Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith is discussing the declaration of an opioid crisis in his town.

It was brought forward by Smith today as an item for discussion at the general committee meeting and received approval.

“There are people in crisis in every community in Ontario, ours included,” says Smith. “There are people overdosing, there are people dying. It’s a nationwide epidemic as we can see unfolding in the media every day.”

He wants to have a discussion with his council to see if extra resources can be brought in to help deal with the ongoing crisis of drug dependency in small-town Ontario.

“We just want to make sure that our citizens know that we’re aware of it, but we’re not the ones with the tools to do all of the heavy lifting to try and solve it,” he says. “So we’re really calling on others to help.”

Smith points to an announcement last week that naloxone kits are now available through the Bracebridge and Huntsville hospitals and with all emergency responders as an indicator of how serious the issue is becoming.

“There is an alarmingly high number of opioid-related deaths in the first half of 2019 in Ontario,” he says. “This problem isn’t going to go away on its own.”

Smith is the Chair of the Health Task Force with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and says he will be forwarding his thoughts for action there as well.

“It’s not an isolated thing, it’s communities throughout Ontario, some impacted more than others but in every case, it’s a tragic situation,” he says. “If there is a way to get extra resources put toward this crisis then we want to have that discussion eventually.”

For now, it will progress to the full council for further approval and action.