Transcript: Ontario Hubs: Opioid Addiction | Oct 13, 2017

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, pale pink shirt, and checked blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "Ontario Hubs: Opioid addiction. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says URBAN, SUBURBAN, RURAL
AND REMOTE.
OPIOID ADDICTION, AND DEATH FROM
OVERDOSE HAVE HIT CRISIS LEVELS
AND PENETRATED EVERY PART OF
THIS PROVINCE.
LET'S GET THE WIDE-ANGLE VIEW
FROM DIFFERENT PARTS OF ONTARIO.

An animated slate reads "Ontario Hubs." Then a live feed pops up from a map of Ontario, showing a curly-haired man.

Steve continues FOR THAT, WE WELCOME:
FROM OUR STUDIO AT CONFEDERATION
COLLEGE IN THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO:
JON THOMPSON, WHO HEADS OUR
NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO HUB.

Jon is in his thirties, with blond hair and a trimmed beard. He's wearing a beige suit, blue shirt and blue tie.

Steve continues FROM OUR STUDIO AT WESTERN
UNIVERSITY IN LONDON, ONTARIO:
MARY BAXTER, WHO HEADS OUR
SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO HUB.

A live feed pops up showing Mary. She's in her forties, with shoulder-length wavy brown hair. She's wearing glasses and a gray cardigan over a black shirt.

Steve continues AND HERE IN STUDIO:
JEYAN JEGANATHAN, OUR ONTARIO
HUBS FIELD PRODUCER.

Jeyan is in his thirties, with short black hair and a trimmed beard. He's wearing a gray suit and a blue gingham shirt.

Steve continues HUBSTERS, IT'S GOOD TO HAVE YOU
ON THE PROGRAM AGAIN THIS WEEK.
JEYAN, I WANT TO START WITH YOU.
WE'LL TEASE THIS A LITTLE BIT
AND COME BACK AND CHAT.
SHELDON, IF YOU WOULD?

A clip plays on screen.

A man in his forties says IT'S NOT IN THE PAPERS SO
MUCH IN THIS TOWN.
YOU KNOW IT'S THERE, YOU HEAR IT.
SUDBURY IS THE KIND OF PLACE
WHERE THEY'RE NOT GOING TO TALK
ABOUT IT.

Jeyan says 2,458 PEOPLE DIED FROM OPIOID
OVERDOSES LAST YEAR AND THE
NUMBERS CONTINUE TO CLIMB.

A bearded man in his forties says OUR OUTREACH STAFF HAVE SEEN
OVER THE COURSE OF THE SUMMER AT
LEAST ONE DEATH PER WEEK.

Jeyan says TVO
TRAVELS TO SUDBURY AND HAMILTON
TO SEE HOW FRONT LINE WORKERS
THERE ARE FIGHTING A SEEMINGLY
LOSING BATTLE.

A woman in her thirties stands on a corner at night.

She says AT THIS POINT IT HAS A LIFE
OF ITS OWN.
IT'S FRIGHTENED TO THINK WHERE
THAT MIGHT END UP.

The clip ends.

Steve says JEYAN, MORE THAN
2,000 DEATHS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.
YOU WENT TO HAMILTON, YOU WENT
TO SUDBURY.
WHAT DID YOU FIND?

The caption changes to "A province-wide problem."

Jeyan says IT'S BAD.
IN HAMILTON, JUST TO GIVE YOU AN
IDEA, SINCE JANUARY, HAMILTON
PARAMEDICS RESPONDED TO 307
CALLS RELATED TO OPIOID
OVERDOSES.
IN HAMILTON 2016, 52 PEOPLE DIED.

A map pops up highlighting the location of Sudbury and North Bay.

The caption changes to "Jeyan Jeganathan. Ontario Hubs Field Producer."

