Skip to content

Barrie advocates to take part in supervised consumption site rally

Participants from across the province will travel to Queen's Park in Toronto on Tuesday for rally and march
protest (2)
Stock image

On Tuesday, May 28, 2024, community members, front-line workers and advocates will travel from across the province — including Timmins, Sudbury, Barrie and Windsor — for a rally to demand the Ontario government immediately fund and adequately support life-saving supervised consumption services (SCS) amidst the worsening toxic drug crisis.

All members of the media are invited to attend.

Hosted by Friends of Ontario SCS, the rally will begin at Trinity Square at 12:30 p.m., followed by a march to Queen’s Park for a 2:30 p.m. rally endorsed by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, HIV Legal Network, CUPE Ontario, Réseau ACCESS Network, Moms Stop the Harm, Street Nurses Network, and many others.

The march will make a stop in front of Dr. Kieran Moore’s office along the way to Queen’s Park for comments. NDP leader Marit Stiles, Ontario Green Party leader Mike Schriener and Ontario Liberal Party leader Bonnie Crombie have been invited to meet with delegates at Queen's Park.

The event comes on the heels of a wave of province-wide support, with more than 70 groups endorsing an open letter calling on the Ontario Ministry of Health to provide emergency funding to reopen shuttered sites and prevent further closures.

The toxic drug crisis has been growing for over a decade and is tragically impacting all Canadians. Fatal and non-fatal overdoses create massive strains on first-responders, emergency departments and hospitals. The loss, grief and trauma from these preventable deaths reverberate throughout communities, in homes and in workplaces all across the province.

Drug decriminalization, supervised consumption services (SCS), safe supply, harm-reduction support and evidence-based, voluntary treatment are all cost-effective measures that improve public health and community safety.

Almost three months have since passed with no response from Minister of Health Sylvia Jones or Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Michael Tibollo to the more than 70 open-letter signatories. In that time, Sudbury’s SCS was forced to close, Timmins has had to rely on charitable funding to keep operating, and an estimated 800 more Ontarians have died preventable deaths from toxic drugs.

The community rally calls attention to the province’s inaction and indifference in the face of these ongoing losses and is a demand for immediate change.