Ontario’s Government for the People Helps Police Save Lives

November 13, 2018

Rossmore, ON – Today MPP Todd Smith announced that Ontario’s Government for the People is helping police officers in Bay of Quinte region and across the province to save lives by enabling them to carry and administer naloxone in response to opioid overdoses like other first responders, who do not have to worry about routinely being the subject of a criminal investigation.

“Our government is making these changes to ensure police do not face unfair repercussions when they are do their job as first responders trying to save lives,” said Smith. “This change will help save countless lives while making sure police officers can do their duty without the fear of facing a criminal investigation.”

The province has amended Ontario Regulation 267/10, a key regulation under the current Police Services Act. Previously, police have been required to report to and be investigated by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) in an incident in which a civilian dies after naloxone is administered. After this change, Chiefs of Police no longer will be required to automatically notify SIU when a police officer has administered naloxone or other emergency first aid to a person who dies or suffers a serious injury, provided there was no other interaction that could have caused the death or serious injury.

Police officers will now be on par with other emergency first responders - such as paramedics or firefighters - who can carry and administer naloxone but are not subject to the same level of oversight. This is a significant change as police officers are often the first to arrive on the scene in a medical emergency and do what any first responder would do: they try to save a life.

“Today’s announcement is one of the first steps to fulfill our election commitment to support our police officers and fix Ontario’s broken policing legislation,” Said Smith. “We are continuing our work with law enforcement to keep our streets and communities safe and respect the ongoing work of frontline policing services.”

QUOTES

“On behalf of the Police Association of Ontario’s (PAO) 18,000 sworn and civilian front-line police personnel members, today’s regulation update announcement by the Ontario Government is welcome news. The PAO has long-wondered why – when all first responders (firefighters, paramedics, police officers, health care professionals) are equipped and trained to administer naloxone to a person experiencing an overdose – police officers are the only profession subjected to an investigation if the recipient of the life-saving treatment still dies from the overdose. We are pleased the provincial government recognizes how integral frontline police personnel are in the fight against this growing opioid crisis. Our members are committed to keeping Ontario’s communities safe and saving lives.”
— Bruce Chapman, President, Police Association of Ontario

“Ontario’s police leaders welcome today’s announcement, which puts saving lives first. The OACP has always maintained that our police officers deploy naloxone to save the lives of individuals who may be experiencing a drug overdose. This regulatory change will allow our frontline personnel to continue to uphold their responsibility to save lives without the concern of being subjected to an SIU investigation.”
— Chief Kimberley Greenwood, President of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police

“When this regulation was written, naloxone was rarely used as a life saving measure. We are very pleased that the government is taking a fair and common sense approach to oversight with this update to the Police Services Act.”
— Rob Jamieson, President, Ontario Provincial Police Association

“The Toronto Police Services Board welcomes this important change to the regulation as we try to deal with the unprecedented challenges associated with opioid use in our city. This exemption will benefit both members of the community who require life-saving intervention, as well as police officers who are acting to administer this critical intervention.”
— Andy Pringle, Chair, Toronto Police Services Board

“Last year, the opioid crisis claimed the lives of more than 1,250 Ontarians, and devastated countless others. Naloxone is a crucial life saving measure to help address this epidemic. We welcome this change in regulation which will enable police officers on the front lines to administer naloxone without hesitation or fear of reprisal. Bottom line is that this will help save lives.”
— Dr. Kim Corace, Director of Clinical Programming and ResearchSubstance Use and Concurrent Disorders Program and Regional Opioid Intervention Service, Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre

“This new regulatory exemption to the reporting of incidents of civilian death or serious injury where naloxone is administered, and when the cause of death is only due to the overdose, is long overdue. This change will benefit those whose lives are at risk during overdoses, as well as serve to promote the wellbeing of police officers.”
— Dave Gallson, National Executive Director, Mood Disorders Society of Canada

“When administering naloxone to temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, every second is important. CAMH supports this regulation and any measure that enhances the ability of police officers and emergency personnel to respond to the opioid crisis in Ontario.”
— Dr. Catherine Zahn, President and CEO of Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

“In the midst of an opioid crisis that is killing thousands of people across Canada every year; this is positive news as the existing regulation works against both police officers trying to save lives and drug users suffering the overdose. Other first responders who administer naloxone are not subject to investigation, but police officers endure additional oversight for providing immediate life-saving medical care to a person. Police officers are committed to public safety and continuously put the interests of the public before any personal interests, and this amendment helps support their dedication to continuing to do their job effectively without fear from oversight when they are trying to save lives.”
— Ann Marie Mac Donald, Executive Director/CEO Mood Disorders Association of Ontario

QUICK FACTS

  • Naloxone is a medication that can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose (e.g., fentanyl, oxycodone, heroin) if used within a short period following an opioid overdose. It is now being carried by many police officers for use in opioid overdose or apparent opioid overdoses.
  • Naloxone does not affect non-opioids. Administering naloxone to a person who is unconscious because of a non-opioid overdose or for other reasons is unlikely to create harm.
  • The SIU is a police oversight body, independent of the police, that conducts criminal investigations into circumstances involving police and civilians that have resulted in serious injury or death.
  • The SIU will continue to investigate civilian deaths where other factors are present (e.g. if there was any use of force against the person who received the naloxone or if a person dies while in police custody/detention).

