December 7th, 2015

Ontario NDP Children & Youth Services critic ensures new protections for vulnerable children

Ontario NDP Children & Youth Services critic Monique Taylor's private members bill, ensuring the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth is informed in a timely manner when there is a death or serious bodily harm to a child in care, passed third reading today in the legislature. 

As an Officer of the Legislature, the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth is charged with the responsibility of being an independent voice for children who are either in care or on the margins of government care. The advocate has been asking for notices about serious bodily harm or death since being appointed in 2008.

“Currently, the Provincial Advocate has to rely on news reports to find out about deaths or serious injuries to children in care. That is unacceptable. My private member’s bill passed today will change that,” explained Taylor, MPP for Hamilton Mountain.

Taylor said that when the provincial advocate doesn’t get full information, children become invisible.

“We have a responsibility to do everything in our power to protect our children, especially the most vulnerable – a point being driven home in the inquest into the tragic death of Katelynn Sampson,” said Taylor. “Further, given the scathing findings in last week’s report from the Auditor General, we still have a long way to go.”

“This bill is just one step in making Ontario a better, safer place for children and youth and I’m delighted it passed with the support of all three parties in the legislature. I look forward to it becoming law,” said Taylor.

Bill 117, Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth Amendment Act, 2015, will come into effect six months after it receives Royal Assent.