Jeyan continues IF WE CARE THAT TO SUDBURY, A
SMALLER CITY, ABOUT HALF THE
POPULATION, WE HAD ABOUT 17
DEATHS, WHICH DOESN'T SOUND LIKE
A BIG NUMBER WHEN YOU COMPARE IT
TO 52, BUT I WAS TALKING TO HARM
REDUCTION WORKERS THERE AND THEY
TOLD ME THIS SUMMER WAS
PARTICULARLY BAD, THE MONTHS OF
JUNE, JULY, AND AUGUST, THEY
WERE REPORTING ABOUT A DEATH A
WEEK.
SO WHEN YOU LOOK AT THOSE
NUMBERS, PRETTY BAD.

Steve says HOW DO THOSE TWO
CITIES STACK UP COMPARED TO THE
REST OF THE PROVINCE?

Jeyan says WHEN YOU
LOOK PROVINCIALLY, THOSE TWO
CITIES ARE ABOVE THE PROVINCIAL
RATE, WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE DEATH
RATE.
HAMILTON IS PARTICULARLY BAD.
THE AVERAGE IS 48 percent HIGHER THAN
THE PROVINCIAL AVERAGE.
THAT WORKS OUT TO BE ABOUT 9
PEOPLE PER 100,000 THAT ACTUALLY
DIE FROM AN OVERDOSE.

Steve says DO THEY KNOW WHY?

Jeyan says THEY DON'T.
TALKING TO HARM REDUCTION
WORKERS, THEY COLLECT THE
INFORMATION.
THEY'RE OUT THERE ON THE STREETS
TALKING TO THESE PEOPLE.
THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS THEY'RE
STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT, IS
EXACTLY WHAT'S HAPPENING, WHY.

A map shows the location of Kitchener and Hamilton.

Steve says ONE OF THE REASONS
WE'RE GLAD TO HAVE THESE ONTARIO
HUBS IS THERE ARE STORIES THAT
TAKE PLACE ALL OVER ONTARIO, AND
WE CAN CHECK IN TO THE VARIOUS
REGIONS AND SEE HOW IT
ESSENTIALLY HAPPENS ON THE
GROUND IN THOSE PLACES.
MARY, LET'S GO TO SOUTHWESTERN
ONTARIO.
AS YOU LOOKED INTO THIS STORY,
WHERE DID YOU GO?

The caption changes to "Mary Baxter. Southwestern Ontario Hub Editor."

Mary says WELL, STEVE,
THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF WRITING
DONE OR RESEARCH DONE ABOUT THE
OPIOID CRISIS IN URBAN CENTRES,
SO I THOUGHT I WOULD TAKE A LOOK
AT A MORE RURAL AREA AND DECIDED
ON HURON COUNTY AND ALSO
GODERICH.
HURON COUNTY IS ACTUALLY QUITE
LARGE.
IT'S NORTH OF LONDON.
IT'S ON LAKE HURON.
AND IT'S PROBABLY ABOUT HALF THE
SIZE OF THE GTA.

A map shows the locations of Stratford and Goderich.

Mary continues SO IT REALLY IS QUITE LARGE AN AREA.
BUT IT HAS A REALLY SMALL
POPULATION.
IT'S I THINK 60,000 PEOPLE LIVE
IN THAT AREA, AND IN GODERICH,
IT'S ONLY A COMMUNITY OF LESS
THAN 8,000 PEOPLE.

Steve says AND WHAT DID YOU FIND?

Mary says WELL, I FOUND THAT THERE'S
DEFINITELY CONCERN ABOUT OPIOID
USE.
IT'S PARTICULARLY... THE MORE
TRADITIONAL KIND THAT WE'VE SEEN
OVER THE PAST NUMBER OF YEARS IN
TERMS OF PILLS AND WORRIES ABOUT
MORE POTENT FORMS OF THE DRUG
COMING INTO THE COUNTY.
BUT THERE'S ALSO A LOT OF
CONCERN ABOUT MORE TRADITIONAL
DRUGS SUCH AS ALCOHOL AND
METHAMPHETAMINE, WHICH IS ALSO
KNOWN AS CRYSTAL METH.

