontario;
  • Fund 24/7 operation of Consumption and Treatment Services sites in key locations, as well as the safe handling and reduction of needle debris;
  • Reactivate the Opioid Emergency Task Force, which hasn’t met once since Doug Ford took office.
  • Crack down on organized crime and make deceptive opioid manufacturers pay for the damage they’ve done to Ontario’s families and communities;

“The Ford Conservatives’ response to Ontario’s mental health and addictions crisis has been cruel, negligent, and an abject failure,” continued Del Duca. “The Ford Conservatives chose to sit on their hands as overdose hospitalizations and deaths skyrocketed. Ontario Liberals will make a fundamentally different choice, putting compassion back into mental health and addictions care.”

Ontario Families Won’t Feel the Balance

Conservative budget short-changes services and leaves Ontario families behind QUEEN’S PARK – The Ontario Liberals are slamming the Conservative government for…

Read More

Conservative Mismanagement Continues to Compromise Patient Care

Ontario Liberals call for an immediate stop to for-profit healthcare expansion QUEEN’S PARK – Today’s new report from the Financial…

Read More

Ontario Liberals Welcome Kathryn McGarry as President

HAMILTON, ON – Today, Ontario Liberals concluded their largest Annual Meeting in over 20 years, electing a new Executive Council…

Read More