QUEEN’S PARK – This morning MPP Jeff Yurek (Elgin-Middlesex-London) alongside Ms. Sandra Gibbons and Mr. George Habib, President & CEO of the Ontario Lung Association hosted a press conference to celebrate the one year anniversary ofRyan’s Law.
“Today marks the one year anniversary of Ryan’s Law. A law that not only allows students to carry their reliever medication, but creates a framework for asthma friendly schools throughout the province.” stated MPP Jeff Yurek.
Ryan’s Law requires schools and school boards to adhere to a provincial standard when designing asthma policies. These policies are required to have strategies to reduce asthma triggers at schools, educate teachers and parents about asthma, provide regular training to teachers and school employees, and maintain emergency protocols for students with asthma.
“The uptake of Ryan’s Law by the ministry is disappointing. I’m calling on the Minister of Education to take leadership and partner with the Lung Association to ensure the bill is fully implemented in the province.” continued Yurek. It is my hope that by the start of the next school year every school throughout the province will be asthma friendly as Ryan’s Law intended.”
“The pain of losing my son will never go away,” said Ryan’s mother, Sandra Gibbons. “But I believed that by fighting for the passage of Ryan’s Law I could help to prevent another family from going through that ordeal. “Now I hear from parents that their children’s school hasn’t even heard of Ryan’s Law and I find that hard to understand. Someone needs to explain why Ryan’s Law has been put on the back-burner.” – Sandra Gibbons
“One year later, the Asthma Society of Canada is pleased to see changes being made in schools across the country as a result of Ryan’s Law. More work is still left to be done as we continue to work with the province and school boards to implement these changes and ensure every child with asthma can safely attend school.” – Vanessa Foran, President & CEO, Asthma Society of Canada
“Schools are holding their breath, waiting for direction and support. We have worked with Ministry of Education staff and other partners to provide resources to school boards but many schools are still unaware that these materials are available or don’t know how to access them. More funding is needed to ensure that teachers and school staff receive the training necessary to recognize and respond to a breathing emergency.” – George Habib, President and CEO of the Ontario Lung Association.