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Families urge passage of Ontario NDP bill to create missing vulnerable people alerts

Written by on May 17, 2024

TORONTO — The father of an 11-year-old boy with autism and the daughter of a senior with Alzheimer’s disease, who both died after going missing, are among those urging the Ontario government to create a new alert to keep people like them safe.

An NDP private member’s bill that would implement an alert system for vulnerable people similar to Amber Alerts is being studied by a legislative committee.

Monique Taylor introduced her bill in March of 2023 and was concerned that the government was trying to kill it when the Progressive Conservatives abruptly sent it to the committee stage rather than having a debate on it.

Government House Leader Paul Calandra said at the time that he believed the bill was flawed and he wanted it to go to committee so it could be improved.

That committee hearing took place Thursday, and Taylor says the bill was inspired by the stories of Draven Graham, a boy with autism who drowned in 2022 after going missing, and Shirley Love, a senior who died in December of that year after leaving her home not dressed for winter weather.

Taylor read out supportive statements from the families, with Love’s daughter saying she believes her mother’s tragic end could have been prevented with a simple push alert.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2024.

The Canadian Press