QUEEN’S PARK – Monique Taylor (Hamilton Mountain), NDP critic for Children, Community, and Social Services, tabled a bill yesterday that would create a new alert for missing vulnerable persons.
“Last year, the Lindsay community mourned the loss of a young boy who tragically lost his life several days after going missing from his home,” said Taylor. “An Amber Alert could not be issued to help the community’s search. As a result, tragedy struck, and a family was left heartbroken.”
At present, Amber Alerts can only be issued for an abducted child under the age of 17. Taylor’s bill would allow the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) to send an emergency alert for any vulnerable person who goes missing from home, which could include a person with autism, Alzheimer’s, dementia, etc.
In another tragedy last year, a senior with dementia passed away in Hamilton after she left home, not dressed for the weather. Someone in her circumstance would be covered under the new alert.
“This bill fills an important gap in the current emergency alert system,”, said Taylor. “It would ensure that the OPP are able to send targeted, regional alerts to help find vulnerable people when they go missing and make sure they get home safely. This is an important tool families can use to help find their loved ones in an unthinkable situation.”
Several city councils have passed resolutions calling for this type of alert to be created, including Brighton, Cobourg, Mississauga, Magnetawan, and Mattawa.
Taylor’s bill is a common-sense proposal to help missing vulnerable persons find their way safely home.
“I am confident in this solution,” said Taylor. “I am proud to put forward this bill and I hope that the Ford government will help us help make the system safer for vulnerable people across the province.”