Ontario’s Green Party wants to see drug use decriminalized.
In North Bay Thursday morning, Leader Mike Schreiner says they would classify the ‘addictions and drug poisoning crisis’ as the public health emergency that it is.
“We’re going to treat it as a public health issue not as a criminal justice issue. We believe the Federal Government should decriminalize drug use so we can start treating substance use as a public health issue. That’s exactly what it is,” he says.
Schreiner says their plan would fund and expand treatment beds and safe-consumption sites while increasing the number of harm reduction services and availability of safe supply.
He also says they’re committed to funding the creation of 60,000 permanent supportive housing spaces with wrap-around mental health and other supports.
“We are going to reverse the Ford government’s election gimmick to remove license plate fees. That cost the province $1.1 billion a year which is exactly the amount of money we need to fund our mental health and addictions strategy,” he says.
Schreiner was joined at Thursday’s announcement by Sean McClocklin, the party’s nominated candidate in Nipissing.
He is a Certified Addictions Counsellor and the party says he’s an advocate for diversity, social justice, mental health care as well as housing and income equity.
“I’ve experienced the effects of poverty and marginalization first-hand and seen it in my community,” McClocklin says. “We need to build a more caring and equitable Ontario where everyone has access to the care they need and a safe place to call home.”
Along with McClocklin, candidates already nominated in Nipissing include incumbent Vic Fedeli for the Progressive Conservatives, the New Democratic Party’s Erika Lougheed and Tanya Vrebosch with the Liberals.
Election day will be held on or before June 2, 2022.