Health care workers call on Ontario to declare emergency over opioid crisis.

In an open letter, more than 700 harm reduction workers have have called Premier Kathleen Wynne  to declare a provincial emergency due to a “disturbing” increase in overdose deaths related to opioid use in the province in recent months.

Harm care workers involved are nurses, doctors and academics from 59 towns and cities in Ontario. The signatories come from Southern and Northern Ontario.

According to the letter, the Ontario government could declare an emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. It says such a move would enable harm reduction workers, public health, primary care, addictions medicine, psychiatry and internal medicine teams to develop “safe, effective and equitable” responses to the rising numbers of deaths.