Kevin Sylvester, an award winning illustrator, writer and broadcaster and the author of Gargantuan (Jr!) Defender of Earth, entertained at the Children’s tent at the 25th annual Lakefield Literary Festival on the weekend.
by Angela Lavallee
It’s something that is killing people and the crisis of opioids in the city and county of Peterborough is overwhelming with no easy solution to fix the drug problem.
Hundreds gathered at Market Hall in Peterborough to hear from a panel of former drug addicts, paramedics, police, family members, doctors, nurses and others who have seen what the drug crisis has, and is, doing to people, and not just in Peterborough, but on a national-wide spectrum.
Opioids and fentanyl have killed over 140 people in the city of Peterborough, this according to Deputy Chief Tim Farqueson.
“It’s killing people everyday and it’s taking a toll on the city and the community as a whole,”says Farqueson.
Kim Dolan, Executive Director of (Peterborough Addictions PARN and moderator for the Opioid summit told the crowd the City and County of Peterborough is in a drug crisis and there is no other name for it, but the forums and community discussions are the right steps to take in the fight against drugs.
“Pain pills go way back to the percocet and then came oxycontin and it’s gotten worse now with the fentanyl” says Dolan.
Deputy Mayor of Selwyn, Sherry Senis, tabled a motion on March 20, 2019 with seven recommendations aiming to battle the opioid crisis. The motion was sent to 444 municipalities in Ontario and only four responded. She says we all have a shared vision for change if we stop long enough to examine the entire situation.
“The city of Peterborough and Selywn Township were two of the municipalities that did respond and supported the motion” said Deputy Mayor Senis.
Senis also said people are choosing to look the other way and the consequence of that, is, people are dying. In her motion, Senis said 4000 opioid related deaths have occurred across Canada. Peterborough rates fourth highest among municipalities in Ontario/per 100,000 population.
Prior to the summit Deputy Mayor Senis, MPP Dave Smith, and Peterborough Mayor Diane Therrian held an emergency meeting where a steering committee was formed with members of PARN, Forecast, Peterborough Police, Canadain Mental Health Association Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge, VON 360 Nurse Practitioners, WhitePath Consultants Inc and others of the social services groups. Each will sit on the committee and come up with ways and solutions to extinguish the opioid crisis. All agree a safe injection site and more accessible rehab clinic is what the city needs.
MPP Dave Smith started a petition after the emergency meeting where he hopes to get over 10,000 names by August 31, to push for a site. With a call to Smith’s office no definite number of names has been calculated as of press time.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath who also attended the summit said the situation in the city is horrifying.
“We will continue to push for those in your community and work with your MPP and MP to have a safe injection site regardless of who signs the petition. This is our commitment,” said NDP Leader Horwath. Horwath says the drug crisis is getting worse and worse and all politicians need to come together now more than ever before. She also says affordable housing is also part of the solution to the crisis.
Dolan says almost everyone in the hall has a story or know someone who is affected by the opioid.
“If we have to move to Naloxone for an overdose, we need to look at the supply,” said Dolan.
Paul McGary of Central East Local Health Integration Network said there has been a 156 percent increase and 238 percent increase in deaths related to opioids and fentanyl use. He says there are Rapid Access Addictions Medicine (RAAM) clinics in Peterborough, Oshawa and Scarborough, but are costly. He says surgeons are among the highest prescribers of opioids.
Sally Carson who lost her nephew Keagan Carson to opioids in 2017 and who was part of the discussion panel told an all to familiar story of how her nephew was treated by hospital doctors and why it is crucial that Peterborough get a safe injection site.
“I know if Keagan had the opportunity of safe place to do drugs he would at least be alive where we as a family would have continued to get him the help he desperately needed,” she said.
Carson did go on to say that health officials need better compassion care and not send people home and hour after overdose, she says there is something wrong with that.
“They (Doctors) should not have set him free so quickly, that was a mistake. We need more,” said Carson. “Don’t be the mom who buries her child, and don’t be the aunt who buries a nephew.”
Dan Farrow, paramedic with Peterborough County-City says the average age of those who overdose are 39 and 71 percent are male.
