QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Jim McDonell introduced two Private Member’s Bills in this session regarding children’s services and labour relations.
Bill 54 resurrects the previous session’s Bill 88, which would allow 16 and 17 year old Ontarians to reach out to their local Children’s Aid Society for help and assistance in obtaining a temporary care arrangement if their family is proven to be not able to care for them.
“Under the current system, the CAS can provide services to 16 and 17 year olds that were already in its care, but has to turn away the same children if they approach them for the first time” – said MPP Jim McDonell. “This discrimination leaves 16 and 17 year olds unable to access essential support services and they are often forced to resort to homeless shelters. They deserve better and Bill 54 rectifies the situation by allowing them to seek CAS support if they feel they need it.”
“The Cornwall and SD&G Children’s Aid Society welcomes efforts to ensure all children in Ontario can access the services they are entitled to” – said Rachel Daigneault, Executive Director. “We continue to advocate for a full reform of child protection in Ontario that would see the age of protection raised to 18, however Bill 54 is a step in the right direction. At that age, children need supporting and nurturing environments. The CAS will be able to provide those when they are needed.”
MPP McDonell also introduced Bill 62, which if enacted will ensure all employees can vote on whether they want to be certified with a labour union, including in the construction industry.
“Under current rules, the card-check system is misused by certifying an entire business based on the attendance of a small number of workers during a quiet shift, often on weekends” – MPP Jim McDonell commented. “Bill 62 ensures all workers can have a fair, informed and democratic vote on certification. Bill 62 also makes proceedings before the Labour Relations Board fairer by enshrining the presumption of innocence for all respondents and changing the remedy for proven or alleged anti-union activity to a democratic vote, regardless of current union enrolment in the workplace. It’s important for all stakeholders to work as partners to achieve prosperity: Bill 62 serves to restore mutual trust between employers, workers and trade unions.”
MPP Jim McDonell’s next ballot date is March 5, 2015, when bill 54 will be debated.