Issues

Below are some of the issues Monique Taylor has spoken to at Queen's Park.

Services for the Developmentally Disabled

May 10, 2017

Miss Monique Taylor: My question is to the Premier. Children needing developmental services are made to jump through hoops to get the supports they need. Families go into debt and are threatened with losing treatment because the money that they’ve been promised doesn’t come. Cuts to special education means schools are understaffed and unable to provide the supports they need. As families struggle through teenage years, they are burdened with the thought of what’s to come as their child becomes an adult and their services are lost.

In 2014, the Select Committee on Developmental Services recommended that recipients of Special Services at Home funding not lose that funding before Passport funding is in place.

When will the Premier act to ensure that essential services continue for vulnerable young adults?

 

October 27, 2016

Miss Monique Taylor: My question is to the Premier. This week, news broke that a mother in Mississauga was forced to abandon her 21-year-old son with autism because she could not access appropriate supports for him. She has struggled for years trying to get access to services, and this government has completely failed this family and other families across the province. It just isn’t right that families are living in crisis.

Families of children with special needs should be able to raise their own children. As a mother, I can’t even imagine what this family is going through. Having to give up their child is absolutely devastating. Families trying to access supports for adults with developmental disabilities have been in crisis for years, and the Ombudsman made that perfectly clear.

Will the Premier commit to providing supports for children with autism and families instead of putting them in crisis and tearing them apart?

Hamilton Community Food Centre

April 24, 2017

Miss Monique Taylor: I have spoken a number of times in this chamber about the importance of healthy food. Last Friday, I had the great privilege to attend the grand opening of the Hamilton Community Food Centre on Hamilton Mountain. This is a project of our Neighbour to Neighbour Centre, partnering with Community Food Centres Canada. I have to tell you, this is a fantastic addition to our community.

Neighbour to Neighbour plays a vital role serving my constituents. Over the years, they have expanded to provide a number of services that support those in need. Our community food centre is a welcoming and safe space, offering food-based programs that bring everyone together to grow, cook, share and advocate for good food.

People can take advantage of the after-school program. They can drop in for the global roots lunch or a family dinner. They can get fresh, affordable and nutritious fruits and vegetables offered every week at the good food market and café. The centre also offers a language exchange program and an intercultural community kitchen, as well as support and training advocacy and community action.

The Hamilton Community Food Centre has been two years in the making. It has received support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and many other contributors. I’m delighted to see the results of that work. It will be such an improvement and such a great hub on Hamilton Mountain that will play a huge part in our lives.

I want to offer my congratulations and thanks to Neighbour to Neighbour’s executive director, Denise Arkell, her dedicated staff, and the hundreds of volunteers who do so much to make our community a better place.

Down Syndrome Day

March 21, 2017

Miss Monique Taylor: I’m delighted to rise today to recognize World Down Syndrome Day and also to celebrate the first Ontario Down Syndrome Day.

First, I want to give a shout-out to the wonderful people of the Down Syndrome Association of Hamilton, who have gathered to celebrate this day in Hamilton and are watching the Legislature as we speak. This is a particularly special day for those in Hamilton because the idea for the Ontario Down Syndrome Day had its birth with Jennifer Crowson and Alyson Kowalchyk, the president and secretary of the Down Syndrome Association of Hamilton. I want to thank them for their vision on this day, and I want to thank the organization and the many others around the province for the incredible work that they do. It is my pleasure to join with them every day, but especially today, to celebrate people with Down syndrome, to help break down barriers, to encourage inclusion and to dispel the myths and stereotypes.

I have been blessed with opportunities to spend time with some of most caring and fun-loving people, who, to this day, have to fight to have their abilities recognized. I’m proud to call them my friends, and I encourage everyone to, in the words of the Canadian Down Syndrome Society billboards, as they say, “See the Ability.”

I’m sorry that I can’t be with you today in Hamilton, but I look forward to continuing our work together in the future. Congratulations, and enjoy your day.

