OPDI News & Events

OPDI NewsToGo Issue #357 – August 2, 2013

Highlights include:  Ontario Poverty Strategy Update; Patient Rights; Opioids; Police Shooting; Mad Pride Hamilton; HSJCC Conference; Peer Support Software; News; and More.

Editor’s Note: Please be aware that many online newspaper sites are now behind pay-walls. Not all articles with hyperlinks may be accessible due to circumstances beyond our control; we apologize for the inconvenience.




      1.  Ontario Poverty Strategy Update

      Anything announced on a Friday afternoon (as was the case last week) by a government is generally not a high-priority event.  Thus was the announcement of a series of government consultations and opportunities to contribute online starting next Tuesday, August 6.  We have a press release:


      Ontario Government Renewing Its Commitment to Reduce Poverty<http://news.ontario.ca/mcys/en/2013/7/ontario-government-renewing-its-commitment-to-reduce-poverty.html>


      An earlier news report had the Social Services Minister saying he is hearing differing views on the Lankin-Sheikh report from 80# of the groups being consulted:

      McMeekin Says Welfare Report Getting Pushback<http://www.thespec.com/news-story/3891191-mcmeekin-says-welfare-report-getting-push-back/>


      An activist in this Op-Ed questions the ministerial will and cabinet influence to act on social assistance rates:


      McMeekin Talks But Who Can Act on Social Assistance Rates?<http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2013/07/17/ted_mcmeekin_talks_but_who_can_act_on_social_assistance_rates.html>


      As an aside, John Stapleton in his blog makes a good point that while even single parents are easing off social assistance,  ODSP recipients are trending up (single individuals on long-term disability), making it imperative to review the system:


      Social Assistance Numbers in Ontario<http://openpolicyontario.com/social-assistance-numbers-in-ontario-classic-convergence-or-something-else/#.UffFHutVTdI.twitter>



      2.  Ontario’s Highest Court Confirms Patient’s Rights on Medication


      A recent Ontario Court of Appeals decision makes clearer the circumstances under which a patient may refuse forced treatment:

      Ruling Says Hospital Can’t Force Antipsychotic Drug on Patient<http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/07/31/ruling-says-hospital-cant-force-anti-psychotic-drug-on-patient-after-questionable-schizophrenia-diagnosis/>


      The ruling can be found here:


      Ontario Court of Appeal Ruling<http://www.canlii.org/en/on/onca/doc/2013/2013onca499/2013onca499.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter>



      3.  Opioids in the News


      Concern has been raised about the newer and supposedly safer OxyNEO on the market:


      OxyNEO another Prescription Disaster<http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/family-child/OxyNEO+another+prescription+disaster/6658237/story.html>


      Meanwhile another painkiller is being misused in place of opioids:

      Fentanyl Use by Opioid Addicts on the Rise<http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/08/01/fentanyl_use_by_opioid_addicts_on_the_rise.html>

      This raises a question of why an antidote to overdosing, naxolone, has not been made available:


      Ontario Buys Naloxone and then Locks It Up<http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/07/29/drug_addiction_ontario_buys_naloxone_an_overdose_lifesaver_then_locks_it_up.html>



      4.  South Riverdale’s Memorial to Drug Use


      This is a provocative occasion in bringing out the message of harm reduction:


      A Memorial in South Riverdale Brings Drug Use Out of the Shadows<http://torontoist.com/2013/07/a-memorial-in-south-riverdale-brings-drug-use-out-of-the-shadows/>



      5.  More Reaction on the Latest Police Shooting


      This TVO staffer worked on the Edmond Yu documentary and offers a commentary:


      Sammy Yatim, Edmond Yu, Michael Eligonthe – The List Continues<http://theagenda.tvo.org/blog/agenda-blogs/sammy-yatim-edmond-yu-michael-eligonthe-list-continues>


      This Toronto Star columnist has a litany of victims to recite:


      Sammy Yatim is Edmond Yu<http://theagenda.tvo.org/blog/agenda-blogs/sammy-yatim-edmond-yu-michael-eligonthe-list-continues>


      The Ontario Ombudsman’s report in 2012 states why police behaviour in these incidents is systemically challenging civilian investigations:


      Police-Involved Deaths – The Need for Reform<http://www.ombudsman.on.ca/Resources/Articles-by-the-Ombudsman/2012/Police-Involved-Deaths--The-Need-for-Reform.aspx#.UfP3-9axyCQ.twitter>


      These are early days yet in the investigation, but in Hamilton, a similar case is dragging itself out:


      Family of Hamilton Man Shot Dead by Police Frustrated by Official Silence<http://www.thespec.com/news-story/3918042-family-of-hamilton-man-shot-dead-by-police-frustrated-by-official-silence/>



      6.  Mental Health Attitudes Compared and Contrasted


      This Op-Ed article considers how divergent public opinion can be on different people trying to cope with mental health problems:


      Mercy for Mentally Ill Begins at the Grave<http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/mercy-for-mentally-ill-begins-at-the-grave-217881561.html>


      The intersection of justice and mental health can be appalling in human dignity and excessive costs:


      Costly Criminalisation of the Mentally Ill<http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21582535-costly-criminalisation-mentally-ill-locked?fsrc=scn/tw_ec/locked_in>



      7.  Mad Pride Hamilton Gets Press


      Here’s a follow-up to last week’s successful inaugural event in the big-timey local newspaper:


      Mad Pride is dealing with an Illness<http://www.thespec.com/news-story/3913069-mad-pride-is-dealing-with-an-illness/>





      8.  Peer Support (Online and Mobile Software) Distributed to Patients


      The magical combination of peer support, gaming techniques (?!) and clinical expertise is expected to improve client outcomes:


      Mobile and Online Peer Support for Patients<http://www.mhealthnews.com/news/boston-medical-center-puts-its-faith-mobile-support-platform-patients>


      9.  Health Canada Extreme Heat Tip Sheet

      This webpage contains a good number of hints:

      Protect Yourself from Extreme Heat<http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/climat/heat-adults-chaleur/index-eng.php>


      10.Guidebook to Facebook Safety and Privacy

      This pamphlet was sourced from an American agency dealing with victims of domestic abuse; however the instructions on how to safeguard your Facebook identity are a lesson applicable to many:

      Facebook Safety and Privacy:  A Guide for Survivors of Abuse<https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-safety/safety-and-privacy-on-facebook-a-guide-for-survivors-of-abuse/601205259900260>


      11.Hangovers Can Make You Stupid

      The cognitive effects of alcohol overconsumption are recounted by psychologists:

      Hangovers Can Make You Stupid<http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/10213764/Hangovers-can-make-you-stupid.html>




      12.Provincial Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee Conference


      This takes place November 25-27 in Toronto; for more details please visit:






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      Thanks for reading!


      The Staff of OPDI


      NewsToGo is OPDI’s e-mail update providing timely and meaningful information to its stakeholders. The ideas expressed are those of the individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of OPDI. We welcome your submissions; please direct them to opdi@opdi.org. Preference will be given to material which directly relates to OPDI member affiliates and issues of concern to consumer/survivors throughout Ontario. We reserve the right to edit the length and style of all materials submitted. The current and back issues of NewsToGo can be found at http://www.opdi.org or our archive.