MPP still on defensive about EAs using foam pads 0
Barrie MPP Rod Jackson QMI AGENCY FILE/BARRIE EXAMINER
Barrie's MPP isn't giving up the foam blocker fight.
A private member's bill set in motion by Rod Jackson to ban the use of foam blockers in special needs classrooms at Simcoe County schools is slowly getting passed through.
It made it past second reading in the Ontario Legislature, Thursday.
"It makes me feel good to know that people understand why I feel this is important, and support this," Jackson said Friday morning. "It's a rare occasion to have a member's bill pass that quickly."
Bill 102, aptly named the blocker ban bill, was brought to Queen's Park by Jackson and passed first reading in June.
On Thursday, the MPP said it swiftly passed second reading, too.
"My hopes were high that it would pass, but I know lots of private member's bills get lost before second reading," said Jackson.
The bill received unanimous consent from all present members and passed the second reading under the Education Amendment Act.
Jackson has been vocal about his disgust with the use of foam blocker pads in special needs classes of the Simcoe County District School Board.
His blocker ban bill aims to remove blocker shields from schools and proposes a fine for their use.
"The bottom line is that many advocates and parents including myself are deeply concerned by the pre-emptive use of blocker pads in the classroom. I have two small children and I cannot imagine anyone alienating them for being different; treating them like they are a danger to society; and undermining their well-being," said Jackson in a statement.
After holding public meetings and consultations, the Simcoe County District School Board decided in June to continue the use of blocker pads in its schools.
The next steps for Bill 102 include a review and amendments by a standing committee, and then third reading.
"The committee this is going to doesn't get a lot of private member's bills sent to it, so I think it could get dealt with fairly quickly," said Jackson. "I suspect it will go quickly because the review process doesn't usually take long. I know there's going to be some amendments made, because there were lots of ideas thrown around (Thursday)."
But, getting his bill passed at third reading is the most difficult.
"The reality is, it may die on the order table before third reading. I've seen it happen so many times. But there's a willingness here to see this one through," Jackson said.