Mayor Neil Ellis on behalf of Belleville City Council has declared a state of emergency for the growing addiction, mental health and homelessness crisis and resulting impact on emergency services, and is now calling on senior level governments for support.
Tri-emergency services in Belleville continue to respond to perceived and actual overdoses and, in many cases, are finding multiple patients at one time. On Tuesday afternoon, the largest number was 9 overdoses at one time, during one call for service.
“The past two days have exemplified just how critical the addiction, mental health and homelessness crisis has become in our community,” said Mayor Neil Ellis. “We, as a City, know that we are at the point where doing our best doesn’t cut it anymore. Our emergency services, health care system and municipal resources are being stretched to the very limits and we are close to a breaking point.
We need serious action and support from senior level government to deal with this crisis and until we begin to see meaningful discussions on how to address the matter, I fear nothing will change. That is why we are calling on the provincial and federal government for support. I urge our local municipal partners facing the same issues to do the same.”
An Emergency Declaration acts as a request for support from the provincial and federal government, and falls under Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
The Act defines an emergency as a situation or an impending situation that constitutes a danger of major proportions that could result in serious harm to persons or substantial damage to property and that is caused by the forces of nature, a disease or other health risk, an accident or an act whether intentional or otherwise.