Sudbury area MPPs call for more action on homelessness and addiction

Greater Sudbury area MPPs pressed Premier Doug Ford to take more action on homelessness and opioid addiction in the region.

Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger also called for more support in open letter

Sudbury MPP Jamie West called for Ontario Premier Doug Ford to take more action to address homelessness and opioid addiction in Greater Sudbury. (Youtube )

Greater Sudbury area MPPs pressed Premier Doug Ford to take more action on homelessness and opioid addiction in the region.

Sudbury MPP Jamie West and Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas spoke in the legislature Thursday, and called for more affordable housing and mental health support.

"We need supportive housing. We need a supervised consumption site," Gélinas said. 

"We need emergency funding to help with the COVID outbreaks in our homeless situation population."

She added Greater Sudbury has 205 people who are living in tents outdoors while temperatures continue to drop.

West quoted an open letter Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger wrote to the premier, in which he described the tent encampment in the city's Memorial Park, and the 218 crosses placed at the intersection of Paris and Brady streets, to memorialize people who have died of opioid overdoses. 

"The letter reads, 'While we are doing our best to implement solutions, our municipal resources are not designed to offer assistance without provincial support,'" West said.

"When I spoke with Mayor Bigger last night, he told me that when the Premier was in Sudbury a month ago, the premier gave his word that he'd follow up," West added. "Speaker, it's been 28 long days since that conversation. The premier hasn't done any follow-up at all."

Government response

In response, Vaughan-Woodbridge MPP Michael Tibollo, Ontario's associate minister of mental health and addictions, said the province invested $175 million for more mental health and addiction services in 2021.

He said that funding included $32.7 million in new annual funding for targeted addiction services. 

"No matter where a person lives in the province of Ontario, it's always been our mission and the mission of the premier as well to ensure that every Ontarian has access to high quality mental health and addiction supports," Tibollo said.


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