Consider This Northumberland - September 20: Jeff Wheeldon

It has been a tumultuous few days for the Canadian federal election campaign as revelations regarding Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s use of blackface and brownface at three events in his past. And while he has apologized for his racist behaviour and attempted to explain his actions, this has dominated the news and sits at the forefront of many people’s minds. It is fodder for the political pundits about the political repercussions. In addition, it has struck a nerve amongst many Canadians and launched a discussion about racism in this country.

And yet, there is still an election that is going to happen on Oct. 21. Here is Northumberland-Peterborough South, there are people out knocking on doors, putting up signs, and holding events. In fact, my guest today just rushed in from giving an opening speech at a Climate Strike in Brighton, which I am sure he will tell us about a bit later.

 I am pleased to welcome Green Party candidate Jeff Wheeldon to the show today. Welcome, Jeff.

Consider This Northumberland - September 6: Candidate for the Conservative Party of Canada, Philip Lawrence

While we anxiously await the writ to be dropped on or before September 15, there is no doubt the federal election campaign is already underway. In fact, some would argue, locally it has been going on for nearly a year now – minus the lawn signs. As we prepare to cast our votes on Oct. 21, it is far too easy to get swept up with the party leaders in a national race. One can forget that it is not just five people in a horse race for the top job. Locally, we get to send a person to represent us here in the riding of Northumberland-Peterborough South in Ottawa. Today, we start the interviews for that all important job.

I am pleased to have in studio with me the candidate for the Conservative Party of Canada, Philip Lawrence.

Consider This Northumberland - August 30: Northumberland Drug Strategy

The situation with Opioids in Northumberland has been described on this show as a crisis. We have heard from people representing law enforcement, a mental health worker, a doctor, two addicts, a street-level drug counsellor, the leader of an advocacy organization, along with two recovering addicts. The picture they paint is as painful as it is shocking. People in our community are dying. There are others facing drug addictions. And, there were multiple calls for taking a comprehensive action to address the crisis. 

Today, we bring one more perspective to the table. And, it is one of the most critical in this puzzle: the role of the public health providers. Why? Because these are the people in charge of the Drug Strategy to tackle and reduce the harm associated with drugs and alcohol in the community from two important groups. 

I am pleased to welcome Megan Deyman, the Coordinator of the Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland Drug Strategy, AND Catherine MacDonald, substances and harm reduction coordinator at the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge Health Unit.

Consider This Northumberland - August 16: Discussion with Dr. Peter Barnett and Jennifer Cox

So far in the series on Opioids in Northumberland, we have heard from law enforcement and the role they play on the front lines. Today, we are about to hear more from the those in the field dealing with this issue directly. It would be hard to imagine anyone who sees the impact more than doctors and addiction counsellors. They experience first-hand the horrific consequences of opioid overdoses and addictions. And, while there may be some who they can pull back from the edge, there are also those who do not make it. They know the effects of these drugs on individuals, but also on family and friends and the community. We are going to hear those stories and more on this show. I am pleased to welcome Dr. Peter Barnett, Medical Chief, NHH Emergency Department and Jennifer Cox, Integrated Director NHH Community Mental Health and Addiction Services.

Consider This Northumberland - August 23: Discussion with Green Wood Coalition about opioid crisis in the community

We have certainly talked to many different people over the past few weeks about opioids in Northumberland. We have heard from a doctor, a mental health worker, law enforcement, two recovering addicts and a politician.

Their perspectives are provoking, the stories are compelling, and at times heartbreaking. But all have spoken their truth. And, we were given incredible insights into what is happening in the community around opioids from those with first-hand knowledge.

Today, we hear from yet another perspective. Once again, it’s people who work directly with those facing the painful reality of addictions and the complex challenges of helping those individuals.

As I am sure you will hear, opioids are not limited to any one demographic, but transcend all classes, all economic groups, all races, genders, and identities. But my two guests today work with people who face many hardships beyond that – not just addictions, but live in poverty,  or lack of housing,  or live with mental health problems and a host of other barriers.

With me in studio are David Sheffield, community director for the Green Wood Coalition in Port Hope, and Nicole Whitmore, facilitator of the Redpath addictions program offered through the Green Wood Coalition.

