toronto drug use

Pile of used drug paraphernalia on Toronto street has the internet talking

A certain Toronto mayoral candidate has caused on ruckus on the internet after posting a photo of discarded drug paraphernalia on a local street.

Former police chief-turned-mayoral-candidate Mark Saunders posted a photo from Yonge and Shuter, showing needles, alcohol swabs and other miscellaneous evidence of intravenous drug use.

"Enough is enough. As mayor I'm going to make Toronto safer," read the caption on Saunder's post, prompting a near-instant Twitter debate.

Of course, there were lots of people agreeing with Saunders, and the very common idea of criminally charging those who use substances.

But, in a twist that I bet Saunders did not see coming, many people were quick to argue that extra-policing does not stop people from using.

Others pointed out that if Saunders wasn't able to "make Toronto safer" as police chief, there isn't a good chance this would happen if he was elected mayor.

"How will you tackle addiction? The law enforcement way or the health crisis way?" read one response.

Saunders did not actually specify how we would tackle this problem, but many figured it had something to do with his police background. 

Some people also pointed out that housing, health and community services are the correct ways to address addiction and substance abuse, not charges, jail time or fines.

"What are you going to do? Relocate them? Jail them? Or treat them?" read another very, on-point comment.

It seemed that the majority of the comments were appalled at Saunders' attempt in gaining voters and questioned what exactly he did as chief to address these issues in the past. 

Perhaps one of the best responses to Saunders was this; "cool…by investing in #HousingFirst, save inject sites, redirecting police funds to addiction and healthcare, properly funding care and shelter, create safe places for people…right?" One could only hope. 

The 2023 Toronto mayoral election will be held on Monday, June 26.

Lead photo by

Mark Saunders


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