VIDEO: MPP Calls on Province to Open More Safe Injection Sites
The MPP for Windsor-Tecumseh wants the province to open more safe injection sites.
New Democrat Percy Hatfield made the call during the final session of the Ontario legislature before the summer break.
He wants Premier Doug Ford and the Ontario Progressive Conservative government to recognize there's an opioid crisis and respond accordingly.
Hatfield pointed to 17-year-old Windsor resident Josh Chouinard, who died of a carfentanil-related overdose last week, and 13 recent overdoses over 72-hours in Peterborough.
Health Minister Christine Elliot fired back with statistics of her own, saying the province has created 21 overdose prevention sites and is currently reviewing applications for six more.
But Hatfield argues more are needed because the increased sites are being outpaced by the rising number of overdose deaths in Ontario.
More than 1,360 people died of opioid poisoning in Ontario last year.
According to Public Health Ontario, 28 people in Windsor-Essex died in the first nine months of 2018 from apparent opioid overdoses.
The data also shows 36 opioid-related deaths in 2017. That compares to 37 in 2016 and 24 in 2015.
Hatfield also quoted data from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit that shows 22 emergency room visits due to overdoses in January, and 150 ER visits in Windsor for all of last year.