QUEEN’S PARK — Green Party of Ontario leader and Guelph MPP, Mike Schreiner, issued the following statement on news that Guelph would be permitted to continue offering life-saving overdose prevention services:
“Today’s announcement is good news for people in my community of Guelph dealing with mental health and addictions challenges. It is also good news for public safety, for front-line workers, and for evidence-based decision making.
I would like to commend the Guelph Community Health Centre for saving lives during this crisis, responding to more than 2,100 visits since May, and persevering through this period of uncertainty forced by the PC government. I toured the facility in July and saw first-hand the vital work that was being done to reduce harm and connect people with treatment.
The reality is that a supervised injection site is desperately needed in Guelph, where the mortality rate due to overdoses has tripled in the past three years. Emergency department visits for opioid poisoning more than doubled in Guelph between 2016-2017, with visit rates 35% higher than provincial averages.
Harm reduction saves lives and I am pleased that Premier Ford has backed away from his dangerous and anti-science view voiced loudly during the election campaign.
I am now calling on the government to rethink its decision to put a hard cap on the number of safe consumption sites so that all communities in Ontario can tackle this crisis and save lives.”