CHAAT Relaunches with Hergott back at the helm


A press release sent to SaultOnline from Robert Peace, the media relations co-ordinator for CHAAT (Citizens Helping Addicts and Alcoholics get Treatment) states they are relaunching, with the same goals.

The release reads-

Sault Ste Marie – CHAAT will be returning with a renewed focus on its roots. CHAAT Founder Dr. Paul Hergott and Communications Director Robert Peace along with other core supporters will be relaunching CHAAT to focus once again on trying to bring politicians to the table to deal with the serious Mental Health and Addiction crisis in Sault Ste Marie.
The group has abandoned formalizing into a non profit for the time being and focus on being free to speak out against the injustice and inhumane treatment of both the sick and the victims of the situation here in Sault Ste Marie.

“We have seen examples of governments in other municipalities coming together to demand action,” says Hergott. “We see Sudbury and Timmins and other municipalities demanding the province come to the table; we see provincial Members of Parliament speaking loudly for more dollars for their constituencies. Here we have silence,” said Hergott.

“Last week we had four deaths in one week attributed to drug overdoses. Contaminated drugs are entering the city, dealers are caught with tens of thousands of dollars of drugs and are set free to continue to kill more people. It is crazy!”

Robert Peace who has been responsible for the groups communications, videos and messaging will be relaunching their Facebook site later this week with a video message from Dr. Hergott.

“I have been passionate about this issue since arriving in the Soo a year ago and have felt we need to tell and publish the stories of a wide range of people in our community who have been affected by the mental health and addiction crisis,” says Peace. “It is through their stories that others can appreciate how this crisis has happened and how it will continue to destroy the community if not addressed. The systems are broken. We have many good people working in broken systems and a vacuum of leadership for change.”

CHAAT will be supporting and event on Oct. 25th at City Hall in an effort to push municipal leadership to lobby all levels of government for increased funding to treat addictions and mental health challenges.

“We need to show all levels of government that this City has had enough,” says Hergott. “We tried to work with government leaders to make this a win – win issue for them and they turned their backs on us, but we are back and ready to fight for the citizens of Sault Ste Marie.”

Stay with SaultOnline as we continue to bring you all the information around the substance abuse issues in Sault Ste. Marie.


  1. The Memorial Wall is not superfluous, it is an easier access place for us to mourn our loved ones’ passings. BTW, I find it quite offensive to repeatedly hear the ignorance towards the said wall. I learned a long time ago that if you have nothing nice to say then keep your mouth sh**. The names on said wall belong to people who are LOVED. They may be gone but they are not forgotten. Use the wall as a respectable way of proving to our government that they need to do more and I mean a lot more than what they have been doing. Do you want to help? Be the change in this community and support the efforts of all the people that are doing what they can. We can only hope that our voices are heard.

  2. God knows the mayor doesn’t care with his focus only on HIS downtown plaza. As the rest of the city literally falls apart.
    We need people like this in a big way.


    The previous iteration of CHAAT meetings were too much like an Alanon meeting – a “Narcanon meeting” with a lot of ventilation, a lot of heart-wrenching stories, a lot of thoughts and prayers but not enough substance.

    Cut through all the procedural stuff, all the committee ritual

    Have the leadership core decide what the immediate goals of CHAAT should be – presumably Harm Reduction.

    Keep the immediate goals limited and simple.

    Stuff like a memorial wall and commemorative T-shirts are superfluous.

    Focus like a laser on Harm Reduction ASAP.

    My suggestions –

    1) Apply for a Safe Consumption Site

    2) Educate all Primary Healthcare Providers on initiating and supervising Suboxone treatment

    3) Set up Anonymous Drug Testing

    Apply for a Safe Consumption Site (SCS)

    Communicate with Sudbury and Timmins to find out how they did it. Don’t need to re-invent the wheel.

    The application forms for a Safe Consumption Site (SCS) are easily available online.

    Set up with a meeting with Medical Officer of Health/CEO: Dr. Jennifer Loo at Algoma Public Health. And/or members of the Board of Health – I would suggest either vice-chair Debbie Greystone, who recently retired from being a Nurse Practitioner at SAH ER or Matthew Scott, a city alderman on the Board.

    Have Mr. Broadbent address City Council again to shame them into action, pointing out how Thunder Bay, Sudbury and Timmins have moved forward.

    Consider the possibility of including the SCS in SAH’s planned standalone withdrawal management facility. Find out who at SAH is in charge of this and meet with that person. And with Dr. Derek Garniss, Medical Director of SAH Emergency Program and Dr. Umesh Jain, Medical Director, SAH Mental Health and Addictions Program.

    Educate all Primary Healthcare Providers on initiating and supervising Suboxone treatment

    Set up meetings with Dr. Al McLean, director of the Superior Family Health Team, Dr. Jodi Stewart, Chief Executive Officer and Board Chair of the Algoma District Medical Group (Group Health Center) and Dr. Derek Garniss, head of SAH ER, about having all Primary Healthcare Providers educated on Suboxone treatment (it’s an online course). Also, include Dr. David Quon who is the doctor for the jail and the Northern Treatment Center.

    Set up anonymous drug testing

    This ultimately should be part of the SCS, but anonymous drug testing sould be an immediate priority, situated in the downtown core.

    Educate the public – over and over again – try to counter biases and popular misconceptions.

  4. Those that are currently hopelessly drug addicted likely don’t vote so, you can be sure that politicians could care less, or give a rats a$$ just for that reason alone.

    They mean nothing to them. Of course, that is only until they can manage and/or figure out a way to grift off of them, and the whole idea of helping them somehow though. That too you can also be sure of.

    Politicians only care about one thing and that is keeping their status. Well, and maybe a couple other things, like doing the least for the biggest return. To them though, there is no return on helping individual drug addicts.

    At least until maybe it’s their own son or daughter, or family member.
    But even then, unless they pass, some are just disassociated from the family all together and are merely left to their own devises. Perhaps maybe some do try to get them private help otherwise, I suppose. Maybe.

    But you can be sure that some say, &[email protected]%’em, let them stay there. You know that is exactly what politicians have been saying until now. For sure.

    Cold, cold hearts.

    This is long past due for this city though. Just have a look around. You won’t have to look far. Compassion and empathy has faded fast, even for a little city like the Soo, but it is time to bring it back!

    Here is a shout out and a thank you to both of you.

  5. This is extremely good news!!

    Thank you so much for being yet another significant citizen voice and force on this MOST IMPORTANT community matter.

    Every life is precious, and only together, through the efforts of a loving community, will we be able to help our fellow citizens out of their immediate risk of death and sickness so they have the opportunity to begin to get back on the road to self love, health and prosperity.

    I’ll do everything I can to help. People are dying!! And you and I can help prevent that.

    Mark Brown

  6. What we need is a large building,beds,people who can rehab the addicts,and a law that will allow the homeless and addicts to be rounded up,put in this facility and not let out till drug free and no longer homeless.

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