They’ve fed on people for thousands of years, and now, if the local health officer has his way, they’ll gnaw on the wallets of Ontario taxpayers.
Bed bugs have been a nuisance for millennium but it was only last year Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews declared her government would spend $5 million to fight the insect, including $180,000 for the Middlesex-London Health Unit.
The money was meant for a single year so health officials could teach citizens how best to prevent infestations and get rid of those that occurred.
But with the next provincial budget a couple of months away, the local medical officer of health wants to make the funding permanent.
Dr. Graham Pollett will ask the health board at a meeting Thursday to request the Health ministry include funding to combat bed bugs in the base budgets of the province’s health units.
Pollett pointed to the success of a “bed bug hotline” as one reason to permanently place taxpayers on the hook for funding.
“The hotline was opened in June 2011 and the number of calls SEE MORE