Report from Opioid Round Table

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

Adam Bureau - File photo
Adam Bureau – File photo

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

Roundtable Documents

Download Copy from Cobourg News Blog

Other Roundtable Documents

Download from Town Portal

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Doug Weldon
4 years ago

I find it sad that Mr Draper puts such a fine effort into his many articles and then we are subjected to such written garbage that seems to just come off the top of the writer’s head. It certainly doesn’t come from any deep, inner thoughts. You are turning this valuable service into a garbage tabloid. Put your real name on your article and only write about what you KNOW is true. Look things up – you’ll learn quite a bit.
Treat everyone, all writers as if they are someone you know and respect. Make your comments as if the reader was sitting right across from you. You can disagree completely without insulting one another. Let’s take our example from the politicians of the 50s and 60s: Not from today or from south of our border. Make Bill Davis or Lester Pearson your model. Not every writer here fits into this sinking boat but I’m sure those who do know who they are.

Please Stop Doug Weldon

Walter Luedtke
4 years ago

Last May, then attorney general, Caroline Mulroney, said that Ontario will join a lawsuit launched last year by British Columbia against more than 40 opioid manufacturers and wholesalers to recover healthcare costs.
The Ford government would introduce legislation that, if passed, would allow Ontario to join the proposed class action lawsuit.
This has been done.
But to date there has been no effort on the part of Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family – the producers of oxycontin – to involve Canadian jurisdictions in the discussions that have led to the rumoured settlement in the U.S.
Maybe it’s time to push harder.

Reply to  Walter Luedtke
4 years ago

You and Mulroney and the U.S. forgot about the major responsibility of prescribing doctors and pharmacists who filled the prescriptions for opioids. Remember the manufacturers were producing a legal, federally approved product.

Walter Luedtke
Reply to  cornbread
4 years ago

True that, Cornbread.
I see that they are finally catching up with the physicians and pharmacists who prescribed the stuff.

Reply to  Walter Luedtke
4 years ago

And it’s too bad Canada can’t or won’t deport the charged and jailed major offenders in this particular case.

Doug Weldon
Reply to  cornbread
4 years ago

Are all major offenders immigrants?

Reply to  Walter Luedtke
4 years ago

Yes In the USA they successfully sued the Drug Manufactures in a class action and all the Parties participating in the action benefited
In can. the Can . Govt. fallowed the US winning footsteps sued and Kept the money for them selves supposedly to off set the Medical Cost that the Govt. incurred as a result of these prescribing Physicians Individuals and families received NOTHING 000 and the $$$$ never went to the street
or the damaged public .

Walter Luedtke
Reply to  perplexed
4 years ago

Stop making things up, Perplexed!
In Canada, it is the Provinces that are suing Purdue Pharma, led by British Columbia.
So far, “there has been no effort on the part of Purdue entities and the Sacklers to involve Canadian jurisdictions in the discussions that have led to the rumoured settlement in the U.S.”
That is the latest statement by the B.C. Attorney General.

4 years ago

Maybe if certain downtown businesses didn’t help enable the situation by taking in obviously stolen goods and exchanging gift cards given out to buy food for cash ( much less than face value). According to local social workers there is at least one hypocrite on the panel.

Reply to  Kyle
4 years ago

Who is the one ‘hypocrite’?

Reply to  Kyle
4 years ago

its still in an attempt to Help ( feeding people )
If our Govt. would only increase the CPP < OAC ODSP at the same rates as they give them selves raises and Benefits the rest of us don't have then people could afford to live and feed them selves Never mind house them selves . Have you priced a decent apartment in Cobourg lattley The cost of living has surpassed every thing this Govt. wants you to believe to the point even most of our seniors are on the edge of Poverty .
So drown your sorrows any way you can

4 years ago

I think Cobourg needs to do something about the Drug use issues not just Opioid s for sure , Our Bus shelter on Albert by the Frink has become a day time hang out for many who are obviously under the influence of something as was the front of NORTHUMBERLAND mall yesterday as is First st behind the Dutch Oven at night
But If the police continue to crack down on the drug dealers
and eliminate the supply we might be better off so why not establish a call line so the residents can report dealing and get faster response and catch more of these people . And why are we not treating those users the same way they would a person that was Drunk and disorderly or public intoxication .
There has to be a limit to this POOR ME stuff.