Steve says LET'S GO UP TO
NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO AND, JON,
TELL US WHERE YOU CHOSE TO FOCUS
YOUR LENS AS YOU LOOKED INTO
THIS WHOLE ISSUE?

The caption changes to "Jon Thompson. Northwestern Ontario Hub Editor."

Jon says WELL, THE
NORTHWEST HAS REALLY BEEN IN
CRISIS OVER OPIATES FOR A DECADE NOW.
IT'S DIFFICULT TO CONDENSE THAT
INTO ONE STORY.
SOME FIGURES THAT CAN HELP, IN
THUNDER BAY, 30 percent OF BABIES BORN
IN THE HOSPITAL, THE MOTHER HAD
SOME EXPOSURE TO OPIATES OVER
PREGNANCY.
OUT TO KENORA TO THE WEST, THEIR
MORNINGSTAR CENTRE HANDS OUT
455,000 NEEDLES A YEAR IN A TOWN
OF 15,000 PEOPLE.
SO THAT'S HOW IT'S GOING IN THE
CITIES.
IN REMOTE COMMUNITIES, FIRST
NATIONS, SOME CASES WE'RE SEEING
70 TO 80 PERCENT OF THE ADULT
POPULATION THAT IS AFFECTED BY
OPIATE USE.
WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE OPIATE
CRISIS IN NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO,
YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT IT IN TERMS
OF ENTIRE SYSTEM PRESSURE.

Steve says DID YOU VISIT ONE
FIRST NATION IN PARTICULAR?

Jon says WELL, WE LOOK AT A FEW.
ONE OF THEM IS EABAMETOONG FIRST
NATION, KNOWN BETTER IN THE
SOUTH AS THE RING OF FIRE.
IN 2010 THEY DECLARED A STATE OF
EMERGENCY.
TODAY THE CHIEF IS SAYING THEY
ARE COMING OUT OF IT BECAUSE
ONLY ONE IN TWO ADULTS ARE
EXPERIENCING OPIATE ADDICTION.

A map shows the location of the Eabametoon First Nation, north of Thunder Bay.

Steve says ONLY 50 percent?

Jon says IT'S TRUE.
AND IN OTHER COMMUNITIES WE'RE
SEEING SIMILAR FIGURES.
SO TO ME, IT'S MIRACULOUS THAT
YOU COULD HAVE A COMMUNITY IN
WHICH FOUR OUT OF FIVE ADULTS
ARE ADDICTED TO A DEBILITATING
DRUG AND THE PLACE COULD STILL
BE STANDING.
SO IN THE CASE OF THE
COMMUNITIES IN THE RING OF FIRE,
YOU'RE LOOKING AT THE COMPLEXITY
OF NEGOTIATING THE BIGGEST
RESOURCE DEAL IN THE HISTORY OF
ONTARIO AS THE BACKDROP FOR THAT
SITUATION.
I TALKED TO ONE NURSE WHO SAID
THAT SHE HAS SEEN A COMMUNITY IN
WHICH ONLY EIGHT ADULTS WERE SOBER.

Steve says MARY, YOU POINTED
OUT AT THE BEGINNING OF YOUR
FIRST ANSWER THAT WHAT IS
AVAILABLE IN URBAN VERSUS RURAL
ONTARIO, THE NATURE OF THE
PROBLEM, ALL OF THAT WOULD BE
DIFFERENT.
SO IF THIS IS AN ISSUE IN
GODERICH AND IF PEOPLE NEED
SERVICES, WHAT KIND OF SERVICES
CAN THEY TAP INTO?

The caption changes to "Enough help for everyone?"

