Community Town Hall with MPP Ross Romano: Part 2 – Mental Health and Addictions


Join us for a three part series of Community Town Halls with MPP Ross Romano to address questions submitted by viewers.

In this second part of the series we pose questions submitted by viewers related to Mental Health and Addictions.



  1. Good morning Gordon,

    Thank-you so much for your longstanding devotion to sufferers of opioid addiction!!

    Everyone, and I mean everyone, needs caring people like you in their lives most especially including, but not limited to, those who suffer from addiction health issues.

    Just this morning I received a phone call from a very appreciative lady, let’s call her “Jesse”, and she told me that decades ago she was addicted to a very dangerous drug which caused mayhem in her life at that time, but because of, as Jesse said, “one caring person”, she was able to overcome her addiction, and stay clean ever since, and now has her own home in the Sault that she owns free and clear, and she has a 30-year old son who she is so proud of because, despite his tumultuous early years at home, he is a gainfully employed Saultite who is very successful at his chosen career, and who she said is simply an engaging and wonderful person.

    Go figure… the power of one caring person assisting Jesse, at the lowest point in her life, and when she was ready to receive help from that caring person as you said Gordon, and the bountiful healthy garden of many lives that that simple act of care germinated in Jesse.


    People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

    And Jesse was calling me, out of the blue, to thank me for writing a few comments on

    I was grateful for the opportunity to thank her for accepting the caring help, and turning her life around so completely even though she still struggles with some things, but addiction is no longer one of them, and has not been for quite some time now.

    So thank you for caring Gordon. From the bottom of my heart.

    I will address the specifics in your most recent comment to me some time later this afternoon Gordon because, of course, you are correct about what you said to me about 0 deaths, but that does not mean that by doing what other experts on this topic in our community with decades of front-line service to opioid addiction sufferers is something that will not produce results that are close to 0 deaths, like you admitted Gordon – “will it help? Yes”, and definitely not anywhere near the upwards of 84 opioid suspected deaths in 2021 which I project will happen by using APH’s 8 month tragic stat of 56 opioid suspected death published in their October 2021 Board Report entitled, “The Perfect Storm: Covid-19 and Opioid Crisis”.

    A projected 84 actual grieving families in 2021, and as close to 0 grieving families as is humanly possible in 2022 by opening up a Mobile Safe Consumption Site (Truck) staffed by caring health care professionals, and where all opioid addiction sufferers have to do to stay alive is call an anonymous hotline and say, “Can you please send my little SCS (pronounced “little sis”) to make sure my opiates are clean so I don’t die?” affording them the opportunity to live another day until, at some point, they are willing, ready, and able to accept the help in our community to wean themselves off of their opiates to fully enjoy living with the people that they love just like Jesse did so many years ago.

    Anyhow, that’s my taxi driver theory, and I’m stickin’ with it Gordon.

    I’ll tell you about why I became so devoted to helping solve this opioid addiction CATASTROPHE on October 25th, 2021 later today. I’m feeling a little bit tired right now.

    Thank-you once again for your devotion to these very important people Gordon.

    Your caring matters.

    Mark Brown

  2. In reading your reply it is obvious that you have not had to deal with addiction. I have. I have dealt with for many years. Here are the issues with your statement that we can get 0 deaths related to any addiction. First the addict has to admit they have a problem. I have personally dealt with addicts that are living on the street and have nothing but when talking to them “they don’t have a problem”. The other thing I have seen often is that the addict doesn’t want to do the work. It is hard work when the addict is dealing with addiction. I have again often worked with addicts that go back to their addiction because they don’t want to do the work. Will a treatment center help? Yes. Will it eliminate deaths related to addiction? No. Will it reduce them? Yes. The same with safe injection sites. Will it help? Yes. Will it eliminate all related deaths? No. I personally know people that have been successfully dealing with addiction – alcohol, drugs for 30, 40, 50 years. But the people looking for solutions never talk to them.
    In the end to say that there is a solution that will provide 0 deaths is very off the mark. There is only one way to do that and even then there will still be deaths. That is complete abstinence. But even with that there will deaths from addicts that are unwilling to live without their addiction.

  3. Hi Gordon,

    Sorry for the slow response. This is the first time I am checking back in at this article.

    In any case, in order to immediately reduce the opioid-related deaths to 0 there would have to be a “Safe Consumption Site”, and more specifically a Mobile Safe Consumption Site (i.e. Truck) where those afflicted with phe health condition know as opioid addiction submit their opiates to free testing to ensure that their drugs are not going to kill them, and where the addiction sufferer is neither judged, nor arrested, and they have their opiates consumed under their anonymous, un-stigmatized care of a health professional.

    That’s how.

    There is a group in Sault Ste. Marie with an A-team Board that is trying to get through the Federal and Provincial red tape to ensure that all Sault sufferers of opioid addiction get that exact kind of respectful medical oversight that will keep them alive until there comes a day where they choose to get on a road to rehabilitation. And even if that day never comes, at least they will be alive while continuing to suffer through their addiction illness because every life has value Gordon.

    Thanks for reaching out. I appreciate it very much.

    Mark Brown

  4. I am curious Mr Brown. How do you propose to reduce the Opiod related deaths to 0. Doctors have been trying to figure that out for many, many years. I sure the experts would like to know

  5. Good afternoon MPP Romano,

    As unique as Sault Ste. Marie is, and as unique as the individual personal tramau(s) that led to each Ontarian’s, and more specifically each Saultite’s, opioid addiction, there is one undeniable common thread running through each person’s story… all of them, without exception, are addicted to opiates.

    There’s nothing unique about that MPP Romano.

    So let’s take the fact that everyone who suffers from the health condition called opioid addiction can be identified by their addiction to opiates as our STARTING POINT in the “continuum of care” that you spoke of that will, eventually, and with a lot of work, and over the long haul, and with various and consistent publicly funded and/or loving community, family, and friend personal supports assist each person who suffers from the health condition known as opioid addiction get fully back on the road to health and wellness.

    And I emphasize it will take BOTH publicly funded supports, and family, friend and community supports to ensure that each person who currently suffers from the health condition known as opioid addiction does end up recovering from their health condition.

    But after we identify individuals in our community who suffer from opioid addiction, there is a critically, and I literally mean gravely, important NEXT STEP in order to give all of them the opportunity to travel through the “continuum of care” in order to get back to a place of hope, health, and prosperity.

    That step being: Keeping all of them alive!

    If you, MPP Romano, would like to play a significant role in keeping all Saultites who suffer from the health condition known as opioid addiction alive, then I urge you to contact me, Mark Brown(I’m in the book), and I will tell you how you, MPP Romano, can get it done at very little cost to the Provincial Government.

    I’m talking, maybe, $500,000 a year to save all the lives of everyone in the Sault who has an opioid addiction. That, so we will have zero overdose deaths going forward instead of the current 2021 bloodbath of approximately 80 opioid-related deaths so far this year alone 🙁

    You and the Ford Government could undeniably start saving Sault lives as early as next week, and start to give these addiction sufferers, and their families and friendsa strong sense of hope for the first time in a very long time.

    Like I said keeping these people alive is the first, and probably most critical step.

    I can see that you care, MPP Romano, and Premier Ford will likely be grateful to you for bringing this opioid addiction life-saving opportunity to him. Premier Ford also seems to be a man who cares about people.

    I look forward to hearing from you MPP Romano. I live around the corner from your uncle J.

    Godspeed MPP Romano.

    Mark Brown

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