The Fall Out of “Steel Town Down”

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It’s pretty cool  when Sault Ste. Marie get national attention, but the hard hitting documentary “Steel Town Down” that aired nationally on CTV Saturday night didn’t exactly paint a pretty picture of our fair city.

The one hour documentary, was broadcast as an episode of W5 – hosted by Kevin Newman showed how bad the drug overdose problem really is in Sault Ste. Marie.

According to the producer’s research, 5 people overdose in the city – everyday.  Sault Ste. Marie city council has yet to call it a “crisis”

Directed by VICE Canada’s Shawney Cohen, STEEL TOWN DOWN: OVERDOSE CRISIS IN THE SOO takes a close-up look at the city of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. In the wake of the decline of the local steel industry, the documentary reveals the shortage of job opportunities and dearth of social services have left “The Soo” vulnerable to a growing addiction epidemic, stated a press release on the program.

Featuring revealing interviews with addiction counsellors, paramedics, harm reduction workers, and local residents struggling with their own addictions, STEEL TOWN DOWN: OVERDOSE CRISIS IN THE SOO is an in-depth account of the way the opioid crisis is taking hold in small communities across the country and larger ones.

The program depicted the Sault as a community that is in a crisis, not just from overdoses but also a place with a depressed economy, troubled youth and the cry that no one is doing anything about the problem.

In an interview with SaultOnline.com last August, Desiree Beck, who was featured in the documentary as part of the Sault Ste. Marie and Area drug strategy committee said the city was already leaning towards a crisis last year.

“It’s very hard to get numbers because there’s so much stigma about drug use” said  Beck . “I think the thing to remember is not everyone are buying these drugs illicitly, there’s a lot of people prescribed opioids and using them not according to how the Doctor told them, if you’re not using them as prescribed, there’s a risk of overdosing”

The program, which is also available for viewing online  has been seen as “an eye-opener” for many in the community as well as elected officials, but will it be enough to see the Sault take a leading roll in combating the problem?  Sound off in the comments, we want to hear your thoughts on the documentary, and what should be done moving forward?

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Craig Huckerby
Craig Huckerby is a seasoned broadcast and media professional with over 35 years in local media. Starting in television, Craig became known as "the weather guy" on local television before pioneering internet media in the Sault. Craig is credited for bringing local television back to the Sault via the internet in 2003 with LTVNEWS.COM and was instrumental in launching SooNews.ca and Local2.ca. Craig is happy to be part of the Sault's newest media team and website, SaultOnline.com