Mary says WELL, PEOPLE
IN GODERICH ARE ACTUALLY FAIRLY
SERVICE-RICH IN COMPARISON WITH
THE REST OF THE COUNTY.
THEY'VE GOT A HOSPITAL THERE.
THE HOSPITAL HAS EMERGENCY
SERVICES.
IT ALSO HAS A PSYCHIATRIC UNIT.
THERE'S A NEEDLE EXCHANGE
PROGRAM THAT HAPPENS IN GODERICH
A COUPLE OF NIGHTS A WEEK.
THE CANADIAN MENTAL HEALTH
ASSOCIATION HAS AN OFFICE THERE
AND THERE'S LOTS OF ACCESS TO
COUNSELLORS.
THERE'S EVEN A PHARMACY THAT HAS
NALOXONE, WHICH IS, AS YOU MAY
WELL KNOW, IT'S THE ANTIDOTE TO
OVERDOSES, OPIOID OVERDOSES.
BUT IF SOMEBODY WANTS TREATMENT,
LET'S SAY THEY WANT TO GO ON A
METHADONE PROGRAM, THEY WOULD
ACTUALLY HAVE TO TRAVEL ABOUT
HALF AN HOUR SOUTH TO A TOWN
CALLED SEAFORTH TO ATTEND A
CLINIC THERE, AND GET THEIR
PRESCRIPTION.
AND THEN, AFTER THAT, IF THEY'RE
LIVING IN GODERICH, PERHAPS
THEY'LL BE ABLE TO GET THAT
PRESCRIPTION FILLED AT A
PHARMACY THERE, BUT NOT ALL
PHARMACIES IN HURON COUNTY WILL
FILL METHADONE PRESCRIPTIONS.
SO PEOPLE MAY HAVE TO GO TO YET
ANOTHER COMMUNITY IN ORDER TO
GET THEIR PRESCRIPTION FILLED.

Steve says THAT IS A CHALLENGE
OF RURAL ONTARIO AND WHAT'S AVAILABLE.
JEYAN, LET'S COME BACK TO THE CITIES.
AGAIN, YOU WERE IN HAMILTON.
YOU TALKED TO FRONT LINE WORKERS
INVOLVED IN THIS.
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE THEY'RE
DEALING WITH NOW OR WHAT?

Jeyan says I DON'T
THINK YOU CAN SAY JUST HAMILTON.
WE TALKED TO ANY MUNICIPALITY IN
ONTARIO, FUNDING IS ONE OF THE
BIGGEST CHALLENGES.
THERE'S NOT ENOUGH MONEY, NOT
ENOUGH NALOXONE KITS BEING
HANDED OUT.
THE PROVINCE IS SPENDING
MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO TREAT
KIND OF THE COMPLICATIONS OF
OPIOIDS, TRYING TO TREAT THAT,
BUT THEY'RE NOT DEALING WITH THE
UNDERLYING ISSUES.
AND I HAVE SPOKEN WITH THE FRONT
LINE WORKERS THERE.
THEY TELL ME NALOXONE IS GREAT,
IN HAMILTON ALONE, 290 PEOPLE
WERE REVIVED THIS YEAR.
THAT'S 290 LIVES.
BUT IT IS A BAND-AID SOLUTION.
WHEN I ASKED THEM WHAT CAN WE DO?
THEY DON'T HAVE ANSWERS YET.
THEY'RE STILL WORKING ON WHAT
EXACTLY CAN WE DO.

Steve says DON'T HAVE ANSWERS
BUT YOU SAY THERE ARE UNDERLYING
CAUSES THAT NEED TO BE DEALT WITH.
WHAT ARE THEY?

The caption changes to "Jeyan Jeganathan, @JeyanTVO."

Jeyan says A LOT OF ABUSERS, WHEN WE
WERE OUT IN HAMILTON AS WELL, IT
WAS PEOPLE... ONE OF THE BIGGEST
ISSUES IS YOU CAN GET FENTANYL
OVER THE COUNTER, YOU CAN GET IT
FROM OVERSEAS.
IT'S GETTING INTO DRUGS THAT
NORMALLY PEOPLE ARE USING LIKE
HEROIN HAS MADE A COMEBACK.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, TVO.org, Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Instagram."

