Statement from Health Minister Deb Matthews and Government House Leader John Milloy on Fast-Tracking Tanning Bed Legislation
Today, Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, and John Milloy, Government House Leader, issued the following statement on the government's motion to fast-track Bill 30, the Skin Cancer Prevention Act:
"In March, our government took action to help prevent skin cancer among young people by introducing legislation to restrict those under 18 from using tanning beds. If passed, the Skin Cancer Prevention Act will help protect Ontario's young people who are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from tanning beds.
Today our government will move forward with a programming motion in order to quickly pass the Skin Cancer Prevention Act into law by the end of September. In August, both opposition parties committed to fast-track this important bill. Since then, our government formally provided notice to both opposition parties regarding today's motion, in the hopes that they will agree to join us in passing this life-saving legislation.
Unfortunately, there has been no clear commitment from the opposition parties about whether they will support today's programming motion to fast-track the legislation, which would bring us much closer to protecting a new generation of Ontarians from skin cancer.
Our government stands with several organizations who are committed to fighting skin cancer, and who encourage all Members of the Ontario Legislature to swiftly pass this bill.
This bill has already been subject to needless delays, putting more youth at unnecessary risk. The opposition blocked progress on Bill 30 last spring by extending debate on three other bills for more than 55 hours - far more than required. By running out the clock debating the Local Food Act, the Air Ambulance Amendment Act, and Co-op Housing legislation, the opposition prevented this important tanning bed legislation from moving forward.
We have a shared responsibility to help protect our young people in their everyday lives. The sooner this legislation becomes law, the more lives we can save from skin cancer. We urge all parties to keep their promise to pass this life-saving legislation as soon as possible."