Friday, 26 January 2018

Update on Bill 191 advocacy across the province

Just a quick blog to update you on the impact your letters are having.

We have received confirmation that FASD Awareness Day at Queen's Park is happening Wed. April 11 where all 115 MPP's are invited for a lunch and hear presentations from FASD individuals and organizations from the Education, Research, Health, Justice and Social Services sectors.  It is also normal to have MPP's invite particular presenters to their offices for further discussion during this day.  A big thank you to Steve Catney of Alliance Youth Services and Dr. James Reynolds of Kids Brain Health Network for providing all necessary funds to make this day happen.

We also received confirmation that Mark and Savanna from Hamilton and Mary Ann from Halton were able to get a face to face meeting with Education Minister Naidoo-Harris.  However, it was supposed to happen today but got postponed likely due to yesterday's bombshell from the PC party.

We also got confirmation a local Ottawa FASD delegation also got a face to face meeting with House Leader Yasir Navqi to talk about Bill 191 and advocate for its scheduling.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa has also extended at least two invitations to FASD reps regarding 2018 Budget consultations which is happening next week.

MPP Kiwala is currently lobbying Education Minister Naidoo-Harris to appoint a FASD rep on the Ministry's Advisory Council for Special Education.  She has received an application for this appointment.  MASCE is the provincial council who speaks directly to the Education Minister three times a year.  An appointment on this council guarantees a seat for a minimum three years and maximum six years for that person.  However, if FASD becomes recognized as its own unique exceptionality, that seat becomes permanent.  And it doesn't matter if the Minister changes or even the party.  That FASD rep remains and continues to advise.

This was brought to my attention due to the fact Assistant Deputy Minister Martyn Beckett from the Ministry of Education is collecting contact information from FASD sources in case Bill 191 does pass.  He would normally speak to the FASD rep from MASCE but he doesn't have anyone to speak to there.

And finally, the letter from the Catholic School Board of Eastern Ontario supporting Bill 191 should be sent next weekend to all provincial SEAC's, Catholic trustees, and every school in that school board.

There has now been 1187 downloads of the template letter.  The message is getting out and we are now getting replies from MPP's all over the province.  Keep up the good fight, we are definitely making progress!

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