Councillor's Corner - June 2017

Dear Friends,

As some of you may be following, I have been fighting against the slew of taxes and have been able to kill the proposed Road Toll Tax and Roof Tax. The recommendation by staff against the Roof Tax is another victory for Toronto’s hardworking taxpayers.

Currently, I am bringing forth a motion to city council in regard to financial assistance for patients with Diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes is a condition whereby the human body does not produce insulin. It is a condition that can develop as early as adolescence. Patients with type 1 Diabetes must diligently adhere to healthy eating, regular exercise, and take insulin, through which complications can be controlled or abated. Patients will also need to take insulin injections for the rest of their life.

In Ontario, there is no coverage of insulin syringes or needles through the Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP). The Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) also does not cover pen needles, syringes or lancets.

If a person is a senior (65+ years) who needs insulin and lives at home, the Assistive Devices Program (ADP) can provide $170 annually to help pay for syringes and needles. A recipient of Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) can apply for diabetic supplies, including syringes, needles, blood glucose monitors and insulin pump supplies. Ontario Works may also cover the costs of diabetic supplies (with a valid prescription and no other coverage).

Conversely, the provision of syringes and needles through supervised injection sites (also known as “safe injection sites”) is less restrictive than the provision of such supplies for patients with type 1 Diabetes. Clients of the injection sites arrive with pre-obtained drugs, then given sterile injecting supplies and instructions of safe practices.

The Government of Ontario announced an investment of $3.5 million, following approval by Health Canada, to install and operate three supervised injection sites in Toronto (South Riverdale Community Health Centre on Queen St. East and Carlaw Ave; Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre at Queen St. West and Bathurst St; and Works at Toronto Public Health near Yonge-Dundas Square).

Therefore, this motion will direct the appropriate staff to investigate the financial costs of providing supplies for both clients of injection sites and patients with type 1 Diabetes, and request the Government of Ontario to design a balanced and equitable approach.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact my office at 416-395-6401 or email me at

Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti

Ward 7 – York West