The Hamilton Spectator

MPP calls for missing vulnerable person’s alert

Monique Taylor says bill goes to 2nd reading March 30


Monique Taylor says it will save lives.

The Hamilton Mountain NDP MPP and opposition critic for children, community and social services has introduced a bill that would create a new alert system for missing vulnerable persons.

“If more people go missing in the future, we have this alert, we will be able to save lives,” Taylor said.

The bill was inspired by the 2022 deaths of Draven Graham, an 11year-old boy with autism from Lindsay whose body was found last June in the Scugog River, 24 hours after he was reported missing, and 80-year-old Shirley Love, an east Hamilton resident with dementia whose body was found in the King’s Forest area last December, a few days after walking away from her apartment.

Taylor said the alert will be managed by OPP working with Emergency Management Ontario and will operate similar to an Amber Alert, with notices sent out via traditiona­l and social media, and cellphones. But unlike an Amber Alert, which can be province or countrywid­e, a missing vulnerable persons alert will only be sent out in the area where the person is missing.

According to the definition provided by Taylor’s office, a vulnerable person is someone who, because of their age, a disability or other circumstan­ces, whether temporary or permanent, is in a position of dependency on others or is otherwise at a greater risk than the general population of being harmed by a person in a position of trust or authority toward them.

Taylor said autism and Alzheimer’s support groups are pushing to have an alert system for missing vulnerable persons put in place in Ontario.

“It’s going to take public outcry and public appeal, but I’m happy to do that work to make sure their voices are heard,” Taylor said.

Her bill goes to second reading March 30.

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