Progressive Conservative leadership hopeful Caroline Mulroney heard about the mental health crisis in Nipissing while campaigning in North Bay. She was told about the crisis by Mark King, the chair of Nipissing DSSAB and a North Bay city councillor. Mulroney says mental health is a province-wide issue but admits from what King told her, it’s very serious matter in the district.
Mulroney told the local media that if she wins the Tory leadership and forms the next government, it’s her intention to put a significant amount of money into mental health. She says the provincial contribution would match the federal dollars mental health now receives. “It will provide the kind of dedicated healthcare people need and also provide relief to the healthcare system,” Mulroney said. King says the crisis has reached the point where 60 percent of police calls involve mental illness or substance abuse. He says those two types of calls are driving the cost of policing upward in North Bay.
For his part, King believes he had a productive chat with Mulroney. King says if relief isn’t provided soon, mental health and drug abuse have the potential to become an issue in the June 7th provincial election. This Saturday card-carrying Tories elect a new leader. In addition, to Mulroney, also running for the top elected Progressive Conservative post are former MPP Christine Elliott, Doug Ford a former Toronto city councillor and mayoral candidate and Tanya Granic Allen, an activist.