62 COMMENTS

  1. They came and made a documentary on us but i never heard them once talk about what they would do to help… did W5 offer help or any solution to the family and people they interviewed and turned into a sceptical? They are a multi billion$ program watched by people all over the world… they opened eyes to a problem but what solution did they offer…. are they going to come back? Is that “all she wrote?” Were the addicts offer rehab? N im not talking the government funded rehab we all can go to any time to ect of examined and turned into a specimen but the privatly owned GOOD rehabs that address EVERY aspect of addiction like the one in Monteal Quebec as a good example or one the other multiple ones… what is going to come of this… all of those people are going to get hit hard… especially the man from the plant…. drug addicted gay son… working in the steel plant surounded by the worse sorta judgement there is… please tell me they got more then just being used as an example… please tell me they offered the othe addicts and option(i dont want to use their names…. they have been objectified enough already… please tell me they offered Desiree help… Desiree is an AMAZING woman and works and has worked in MANY places in this city but shes not alone, the many amazing men and women this city has working with the addicts go above and beyond; were they offered more help? I realli want to know what will come of this… W5 paints a picture, but did they sign the corner… will they or did they give back or was this a pure “shame for change” campaign? Our city DOES need help… and this was a perfect opportunity to lead the ones who dont know where to get that help to the help provided…. we have OATC we have road to recovery…. we have places that prescribe and dose for methadone and suboxon we have countless programs in place with wonderful workers… and due to the lack of workers u see alot of the same faces between each organization… theres aph- CADAP , ATC, the needle exchange(witch provides workers to talk to who work in other mental health addiction programs, we have detox and rehabs and helfway homes, theres the neighborhood resorce, Ontario north mens center,Great Lakes Recovery Centers, algoma Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Centre, there is more outreach at our hospital…. our hospital IS corupt as hell!! And could go on and on of the wrong doings behind those doors…But thats a whole different issue! Breton house, OW has the ASH program(those workers are 1 in a million Karl Jenson in particular is a wonderful man who does do what it takes and hes not alone in that)etc… there IS more; this post would just get much longer and too many would stop reading.. the sad thing about this city is all around we have more help for men… most women get told go see women in crisis but from personal experiance and know from others they arnt afraid to tell a woman “your not in crisis”… at 16 years old i ended up on the street no where to go facing addiction ffor a number of years already trying to reach out for help… every where i went i was told go see women in crisis… i called them; it was winter i explained my situation asked for help… i was sent to the algonquin with a responce of ” um what are we suposed to do… your not a woman in crisis”…16 yrs old, alone, trying to run from the cold hard grip of addiction and homelessness, afraid of hospitals, drs and councillor’s/psychiatrists who judge stronger than most n just want to get their “bonus” by putting u on more pills… pills used to be the answer for everything in this town(our drs and hospital are too corrupt) this was more then 10 years ago now… any one from or who knows the sault knows the algonquin 10+ years ago…. probably wasnt the place for a 16 yr old FEMALE on her own asking for help with her addictions…. needless to say I spent another 5+ years on drugs hoping to die with the words “what are we suposed to do for you, your not a woman in crisis” running through my head wondering what pill are they gunna put me on next; that i just might be able to over take to just maybe… maybe not wake up in the morning…in the pass 10+ years thus city has come A LONG WAY! We have so much more help we have different places and programs, im clean and sober thanks to the amazing! People at OATC, graduated from the ASH program cant thank Amanda Pitt from CADAP enough for all she has done… coming to my home cause i couldnt face the world that day driving me around to appointments doing my laundry with me bringing me to doctors and psychiatrists helping me face my fears and concur my fears… teaching me im not a woman in crisis… because im a woman who has the ability and strength who not only deserved to but can and will get better… i was never in crisis i was in hope… it just took an angel with out wing to show me… lets start hitting them in the feels not where it hurts…attacking our government and shaming them is good for only one thing opening their eyes… but now that their eyes are open we need to start asking the serious hard hitting questions like what is W5 going to do to help, whats next, what can ->I!<- do to help, what can we do to lessen the stigma n grow the "want to help" in our community… not every one is on drugs, not every onewho looks like their on drugs are, help out the panners a quarter even… THEIR NOT ROBBING PEOPLE OR BEATING UP OUR ELDERS AT ATMS… offer some one a couch, a room, a shed… hell a tent in your back yard to stay warm for a night or so… be the change your so rudely demanding… offer a ride to one of these organization and offer to hold their hand through it…. addicts and mental health patients are scared their no where near as strong as ppl assume these issues dont just pop outta the clouds they stem from deep seeded places of sorrow and hurt… these ppl have been condemnedthey've been pushed to the side denied hurt judged etc too many times these ppl need the support they need to know ppl care!… we arnt alone, ppl do understand… lets start to show this… we need to band together as a city ask W5 for help (you came you saw you showed, now lets do! Put some of that billion$ enterprise to work in the city u unintentionally hindered)… show our government we are there for each other show them theres a reason to step up to the plate cause as long as we are all at war against each other no way is our government going to want to help when half the population wants us all to die … even at a vote the addicts wouldnt stand a chance… drop the stigma show them we want to help each other, dont give them the option to say well theres not much to do cause we have the other 50% to worry about too…. sometimes we NEED to shame to get change… but the shaming is already done… now we as a city in whole need to be that change… eyes n ears are open…. let them see and hear the steps us as a community are making… our city has hope and all of our addicts are ppl too… sad ppl… ppl who need to HEAR AND SEE their not alone… talk is cheap we have heard it all, nows the time to stop talking(we've ALL talked our voices away) AND DO!

  2. The city has been corrupt for decades and continues to move down the same road. Election promises are never kept. The economy continues to erode year after year. At best the Mayor Mp and city council are mildly negligent while serving their own agenda. At worst they are openly obstructive to any possible improvement of the city. They will not allow economic advancement because they will be cut out as will their cronies. This city has a long history of cronyism and corruption and the community at large continues to suffer. We have more going for us on terms of location and economic possibility than Sudbury or Thunderbay yet those two towns are advancing while we are in decline. How long we we allow this to go on?

