Lise Vaugeois MPP, Thunder Bay–Superior North

Government of Ontario

Ford Conservatives say “no” to protecting those in need during emergencies: NDP

Published on February 23, 2023

QUEEN’S PARK - NDP MPP Chandra Pasma (Ottawa West-Nepean) saw Ford’s Conservatives vote down her bill today which would have protected seniors, people living with disabilities, parents and others with mobility needs during emergencies.

If it had passed, Pasma’s Protecting Human Rights in an Emergency Act would have ensured all residents living in high-rise buildings could access food, water, and medical care by mandating the building have an emergency generator to use during power outages.

"Ford’s Conservatives are jeopardizing the safety of thousands of people by refusing to require backup generators during emergencies," said Pasma. "This government is siding with wealthy landlords and property developers over seniors and people with disabilities by voting down a bill that would have ensured our most vulnerable citizens are always protected. It signals that Ford thinks it’s fine for seniors to wait ten days without access to food, water and medical care.”

For months, Pasma has been hearing heartbreaking, traumatic stories from people who faced incredibly challenging situations due to power outages. Thousands of residents across the province signed her petition to ensure residential buildings have backup generators that are capable of powering at least one elevator, water pump and lights in commons areas during an outage.

Despite the increasing frequency of serious storms and stories from people like Lynn Ashdown, who uses a wheelchair and was trapped in her 11th-story apartment for ten days without access to food, water or medical care, Ford’s Conservatives have yet to follow through on prioritizing the safety of all Ontarians.

"I will continue fighting for what is right for Ontarians," said Pasma. “People living with disabilities, parents and others with mobility needs deserve access to fundamental necessities in a timely manner during these emergencies, and I will not give up until we make that a reality."