Steve says LET'S GO UP TO
NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO.
JON, IF YOU'RE IN A SITUATION
WHERE IN SOME COMMUNITIES IN
YOUR PART OF THE PROVINCE,
LITERALLY HALF THE PEOPLE ARE
DEALING WITH THIS ISSUE, HOW DO
AUTHORITIES THERE EVEN BEGIN TO
WEAN PEOPLE OFF OF THE DRUGS
THEY'RE HOOKED ON?

The caption changes to "Jon Thompson, @JonSThompson."

Jon says WELL, AGAIN,
HALF THE PEOPLE IS DEEMED TO BE
A SUCCESS.
HALF THE PEOPLE IS DEEMED TO BE
COMING OUT OF IT.
THERE HAVE BEEN SOME SUCCESSES
WITH NALOXONE, A BRAND CALLED
SUBOXONE BECAUSE IT DOESN'T
REQUIRE AS MUCH TO ADMINISTER.
THERE HAS BEEN SOME SUCCESS IN
MIGRATING PEOPLE OFF THE STREET
DRUGS AND PHARMACEUTICAL DRUGS
TO THE DRUG SUBSTITUTES.
THE TROUBLE COMES IN WHEN YOU'RE
GETTING PEOPLE OFF THE DRUG
SUBSTITUTES TO COMPLETE
SOBRIETY.
AND THE ISSUE THERE THAT I'M
HEARING FROM ACROSS THE ENTIRE
REGION AND UP TO THE HIGHEST
LEVELS IN SYSTEM INTEGRATION IS
THAT YOU CAN'T FUND THE FRONT
END, THAT IS TO SAY, THE CARE,
WITHOUT FUNDING THE BACK END,
THAT IS TO SAY, THE AFTER-CARE,
WHEN YOU HAVE A SITUATION WHERE
THERE'S WIDESPREAD TRAUMA IN
THIS POPULATION AND THE SPEED AT
WHICH THE STREET DRUGS CHANGE
AND EVOLVE IS FASTER THAN THEY
CAN COMMIT TO.
AND SOME OF THESE PEOPLE ARE
GOING TO NEED HELP, COUNSELLING,
HOUSING, THOSE SORTS OF
SOLUTIONS, FOR THE REST OF THEIR
LIVES.
SO ONTARIO IS COMMITTING
222 MILLION dollars, AND ABOUT 2.7 percent OF
THAT IS GOING TO GO TO
NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO IN DEALING
WITH THAT AFTER-CARE.
I CAN TELL YOU ONE THING, STEVE,
THIS ISN'T GOING TO BE THE LAST
TIME WE TALK ABOUT THIS.

Steve says NO, INDEED.
BUT THERE WAS AN ANNOUNCEMENT
MADE BY I THINK BOTH THE FEDERAL
AND PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENTS THIS
PAST WEEK IN TERMS OF MORE MONEY
FOR ENHANCED BROADBAND IN
NORTHERN ONTARIO, AND THAT MAY
SEEM SORT OF OFF THE PATH FROM
THE DISCUSSION WE'RE HAVING, BUT
I GATHER IT'S NOT.
HOW COULD THAT BE HELPFUL?

Jon says WELL, TELEMEDICINE IS
SOMETHING THAT IS BEING USED ON
A WIDESPREAD BASIS HERE BECAUSE
THE POPULATIONS ARE SO SPARSE
AND SMALL.
AND SO THEY'RE BEING USED TO, IN
SOME CASES, TALK TO FAMILY
MEMBERS WHO ARE LIVING IN
LONG-TERM CARE.
IN THE INSTANCES IN FORT HOPE,
THE INSTANCE I WAS JUST TALKING
ABOUT, THERE'S A POTENTIAL TO
HAVE PSYCHIATRY AND OTHER
MEDICAL SPECIALIST CARE AND
COUNSELLING AND LONG-TERM CARE
COMMITTED THROUGH BROADBAND.
NOW, THAT PROJECT ISN'T EXPECTED
TO BE FINISHED FOR A NUMBER OF
YEARS, SO IT'S NOT GOING TO HELP
RIGHT AWAY, BUT I THINK WHERE IT
HAS BEEN APPLIED, WE'VE SEEN
SOME SUCCESSES.
AND SO THERE'S SOME PROMISE THAT
THAT COMMUNITY IN PARTICULAR FEELS.

