Ontario Premier Doug Ford is slamming the City of Toronto’s plan to decriminalize hard drugs, including fentanyl and meth for kids and adults, saying he’ll do everything in his power to fight it.
“Go out to Vancouver, go out to San Francisco,” he added amid the two cities facing major drug issues.
“I will do everything I can to fight this,” said Ford. “This goes up to the federal government. They cannot be following up with the request. It would be an absolute disaster for our city.”
As reported by True North, Toronto’s plan to decriminalize hard drugs for people of any age does not specifically limit the quantity of drugs that can be possessed for personal use.
This makes the proposed policy even more lenient than the decriminalization order granted to the entire province of British Columbia by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier this year – given that B.C.’s order does not apply to kids, only applies to certain drugs and limits possession to under 2.5 grams
Speaking on the proposal, Toronto’s medical officer of health Dr. Eileen Devilla, said, “we’re talking about a matter of health and a matter of human rights, not one that really is meant to be addressed or is best addressed with a criminal justice approach.”
During the 2023 mayoral campaign, candidate Anthony Furey revealed that City of Toronto-branded crack pipes and crystal meth pipes were being handed out at shelters.
True North’s Harrison Faulkner was able to get his hands on one of the free drug kits.
Premier Ford also touched on drug injection sites in his Global AM 640 interview, amid a 44-year-old mother of two being killed by a stray bullet from a fight breaking out next to an injection site last week.
Ford said he believes drug injection sites should not be opened in communities that oppose them.
“Putting a safe injection site into a community — what does it attract? It attracts drug dealers,” Ford added. “It’s unacceptable.”
He also said he’s directed his staff to look into the drug injection site where the shooting took place to see if it was compliant with guidelines. “If they aren’t in compliance, that’s it. They’re done,” he said.
Ford believes drug addicts “need to go to a treatment centre,” an approach Alberta Premier Danielle Smith has championed in recent months, counter to the “safe supply” agenda.
Ford added that the province will be making more beds available for drug addiction treatment.
When asked by Global News what newly elected Toronto mayor Olivia Chow thought of Ford’s comments, spokesperson Shirven Rezvany said the request to decriminalize drugs was made by the medical officer of health and is supported by the Toronto Police Service and its chief.
Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre has also been a vocal opponent of drug decriminalization. “Flooding our streets with decriminalized and taxpayer subsidized drugs has led to a massive overdose crisis right across the country,” said Poilievre
With files from True North’s Cosmin Dzsurdzsa, Noah Jarvis and Sue-Ann Levy.