November 24th, 2021

Doug Ford’s big cuts and bad decisions have worsened opioid crisis

QUEEN’S PARK – Sudbury NDP MPP Jamie West once again stood in the legislature to demand the Ford government take action to end the opioid crisis and save lives in Sudbury and Northern Ontario.

“Sudburians are suffering,” said West during question period Wednesday. “Family members are mourning and local health resources are overwhelmed.”

Instead of helping Sudbury families, Doug Ford cut funding for mental health and addictions and the Conservatives voted down a bill put forward by MPP West to declare the opioid overdose crisis in Northern Ontario a public health emergency. And to date, Ford refuses to fund desperately needed treatment spaces.

West raised the dire need for funding for addiction supports and shared the tragic story of one Sudbury family.

“In November of 2020 I told the Premier about walking with Denise Sandul and two of her daughters to visit her son’s memorial cross in Sudbury. Myles was an athlete. He was also addicted to opioids. He tried to get help with his addiction several times, and none was available. Myles Keaney was 22 years old when he died by overdose,” said West.

In September of 2020 Myles’ cross was alone. Since then, 218 memorial crosses have been added and families in the community continue to endure the devastation of loosing a loved one to opioid overdose.

“How many more crosses will we have to erect before the premier takes action on opioid addiction in Sudbury?” asked West.