Friends of Ontario SCS invites all members of the media to attend rally: FUND ONTARIO SCS

May 27, 2024

On Tuesday, May 28 2024, community members, frontline workers, and advocates will travel from across the province, including Timmins, Sudbury, Barrie, and Windsor, for a rally in Toronto to demand the Ontario government immediately fund and adequately support lifesaving supervised consumption services (SCS) amidst the worsening toxic drug crisis. All members of the media are invited to attend. 

Hosted by Friends of Ontario SCS, the rally will begin at Trinity Square at 12:30 p.m., followed by a  march to Queen’s Park for a 2:30 p.m. rally endorsed by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, HIV Legal Network, CUPE Ontario, Réseau ACCESS Network, Moms Stop the Harm, Street Nurses  Network, and many others. The march will make a stop in front of Ontario Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kieran Moore’s office along the way to Queen’s Park for comments. Premier Doug Ford, Health Minister Sylvia Jones, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Michael Tibollo, NDP Leader Marit Stiles, OGP Leader Mike Schreiner, and OLP Leader Bonnie Crombie have been invited to meet with delegates at Queen’s Park. 

The event comes on the heels of a wave of province-wide support, with more than 70 groups endorsing an open letter calling on the Ontario Ministry of Health to provide emergency funding to reopen shuttered sites and prevent further closures. The toxic drug crisis has been growing for over a decade and is tragically impacting all Canadians. Fatal and non-fatal overdoses create massive strains on first responders, emergency departments and hospitals. The loss, grief and trauma from these preventable deaths reverberate throughout communities, in homes and in workplaces all across the province. Supervised Consumption Services (SCS), safe supply, harm reduction support, and evidence-based, voluntary treatment are all cost-effective measures that improve public health and community safety

Almost three months have since passed with no response from Health Minister Jones or Associate Minister Tibollo to the more than 70 open letter signatories. In that time, Sudbury’s SCS was forced to close, Timmins has had to rely on charitable funding to keep operating, and an estimated 800 more Ontarians have died preventable deaths from toxic drugs.  

The community rally calls attention to the province’s inaction and indifference in the face of these ongoing losses and is a demand for immediate change. 

Media contacts for interview requests and inquiries:
Zoe Dodd (MC & Media Liaison)

Lorraine Lam (Friends of Ontario SCS)

Marion Zych
Director of Communications (RNAO)
647-406-5605 (cell)

Speakers list (subject to change)
Matt Johnson (they/them)
Harm Reduction Worker & Person with Lived Experience (Toronto)

Iye Sanneh
Parkdale Queen West CHC SCS Site user & Satellite Harm Reduction Worker (Toronto)

Ash Smoke


Jason Sereda 
DIY Community Health (Timmins)

Amber Fritz
Réseau ACCESS Network (Sudbury)

Christine Nayler
Ryan’s Hope and Moms Stop The Harm (Barrie) 

Kathy Moreland
RNAO and Moms Stop the Harm (Windsor)

Dr. Doris Grinspun

Sabrina Sutherland
Moss Park SCS Site User (Toronto)

Euan Thomson 

Former SCS Site user (Toronto) 


About Friends of Ontario SCS
Friends of Ontario SCS is an informal coalition of communities across Ontario who believe we all deserve access to safety and wellbeing and that we can stop the preventable deaths of our loved ones. The group advocates for the Ontario government to provide permanent funding for lifesaving, evidence-based SCS and to move away from the Consumption and Treatment Services (CTS) model.

Coalition members include Gilbert Centre, Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, Moms Stop the Harm, Street Nurses Network, Ryan’s Hope (Barrie), HIV Legal Network, Barrie Homelessness and Housing Justice Network, and Réseau Access Network (Sudbury). 

Resources and Links:
Follow along on social media: 
Instagram: @friendsofontscs

OPEN LETTER: Supervised Consumption Services site closures due to lack of funding from Ministry of Health

March 18 Media Release: Silence from Ontario Ministry of Health as time runs out to save Supervised Consumption Sites

March 5 Media Release: Ontario braces for loss of vital services as 51 organizations demand Province act on Supervised Consumption Sites