Ontario Chamber Calls for Measures to Curb Opioid Overdose CrisisAugust 31, 2022
(TORONTO– August 31, 2022) – To mark International Overdose Awareness Day, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) released the following statement calling for action to address the opioid overdose crisis in the province:
“We recognize the complex nature of the ongoing opioid overdose crisis and its disparate impacts on rural, remote, and northern communities, racialized and other marginalized groups, as well as certain sectors of the economy such as construction,” said Daniel Safayeni, Vice President of Policy, OCC. “A prolonged pandemic coupled with isolation, loneliness and economic hardship have only aggravated this issue. In light of these challenges, we echo Ontario’s Big City Mayors’ call to the Government of Ontario to partner with municipalities and local stakeholders to accelerate health and economic-focused solutions to this crisis in the short and long-term.”
The opioid overdose crisis significantly impacts the health care system, labour force and economy. While municipalities are responsible for delivering many of the social services needed to address this crisis, a lack of adequate funding continues to hinder their ability to provide critical and timely individual and community supports.
“According to the Ontario Science Table, rates of fatal opioid overdose increased by 60% in Ontario since the start of the pandemic,” said Sara Fegelman, Senior Policy Analyst, OCC. “Policymakers must prioritize partnerships to accelerate solutions to the interrelated opioid overdose, mental health and homelessness crises.”
Over the coming months, the OCC will engage in policy discussions around the opioid overdose crisis and its resulting socioeconomic and regional impacts on businesses and workers. It looks forward to collaborating with the Province and stakeholders to accelerate health and economic solutions to the crisis and support disproportionately affected communities and individuals.
About the Ontario Chamber of Commerce
For more than a century, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has been the independent, non-partisan, indispensable partner of Ontario business. The OCC’s mission is to support economic growth in Ontario by defending business priorities at Queen’s Park on behalf of its network’s diverse 60,000 members.
For more information, please contact:
Manager, Public Affairs,
Ontario Chamber of Commerce
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