Dear friends, fellow advocates and drug policy reformers,
We have all been feeling the pain of the rising death toll in the opioid crisis, as numbers of families in mourning grow. The actions of all levels of government are inadequate considering the magnitude of the problem. We need to see leadership at the top, starting with our prime minister, Justin Trudeau. Over the past months he has spoken on a number of issues, but has been relatively silent regarding this crisis and did not cover this topic at all at town halls this summer, that some MSTH members had a chance to attend.
To help him recognize how this impacts Canadian families we propose the following initiative, which we call the Do Something Prime Minister Photo Campaign starting on November 13, 2017 – on-going after that:
- Take a photo of your loved one (4x6, 5x7, or 8x10 – bigger is better)
- If you do not have a photo cut out a purple heart from construction paper and proceed. Also use a purple heart if you are sending on behalf of a person with living experience.
- On the back write
- their name [NOTE: If you are not able to use the actual name, chose a name, every person counts]; and the year they were born and the year they died.
- cause of death (e.g. accidental fentanyl poisoning, overdose, from substance use, using a drug that was laced with fentanyl, substance use related suicide, overdosed on prescription medication, etc.) and
- your relationship (son/daughter, brother/sister, spouse/partner, grandson/daughter, niece/nephew etc.). [NOTE: Multiple people can send a photo of the same person, illustrating how many are affected by each death]
- If you wish and have room, add a slogan. First, we tried to pick one, but our strengths as advocates is in our diversity, so write your own or chose from one of these: The Deaths Must Stop! - Stop the deaths! - Do something Prime Minister! (quoting Zoe Dodd) - How many more need to die? - Stop the deaths - save the future of your country - Why Are Canadian Children Dying? This Must Stop! - Somebody's Someone - Anyone’s Child - Empty Chairs - A Picture- More than a thousand words
- Take a white envelope and draw a large black border around it (like a sympathy card).
- Send the card to [NOTE: no postage needed]: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Office of the Prime Minister 80 Wellington Street Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
- On the envelope write: SOMEBODY'S SOMEONE and please draw two purple hearts
- Your return address (optional) so the PM can reply to you.
After you have sent the photo, please post a photo of your project to one of our Facebook pages. If you are not with MSTH please let the person who initiated to campaign in your organization know when you have sent your photo. We try to keep track of overall numbers. If you want to participate, but do not want to send the photo yourself, please let me or the lead in your organization know as we can also send it on your behalf. Feel free to share this as widely as possible!
The families of MSTH