Item - 2017.HL19.16

Tracking Status

  • City Council adopted this item on May 24, 2017 with amendments.
  • This item was considered by Board of Health on May 17, 2017 and was adopted with amendments. It will be considered by City Council on May 24, 2017.

HL19.16 - Implementation Resources for the Toronto Overdose Action Plan

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Amended
Wards:
All

City Council Decision

City Council on May 24, 25 and 26, 2017, adopted the following:

 

1. City Council approve a one-time reallocation of $177.9 thousand gross, $0 net from Toronto Public Health's 2017 Approved Salary and Benefits budget to fund three temporary positions to implement Toronto Public Health actions in Toronto's Overdose Action Plan.

 

2. City Council direct that any request for funding of permanent positions be referred to the 2018 Budget Process for consideration by the Deputy City Manager and Chief Financial Officer along with other City priorities.

 

3. City Council request the Medical Officer of Health to continue discussions with the Province of Ontario regarding funding for 2018 and future years, for the implementation of the Overdose Action Plan.

Background Information (Board)

(May 3, 2017) Letter from Councillor Joe Cressy, Chair, Toronto Drug Strategy Implementation Panel on Implementation Resources for the Toronto Overdose Action Plan
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/hl/bgrd/backgroundfile-103561.pdf

Communications (Board)

(May 16, 2017) Submission from Gary Thompson (HL.New.HL19.16.1)

Motions (City Council)

1 - Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor Gary Crawford (Carried)

That:

 

1. City Council delete the Board of Health Recommendation:

 

Recommendation to be deleted:

 

1. City Council increase the 2017 Toronto Public Health Operating Budget by $177.9 thousand gross, $44.5 thousand net, fully funded from the first quarter Operating Variance, to fund three permanent positions to implement Toronto Public Health actions in Toronto's Overdose Action Plan.

 

and insert the following new recommendation:

 

1. City Council approve a one-time reallocation of $177.9 thousand gross, $0 net from Toronto Public Health's 2017 Approved Salary and Benefits budget to fund three temporary positions to implement Toronto Public Health actions in Toronto's Overdose Action Plan.

 

2. City Council request that any request for funding permanent positions be referred to the 2018 Budget Process for consideration by the Deputy City Manager and Chief Financial Officer along with other City priorities.

Vote (Amend Item) May-25-2017 2:16 PM

Result: Carried Majority Required - HL19.16 - Crawford - motion 1
Total members that voted Yes: 39 Members that voted Yes are Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Ana Bail„o, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Shelley Carroll, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Michael Ford, Mary Fragedakis, Mark Grimes, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Jaye Robinson, Neethan Shan, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Total members that voted No: 0 Members that voted No are
Total members that were Absent: 5 Members that were absent are Josh Colle, Vincent Crisanti, Paula Fletcher, Anthony Perruzza, John Tory

2 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Joe Cressy (Carried)

That City Council request the Medical Officer of Health to continue discussions with the Province of Ontario regarding funding for 2018 and future years, for the implementation of the Overdose Action Plan.


Motion to Adopt Item as Amended (Carried)

HL19.16 - Implementation Resources for the Toronto Overdose Action Plan

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Amended
Wards:
All

Board Recommendations

The Board of Health recommends that:

 

1. City Council increase the 2017 Toronto Public Health operating budget by $177.9 thousand gross, $44.5 thousand net, fully funded from the first quarter Operating Variance, to fund three permanent positions to implement Toronto Public Health actions in Toronto's Overdose Action Plan.

Origin

(May 3, 2017) Letter from Councillor Joe Cressy, Chair, Toronto Drug Strategy Implementation Panel

Summary

There is an overdose crisis in Toronto as in other cities across Canada, in particular overdoses related to opioids such as heroin and fentanyl. There is broad agreement in the community and among all orders of government that urgent action is needed to reduce the number of people who are experiencing and dying from drug overdoses.

 

At its March 20, 2017 meeting, the Board of Health unanimously approved the report entitled Toronto Overdose Action Plan: Prevention and Response. Toronto Public Health (TPH) developed the Action Plan in consultation with the Toronto Drug Strategy Implementation Panel and its Overdose Coordinating Committee, and the broader community. The Action Plan provides a comprehensive set of actions to help address the overdose crisis in our city, most importantly, actions that we can take at the local level.