Days after the summit in a traffic stop, police charged 4 men with possession of purple heroin and fentanyl and the drugs were seized by police, this according to a report released by Peterborough Police.
by Marnie Clement
Trent Lakes Municipal Council voted to suspend the waste card management system in Trent Lakes for a one year trial period effective immediately.
Municipal staff will assess the impact on landfill tonnage for this cycle and if the increase does not exceed 15% the municipality will continue to operate with no quarterly restriction for another year.
Prior to the vote, Waste Management Coordinator Chelsea Carpenter presented council with the 2018 Waste Management Report which showed that Trent Lakes has the highest diversion rate (61 per cent) of any municipality in Peterborough County, and that number of tonnes of garbage fell from 1,972.78 in 2015 to 1,134.73 in 2018.
She said the changes being proposed by council are not compliant with the County Waste by-Law as it allows a resident who uses their seasonal residents for a period of eight to 12 weeks in the summer to deposit the equivalent of four to six per week. Those numbers were confirmed during recent waste audits where it was discovered that this amount of generation was frequently occurring over a weekend period.
Carpenter told council that the quarterly restrictions and the clear bag program have led to successful results in reducing waste and increasing recycling and diversion programs.
“Removing the quarterly restrictions is lessening the restrictions on the disposal of garbage and taking away the incentive to encourage residents to be mindful of what they are throwing into the waste stream,” she said.
She said that Transfer Station Attendants have been very effective in enforcing the rules and regulations at the waste sites. The effectiveness of the enforcement aspect is proven in that Trent Lakes has the lowest overall contamination rate in the county
When the clear garbage bag program and quarterly restrictions were introduced, staff were faced with abuse both mentally and at times physically. Some situations escalated to the point where site bans were issued and the police were called on a number of occasions, she said.
“Over time, the hostile situations minimized and it appeared as though residents had become accustomed to the changes and most residents were pleased to see the successful results from the changes that were implemented,” she said. “Should decisions be made to lessen restrictions and rules, staff feel the abuse previously endured did not serve a purpose.”
Her report also indicated that the changes that were made allowed for a 1.7 per cent decrease in the waste management portion of taxes for residents of Trent Lakes.
In the end council thanked Carpenter for her reports and then voted to eliminate the program that has been such a success.
by Marnie Clement
The by-law dealing with off road vehicle (ATV) use in Trent Lakes will be discussed at a public meeting on Saturday, September 7 at 11 a.m.
Council will receive comments for and against amending the current by-law to allow off road vehicles on all municipal roads.
Councillor Carol Armstrong also asked that this item be added to the next Trent Lakes’ Police Services Board meeting scheduled for July 25, 2019 and she suggested they should be asked to provide comments on this subject.
The previous municipal council looked at this issue in February 2017 and passed a resolution that “all terrain vehicles (ATVs) and off road vehicles are built to be used off roads, not hard top surfaces or highways, most do not have turn signals and they are not allowed on the County Roads.”
Delegations will be asked to keep their comments to a maximum of five minutes. The meeting will be held in the council chambers at 760 Peterborough County Road 36.
Opioid crisis in Peterborough city/county is getting worse
Trent Lakes suspends waste card management system
Trent Lakes ATV public meeting
"Unheralded" chronicles a week in the life of "The Lakefield Herald", a local newspaper published in Lakefield, Ontario. Whether writing about dog shows and 100th birthdays, or telling stories of citizen opposition and community loss - local news reporters have a difficult job, especially when the readers are their neighbours. "Unheralded" is an NFB-TVO Calling Card production.
Unheralded the documentary
In this week's print edition
Theft of Docks from Bridgenorth Home Hardware
Lakefield Horticultural Society Flower Show
Literary Festival 25th Anniversary
Regular Columns and Features:
Editorial by Terry McQuitty
Accidental Columnist by Marnie Clement
Bird Column by Rachel Lancashire
Mature Living by Terri Williams Kinghorn
Book Review by Barry Mutter
@yourlibrary by Kacie Gardiner
Story Time at the Buckhorn Library
Golden Years Club Update
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