Stop Ontario from pulling the plug on Parkdale's Overdose Prevention Site!
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INTRODUCTION: As an filmmaker and activist who's very involved in Parkdale's Milky Way Community Garden (just behind the library!), I see the effects of our overdose crisis up close: people in crisis, discarded needles, and just this month, news of seven more deaths in our community. The amazing folk at the Parkdale site of the Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre are trying to open a much-needed Overdose Prevention Service -- but Ontario's government is threatening to pull the plug on this vital project. We have just fourteen days days (until Oct 1) to convince Health Minister Elliott that our Parkdale community wants and needs this service -- because we know it will save lives.
I support the Overdose Prevention Site in Parkdale
Parkdale has a long history of being an inclusive community and we take pride in that fact. As individuals who live and work in the community, we support the establishment of a small-scale Overdose Prevention Service (OPS) at the Parkdale site of Parkdale Queen West Community Health Center (PQWCHC). We are in an overdose crisis in our city with over 303 opioid overdose deaths, which is a 63% increase in just under 2 years and a 121% increase since 2015. This month alone we have seen 7 overdose related deaths in our community. We know that members in our community would benefit from an OPS and we are alarmed that the government would in the midst of this crisis halt the opening of this needed harm reduction and health service. These services save lives, they reduce health system cost for ambulance services, emergency rooms and the criminal justice system. They help to address the issue of discarded needles in our neighbourhood. Simply put this service will not only prevent unnecessary deaths but keep the community safer. PQWCHC has been operating a successful Harm Reduction program for almost 25 years and this small but important addition will protect both individuals who already use the program and the community at large.
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