Remembering Ian Deans

December 5, 2016

Miss Monique Taylor: Alexander Fleming, Robert Burns, Johnnie Walker—just some of the people from Kilmarnock and its surrounding area in Scotland that the world can be grateful for. Johnnie Walker gave us his Black and Red Labels. Alexander Fleming revolutionized medicine when he discovered penicillin. Robert Burns, a poet at a time when class and privilege were accepted as the natural order, wrote of equality and global solidarity of honest working people.

We in Hamilton, and indeed, all of Canada, are truly grateful for another of Kilmarnock’s sons, Ian Deans, who chose to make Hamilton his home.

Ian Deans was the MPP for the riding of Wentworth from 1967 to 1979, a riding which included a significant part of the riding that I now represent. It is a great honour and a privilege to speak on behalf of the NDP caucus to pay tribute to him.

I would like to welcome his family and friends who are here with us today: his daughter Megan McGovern; his sons, Jeff and Ian, along with their spouses, Jenn and Melanie; his daughter Trish Folino, and her spouse, Dave McCutcheon; his sister, Janis, and her spouse, Brian Gallacher; Diane Deans, his former wife; his grandson Adrian Folino, and his spouse, Jaclyn Lee; and family friend Julia Keast. I’m glad you were all able to join us here today as we pay tribute to a remarkable man.

I also want to give a shout-out to those who can’t be with us today: grandchildren Melissa, Antony, Andrew, Sage, Evan, Willow and Henry, and great-grandchildren Elizabeth, Kaitlin, Ava, Ben and Caleb—quite an array, who I’m sure brought plenty of joy to Ian’s life.

I didn’t know Ian Deans, although I did have the pleasure to meet him a couple of times. But I’ve had the opportunity to speak to a number of people who knew him very well. From all accounts, I missed out on something special.

He is remembered as someone who cared passionately about people, someone who could relate and connect to all people from every walk of life, and he relished his role as an MPP and being in a position of one who could help those who most needed it. Perhaps that reflected his previous career as a firefighter. Perhaps it came from his love of poetry and, in particular, the work of Robert Burns. More likely, it was just who he was.

I don’t know if Burns created Ian’s passion to fight on behalf of the underdog or merely fuelled it. Either way, it made a great difference to the lives of many people when he took up their cause to fight for them. In one of his former colleagues’ words, “He worked like hell for the people in his riding, and they continued to vote for him because of it.”

He had a charismatic presence. When he entered a room, people would flock to him. He was known as a wonderful orator and debater. He did his research, and he knew the issues inside and out. When he stood up to speak, everyone listened.

He had an uncanny ability to be, at the same time, the guy next door and a respected legislator. That was reflected in his appointment as the NDP House leader during the first minority government in Ontario since the Second World War.

I know from speaking to Brian Charlton, the former MPP for Hamilton Mountain, of the significant role played by Ian in shaping him when he first arrived at Queen’s Park in 1977.

After leaving Queen’s Park, Ian became the member of Parliament for Hamilton Mountain, again becoming the House leader during his time in Ottawa. David Christopherson, the MP for Hamilton Centre, worked for Ian during this time and believes him to be a true leader among the people.

David tells this story of them driving to an event, sharing casual chitchat. When they got out of the car, Ian walked several yards ahead of them, not speaking to anyone. He went into a complete zone. Wondering if everything was okay, David asked Ian’s wife if there was a problem. She said, “No, he’s just writing his speech.” Fifteen minutes later, Ian stood at a podium, giving a barnburner of a speech that would have taken a whole team hours to write. But Ian did it in the walk towards the building.

The NDP was proud and fortunate to have Ian Deans in our ranks. But Ian was a political brand unto himself. He attracted votes from all across the political spectrum because of his dedication and commitment to the people who elected him.

After fighting fires, his fire never died. Even though he began to have health issues, he continued to run for political office later in life. Although he didn’t win, his dedication to making his community a better place never left him.