Steve says BACK TO MARY IN
SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO.
YOU KNOW, THE PLACE THAT YOU
LOOKED AT, GODERICH, THEY'VE GOT
THIS REPUTATION AS, QUOTE,
UNQUOTE, THE PRETTIEST TIME IN
CANADA, RIGHT ON THE SHORES OF
BEAUTIFUL LAKE HURON, THE MOST
GLORIOUS SUNSETS ANYWHERE.
YOU KNOW, HOW DO THE STEREOTYPES
AFFECTING... REPUTATION AFFECT
ITS ABILITY TO HANDLE THIS PROBLEM?

The caption changes to "Not in my town."
Then, it changes again to "Mary Baxter, @MaryBWord."

Mary says WELL, YOU
KNOW, OFTEN WHEN WE THINK OF
DRUG ADDICTION AND PARTICULARLY
WHEN WE'RE THINKING OF SOMETHING
WHERE IT'S INJECTIONS OR
SOMETHING LIKE THAT, THERE'S A
PICTURE OF... THAT PEOPLE MIGHT
GET IN THEIR HEADS OF PEOPLE
CONGREGATING, FOR INSTANCE, IN
PARKS.
I THINK OF THE CLASSIC FILM
"PANIC IN NEEDLE PARK," FOR
INSTANCE.
BUT WE HAVE ALSO SEEN THAT KIND
OF COVERAGE IN VANCOUVER.
YOU KNOW, THERE'S JUST GREAT
HORDES OF PEOPLE THAT OCCUPY
CERTAIN PARTS OF THE CITY AND
THEY'RE DEALING WITH THIS.
IN A RURAL AREA, THOUGH,
ADDICTION IS... IT'S REALLY
HIDDEN BECAUSE IF YOU GET THOSE
KIND OF CONGREGATIONS IN A
PUBLIC AREA, POLICE ARE GOING TO
COME.
THEY'RE GOING TO SPLIT IT UP.
PEOPLE HAVE TO GO OTHER PLACES.
AND THE OTHER THING ABOUT THAT
PERCEPTION, WHICH IS TRUE IN
RURAL AREAS AS WELL, IS THAT
PEOPLE OFTEN WHO STRUGGLE WITH
ADDICTIONS ARE HOMELESS.
AND THAT'S ALSO THE CASE IN
HURON COUNTY.
BUT THE WAY THAT IT SHOWS UP,
AND ALSO IN GODERICH, AND THE
WAY THAT IT SHOWS UP IS PEOPLE
ARE COUCH-SURFING.
AGAIN, THEY'RE NOT PARTICULARLY
VISIBLE.
AND IT'S REALLY HARD TO TREAT
WHAT'S NOT VISIBLE.

Steve says A COUPLE OF MINUTES
LEFT HERE.
LET ME GET INTO TWO MORE ISSUES.
JEYAN, WE SAW AGAIN IN SUDBURY
IN YOUR TEASER OFF THE TOP WE
SHOWED, THERE WAS A QUOTE FROM
SOMEBODY WHO SAID SUDBURY IS THE
KIND OF PLACE WHERE YOU'RE NOT
GOING TO TALK ABOUT THIS.
WHAT DO YOU TAKE FROM THAT?

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcasts: tvo.org/theagenda."