Consider This Northumberland - August 9: Adam Bureau and Kimo Frantzeskakis discuss opioid addiction

It is one thing to hear from officials about opioids in Northumberland County. But it is quite another to hear from people who have walked through the darkness of an opioid addiction.

Today, my guests have undertaken that journey and continue to walk the path towards recovery and a life without drugs. Now, before you start creating an image in your mind about these people, they are not stereotypical. In fact, one is a prominent politician and the other a new Canadian.

If there is anything that is clear about the opioid situation in the county, expert after expert will tell you, the people facing this addiction defy stereotypes. It crosses all demographics – all ages, all genders, all races, religions and classes of people. And, because of the stereotypes many people have, it makes it very difficult to come forward and share your story in public.

It takes great courage and character. So, I urge you to take a moment before jumping to any conclusions and listen to these powerful stories.

Consider This Northumberland - August 2: MPP David Piccini

It was a busy year in Ontario politics as the Ford government brought about a lot of change both in policy and in approach from education to autism and health care to business, the government has moved forward to meet its promises made during the last election.

For our MPP here in Northumberland-Peterborough South David Piccini it has been equally busy between his work at Queen’s Park as parliamentary assistant to the minister of training colleges and universities, to his seat on the finance committee. His schedule is also full of constituency work, whether it is cutting a ribbon or meeting with residents.

With all this going on, I have the nearly impossible task of trying to talk to him about all that is going on. But I am feeling ambitious today, so here we go.

Consider This Northumberland - July 26: Police fighting opioids

If you live in Northumberland County, surely there have been times when you were standing in the sunshine and look north only to see dark clouds of a storm. And you may wonder: Is it going to come here or is it just going to pass by. The recent headlines coming out of Peterborough related to the opioid crisis facing that community are shocking. In a single weekend in early June 13 people overdosed and two died within 72 hours.

Belleville Police Deputy Chief Timothy Ferguson said in an interview with CBC he hasn't seen anything like it in his 33 years in policing. Politicians. The director of the health unit activists and members of the community have been involved in trying to stem the tsunami of fentanyl, OxyContin, morphine, heroin, and codeine – not to mention the stronger and more deadly versions like carfentanyl – that are crashing down upon them. Earlier this week Belleville as police chief called for a national task force.

It could be said dark clouds surround us as Peterborough, Belleville, and other cities across the province struggle to find solutions. What is going on in rural Ontario, especially places like Northumberland? Over the upcoming weeks, Consider This hopes to explore the issue of opioids in the community through the eyes of those directly impacted.

Today we embark on this examination by looking through the lens of those who uphold the law. I am so pleased to have with me in the studio two members of the Cobourg police force to shed some light on this incredibly complex subject. I would like to welcome Deputy Chief Paul Van de Graaf and Acting Sergeant Jay Salisbury.

Consider This Northumberland - July 5, 2019: Northumberland Hills Hospital Chief Executive Officer Linda Davis and the new board chair Pam Went

An extensive interview with Northumberland Hills Hospital Chief Executive Officer Linda Davis and the new board chair Pam Went talking about the recent $1 million in new funding and its impact on local health care. Also, they provide details around the annual general meeting held at the end of June, along with their proposal to become one of the first Ontario Health Teams in the province.

Consider This Northumberland - March 29, 2019

Health and taxes. On this episode of Consider This Northumberland we have two great guests to address those vital topics.

I will be talking to Ontario Health Coalition Executive Director Natalie Mehra as part of the ongoing series on the impacts of the Ontario government's proposed changes to the health care system. Then, Cobourg Deputy Mayor Suzanne Seguin will join me to discuss the 2019 budget.

Consider This Northumberland - March 22, 2019

On this episode, I talk about two extremely critical issues facing Northumberland: health care and affordable housing.

In the first segment, we will continue our ongoing look at the impact of the proposed changes to the Ontario health care system with our first guest Duff Sprague. He heads the Port Hope Northumberland Community Health Centre, a non-profit group out of Port Hope who helps many residents in the county get primary care.

In the second segment, I talk to Cobourg Councillor Nicole Beatty, who is the point person for planning and development. We are going to talk about a new affordable housing initiative in the town.