His daughter Megan tells me that she grew up in a family that lived for politics, but it wasn’t all serious. Ian enjoyed singing and playing the piano, as well as making people laugh with silly jokes.

Politics can be a demanding life, and from what I’ve been told, for those who knew him, that would have been particularly true of Ian Deans. For many, that would mean missing a lot of family events, but not for Ian. According to Ian Jr., his dad was a man of endurance. He would put in 25-hour days driving back and forth between Hamilton and Toronto, not only for the local events and meetings, but also so as not to miss his children’s events, and hockey and baseball games. That couldn’t have been easy for Ian or for his family, but to Ian, it was worth it.

To his family, thank you so much for sharing him with us. I hope you leave here today knowing that he made so many happy. Hamilton is a better place for having Ian Deans.

HairStory

October 27, 2016

Miss Monique Taylor: Last week, black youth came together to participate in HairStory, a project of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth. HairStory invites black youth to share their experiences with government services and the challenges that come with being racialized in these systems.

On Monday, I had the privilege of taking part in a listening table where these stories were courageously shared. I hear their call for more understanding about their cultures in all of our systems so that they can feel understood and included.

They spoke of how their social workers didn’t have the ability to meet their needs. They expressed the failures of child protection services, which operate as a business from 9 to 5. We all know that the care of our children and youth goes far beyond a 9-to-5 job.

Youth do not have the supports to transition out of care. Our system abandons them. These youth trusted that I and the government would act on these issues. It is the duty of our government to make sure that government services do not discriminate against cultures or ethnicities.

Hydro

September 22, 2016

Miss Monique Taylor: I rise today on behalf of the people of Hamilton Mountain, who have yet to be given any substantial relief for their rising energy costs by this Liberal government.

With the catastrophic and reckless sale of Hydro One looming, I think most Ontarians are wondering just who this Liberal government stands for. Certainly they are not concerned with the families that have been calling my constituency office in desperate need of help.

In my riding, one family with a child who has a complex medical condition requires life-saving energy use. They need use of an oxygen tank, a feeding pump, constant use of air conditioning for a respiratory condition, and many, many other medical supports that use excessive amounts of energy.

Over the past two months, this family’s hydro bill has doubled, to over $1,100. Thanks to the work of my constituency staff, last week this family found a bit of relief from our local utility company, but this does absolutely nothing to get them back the thousands of dollars that they have spent on life-saving energy expenditures and the emotional and financial strain that they have experienced. And it does nothing to save them from the inevitable rising costs of hydro that they have yet to face.

This Liberal government needs to start caring about the challenges that Ontario families are facing today and stop the sale of Hydro One.

 

June 2, 2016

Miss Monique Taylor: I’m pleased to have a few moments. I will be getting up on my portion of the debate shortly after the member finishes up his own portion.

It’s been lively in here already this morning. That’s because this is a hot topic in the province of Ontario. The people of my riding and, quite frankly, people wherever I travel within this province—this is one of the first issues out of their mouths: the price of hydro in the province of Ontario and the concerns that brings upon a family.

The members talked about blackouts that happened in 2002. Well, we have blackouts that are happening today. They may not be off-the-grid blackouts, but they’re blackouts because people can’t afford to pay their bills. That’s a concern. When we talk about dollars and the costs that go into producing a hydro system in the province of Ontario, how about the wasted dollars that they put into that energy file in this province?

I’ll be happy to go further into those things in my portion of the debate. It’s definitely something that needs to be highlighted in this House. People on the other side of the bench—the government—need to get it. I think these new members—I’m not sure what they talk to their constituents about, but when my constituents come and talk to me, it’s about how they can’t afford any higher hydro costs, that there isn’t any more money in their budget, that they struggle to turn the lights on and they struggle to heat their homes. And it’s not necessarily electric heat. It’s just keeping the lights on, keeping the house warm. Making sure there’s enough food on the table these days is a struggling attempt for many people in this province.

