TO THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF ONTARIO:
WHEREAS Toronto saw an increase in deaths due to opioid overdoses last year with a total of 521 fatalities in 2020;
WHEREAS the situation has continued to worsen in 2021, such that the first three months of 2021 saw a 102% increase in fatal suspected opioid overdose calls compared to the first three months of 2020;
WHEREAS the increase in deaths due to opioid overdose has been described by the Toronto Medical Officer of Health as “unprecedented”;
WHEREAS we need urgent action from the provincial government to save lives;
THEREFORE, we the undersigned petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to:
declare the opioid overdose crisis in Ontario a public health emergency, and commit funding for comprehensive, evidence-based local health and community initiatives such as harm reduction strategies, awareness programs, anti-stigma training, residential treatment, and overdose prevention services.