In early September this year, Adam Bureau initiated a Round Table discussion to determine what could be done about the opioid crisis. The intent was that recommendations would then be brought back to Council and he now plans to do just that. At the November 12 regular Council Meeting, Adam made a Notice of Motion that he would be reporting back at the November 25 Committee of the Whole Meeting. He provided a number of documents from the Round Table discussion and based on that discussion, recommends actions for Council. More details are below but in brief, he asks for a community-wide summit in February 2020, an allocation of $10,000 from Town funds and better communication with the Public on what the Town is already doing to support mental health, community safety and affordable housing.
Round Table Summary
See below for the official Opioid Roundtable Summary Report which lists:
- Existing Services Identified in and around Cobourg
- Gaps in Community Support/Barriers to Accessing Support
- Key Suggestions for a Coordinated Response identified from breakout conversations
- Names of Participants
The report says that “the roundtable was facilitated by PARN” which raised the question “What/Who is PARN?” (their web site) They describe themselves as Your Community AIDS Resource Network but were originally named the Peterborough AIDS Resource Network. They appear to be heavily involved with helping individuals with an Opioid problem but then so are other organizations, notably:
- Provincial Government Agencies
- Cobourg Police Services
- Northumberland Hills Hospital
- HKLN Drug Strategy
- And many others – see Summary report for a list
The key recommendation that is apparent is that more coordination is required.
But the list of Gaps (what’s missing) provides the most insight on problems:
Gaps in Community Support/Barriers to Accessing Support
- Lack of coordinated approach for the mental health and addiction
- Provide compassionate, empathic care for complex issue
- Not enough funded models nor response to all needs.
- Social services are operating beyond capacity – lack of funding for increasing staff and program resources to enhance response
- Lack of emergency shelter
- Lack of education and skills training
- Lack of communication/public education/awareness on the issue
- Lack of interconnected transit between locations of support (Peterborough x Cobourg)
- Lack of collaboration amongst three levels of government
- Lack of 24/7 availability of services
- Drug strategies – Impactful but no sustained funding (HKLN Drug Strategy funding expires at the end of 2019)
Adams’s Notice of Motion asks:
- That Council receive the Round Table Documents for information purposes (see Links below)
- And further that Council endorse the HKLN Drug Strategy‘s four-pillar approach (harm reduction, prevention and education, treatment and justice, and enforcement) to inform the Town of Cobourg’s future role and response to the opioid crisis. (HKLN is Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland)
- And further that Council endorse the Association of Municipalities of Ontario‘s (AMO) recommendations for a provincial response to the opioid overdose emergency (see link below).
- And further that Council direct the Interim CAO, Communications Manager and Economic Development to host a community-wide summit in partnership with Cobourg Police Service to be held in February 2020 about the opioid crisis as a way to educate and engage the public on the matter.
- And further that Council consider allocating $10,000 to support developing partnerships for a coordinated community response at the local level during 2020 budget deliberations.
- And further that Council direct Staff to publish a communication piece summarizing what the Town of Cobourg is currently doing to support mental health, community safety and affordable housing.
This motion will come to a vote at the COW meeting on 25 November. The money commitment seems minimal and the main actions are coordination and communication so it should get approval. However, many of the listed problems are outside the jurisdiction of the Town of Cobourg.
Adam Bureau Acts on Opioid Crisis – 4 Sept 2019
Download Copy from Cobourg News Blog
Other Roundtable Documents
Download from Town Portal
- Conference Call with Associate Minister Michael Tibollo Summary Report
- Environmental Scan presentation – By HKLN (Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland)
- AMO Recommendations – AMO is the Association of Municipalities Ontario
- Brad Chapman Inquest Jury Recommendations