Sept 2018 BOH - Toronto BOH Letter re Public Health Approach to Drug Policy

Toronto City Clerk's Office logo

August 3, 2018


To: Interested Parties

Subject: A Public Health Approach to Drug Policy (Item HL28.2)

The Toronto Board of Health, during its meeting on July 16, 2018, adopted Item HL28.2 as amended, and:

  1. Directed that the report (June 28, 2018) from the Medical Officer of Health be forwarded to the following for their information and endorsement:
    1. Ontario-based public health boards, the Boards of Health in the 10 largest Canadian cities, the Ontario Public Health Association, the Association of Local Public Health Agencies, and other appropriate public health bodies; and
    2. key organizations of families of drug users and users of drugs.
  2. Called on the federal government to decriminalize the possession of all drugs for personal use and scale up prevention, harm reduction, and treatment services.
  3. Called on the federal government to convene a tast force, comprised of people who use druges and their families and policy, research, and program experts in the areas of public health, human rights, substance use, mental health, education, and criminal justice, to explore options, including best practices and equitable measures, for the legal regulation of all drugs in Canada, based on a public health approach.

To view this item and background information online, please visit:


Julie Lavertu/ar

Sent (via e-mail) to the following Boards of Health in Ontario (via e-mails to the Public Health Units), organizations, and individuals:

  • Algoma Public Health Unit
  • Brant County Health Unit
  • Chatham-Kent Health Unit
  • Durham Region Health Department
  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit
  • Grey Bruce Health Unit
  • Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
  • Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
  • Halton Region Health Department
  • City of Hamilton Public Health Services
  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health Unit
  • Huron County Health Unit
  • Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health
  • Lambton Public Health
  • Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unnit
  • Middlesex-London Health Unit
  • Niagara Region Public Health Department
  • North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
  • Northwestern Health Unit
  • Ottawa Public Health
  • Oxford-Elgin-St. Thomas Public Health Unit
  • Peel Public Health
  • Perth Public Health Unit
  • Peterborough Public Health
  • Porcupine Health Unit
  • Public Health Sudbury & Districts
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit
  • Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit
  • Timiskaming Health Unit
  • Region of Waterloo, Public Health
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
  • York Region Public Health
  • Dr. Mylene Drouin, Directrice regionale de sante publique, Direction regionale de sante publique du CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-I’lle-de-Montreal
  • Dr. Patricia Daly, Chief Medical Health officer and Vice President, Public Health Vancouver Coastal Health
  • Dr. David Strong, Zone Leade Medical Officer of Health, Alberta Health Services
  • Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health, City of Ottawa
  • Dr. Chris Sikora, Medical Officer of Health, Edmonton Zone
  • Dr. Lawrence Elliott, Regional Medical Officer of Health, City of Winnipeg
  • Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Medical Officer of Health, City of Hamilton
  • Dr. Chris Mackie, Medical Officer of Health and CEO, Middlesex-London Health Unit
  • Dr. Liana Nolan, Commissioner and Medical Officer of Health, Region of Waterloo
  • Dr. Jessica Hopkins, Medical Officer of Health, Regional Municipality of Peel
  • Pageen Walsh, Executive Director, Ontario Public Health Association
  • Loretta Ryan, Executive Director, Association of Locoal Public Health Agencies
  • Lana McDonald, Administrative Assistant, Urban Public Health Network
  • Sheila Jennings, Ontario Leader, Moms Stop the Harm
  • Sean O’Leary, Founder, Executive Director, and Outreach and Partnerships Chair, We the Parents
  • Steve Cody, Say No for Nick
  • Jennifer Johnston, Niagara Area Moms Ending Stigma
  • Healther Alce-Steffler, Co-Founder, Tanner Steffler Foundation
  • Donna May, Director, Canadian and International Focus, mumsDU
  • Andrea Kusters, Grief Recovery After Substance Abuse Passing
  • Frank Crchlow, Representative, Toronto Drug Users Union
  • Jordon Westfall, President, Canadian Association for People Who Use Drugs

cc (via e-mail):

  • Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health, Toronto Public Health
  • Elena Zeppieri, Administrative Assistant to the Medical Officer of Health, Toronto Public Health