So for the member opposite to be talking about “it costs a lot of money for the energy file,” I think he’d better look at his own back door and see really where the money has been spent on the energy file.

Miss Monique Taylor: I’m pleased to have the opportunity to speak to this bill, the Energy Statute Law Amendment Act, on behalf of the people of Hamilton Mountain, people who, by the way, have a lot to say to me about this government and the way it handles our energy file. They have a lot to say, Speaker, and I have a lot to say, and I have to warn the government now that none of it is going to be positive, as this bill does nothing to make people feel better.

The most common complaint I hear is about the ever-increasing cost of hydro in the province of Ontario. I hear it from families who are furious that their hydro bills are going through the roof. Prices went up by 80% between 2004 and 2014, and they’re still going up. One constituent called to tell me what he had done, which he thought was a very wise approach: conservation. Quite frankly, I agreed with him, thinking that conservation was the right way to go. Then he continued to tell me the rest of his story. He managed to conserve so well that his usage went down to zero kilowatt hours, but he still received a bill for delivery charges. It just infuriated him that he had to pay those charges.

I hear from businesses that tell me about skyrocketing hydro bills and how they’re making it really hard to survive. We know that businesses are failing, thanks to energy costs. When my colleague from Timiskaming–Cochrane spoke to this bill, he told us about businesses in his riding in the north that use a lot of energy, and they actually find it cheaper to run diesel generation than use electricity. That’s incredible. One of the biggest selling points for electric cars these days is their much lower fuel costs, but diesel generators can be cheaper than electricity coming from the grid. What sort of energy system allows this to happen? People are angry about what they have to pay for electricity, and so they should be.

They’re also angry that this government is selling Hydro One, because they know that it will only add to what they have to pay. They know that privatization will mean higher bills than they’re already paying. They know that they didn’t ask for it, and they know that they never gave anyone permission to sell it. After all, Hydro One belongs to the people of Ontario—public not private. But this Liberal government comes along and says, “Too bad. We’re selling it. It’s gone. We’re selling your property.” And they’re allowed to get away with it.

So here we have a public utility that built Ontario over the past 110 years or so and a grid that has spread its tentacles throughout Ontario and facilitated the growth of a manufacturing economy, and was, quite frankly, the envy of the world. But what has this government done with that? Well, let’s listen to what the Auditor General had to say, because she had quite a bit to say about this in her report last year when she spoke about electricity planning in Ontario.

She noted that determining future electricity demands requires a huge amount of technical planning, and that this was reflected in the 2004 amendments to the Electricity Act, which required “the Ontario Power Authority ... to conduct independent planning and prepare an ‘Integrated Power System Plan.’” The Ontario Energy Board was “to review and approve the technical plan” so that the interest of consumers would be protected. That was how electricity planning was supposed to be conducted in Ontario, according to the 2004 amendments.

Sadly, that isn’t the case. As the Auditor General says, “Over the last decade, this power system planning process has essentially broken down, and Ontario’s energy system has not had a technical plan in place for the last 10 years. Operating outside the checks and balances of the legislated planning process, the Ministry of Energy has made a number of decisions about power generation that have resulted in significant costs to electricity consumers.”

She also pointed out that although the OPA developed the technical plans—one in 2007 and one in 2011—neither went forward. Instead, the ministry published its long-term energy plan, a shorter, more policy-oriented document. The Auditor General noted several problems with this plan, what she called their policy plan, and that it had no cost-benefit analysis or other alternatives.

There’s a lack of transparency. Consumers are not being informed of the reasons behind the rising electricity costs. She questioned the stakeholder consultation process, and with good reason: After a two-month consultation process, the ministry couldn’t provide her with a summary of the responses that they received. The plan was released just five days after the consultation period ended. I think that any reasonable person would agree that’s not enough time to digest the consultation and incorporate the input into the plan.