  3. I’ve been a support to my sister as best I can for a number of years now. (###### ######). I went to the Soo last weekend and watched it with her. I was concerned about how she would feel seeing herself, and if there were any ‘moment of clarity’ to come from it, I wanted to be there.

    Separate from that, and of notable interest to me, was the neighbourhood itself. The houses in Jamestown are quite old. Perhaps old enough to be considered ‘heritage buildings?’ There are pockets of neighbourhoods throughout the GTA that are considered ‘heritage.’ Old Oakville is a lovely tourist attraction with plenty of shopping, by the water, and lots of old homes with plaques detailing the history of each house. Much like Niagara-on-the-lake as well.

    The Soo is a gateway for plenty of Americans heading up north to hunt and fish. The traffic is there, and the city may want to consider giving travellers more reason to stay overnight. Perhaps creating a heritage neighbourhood out of Jamestown could be a piece of the puzzle and generate some tourist dollars.

    I’ve seen Toronto clean up Regent Park. It was considered the worst of the worst. Neighbourhoods can be cleaned up as a combined effort. Build some parks to help mask the steel plant, (the entire perimeter is a canvass for art), and have them patrolled by police on horses. Even that has tourist appeal.

    Band-aid solutions aren’t working. Promote some city self-efficacy. Yes, this will cost money, and the city decides how to spend. Will the mayor put the money where his mouth is?

  4. This is just shock value at its finest. How terrible, how could it happen, how whatever. If declaring a crisis frees up federal and/or provincial help with policing and building solutions then do it. The fact is our kids, friends, and neighbors are dying with or without our help.

  5. Its hard to make the mayor see when he IS ONE OF THOSE PPL SAYING LET THEM THIN THE HERD…. they wont declare it a crisis till 90% are dead and its easier to fix the problem… this city wreaks of dirty polocy… that smell when u come through town… thats not the plant… thats our city hall!!!… THREE parking lots full of employees on a daily out side of city hall, bon soo going to the machine shop… essar getting richer by the day… fixing the roads around the board walk before our main roads just to “make the sault soon prettier” .. talks of not just one splash pad but 2 and we dont have the funding to help our citizens, they have turned down grants from the federal cause they would have to match it… TOO MANY private companies lining their pockets… they dont want to fix the problem they want the problem to fix its self… we do have help but that help is ALREADY GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND!!! They are so over whelmed theres only so many trained workers at every place ATC,APH, SAH, Neigbour hood resorce etc… but the thing ppl dont point out is its the same ppl working between the places!!! Most of the girls they have are working at ATLEAST 2 diff places each… They are sooooo short on the help thats needed rehab isnt for every one what works for joe wont work for bob… we gotta STOP the stigma… im clean and sober thanks to the tremendace work of the APH worker Amanda Pitt who took the time to build up the trust and work with me at my speed n point in the direction of help for ME not the addict down the road… its always easy to talk when your not in some one elses shoes this problem is wide spread… look at the number of drs. Who have lost their licenses in the past decade if they got into the depth of the problem we have it wouldnt fit in an hour we would need a 4hr double disk bonus scenes box set… james town is the whole thing in a couple blocks its the best place to point to to get it all in in such a short time…. and on top of all of that to the steel worker… god bless you sir for talking… the fact that only ONE steel worker talked out… that in its self is a show of the mentality of the plant and city i have family and friends of family in that plant… that man his wife and sone are NOT the only ones dealing with their own horror stories… ONE spoke out… and the sad thing is many of those men in that plant are dealing with addiction them selves but out of what repercussion they would face none would or could talk… what was once a beautiful home has turned into a sad story…

  6. Too busy cutting our services.. raising bus fares,… neglecting our city and catering to the few chosen few in this town and not allowing/hindering new growth to our city!! We need our mayor & city council to care about the people of Sault Ste. Marie and not just how we can line their pockets!! We need to get all the dealers behind bars.. everyone of them and then the kids that are forced to go after people to collect, breaking/entering and robbing stores to get a fix do not end up shot and killed.

