on November 26, 2015 by test_editor in Archive_2015, November, Print Articles, Comments Off on November 26, 2015: Provincial Report; Legislation to Make Ontario Safer.

November 26, 2015: Provincial Report; Legislation to Make Ontario Safer.

November 26, 2015: Provincial Report;
Legislation to Make Ontario Safer.

By Yasir Naqvi, MPP Ottawa-Centre.

As the Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa Centre since 2007, I have seen first-hand how active and engaged our community is. I am proud to have worked in our community to fix problems, promote change, and implement policies that benefit residents in our community and across the province.

For example, on October 28, the Ontario Legislative Assembly passed Bill 52, Protection of Public Participation Act, 2015. This legislation will allow courts to quickly identify and deal with strategic lawsuits, minimizing the emotional and financial strain on defendants, and the waste of court resources.

In our community, I have heard about the need to preserve and protect public participation for many years and I committed to bring this issue forward. This lead to the introduction of my Private Member’s Bill, the Protection of Public Participation Act 2012 in October 2012.

I was very pleased when, last December, our government introduced Bill 52 to allow courts to identify and deal quickly with strategic lawsuits, commonly referred to as SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation).

The Protection of Public Participation Act provides a “made in Ontario” approach to the issue of strategic lawsuits. It is based on consensus recommendations of an expert advisory panel and extensive stakeholder consultations.

The legislation will help ensure that abusive litigation is stopped, without impeding legitimate actions. Anyone who has a legitimate claim of libel or slander should not be discouraged by this legislation. Note that the legislation applies to lawsuits begun after December 1, 2014, when Bill 52 was introduced.

In addition, our government has recently introduced legislation that would help build a province where everyone is free from the threat of sexual violence and harassment. The new legislation would help deliver on commitments in It’s Never Okay, the government’s ground-breaking action plan against sexual violence and harassment.

If passed, the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act would make workplaces, campuses and communities safer and more responsive to the needs of survivors and to related complaints.

I introduced a Private Member’s Bill, Escaping Domestic Violence Act 2011 which would shorten the time it takes to end a tenancy agreement for people experiencing sexual or domestic violence, to make it easier for survivors to flee abuse. I am proud that this legislation, informed by a victim of domestic violence and activists in our community, is now a part of the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan.

Ontario is supporting these priorities through a broad-based action plan that includes increased and stabilized funding to community-based sexual assault centres and hospital-based sexual assault and domestic violence treatment centres. The government is also running a province-wide public education campaign to promote a shift in attitudes and behaviours.

Our plan strengthens supports for survivors and makes the safety of women in Ottawa and around the province a priority. For more information, please visit http://ontario.ca/itsneverokay .

I want to thank our community for your advocacy on these issues. If ever you encounter an issue, or have an idea that could improve the quality of life in our province, I strongly encourage you to contact me at my Community Office at ynaqvi.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org or by telephone at 613-722-6414. I look forward to hearing from you.?

No Comments

Comments are disabled.