Ontario '100% opposed' to experimental drug decriminalization pushed by Toronto

Health Minister Sylvia Jones said Ontario's government openly and vehemently opposes Toronto's request for experimental drug decriminalization efforts, threatening further action if the city's application to Health Canada is not rescinded.

Ontario '100% opposed' to experimental drug decriminalization pushed by Toronto
The Canadian Press / Christopher Katsarov
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Ontario Health Minister Sylvia Jones took a hard stance against Toronto Public Health’s experimental hard drug decriminalization efforts earlier today.

Minister Jones urged Toronto — Canada’s largest health unit — to rescind its request to Health Canada to decriminalize toxic and illegal hard drugs, calling it a “misguided application.”

“Our government has been clear,” Jones posted on X, “We are not interested in the failed decriminalization experiment anywhere in Ontario. Instead, we are focused on investing in key services and building safer communities for everyone.”

A letter addressed specifically to Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Eileen de Villa states that “Ontario is 100 percent opposed” to the proposal and “would never support [de Villa’s] request, which would only add to crime and public drug use while doing nothing to support people struggling with addiction.”

Jones notes that Ontario will also “make [its] opposition clear to the federal government.”

Jones says the province will begin enacting enhanced accountability measures for existing consumption sites and treatment services to ensure public safety, citing the “disastrous” example of British Columbia, where death and despair from opioid use continues to skyrocket.

“If Toronto Public Health fails to rescind its misguided application, we will be forced to explore all options available to us,” the letter concludes.

Minister of Labour David Piccini took to Facebook to declare “normalizing drug use is not okay!” and calls this a “Public Service Announcement to anyone locally considering the same misguided approach as Toronto.”

Piccini’s comments come as Cobourg, the largest town in his riding of Northumberland-Peterborough South, faces a crime crisis due to escalating vagrancy and cozy ties between “harm reduction” advocates and local officials.

Dr. de Villa announced Toronto's application for an exemption to decriminalize illicit drugs for personal use on May 1, 2024.

“Our application for an exemption to the federal law that criminalizes the possession of drugs for personal use was developed in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders, including individuals with lived experience who use drugs, organizations who serve them and the Toronto Police Service,” it reads.

The Liberals have committed over $ 1 billion worth of taxpayer funds to the Canadian Drug and Substances Strategy since its inception in 2016, which has been unable to yield any tangible results, instead noting that “rates of substance use and related harm continue to rise.”

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