  7. We cant afford anything in this city! Only thing the city uses our taxes for is to pay its crews to sit st country style for all hours of the day ########### and drinking coffee, they maybe spend 2-3 hours out of their shifts sitting on their asses, how about using some
    Of that money thats wasted in country style chairs abd either make them get back to work or put the money to the hospitals or treatment centers. Cause
    Those 2-3 hour breaks isnt working for snow removal for us, might as well put it where its gonna be used

  8. “What are the stories you tell about yourself? Why do you tell them that way? How can we find connections across our stories of origin that build trust and common cause? That work then flows into the story of us: the collective narratives of challenge, choice and purpose that emerge from any community — that, in fact, help define it.” Liu, E. (2017). You’re More Powerful Than You Think: A Citizen’s Guide to Making Change Happen. New York, NY: Perseus Books, LLC.

  9. Well, the documentary wasn’t really a shocker for me, but the main problem is that for the drug treatment centres to be effective, the drug user has to ultimately see that there’s a serious problem and seek the required help. But sometimes with addictions, the addict seldom sees the problem until it’s almost too late or they’re dead. At that point between death and that point where it’s almost too late is a murky grey area that most of the public aren’t equipped to see and deal with in an expedient way. They just deal with the day to day dealings of somebody’s addiction.

    As for the city council, I have little to no faith in the council as a whole and they couldn’t organize a cock fight in a hen house. They run the city with blinders on with the mentality of “This is how it’s always been done here” mentality, which is unfortunate, not to mention that it’s an old boys club.

  10. Im sure the Mayor is well aware of the crisis in this city, but what exactly can he do? There is 2 treatment centers in this town that if these people wanted to, they can go for help. I know several people who have started and finished the program and have been clean to this day ( after 10 plus yrs) . There is help if they choose to take it. Also, how many drug busts do you see in our local news? Maybe 1 or 2 a year. Why are these cops not busting these sellers? They know damn well who they are. People are dying and OD’ing and it continues. And it will till they get help. The cops need to crack down on these dealers as well. I can guarantee the cops know who is selling what and where they live. We see more assaults, and murders lately in our local news then we see drug busts.

    • Cops can’t crack down when the city only pays 4-5 officers per day shift and 8 per night shift. Lack of funding again. Not to mention they spend a lot of their time on domestic issues. You can’t blame the cops. Their hands are tied

  11. A horribly small and inaccurate portrayal of this crisis and our city’s services. When asked what they were asking of the mayor they had no on camera response. The camera man or someone off screen gave a verbal statistic that the mayor could not verify. Neither side seemed to have documents or references to work from.

    All the stories centred around Jamestown area and only one representative from the hospital and one from an outreach centre. The impression was given that there is no other support in the city. What about our rehab facilities, detox centre, homeless shelters, school councilors, Algoma Public Health, addiction support groups, Women in Crisis and so on. Why were none of these included? What state are they in?

    You can’t declare a documentary of a city wide crisis and only focus on a small neighborhood and one economic class. How does this effect the rest of the city? Seemed to me a lack of in depth journalism and outreach.

    • I agree. They should have interviewed school principals/teachers of this one student. They could have shed some information on what led him to this point in his life. Did he ask for help from school councillors? I believe you have to attend school if you want help from councillors and the parents have to be involved. Whay kind of documentary does W5 produce without interviewing all involved. Both sides of the story. Poor production.

  12. The reason the city did not declare a crisis is because of the negative image it will project.
    Nobody will want to bring businesses here

  13. There is hope
    It’s surrendering your life to Jesus Christ with repentance.
    I’m not talking about a church or denomination.
    You will find hope you’ve never dreamed of and being born again into God’s family

  14. This was a documentaryabout the opoid/OD crisis in Sault Ste. Marie. Those complaining about it not presenting a balanced view of the Soo…..would you also expect a documentary touting the good things and charms of SSM to include this downside and less than pretty areas???

