SUDBURY — While in town for the government's 2023 pre-budget consultations, NDP Health critic France Gélinas (Nickel Belt), Jamie West (Sudbury), Finance critic Catherine Fife (Waterloo) and Economic Development critic Terence Kernaghan (London North Centre) held a press conference calling on the Ford government to improve health care in Sudbury.
"Once again, I am calling for urgent action to address the opioid crisis in my community and throughout the North," said West. "I will continue to do so until the requisite support is given. Lives are at stake, and people need support today, not tomorrow. Every day that the Conservative government delays essential funding and services equate to more harm to families and loved ones in my community and throughout the north."
The NDP's Northern MPPs have long advocated for increased funding that would lead to improved mental health and addiction services in Sudbury. Due to the lack of access in rural areas, Northern Ontarians have to overcome additional obstacles to receive medical treatment. The party is calling on the Ford government to ensure mental health service is easy to access no matter where you live, no matter how remote. That starts with discarding Bill 124 and privatizations plans.
"For years, the Ford government has refused to admit that their anti-worker, wage-capping Bill 124 has intensified a staffing crisis in our hospitals," said Gélinas. "This government must listen to the calls for help and provide the substantial and sustained funding boost needed to meet service demands, increase services, reduce wait times, and address the pressing issue of staff burnout and stress."
The NDP echoes the call of Canadian Mental Health Associations across the province for the Ford government to provide a significant, immediate, ongoing base funding increase to the community mental health and addictions sector.
Originally published on January 30, 2023.