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Ontario Creating and Protecting Jobs by Cutting Red Tape

November 6, 2018

Making Ontario Open for Business Act Will Get Government Out of the Way of the Job Creators.

Rossmore, ON — Today Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, Government House Leader, and Minister of Government and Consumer Services shared details on how the Ontario PC Government is acting to help create and protect jobs in Ontario by reducing the regulatory burden on Ontario businesses and workers.

The Making Ontario Open for Business Act will, if passed by Ontario’s Legislature, enable more Ontario employers to boost job creation and investment by cutting unnecessary regulations that are inefficient, inflexible and out of date, while maintaining standards to keep Ontarians safe and healthy.

“Businesses told us that the Liberals created a regulatory burden that chased businesses and jobs out of Ontario and we can’t afford to ignore the problem any longer” said Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, Government House Leader, and Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “This legislation is great for job creators, and great for any person looking to find work in Ontario. By reducing the red-tape burden we are once again making Ontario one of the best places in the world to invest, and create jobs. And we believe that anybody who is prepared to work hard deserves a shot at a better job.”

“Moving to a 1-to-1 ratio is a game changer for construction. The new ratio will provide more apprentice opportunities for young people across Belleville and Quinte. For too long, small and medium sized businesses were held back from hiring new apprentices because of regulations. Now our industry will finally have a system in place to close the skills gap,” said Ruth Estwick, Executive Director, Quinte Home Builders’ Association. “QHBA’s builder and renovator members are ready and excited to hire and train the next generation of skilled tradespeople.”

The Making Ontario Open for Business Act will, if passed by Ontario’s Legislature, replace the Liberals’ ideological minimum wage scheme with one that remains at $14 per hour until 2020, at which point it will rise with inflation. The Act will also replace the Liberals’ disastrous Personal Emergency Leave rules and instead ensure workers will be able to take up to three days for personal illness, two for bereavement and three for family responsibilities while maintaining leave provisions for victims of domestic or sexual violence. The Act will also open up jobs for Ontarians interested in the skilled trades by reducing journeyman-to-apprenticeship ratios at one-to-one and winding down the complex, job killing bureaucracy at the Ontario College of Trades.

“At the heart of our plan is the conviction that Ontario can once again be a great place to invest, grow and create jobs,” said Todd Smith “We’re cutting red tape, creating new jobs and telling the world, loud and clear that Ontario is open for business.”

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UPDATE

October 31, 2018

Rossmore, ON — Today, Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, Government House Leader and Minister of Government and Consumer Services, provided details on how Ontario’s Government for the People delivered on their promise to make life more affordable for families through the passage of Bill 4, The Cap and Trade Cancelation Act.

“The era of cap and trade carbon tax in Ontario is finally over,” said MPP Todd Smith.  “We promised residents and businesses in Belleville and across the province to put more money back in their pockets, to make life more affordable and to protect and create jobs. Promise made, promise kept.”

The elimination of the province’s cap and trade carbon tax will save the families in Prince Edward County on average $260 per year, reduce gas prices, and remove a costly burden from local businesses allowing them to grow and create jobs.

“Despite this recent important milestone for Ontario, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau intends to impose a punishing, job-killing new carbon tax on the people of Ontario,” said MPP Todd Smith.

Ontario is part of a growing coalition of other provinces across Canada that oppose and will ultimately repeal the federal carbon tax, which does nothing to reduce Canadian greenhouse gas emissions while raising the cost of essentials like home heating and gasoline. 

The province remains committed to using every available tool to challenge the federal government’s ability to impose an unconstitutional, punishing new carbon tax on families and businesses.

Later this fall, Ontario will release a comprehensive, made-in-Ontario environment plan to help protect and conserve our air, land and water, address urban litter and waste, increase our resilience to climate change and help all of us do our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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QUOTES

 “The existing cap and trade program represented increased costs to fuel, equipment and climate controls for wash, packing and storage facilities, and heat for greenhouses to support year-round food production in this northern climate. To reiterate, we support the repeal of the cap and trade program. The costs created by it are unsustainable for Ontario’s fruit and vegetable farmers.”
— Mr. Jan VanderHout, Chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association

“Making diesel more expensive through carbon pricing does not educate a fleet on the need to conserve fuel, nor does it incentivize it to switch from a diesel engine, since there are no viable technological alternatives. Bill 4, which reduces this price escalation through the elimination of the carbon pricing tax system, is a welcome relief to the Ontario Trucking Association and its members.”
— Stephen Laskowski, President, Ontario Trucking Association