    • Wake up city council you walk by it e every day.If you live in the Soo you know its there.I see it there & I no longer live in the Sault. WAKE UP MR.MAYOR &COUNCIL. Its as obvious as the nose on your face there is corruption,maybe this problem should be taken to a higher level, the city isn’t.doing anything then go to the province, if province won’t.do anything take it to the P M if he won’t.do something take it to the queen..Its. the squeaky door. Lets prove that mayor & council are not aware whats going on in their own city.

  15. Hopefully people are aware that people from all walks of life do drugs in this town, including many professionals, doctors, lawyers, cops, and so on. It affects far more than the people you see on documentaries like this. I do believe that the mayor was playing dumb, though and really would rather not deal with it if at all possible because of all the other money draining things going on, and of course this is all the direct result of the Essar group of global thieves screwing the town to a standstill and laughing all the way to their offshore accounts.
    People seem to have this false sense of security thinking the steel mill will be fine when in fact it could go belly up at any time and leave the town far more devastated than they ever could have imagined.

  16. Wow! Our mayor did not know about this situation right under his nose? Constable Sonny Spina had an information session at the Mill Market LAST SPRING highlighting this problem and there were councillors present. This made our mayor look either dishonest or incompetent or both.

    • Both. This mayor has done this before with other issues. But in all fairness to the city, is this a Provincial problem or a Federal problem? Maybe all 3. All levels of policing. City,Opp and RCMP should be working together to slow down the flow of this drug or any drugs coming to this city. We have drug dealers making a living off the backs of these addicts which in turn, most of them are on Social assistance. Who’s paying for it?

  17. One big truth that needs to be addressed and changed immediately, was when he said that when he goes to the hospital they roll their eyes at him. It is true! Addicts and junkies are treated horribly at the hospital, and that deters them from going there for help. I’ve seen it myself, I’ve brought in a couple of young people with serious infections from shooting up, or drug induced psychosis that is brought on by meth. Begged them to let me take them for help and they complained they were always treated like dirt there, I assured them that wasn’t going to happen. My assurances were wrong, they were treated with utter disdain from the staff. It was appalling!
    If you have no empathy- then don’t work in the health field. Period.

    • THANK YOU!!!!!!!!! But of course people that are not marginalized will never see it . Or they do and obviously choose to ignore it .

  18. Wow.
    What a delusional depiction of addiction thaaaat was.
    I suppose it wouldn’t be acceptable for those who’ve made their way into the working class to be on such a documentary.
    Let’s not forget that just because one’s been financially successful, doesn’t mean they’re not apt to fall into the depths we’ve seen here.
    Addiction isn’t only affecting poverty stricken, it’s affecting wealthy, upstanding citizenS respected from birth all for the namesake they carry.
    Addiction affects the hardworking, diligent socialites, that may have better resources available to cover up their issues and pass them along as “a mistake”
    That’s what we’ve got here also.
    People making mistakes, feeling awful about those mistakes and seeking “numb” to repair it, all the while feeding that demon of despair.
    He who is so fortunate to have been housed without the worry of roof versus food isn’t exempt.
    To feel worthless, unwelcome by loved ones, or dirty to the core for one’s actions is to seek numb just as to feel accepted, worthy, and loved is to seek successes overlooked by the aforementioned, if even it’s success within ones own mental health, spiritual being.
    Acceptance of who we are is a requirement to sustaining a healthy relationship with oneself. If the families we’re in, the relationships we’ve found and peers we accompany aren’t willing or forced to change when being abusive, this addiction issue you’ve seen here is only the tippiest of the toppiest of the iceberg ready for meltdown.
    Oh and let’s not forget THEY’RE GETTING THE DRUGS FROM SOMEWHERE, I doubt the person handing it over is the same one poking it into their veins or snorting it up their schnauzers

  19. I agree we have a big problem with heroin and hard drugs in the Soo. A problem the majority of the city doesn’t see. For some kids the first time they try fentynal – is the last thing they do in life, Because they overdose immediately and die. Now that Narcan is readily available that is a first step, but people need to realize Narcan can bring someone around from an OD but it can also wear off after 20 minutes or so, bringing the overdose back on, so even after it is administered 911 should still be called. Many are afraid to call 911 for fear of being charged, the word should get out that you can’t be charged for administering life saving measures, regardless if you are also high, they didn’t mention that at all and should have. The mayor came off looking completely out of touch considering the police put out a press release not long ago about the alarming amount of Overdose calls received.

