“For people struggling with opioid addiction, their loved ones, and for St. Catharines as a community, this safe consumption site has been a literal lifeline. The Ford government needs to stop delaying and make sure it stays open and funded, immediately.” – St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens
A News Release from Ontario’s New Democratic Party
Posted March 28th, 2019 on Niagara At Large
St. Catharines, Ontario – NDP MPP for St. Catharines Jennie Stevens is calling on the Ford government to confirm that the St. Catharines overdose prevention site will be permitted to stay open. With a deadline set for March 31, only a few days away — frontline health care providers are worried that their life-saving operations will be interrupted.
“The safe consumption site on Queenston Street in St. Catharines has seen hundreds of people using it on a regular basis,” said Stevens in a letter to Doug Ford’s Minister of Health and Long Term Care. “The site has recently reversed more than fifty overdoses since December.”
The Ford government’s cap on the number of safe consumption sites in Ontario has pit communities against one another, forcing frontline health care workers to spend valuable time and resources on paperwork for a license.
“Without an overdose prevention site, more people will end up in the emergency room, more families will be torn apart, more lives will be lost to the opioid crisis,” said Stevens.
Ford has said he was ‘dead against’ overdose prevention sites, and still refuses to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency, which would be a vital step in addressing the epidemic. With the deadline just days away and Ford and his ministers keeping silent, concern is growing that this site will get the axe.
“For people struggling with opioid addiction, their loved ones, and for St. Catharines as a community, this safe consumption site has been a literal lifeline. The Ford government needs to stop delaying and make sure it stays open and funded, immediately.”
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