Vic Fedeli has come out to defend the Ford Government's work after NDP leader Andrea Horwath visited North Bay and criticized how the Conservatives “cut $330 million from mental health and addictions” in 2018, “then limited the number of overdose prevention sites in Ontario.”
Horwath says the overdose crisis is tearing apart families in North Bay and across the province.
“Parents are being forced to hold funerals for their sons and daughters — people who should have had so much life ahead of them. And the whole community is being touched by the effects of this crisis,” said Horwath during a media event on Tuesday morning on Main Street W in North Bay.
As for the cuts, Fedeli pointed out an important vote relating to the issue, that the NDP did not support.
"It's disappointing that Andrea Horwath and the NDP chose to vote against our government's $3.8 billion investment over 10 years to expand mental health and addictions services, including $194 million in pandemic-related emergency funding to enhance and expand mental health and addiction services and supports for Ontarians of all ages and funding specially for programming available to our front-line healthcare heroes," said Fedeli in an email to BayToday.
"This also includes over $40 million in new annualized funding specifically to address the needs of those living with mental health and addiction challenges in Northern Ontario.
"And unlike the Andrea Horwath and the NDP who said ‘no’ to supporting the people of Ontario - including saying ‘no’ to providing an additional $1.4B in support for our small businesses - our government will continue to be there to support Ontario families every step of the way. Together, we will defeat this deadly virus and put this pandemic behind us."
Nipissing's MPP also answered to claims that the Ford government forced the closure of 29 residential treatment beds.
"It is shameful that the NDP continues to peddle the same politically-motivated lies and fear-mongering from 2019." Fedeli said bluntly.
"In regards to this issue, our government listened to the advice of medical professionals like Dr. Brian Rush. In addition, Mary Davis, executive director of North Bay Mental Health and Housing Services, affirmed that these funds were not cut, but instead reallocated to better suit the needs of the community. She said the local health care leadership acted on Rush’s recommendations and funding from under-utilized programs is being put toward community addiction services.
"This funding was reinvested in a Transitional Housing and Crisis Stabilization Centre where Community WMS and Safe Beds will be co-located with an emergency shelter, warming centre and transitional housing. This model will allow social services and mental health and addictions providers to work together to stabilize clients and provide accessible housing."