That’s a pattern that we’ve seen over and over and over again with this government. Consultations are no more than window dressing. We saw it earlier this year when the budget was introduced before the legislative committee could do their pre-budget report. Before that report was tabled, the government already had their budget written, so nothing from the people of Ontario whatsoever.

The Auditor General has also pointed out that “the ministry has effectively cut the Ontario Energy Board ... out of the picture.” One of the main reasons, Speaker, as you know, for the OEB is to protect the interests of consumers and to consider the prices and adequacy, reliability and quality of our electricity service. But with no oversight of the power planning system and a very limited oversight of the generation costs, the Auditor General notes that the OEB cannot do what it’s meant to do. That’s a problem, Speaker. The two technical plans that were submitted never made it far enough to get reviewed by the OEB, something the OEB is required to do by legislation from 2004.

The policy plans that the ministry says replace the technical plans are not required by legislation, which also means the OEB is not mandated to review them. The OEB wasn’t consulted at all over the privatization of Hydro One. It’s one of the largest privatizations of a government-owned generation asset in Canada, and the Liberal government sees no benefit in engaging the Ontario Energy Board, a board whose job it is to protect consumers’ interests. That is just more evidence of the unbelievable arrogance of this government.

This arrogance and mismanagement of our hydro system is costing the people of Ontario dearly. Smart meters were supposed to move power consumption from peak times to other times of the day. That didn’t work and it cost us $2 billion. A boondoggle, they call it—$2 billion. Think how that money could have been spent. We are starving our hospitals. We have wait-lists for residential services for people with severe developmental disabilities whose parents are unable to adequately care for them, people struggling to survive on minimal social assistance payments, autistic children over the age of five being denied treatment they were promised, yet we can blow $2 billion on failed smart meter plans. Brilliant.

We dump $1.5 billion in surplus power every year from our electricity market. The Auditor General reported last year that we actually paid $32.6 million between 2009 and 2014 for other jurisdictions to take the power we produced. And let’s not forget the gas plants scandal, Speaker—another billion dollars more down the drain, thanks to this government’s energy file. And how does the government address their abysmal record? By bringing us this bill that puts the legislative requirements in place that actually codify their bad behaviour.

As bad as the past 10 years of electricity policy have been, there has at least been a legislative framework that, if followed, would have prevented some of the worst excesses, but this bill wipes all of that away and gives the minister free rein to bring further havoc to Ontarians. Several respected professionals presented to the committee. By the looks of my time, I’ll have to try to get them in and their quotes and what they said at committee during that time, because there’s definitely a lot to say on this bill and the hurt it does to the people of this province.

Miss Monique Taylor: This has definitely been a lively debate, and I think that just really goes to the heart of the matter, which is what this does to the people of this province, what it does to their pocketbook and what it does to their hydro bill.

I was reminded of another story of a woman who lives on a disability cheque. She’s disabled, through no fault of her own. She lives in a lower-income part of town. She doesn’t turn her heat on. She heats her home by turning her oven on and opening the door of her oven. She wears a lot of sweaters and a lot of socks and a lot of blankets, and she thinks it’s okay that she lives like this. That’s not okay, Speaker. It’s not okay that people in our province live like this, in the city of Hamilton.

Take that farther up north, where the costs are that much higher, where many people are paying for electric heat. How are those people feeling? It’s so much colder.

That’s the crux of this debate. This bill went to committee, and not one amendment was passed—not one amendment. How do you put through an entire bill of this nature, that talks about our energy system in the province of Ontario, and not one amendment could be passed? Why? Because the Liberals know best. It doesn’t matter what file it is; it doesn’t matter what’s happening; the Liberals have the majority and the Liberals win. They have the first say, they have the middle say, they have the final say and that’s it. They don’t want to hear from anybody else and, quite frankly, when they have to hear from somebody else, we have to put up with the heckling and everything else that goes on. My thought is the people of this province. I wish they felt the same. 