    The only thing that REALLY bothered me about the program was the lack of any balance for our city. The show painted a devastating portrait of the Soo. For someone that has never been to our city, you would think we are just steel, pollution, underpasses and trashed houses. Vice likes to do gritty documentaries, but there is a city outside of Jamestown. All the footage was shot in Jamestown or close to it. And ‘kids’ weren’t putting the ‘bored’ graffiti up around town. 1 kid was doing it, and he got caught, and he comes from a well to do family.

    As an example – the shot of the shuttered Sears store, well there is an entire mall behind that one closed store that wasn’t shown. Drug addicts are depressed and down on everything, that doesn’t mean a documentary crew can’t show the counter-balance to that. The rec centres, the bike pump park, the activities that are available here. Yes the steel plant is a lot different now, but we also have the headquarters here for the OLG etc. If I worked for tourism in this city, a show like this would make me bang my head against the wall. All the work of promoting the Soo as a place to bring business and jobs was sure not reflected in any way thanks to this show. Again, we have a drug problem, yes, absolutely true, but when you are a film crew and go to a city to shoot establishing shots of where you are, what is the problem with being fair and showing the city in a more truthful light? Don’t paint an entire city as desperately in decline because it suits your subject matter.
    Recently Rogers media cut ties with Vice Canada and pulled their channel off the air. If I worked for tourism in this city I’d be blasting off letters to the CRTC, Vice and W5 for the irresponsible portrayal of our city. How does our city recover from this bleak portrayal?? After watching I sent a letter complaining that this program portrayed an irresponsibly unbalanced view of the Soo.

      • you both clearly missed the point of the doc..this wasnt a tourist video for people to come to the sault,it was a video showing the crisis that is happening and have stigma cause of crap you posted,sorry but let it be about a serious issue and not about our tourist features.
        Video is facts,something you cant really compete with.

        • Ruthless rou, I in no way missed the point. I’ve lived it, I dedicated two years of my life to help young people with addiction here! Have you? There are also professionals with jobs that are junkies, doctors, lawyers, people in the health field. Drug addiction is not exclusive to young people in despair and Jamestown! This was sensationalized journalism, if you can call it journalism.

    • Yes, they should’ve included some of those “well to do” families that have also been subjected to the grips of addiction.
      They should also force the dealers that are from said well to do areas and their homes, cottage, boats and vehicles but apparently it’s not very becoming of them to be complaining about an issue that they have been party to the creation of.
      Yes, there are people who aren’t involved, but even those people are most likely related to someone who is.
      I’m a realist (finally) and have seen it from all sides.
      I’ve suffered through addiction, I’ve surpassed the expectations of the govt that raised me, I’ve fallen into the cracks but i climbed my way out thru the many options that are in fact available that were obviously ignored here in this documentary.
      Those people we’ve seen here have been handed many options, yet they’ve all been refused by the addicts in the episode.
      There are many people in Jamestown that aren’t addicted to anything except growing their successes, even if it’s not million dollar homes and eighty thousand dollar vehicles that they aspire to own one day, it’s still happiness that they’ve built. Many were the servers at the restaurants or corner stores that haven’t been given the respect they’d have gotten had they been dining in said restaurant or the owners of said corner store.
      Happinesses are sought by all walks of life, in all areas of town and businesses.
      Believe me when i say i know this Is a serious issue, and i know that only diligence and cooperation will remotely dent the status.
      First things first don’t judge these people. Help them.

  20. I was shocked at how bad the opioid problem is in our city. The documentary was a real eye opener for me and I’m sure for many others in the Sault. Our city desperately needs more resources and a treatment centre. It’s not enough to have one single person as a resource to the addicts in the downtown core, nor is it enough to have one addictions counsellor at the hospital. We need intake treatment programs locally with intense therapy and ongoing support after treatment. There’s a saying “it takes a village”, but with this crisis it’s going to take the entire city of Sault Ste. Marie to step up and start helping these opioid addicted people. Far too many people are dying and it needs to stop.

  21. After seeing “Steel Town Down” I can’t believe the city still hasn’t declared this a crisis. If what we all seen/heard in the documentary does not define this as a crisis then what does.

