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Ontario Hansard - 19-April2021

PETITIONS

LAND USE PLANNING


Ms. Jennifer K. French: I have a petition here entitled “Revoke the MZO for the Lower Duffins Creek Wetland.

“To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“Whereas Ontario permitted the MZO on a provincially significant wetland it knew was of critical importance to habitat and biodiversity, ecosystem function, and ecological services (e.g., carbon sequestration, flood prevention);

“Whereas over 85% of existing naturally formed wetlands have already been lost in the greater Toronto area;

“Whereas the MZO undemocratically removes the period of public consultation and bypasses the planning process needed to correctly address this development;

“Whereas this development unnecessarily contradicts the federal government’s commitment to reducing nationwide emissions by 30% before the year 2030, as indicated in the 2016 Paris Agreement;

“Whereas the destruction of this wetland reduces available green spaces used increasingly by citizens through the COVID-19 pandemic to improve mental and physical health/well-being;

“Therefore, we, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:

“Revoke the MZO that allows for the destruction of the Lower Duffins Creek Wetland and ensure its protection for years to come.”

Speaker, no surprise, I wholeheartedly support this, will affix my signature and send it to the Clerks.

PLACES OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP


Mrs. Belinda C. Karahalios: “To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“Whereas worship is critical to the lives of many Ontarians, and the gathering for worship is an essential aspect of religious faith; and

“Whereas the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms recognizes freedom of religion as fundamental, and the Supreme Court of Canada has interpreted this as including the freedom ‘to manifest religious belief by worship and practice;’ and

“Whereas both the federal and the Ontario provincial legislatures have recognized religion as a human right; and

“Whereas the social, emotional and spiritual elements of worship are significant; and

“Whereas places of worship provide many valuable social services through their members to the communities they are in, and the good work of places of worship in their communities is hindered by the inability to physically gather; and

“Whereas places of worship have been diligent in observing health and safety protocols and have not been a significant source of spread of COVID-19; and

“Whereas the safety and the well-being of religious communities are best preserved through the co-operation of religious leaders and the Ontario government;

“Therefore we, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:

“That the Legislature recognize the importance and value of worship, and to include places of worship as an essential service under the reopening Ontario act, allowing religious communities to gather for worship.”

I support this petition and affix my name to it.

OPTOMETRY SERVICES


Ms. Peggy Sattler: I have a “Petition to Save Eye Care in Ontario.” It reads as follows:

“To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“Whereas the Ontario government has underfunded optometric eye care for 30 years; and

“Whereas optometrists now subsidize the delivery of OHIP-covered eye care by $173 million a year; and

“Whereas COVID-19 forced optometrists to close their doors, resulting in a 75%-plus drop in revenue; and

“Whereas optometrists will see patient volumes reduced between 40% and 60%, resulting in more than two million comprehensive eye exams being wiped out over the next 12 months; and

“Whereas communities across Ontario are in danger of losing access to optometric care;

“We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:

“To instruct the Ontario government to immediately establish a timetable and a process for renewed negotiations concerning optometry fees.”

I support this petition, affix my signature and will send it the table.

OPTOMETRY SERVICES


Ms. Jennifer K. French: I have a “Petition to Save Eye Care in Ontario.

“To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“Whereas the Ontario government has underfunded optometric eye care for 30 years; and

“Whereas the government only covers an average of 55% of the cost of an OHIP-insured visit, the lowest rate in Canada; and

“Whereas optometrists must absorb the other 45% for the over four million services delivered annually under OHIP; and

“Whereas optometrists have never been given a formal negotiation process with the government; and

“Whereas the government’s continued neglect resulted in 96% of Ontario optometrists voting to withdraw OHIP services beginning September 1, 2021;

“We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:

“To instruct the Ontario government to immediately commit to legally binding, formal negotiations to ensure any future OHIP-insured optometry services are, at a minimum, funded at the cost of delivery.”

Speaker, I am pleased to submit this to the Legislature and will send it to the Clerk.

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