Autism and Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) Treatment

June 2, 2016

Miss Monique Taylor: Last week, I met with a group of mothers in my riding of Hamilton Mountain. They had one thing in common: They have children on the autism spectrum.

I have to tell you, Speaker, that their experience is very different from the picture that this government tries to paint. These are parents who know their children can thrive with IBI therapy. If they’re already receiving IBI therapy, they know, because they have seen the results, even after just a few short months. If they haven’t had the opportunity to start IBI, they know because they have faith in the professionals they work with, who have told them that their child needs IBI therapy.

Despite what this government tries to say, their children and thousands of other children across Ontario are being transitioned off the wait-list for IBI with no information about what their future holds. Eight thousand dollars only gets them two or three months of the therapy that they need and that is recognized by the professionals.

I stand here today and once again I plead don’t leave these kids behind. They were told by professionals that this was the therapy they needed—the ideal candidate, some were told—and then told, weeks later, that they are no longer eligible, just because they’re over the age of five.

I say to the members opposite, stop repeating the same tired lines, listen to your constituents, grandfather these children and ensure that they get the therapy that they need.

 

May 17, 2016

Miss Monique Taylor: My question is for the Minister of Children and Youth Services. For the third time, hundreds of parents of children with autism are coming to Queen’s Park. They’re here to tell you, the government, to stop taking away life-changing therapy from children that have been waiting for years. Parents just want their children to be able to tell them what’s wrong when they’re in pain. Parents are saying, “It’s pay now or pay later.” Yes, IBI may be expensive, but not being proactive will cost this government much, much more.

Will the minister acknowledge that her plan will fail a generation of kids on the spectrum?

Miss Monique Taylor: The experts were clear that for IBI to be effective, it needs to be for a minimum of a year, but $8,000 will cover less than two months of IBI. Parents will now get to see the potential of their children being ripped away from them. That’s cruel and it’s unfair. This government is actually silencing the voices of children by not giving them the therapy that they need to communicate.

Yesterday, the city of Pickering, in the minister’s own riding, passed a resolution calling on her to reinstate funding for IBI regardless of age. The minister’s own riding, her own hometown, the people who elected her and sent her here, are calling on her to do the right thing and to make sure that they reinstate the kids for IBI.

Will the minister admit that she’s hurting families and reverse her decision to place an age cap on IBI therapy?

Challenger Baseball

May 17, 2016

Miss Monique Taylor: On Sunday afternoon, I had the great pleasure of attending the Celebrity Softball Classic at Bernie Arbour Stadium in my riding of Hamilton Mountain.

Sponsored by the Hamilton Cardinals, the Bulldogs and the Tiger-Cats, the event was held in support of the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation and Hamilton Challenger Baseball. I’m a hometown fan, and it was so great to see so many special players there, including Zach Collaros, Simoni Lawrence, Brandon Banks, Mike Filer and of course, our very own Pigskin Pete.

Having started in Hamilton, Tim Hortons is a bit of an institution in our city, and our community appreciates the great work done by their children’s foundation, allowing some kids who might not get the opportunity a vacation or to go to camp.

I’m also a huge supporter of Hamilton Challenger Baseball, who does a fantastic job of making sure that kids with disabilities have the opportunity to play baseball in the structure that suits their abilities.

Based at Inch Park on the mountain, their opening day is coming up on May 29, and I’m so looking forward to being there and seeing the smiles returning on so many faces. I encourage all members of the House to join us that day.

I also wanted to mention that regardless whether there was hail, snow, rain or a storm on Sunday afternoon, it didn’t stop anybody from filling the stadium in Hamilton and it was a great day.

Coldest Night of the Year

February 22, 2016

Miss Monique Taylor: Saturday brought record temperatures to many parts of Ontario, but it was also the Coldest Night of the Year in over 40 communities across Ontario, where thousands of women, men and children walked to raise money to support their neighbours who are hungry, homeless or hurting.