    This is an election year if the current members of council won’t label this a crisis and explore options to begin to improve things then we need to elect people who will.

    We need more treatment centres, more funding for our hospitals, more front-line workers to help people.

    If this documentary has done anything its shown everyone that there is a problem, the balls now in our court lets all do what we can to fix this problem.

    • Part of the issue there is that hospitals and treatment centres are funded by the Province and not by the City. That is where political pressure should be put as well.

      • Yes, I know that but we have an MPP and MP who should also be pushing for more funding for this issue.

        What about the creation of private treatment facilities? That’s always an option.

  22. I believe that Desiree Beck is stationed at the Neighbourhood Resource Centre on Gore St. Tomorrow, I for one am going down there to ask her what I/we can do to help with this crisis. We just can’t sit back and watch our beautiful city crumble. Please join me in our city’s fight of its life.
    Yes Bri, the mayor did look uncomfortable but that is because he didn’t know the stats concerning this issue. I blame staff for that. They only let him know what they think is a priority. I guess that they have their priorities a little skewed. The Splash Pad is definitely a priority, right?

  23. iI was a bit surprised at how badly our mayor looked in this program. He seemed surprised at what he was hearing. He looked very uncomfortable during the interview and was not very forthcoming.
    The program certainly brought home what can happen to a city when employment suffers. There is no quick fix to something like this. Thanks to our first responders, counsellors and those involved in assisting these addicts on a daily basis…its a tough scenario.

  24. I am so glad they aired this. But I do feel like it should have been longer. They barely touched the issues in this city. It’s actually been quite shocking to me too see how many people who’ve had no idea about this very dark side to our beautiful city.

    • Im not even talking about the mayor. He has to know. He’s just playing stupid. But since this has aired I’ve seen so many people saying that they weren’t aware that you could get drugs other then weed in the city. Blows my mind.
      I can’t even enter the down town area day or night with out seeing signs of it everywhere

      • I agree we have a big drug problem in the Sault!
        There are THREE other areas in our city that are in crisis also!
        This city has a population where the average age is 65yrs. This age group is growing more and more every day. Where is a plan for future safe new beds
        for ALC (Alternate Level of Care) patients? Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), who is squeezing the Care out of Health Care, is the manager of our tax monies for health in Ontario. They are also responsible for, on behalf of this Liberal Government, the idea that where ever possible ALC patients should live in their homes with Home Care despite the lack of adequate care they would receive due to the cutting back of staff and hours. This situation can inevitably lead to a bad scenario where the ALC patient plus the caregiver can BOTH end up in the hospital.

        The second crisis is a so called Nursing Home called Cedarwood Lodge opened in 2015
        under questionable circumstances to house ALC patients from the hospital.
        This Nursing Home has records of Inspectors’ Reports that when read, one finds it hard to believe it is still in operation. This Nursing Home is housed in a very old building with just a cosmetic renovation (it had already been closed by Ministry of Health and Welfare twice in past). Re-opened yet again by the same Ministry that closed it. This model is a template for all of Ontario as the Liberal Government has approved plans for funding more old buildings in the future for ALC patients.

        Seems this Liberal government and a few business people value money over the Care and Welfare of trusting vulnerable seniors with complex medical and mental problems. The very laws that are meant to protect ALC residents are being bent and twisted to the detriment of ALC residents quality of life and longevity. This is UNACCEPTABLE. We have a right to choose and vote for a change in government in the upcoming election if we are uncomfortable with the present one. We must speak with the pen.

        Another crisis in our city is the Transit Bus System. It has many flaws that do not
        serve the public. Routes and times have been changed. Buses now bypass previous stops that gave easy access to health centres etc.. Bus drivers input according to known facts was ignored by the powers that be. These drivers know their regular passengers and their destinations. Due to this bad judgement call, numbers on the bus are lower. This is a crisis for many seniors, who find the city getting more and more unsafe and edging them out in favour of private transportation. Council are elected by the people for the people. Seems this has got lost in translation!!!!!!!!!

        The Drugs, Senior Care and Public Transportation crises are slowly eating away at the vibrancy, natural beautiful and all that is good in our city of Sault Ste. Marie. We all need to wake up and act now.

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