Five panel members will lead a public discussion on the opioid crisis in Peterborough next month.
On Tuesday morning, Peterborough Mayor Diane Therrien and Selwyn Township Deputy Mayor Sherry Senis (representing Peterborough County) announced the participants for the panel discussion at the opioid crisis forum set for July 11 at Market Hall on Charlotte St.
The panel includes:
- Alex Bierk, a city artist who addresses the loss of friends to opioids through art
- Sally Carson, a resident who has lost a family member to opioids
- Dan Farrow, a Peterborough County-City paramedic
- Tim Farquharson, Peterborough Police Service deputy chief
- Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Peterborough Public Health medical officer of health
The city says Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef and Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith all also be in attendance.
The forum comes just after police and paramedics responded to 13 overdoses and two drug-related deaths in a span of 72 hours during the first weekend of June.
“We need to take immediate action on the opioid crisis,” stated Therrien.
“We have lost too many lives. We need to work together, as a community and as a region, with all levels of government to find solutions, This is one goal of the forum. The other goal is to break down the stigma around mental health and addictions so that people feel comfortable and able to seek help. We are grateful to our community partners who will be at the forum to provide information and support for those that need it.”
WATCH: Opioid crisis taking its toll on Peterborough families, audience hears
Senis says community support will help the Peterborough region access provincial government assistance for the opioid crisis response.
“The County and the City are definitely morally invested in finding solutions to this crisis,” she said. “The opioid crisis has been increasing, not only in Peterborough but through Ontario and across Canada. The senior levels of government need to step up to provide solutions and funding for this crisis.”
The forum starts at 6 p.m. and the panel discussion at 6:30 p.m. Following the discussion, there will be an opportunity for audiences to ask questions.
Anyone interested in attending is asked to register online.
WATCH: Peterborough police, paramedics respond to 13 opioid-related overdoses, 2 deaths in 72 hours