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Letter: NDP 'worked very hard' on opioid crisis in Timmins

Mother who lost her son to opioids says Pirie made a 'huge false statement' suggesting Bisson hasn't been involved with the local response
2021-03-20 Letter

In 2014 I lost my son Scottie McKinnon to opioids. He was not a junkie or a drug addict, he made a very bad mistake. Scottie loved life and was a wonderful happy person who touched so many lives. In 2015 Gilles Bisson, Charlie Angus, my brother-in-law Jeff Martin and others behind the scenes worked tirelessly putting into place the Patch for Patch exchange program in Timmins and surrounding areas.  

For George Pirie to say that Gilles was not involved with the opioid crisis is the huge false statement. Gilles Bisson, Charlie Angus and John Vanthof were by my side throughout this most devastating time of my life. For a parent who has lost a child in any way it is the hardest thing anyone can go through and to have your MPP and MP support our family was an incredible feeling. They all work so hard to bring the opioid crisis to the forefront in the Timmins and the rest of the country. All of them worked very hard to bring the opioid crisis to their respective Parliaments bringing maximum attention to this issue affecting many Canadians. 

I was very disappointed in George Pirie when I listened to the Timmins debate. I have taken a few days to collect my thoughts about the statements made by Mr. Pirie. These statements are wrong and couldn’t be further from the truth.  

He states and I quote his words: “It’s not anybody standing up and saying it was one person. But quite frankly it was led by the Conservatives, it wasn’t led by the NDP. Listen to what the doctors Bellemare and Samson said about this, it was not led by the NDP. In fact, the NDP was not involved at all.  And it wasn't the NDP and it hasn't been the NDP. That's the bottom line.”

Gilles Bisson has fought for the people for many years as he cares about the issues that affect all Ontarians. Mr. Pirie you should be ashamed of yourself to make these comments as the meaning of true ignorance comes to mind.  

I have been a huge advocate for the NDP and have supported the party since I could vote. This year I was actually going against the grain and change my vote to support Mr. Pirie and the Conservatives as I thought he may bring more to Timmins and the surrounding area being the governing party for Ontario.  After this, I will definitely not ever go against my beliefs again as now I see his true colours. Mr. Pirie and the Conservatives will never get my vote as this has driven home that the NDP genuinely care about the people. Don't ever  go against what you think is right. Voting for Gilles will be the right thing.  

Lynn Festarini-Jones