“We would like to thank the current government for recognizing the impacts of Ontario’s cap and trade program on businesses and consumers across the province. While we all strive to protect the environment for generations to come, the tools to achieve this must be equitable and transparent, and must not sacrifice economic growth with unintended consequences. Nor should they sacrifice our ability as a province to provide safe, healthy food at a cost that is accessible to all our citizens.
— George Gilvesy, Chair, Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers

“(We) support the Ontario government’s decision to end the ineffective and job-killing tax called cap and trade through Bill 4. This was just one of the previous government initiatives that did absolutely nothing to impact the environment but only served to stifle growth in Ontario and send jobs south of the border.”
— Jocelyn Bamford, Founder, Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers and Businesses of Canada

"We are thrilled that the government is ending cap and trade, a decision that is going to save taxpayers $7.2 billion over four years. Cap and trade was a tax on the necessities of life – a tax on driving to work, picking your kids up from school and heating your home in winter. It was a tax that was doing nothing for the environment, but was funneling billions of dollars to politicians and out of Ontario to Quebec and California. We are ecstatic not just that the government did the right thing by ending cap and trade, but that they did it right away. It was what they were elected to do."
—Christine Van Geyn, Ontario Director, Canadian Taxpayer Federation

“The measures taken by the Government of Ontario, including the repeal of Bill 148 and the end of the cap and trade program help reduce the regulatory burden on manufacturers and enhance the competitiveness of Ontario’s manufacturing sector. We must continue to work towards creating a regulatory environment that encourages growth, creates opportunities for workers, increases investment and makes it easier to do business in Ontario.” 
— Dennis A. Darby, President and CEO, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

“Canadian Independent Petroleum Marketers Association supports the Ontario Government’s decision to cancel the cap and trade program. Our members are independent business owners and found the program extremely expensive and burdensome to operate and report on. We look forward to working with the government to develop a climate change strategy that is more than just another tax on businesses.

“Cap and trade was yet another tax on gasoline, driving up prices at the pumps for Ontarians and making it harder to make ends meet. Our members – independent business owners that operate retail gasoline sites - are pleased to see the program cancelled, and costs reduced for Ontarians.”
  — Jennifer Stewart, President and CEO, Canadian Independent Petroleum Marketers Association

“Ontario’s waste sector is, and has long been, strongly committed to environmental sustainability and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. Based on its requirements to establish a climate change plan that fosters positive economic outcomes and to wind down the cap and trade program in a fair and orderly manner, OWMA supports the provisions in Bill 4, the Cap and Trade Cancellation Act.”
 — Mike Chopowick, Director of Policy and Communications, Ontario Waste Management Association

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Ontario's Government for the People Taking Immediate Action to Replace the Province’s Crumbling Public Safety Radio Network

Massive province-wide modernization project will build new state-of-the-art infrastructure

Rossmore, ON – Ontario’s Government for the People is taking immediate action to keep Ontarians safe and protect communities by replacing the province’s crumbling Public Safety Radio Network, which front-line and emergency responders rely on during emergencies.

“Modernizing this network is long overdue,” said Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith. “We need to ensure that our front-line and emergency responders deserve to have reliable, modern tools and resources in place to do their jobs and have our system in line with the North American Standard.”

This multi-faceted project will ensure Ontario’s more than 38,000 front-line and emergency responders ¾ including OPP police officers, paramedics and hospital staff, fire services, provincial highway maintenance staff, as well as enforcement and correctional officers ¾ can count on the communications infrastructure, network and equipment they need when responding to emergencies.

“Paramedics use this radio network every day to relay vital lifesaving information to receiving hospitals. Improving this network is essential to ensure time critical decisions are made in support of patient care,” said Doug Socha, Chief, Hastings-Quinte Paramedic Services.

“Ontario’s Public Safety Radio Network is one of the largest in North America and yet one of the last not to comply with the North American standard,” said Michael Tibollo, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. “The daily service outages experienced with the network compromise our front-line and emergency responders’ ability to react to emergencies and put the safety of the public at risk.”

The modernization project will:

  • Rebuild the network’s aging infrastructure (telecommunications towers, antennae, shelters and technology) that provides essential public safety radio coverage across the province
  • Provide front-line and emergency responders as well as their dispatchers with the state-of-the-art radio equipment and consoles they need to manage calls and ensure the right responders get to the right place with the right information at the right time
  • Provide maintenance services to restore network connection and repair equipment for a duration of 15 years

The new network is expected to be fully operational by 2023, with new service phased in by 2021. Infrastructure, equipment and services required to set up and maintain the new network will be acquired through a multi-vendor procurement process. The new network will also present potential opportunities for generating revenue, which will benefit taxpayers. In the meantime, a risk mitigation strategy has been developed to ensure that public safety is not compromised and the current network is maintained until the new network is fully operational.

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