MPP McDonell’s Bill 54 Passes Second Reading

March 5, 2015

QUEEN’S PARK – The Right to Care Act is one step closer to becoming law after the Provincial Parliament came together to grant it Second Reading and refer it to the Social Policy Committee. During the previous Parliament, former MPP Rod Jackson (Barrie) championed the Right to Care Act and steered it through Committee.


“We owe it to 16 and 17 year olds whose families can’t care for them appropriately to eliminate the discrimination that exists against them in the Child and Family Services Act” – MPP McDonell commented. “Through no fault of their own, these children are forced to navigate an adult welfare system that often excludes them from most services. Many end up homeless, and according to Statistics Canada are 13 times more likely to be victims of violent crime. This is an unacceptable failure, especially when Children’s Aid Society professionals are willing to help arrange temporary care”.


The Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies and the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth have asked for Children’s Aid Societies to be able to offer temporary care services to children 16 and 17 years of age who reach out to them for help. The current legislation forbids them from doing so.


“This Bill has been discussed in the House twice, and this will be its second journey through the Social Policy Committee” – MPP Jim McDonell stated. “It received all-party support and was reported back unanimously for Third Reading in 2013, dying on the Order Paper when the election was called. It is time to ensure all children can access all services that should be available to them in their time of need”.