Queen’s Park: In a rare demonstration of goodwill among members of the three political parties, the First Responders Day Act was passed into law today.
The legislation proclaims May 1st of each year as First Responders Day.
The Private Member’s Bill, proposed by Newmarket-Aurora MPP Frank Klees received the unanimous support of all three parties when it was debated for Second Reading on October 4th last year, but was never proclaimed into law because the legislature was prorogued.
Klees re-introduced his bill on February 28th earlier this year with the following appeal to the legislature…
”The bill I have just introduced for First Reading is identical to the one that received the unanimous support of all three parties when it was debated on October 4th of last year.
”Given that all three parties supported the bill at Second Reading prior to the legislature being prorogued, it is my hope that we can get unanimous consent to move the bill to Third Reading without further debate and have it proclaimed into law.”
That hope was realized today, when a unanimous consent motion was passed by the legislature.
”The intention of the bill,” said Klees “is that whether it’s through statements in the legislature, or recognition in municipal offices across the province or tributes in school assemblies, we would take the time to acknowledge that our communities are safe, our homes are protected and our lives are secure, because of the dedication of the First Responders in our communities.”
Klees credits his constituent Vali Stone for the inspiration for the bill after she presented him with her book entitled, ’911-True Tales of Courage and Compassion’ in which she documents real life episodes of First Responders.
“On behalf of our First Responders, who include police officers, firefighters, military personnel, paramedics, medical evacuation pilots, dispatchers, nurses, doctors, emergency medical technicians and emergency managers,” said Klees. “I want to thank my colleagues in the legislature for their support of this bill. Without their unanimous support, this would not have been possible.”