Ontario agrees to fund Toronto supervised injection sites amid opioid crisis

Ontario is committing to fund three supervised injection sites in Toronto at an estimated annual cost of $1.6 million and about $400,000 to create the spaces.
   
Toronto city council approved the supervised injection sites at existing downtown health-care facilities last summer, and six months later the province has confirmed its support.
   
Health Minister Eric Hoskins spoke to Mayor John Tory today to say the province backs the city's plan, and wrote to the federal health minister, saying he believes it will save lives.
   
The minister's letter comes just ahead of a meeting set for today in Toronto with politicians, public health officials and other stakeholders discussing how the city can tackle the fentanyl-fuelled opioid crisis.
   
Hoskins says safe injection sites fit in with Ontario's opioid strategy, which looks to expand harm-reduction services, make changes to prescribing and dispensing and improve data collection.
   
He says one in eight deaths of Ontarians between the ages of 25 and 34 is related to opioid use and Toronto has seen a 77-per-cent increase in overdose deaths in the past decade, rising to 258 in 2014.