Wilson Launches Petition in Support of Asthma Protection Bill
(October 10th, 2014) Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson wants to see the government adopt legislation that will mandate all school boards to develop a comprehensive asthma policy and an individual plan for each student with asthma. Wilson’s colleague, MPP Jeff Yurek, first raised the issue in November 2013 after an elementary student from Aylmer, Ryan Gibbons, died at school after suffering an asthma attack.
“Asthma is the most common chronic condition among children and in most cases children with asthma are able to lead healthy, happy, active lives if the illness is managed using the appropriate medications and avoiding or controlling exposure to asthma triggers,” said Wilson. “As our children spend the majority of their days in school, we have a responsibility to ensure our schools are asthma friendly environments.”
Wilson’s colleague, MPP Jeff Yurek, first introduced legislation on this issue entitled Ryan’s Law in November 2013. It passed second reading, but died on the order paper when the spring election was called. He reintroduced the bill this past July and it will return to the Legislature for second reading on October 23rd. Yurek has also launched a website to raise awareness on the issue. The website can be found at www.passryanslaw.com .
“This legislation will not only enhance learning, reduce classroom disruptions and encourage fuller participation in physical activities, it will also benefit the health care system, reducing hospital visits and the associated costs,” said Wilson. “Ultimately, this bill will create a standard to ensure that every child with asthma is protected.”
Andrea Stevens Lavigne, Vice President of Provincial Programs at the Ontario Lung Association has expressed support for this legislation. “While many school boards may have procedures in place to address asthma management, [Ryan’s Law] will ensure that all schools in Ontario are safe for all our children; especially the one in five with asthma. Ontario Lung Association has resources and tools to support the implementation of this important legislation.”
Sandra Gibbons, Ryan’s Mother has also spoken out in favour of the bill. “I think that Ryan’s Law means a number of things: protection, education, and prevention when it comes to asthma. I want to make sure that all children are protected when they’re at school. Ryan was an energetic kid who loved hanging with his friends and tinkering with anything electronic. I hope that this bill, in his name, will help avoid more preventable deaths.”
Wilson is hopeful that the bill will go through, but encourages everyone that can to sign his petition. The petition can be found on his website (Click Here) or it can be picked up at any of his offices.