On Hamilton Mountain, it was my great pleasure to head over to St. Stephen on the Mount, which was the base camp for the walk in support of Neighbour to Neighbour, our local food bank, before we headed out with 300 other walkers.

This was the third annual Coldest Night walk organized by Neighbour to Neighbour. As in past years, it was a great feeling to see our community coming together to support an organization that puts people first.

Offering housing support, family budgeting, counselling and various food programs, Neighbour to Neighbour is a vital part of our community and we are fortunate to have the dedicated staff and volunteers who run it.

The walk on the mountain raised almost $55,000, and that was at last count. I know every penny will be put to good use.

I want to offer my sincere thanks to the organizers of the Coldest Night of the Year walk; to the event sponsors; to all who walked; and especially to the volunteers who took care of the registration, greeted us along the route and welcomed us back with a piping hot cup of chili.

The Steel Industry

November 24, 2015

Miss Monique Taylor: Today is Hamilton Day at Queen’s Park. I grew up in the east end of Hamilton, home to the steel works. For many it was a hard life. But people worked hard and many were able to forge a good future for their families.

Those who worked in the steel mills knew it wasn’t paradise. They recognized the dangers of working there. It wasn’t necessarily the future that they wanted for their kids, so they made plans. They put money away for their kids’ education. Instead of asking for big raises, they negotiated decent pensions and health benefits for when they retired. Although the work was hard and dangerous, they were comforted that they had made the best of it to secure a decent life ahead for them and their families.

Later in life, I moved up onto the mountain, an area of the city that I share with the highest proportion of steel retirees in the city. They are my neighbours and my friends. Their dream has turned into a nightmare. US Steel has reneged on agreements that it made years ago. Through decades of service, the workers fulfilled their part of the deal, but US Steel feels no obligation to fulfill its end of it. Health benefits have stopped with no notice, and people are worried about their pensions.

The government committed $3 million to a transitional fund for health benefits, but nobody knows where it is and how to access it. I urge the government, Speaker, to confirm the process immediately and allow people this badly needed funding.

Ontario Disability Support Program

May 25, 2015

Miss Monique Taylor: Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to meet with members of the ODSP Action Coalition, a province-wide coalition of advocates tirelessly fighting on behalf of people living with disabilities.

Many people with disabilities depend on ODSP for their survival, but surviving on ODSP is no small feat. Poverty-level benefits have failed to keep up with the ever-increasing cost of food, electricity and rent in Ontario, where a monthly benefit for a single person tops out at $1,100, while the average bachelor apartment in Toronto is close to $900.

Due to their disabilities, most ODSP recipients are not able to work full-time, but when their health allows, many try to work part-time, both for the sense of satisfaction it provides and because they desperately need every possible extra dollar to pay for the extra basic costs of living in Ontario.

This October, the Liberal government will cut the Work-Related Benefit for ODSP recipients. They will cut the $100 monthly benefit that supports people with disabilities to participate in the workforce. This cut will deepen poverty and will create yet another barrier for people with disabilities to participate in the workforce.

As the NDP critic for community and social services, I call on this Premier, Kathleen Wynne, and her Liberal government to reverse this cruel decision and reverse the cut to the Work-Related Benefit for people on ODSP.

Bill 42

March 27, 2013

An Act to amend the Ombudsman Act with respect to children’s aid societies

First introduced as Bill 110 (June 12, 2012) by NDP critic for Children & Youth Services, Monique Taylor, Bill 42, An Act to amend the Ombudsman Act with respect to children’s aid societies, aims to give full investigative power to the Ombudsman in relation to decisions made by children’s aid societies.

On October 4, 2012, Bill 110 (1st Session, 40th Parliament) passed second reading and was referred to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy.  However, when the Legislature was prorogued, Bill 110 died on the order paper.

On March 27th, 2013, Bill 42 (2nd Session, 40th Parliament) was introduced and passed the first reading.  To read the full text of Bill 42, please click here.

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