For Immediate Release

January 26, 2017

Protecting Mississauga and Peel from Fentanyl: Mayor Crombie

Peel Region – and our community partners – must be fully equipped to answer the call and help residents suffering from fentanyl substance abuse, Mayor Bonnie Crombie said today.

“The health, safety and well-being of our residents and neighbourhoods is always a priority.”

Mayor Crombie made the comments during a Region of Peel Council meeting, following a joint letter issued with Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey to Peel Councillors and Chair Dale, raising emerging concerns about opioids and illicit fentanyl.

The letter requested that the fentanyl debate be added to the Peel Council agenda during the January 26 meeting.

“Mayor Jeffrey and I believe we must also come together and develop a plan of action to protect Mississauga, Brampton and all of Peel from the life threatening dangers of fentanyl.”

“The last time Council was briefed on the issue of opioids and fentanyl was May of 2016,” Mayor Crombie said. “Following recent media reports, we are learning that fentanyl is engulfing cities like Vancouver.

Mayor Crombie praised Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson for being “a national voice on the need to address fentanyl”, through Mayor Robertson’s advocacy work with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and FCM’s Big City Mayors’ Caucus.

The Region of Peel is experiencing increasing trends in opioid abuse, overdose, and opioid-related deaths.  This is consistent with neighbouring jurisdictions and Ontario as a whole.

Mayor Crombie went on to say that “while we are not seeing the staggering number of overdoses similar to British Columbia, our numbers appear to be climbing as per the last staff report.”

In the past 3 years, there have been 37 overdose deaths, Mayor Crombie said, adding that “one loss of life is one too many.”

Council directed Peel Region staff to work with external stakeholders, including first responders and healthcare professionals, to provide a briefing on what action has already been taken to combat fentanyl and to develop a strategy moving forward.

A staff report is expected in March 2017.