GUELPH – Mike Schreiner, released the following statement in response to a call from the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario for mayoral candidates in upcoming municipal elections to seek decriminalisation of simple drug possession in their communities
“People are losing loved ones every day — eight lives lost daily last year across Ontario — from toxic substances. This is a shocking 85 per cent increase over pre-pandemic levels.
Communities are witnessing deaths and our most vulnerable are being ignored. This is not the Ontario we want.
But unfortunately, the Premier refuses to treat the issue with any real urgency. Municipalities should not have to bear the brunt of this. Provincial leadership is critical.
I call on the Premier to immediately:
- to work with the federal government to fast-track the decriminalisation of drugs
- to reallocate funding from the justice system to mental health care services
- to expand access to safe consumption sites and expand the availability of harm reduction programs, including safe supply
- to invest in 60,000 permanent supportive housing spaces
We need to deal with this crisis head-on by addressing the systemic causes and we need to do it now.”