Orangeville council supports Bill 74 to protect vulnerable people

May 11, 2023   ·   0 Comments


Orangeville town council would like to see movement toward the adoption of provincial Bill 74.

And they’re going to write a letter to the provincial government in support of the legislation.

Orangeville resident Patti Thomas appeared before council on May 1 as an advocate for her autistic daughter and other vulnerable members of the community. Specifically, she spoke about provincial Bill 74, Missing Persons Amendment Act, which has yet to be enacted.

That 2023 piece of legislation amends the 2018 Missing Persons Act regarding vulnerable persons alerts.

A vulnerable persons alert can be issued during a search for a missing person who, because of age or disability and a dependency on others, is at risk of being harmed by a person in a position of trust or authority. It’s similar to an AMBER alert.

Thomas said such vulnerable people would not have been adequately covered by the initial legislation.

She said the amended legislation was sent to the standing committee on justice at Queen’s Park but hasn’t been returned for public debate by elected members.

Doug Ford’s administration is promoting Project Lifesaver as a substitute for the regionally-specific alerts that would be issued through Bill 74.

Project Lifesaver uses radio technology and a coordinated police response to locate missing vulnerable people.

“While Project Lifesaver is a great tool, it is not what we need,” she said.

More than 100,000 people have signed a petition supporting Bill 74, Thomas said. And she asked that town council get behind the effort by tabling a motion of support for the vulnerable persons alerts.

That motion will be sent to Queen’s Park.

Deputy Mayor Todd Taylor said he realizes Project Lifesaver has its detractors, but funding for the initiative was recently announced for the Dufferin County area.

“The OPP are going to be receiving training to help them understand this further,” he said.

Councillor Debbie Sherwood suggested that Thomas approach the upper-tier county council with her proposition.

“That may be something you might want to consider because then you’re going to have all the mayors in Dufferin County,” Sherwood said.

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