By Broderick Visser
Published May 23, 2021
Roman Baber confronted the Deputy Premier of Ontario, Christine Elliott on Thursday, May 20 regarding the deadliness of lockdowns.
Baber was removed from the Ford Caucus back in January of this year.
Baber’s question to Elliott
“On January 15, I warned the premier and the public that the lockdown is deadlier than Covid … opioid overdose was trending 50 per cent higher. I was accused of misinformation and removed from Caucus,” said Baber on Thursday.
In his question to Elliott, Baber talked about the number of deaths that were not associated with the virus itself — but more so the measures surrounding it.
“This week, the final numbers came in — fatal overdose rose 75 per cent in Ontario from March to December 2020, compared to the same period from 2019. Almost double the people, aged 25 to 44, lost their lives — an increase of 501. Compared that to a total of 159 people who lost their life to Covid —between the ages of 20 to 50,” said Baber.
“Every loss of life is tragic speaker, so we should try and save it. The increase of deaths from overdose alone is more than triple compared to all deaths from Covid, ages 20 to 50 — and that’s just overdose,” he said.
“That is why we are working with them on their recommendations which make imminent sense.”Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier of Ontario, MPP for Newmarket-Aurora
Elliott responded by stating she was aware of this report, thanked those who put it together and said they “take this very seriously.”
“That is why we are working with them on their recommendations which make imminent sense. However, with respect to the lockdown — that we entered into the lockdown because of these variants of concern that have caused very high transmission in our communities, that are also threatening the lives of many, many people — that’s why we had to implement the lockdown to save those lives. That’s the whole purpose of it,” said Elliott.
“Any life lost is tragic, but we need to continue with this until the time is right — until the levels are down lower before we can start exiting this lockdown because again, the goal remains the same — the health and well-being of the people of Ontario are our — is our up-most priority,” she said.
Baber’s follow up question
“Out by every member here a copy of The Star, which outlines the numbers — Ontario, ages 20 to 50, the increase … of people dying from overdose — is triple the number of people dying from Covid,” he said.
“Enough with this Covid political theatre already! All life is life and all life is precious. And these members, these ministers — they know their policies are resulting in more harm and more lives lost than saved. They ran to serve the people — not harm them. The delayed surgeries and the million cancelled cancer screenings alone will render the human toll of their fear-mongering and lockdown multiple times deadlier than Covid could ever be.”Roman Baber, MPP for York Centre
“This goes for the NDPs and the Liberals as well — why do we keep pretending when the evidence is in front of you? Speaker, I’m asking the minister, as a colleague, a mother, a human being — will she please end this human catastrophe?”
“4000 people have died from Covid-19 in Ontario.”Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier of Ontario, MPP for Newmarket-Aurora
“Well any life lost is a tragedy and we know that over 4,000 people have died from Covid-19 in Ontario and there have been losses due to the opioid crisis as well.”
According to The Star, as Baber has stated, the effects of the pandemic have killed far more people than originally thought.
Elliott states that they are working on opening more consumption and treatment services sites across Ontario.
“There are 16 that have already been approved and we’re still receiving applications from communities. We’re also working through our roadmap to wellness, our mental health and addictions plan that came out just before this pandemic struck to make sure we’re going to invest $3.8 billion over ten years in our mental health and addictions system.”
She also noted the government put $175 million extra into the program last year and an additional $176 million this year.
“We will continue to do that to protect people from the opioids crisis — but also to help them with their mental health issues. This is something that is going to last longer than the pandemic will last and we are prepared to help the people of Ontario through all of their crisis’ and with these issues.”