Mantha calls out Ford wants opioid epidemic declared a public health emergency

Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha is calling on Doug Ford to stop ignoring the opioid crisis in Northern Ontario and declare a public health emergency to stem the increasing number of hospitalizations and deaths in Algoma-Manitoulin.

Mantha told the legislature that last week seven white crosses went up in M’Chigeeng First Nation with each cross representing a community member who lost their life.  

He says since Ford was elected in 2018, the number of suspected opioid overdoses that paramedics have responded to per year has gone up from five calls to 48 on Manitoulin Island alone.

Mantha adds in 2020, Algoma Public Health reported 51 deaths, 40 hospitalizations, and 197 emergency department admissions while Public Health Sudbury and Districts reported 106 deaths, 61 hospitalizations, and 520 emergency department admissions due to opioids.

He emphasizes Ford needs to commit to funding comprehensive local health initiatives to meet the needs of communities and healthcare providers on the ground immediately. 


PHOTO: Denise Sandul started Crosses For Change in memory of her son, Myles Keaney, who died of an opioid overdose in September 2020. She then invited the community to place a cross for their loved ones lost to overdoses and the opioid crisis. With the help of her daughters and some wonderful friends and volunteers Crosses for Change has have been able to build and place upward of 170 crosses in downtown Sudbury. Photo FB- Crosses for Change. Used with permission.


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