 

The Toronto Drug Strategy Secretariat, which is a small staff team in Toronto Public Health that supports implementation of our City's drug strategy, has been dedicated as the coordination lead for implementing the Toronto Overdose Action Plan. This role is critical to ensuring the Action Plan is implemented. However, to take on this role the Secretariat has suspended work on drug strategy recommendations that fall outside the scope of the Action Plan, and some epidemiological work at TPH is delayed in order to direct staff resources to implementing the Action Plan. As supervisor is also needed for The Works harm reduction program to manage the overdose prevention and response training and policy/protocol development program for municipal and community services, which is a key component of the Action Plan.

 

In the staff report accompanying the Toronto Overdose Action Plan, the Acting Medical Officer of Health stated that a funding request for the additional resources required for the Action Plan would be included in the TPH 2018 Operating Budget request for consideration during the City's 2018 budget process.

 

At the March 20, 2017, the Board of Health passed a motion "requesting the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to fund three permanent positions at a cost of $374,709.95 gross/ $0 net in 2017 to implement TPH actions in Toronto's Overdose Action Plan; and, if the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care does not provide this funding, the Board of Health direct the Medical Officer of Health to assign the necessary staff to implement the TPH actions recommended in the Plan on an interim basis until the resource requirements to implement the Toronto's Overdose Action Plan can be considered by City Council as part of the 2018 TPH Operating Budget process." And further, "That the Medical Officer of Health report back to the May 17, 2017 meeting of the Board of Health with an update on the above funding request from the Province of Ontario."

 

At the March 23, 2017 meeting of the Toronto Drug Strategy Implementation Panel, members discussed the Action Plan and expressed serious concern about the lack of staff resources allocated to implement the Action Plan and the drug strategy, both of which are urgently needed. In response, the Panel passed the following motion:

 

If the Province of Ontario has not committed to fund the City of Toronto's portion of the Toronto Overdose Action Plan, the Toronto Drug Strategy Implementation Panel requests City Council to identify and allocate the necessary new funds immediately in order to conduct this work. Further, that the source of these new funds should not be found at the expense of any other critical public health or social services.

 

The Medical Officer of Health has informed me that the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has indicated that they cannot confirm any funding for additional staff at this time as they are considering a provincial approach to these requests coming from local health units across Ontario.

 

Given the urgency of this issue, I request the Board of Health to consider the motion from the Toronto Drug Strategy Implementation Panel, as noted above. The overdose crisis continues to grow in Toronto, and the City needs to demonstrate leadership and commitment to this issue by ensuring the necessary resources in place to implement the Action Plan while also ensuring the important work of the drug strategy continues.

Background Information

(May 3, 2017) Letter from Councillor Joe Cressy, Chair, Toronto Drug Strategy Implementation Panel on Implementation Resources for the Toronto Overdose Action Plan
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/hl/bgrd/backgroundfile-103561.pdf

Communications

(May 16, 2017) Submission from Gary Thompson (HL.New.HL19.16.1)

Speakers

Gary Thompson

Motions

Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor Joe Cressy (Carried)

That the Board of Health request that City Council increase the 2017 Toronto Public Health operating budget by $177.9 thousand gross, $44.5 thousand net, fully funded from the first quarter Operating Variance, to fund three permanent positions to implement TPH actions in Toronto's Overdose Action Plan.

Vote (Amend Item) May-17-2017

Result: Carried Majority Required
Total members that voted Yes: 10 Members that voted Yes are Stacey Berry, Joe Cressy, Sarah Doucette, Chris Glover, Mike Layton, Elisa Levi, Joe Mihevc (Chair), Paul Nagpal, Neethan Shan, Peter Wong
Total members that voted No: 0 Members that voted No are
Total members that were Absent: 3 Members that were absent are Ashna Bowry, Paula Fletcher, Angela Jonsson
Source: Toronto City Clerk at www.toronto.ca/council