Jeyan says YOU KNOW,
IT'S NOT NECESSARILY DENIAL
THERE IN THE CITY, PEOPLE JUST
DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH THIS IS
AFFECTING AREAS.
WE'RE HEARING TODAY, YOU KNOW,
THIS IS AFFECTING EVERY CORNER
OF THE PROVINCE, WHETHER YOU
LOOK AT MAJOR CITIES, LIKE
TORONTO, HAMILTON, MID-SIZED
CITIES LIKE SUDBURY, COTTAGE
COUNTRY, SMALL TOWNS.
THIS IS PRACTICALLY AFFECTING
EVERYBODY.
I THINK A LOT OF PLACES HAVE
JUST BEEN DEALING WITH IT
THEMSELVES AND A LOT OF
COORDINATION IS STARTING TO
HAPPEN.
WE HAD THE TASK FORCE ON
OCTOBER 4TH ANNOUNCED.
SO I THINK THE DISCUSSION IS
HAPPENING.
IT'S A LITTLE LATE IN THE GAME.
WE'RE KIND OF PLAYING CATCH-UP.
BUT IT'S PRACTICALLY ON EVERY CORNER.

Steve says JON, LET'S FINISH UP
WITH YOU.
WE DON'T WANT TO LEAVE EVERYBODY
WITH THE IMPRESSION THAT IT'S
COMPLETELY HOPELESS OUT THERE.
BEARSKIN LAKE FIRST NATION.
YOU TOOK A LOOK AT THAT.
SOME SEEDS OF HOPE THERE?

Jon says YES.
THERE'S A COUNCILLOR NAMED GARY
KAMINAWATAMIN, AND HE WAS AN
ADDICT, HE WAS A CONSTRUCTION
WORKER, AND HE SUBMITTED HIMSELF
TO THE MORNINGSTAR CENTRE IN
KENORA BACK IN 2011 WHEN THEY
WERE JUST DOING STRAIGHT
WITHDRAWAL.
AND HE SAID IT WAS THE MOST
DIFFICULT TIME OF HIS LIFE.
WHEN HE WENT BACK TO HIS HOME
COMMUNITY IN BEARSKIN LAKE, HE
FOUND THAT HE HAD NO JOB, THAT
HIS DRUG ADDICTION WAS
WIDESPREAD AND VERY PUBLIC IN
HIS COMMUNITY, AND HE FELT AS
THOUGH HE WAS ON THE VERGE OF
STARTING TO DEAL AGAIN TO BE
ABLE TO SURVIVE WITH HIS FAMILY.
AND SO... AND THAT WOULD HAVE
BROUGHT HIM BACK TO USING AS
WELL.
SO WHAT HE DID WAS, HE STARTED
WORKING OUT, AND IN A PROGRAM
THAT THE POLICE PUT TOGETHER FOR
WEIGHTLIFTING, AND HE RAN FOR
BAND COUNCILLOR AND WON.
AND TODAY HE IS GOING TO THE
SUBOXONE CLINIC AND HANDING OUT
THE DRUGS TO THE PEOPLE THAT ARE
COMING INTO THAT PROGRAM.
I MEAN, HE SEES THAT AS AN
OPPORTUNITY TO PROVE TO THE
PEOPLE IN HIS COMMUNITY THAT YOU
CAN TURN YOUR LIFE AROUND, AND
FOR SOME PEOPLE, IT'S WORKING.

The caption changes to "Producer: Mark Brosens, @MarkBrosens."

Steve says AND ON THAT
ENCOURAGING NOTE, MR. DIRECTOR,
CAN WE GET A THREE-SHOT OF OUR
HUBSTERS, AS WE SAY THANK YOU TO
JON THOMPSON IN THUNDER BAY,
MARY BAXTER IN LONDON, AND JEYAN
JEGANATHAN HERE IN STUDIO.
THANKS, YOU GUYS.
UNTIL NEXT TIME.

A screenshot from the TVO website pops up showing an article. It reads "tvo.org/current-affairs, Ontario Hubs, On the ground analysis of regional issues. Northwestern. Battling opioid addiction in Ontario's northwest. By Jon Thompson."

An animated slate reads "Ontario Hubs. Ontario Hubs are made possible by The Barry and Laurie Green Family Charitable Trust and Goldie Feldman."

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