Start writing against bill

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MPP Jaczek

The online petition many CMGers have signed recently may have little effect against Ontario’s proposed Bill 117 (which would prohibit kids under 14 from riding as motorcycle passengers) as it is not considered admissible as a bone-fide petition.

Suzuki Canada’s public relations and racing manager, Nathan Naslund, has suggested that a signed letter mailed to your MPP would be much more effective in getting this legislation put where it belongs, in the bottom of MPP Helena Jaczek’s bird cage.

Below is the template letter supplied by Nathan that you can cut-and-paste and mail out to your MPP. Please feel free to adjust it as you see fit as the more personal a letter the more effective it is.

Jolly good, giv’er then.


To: MPP (your MPP)

From: (your name)

Re: Helena Jaczek MPP for Markham — Private Members Bill 117

As a motorcyclist living and paying taxes in the province of Ontario, I do not support Bill 117, an Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act to prohibit riding a motorcycle with a child passenger under 14 years of age, introduced by Helena Jaczek, MPP for Markham, as a private members bill.

This proposed bill is not based on any scientific research and she did not even ask people who ride what they thought of this. Motorcycles in Canada are designed for the safe use of riders and passengers and this MPP is trying to take away my right to enjoy what I consider to be a great experience with my kids.

With the cost of fuel and the economic challenges families face every day there are thousands of people in Ontario now using motorcycles and scooters as economical means of transportation to commute to work, pick up kids and run errands. There needs to be serious consideration given to the damage Bill 117 can do to families who are already facing tough economic times.

Here is the quote from a letter sent by Raynald Marchand, General Manager of the Canada Safety Council, to Helena Jaczek, MPP Oak Ridges-Markham, the Premier, and the Minister of Transportation:

"It is the CSC’s position that there is no statistical evidence to support this legislation. … I reviewed all seven Ontario Road Safety Annual Reports from 1999 to 2005. I did not find any fatalities for motorcycle passengers less than 14 years of age. I also looked at injuries for motorcycle passengers less than 16 years of age and compared them to bicycle passengers less than 16 years of age and car passengers less than 16 years of age over the same period (1999 to 2005). Ontarian children were four times more likely to have been injured as passengers on bicycles and 262 times more likely to have been injured as passengers in passenger vehicles than to have been injured as passengers on motorcycles."

Bill 117 has created a lot of turmoil in the riding community. Family trips are in jeopardy and tourists from other provinces and states are wondering how they can plan trips across Canada if they have to detour around Ontario. So much for tourism in Ontario or for that matter so much for parents being able to decide what’s best for their own families.

I am asking you as my MPP to vote against Bill 117 on December 4, 2008 during private members business.

Regards,

(your name)

1 COMMENT

  1. Yeah, I got the same reply. The stats they gave actually indicate that injuries are quite rare! I did some searching, and found that the incidence of children being struck by lightning is likely quite similar to motorcycle injuries: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1730071 There’s another article I’d like to get my hands on, that’s more recent: Epidemiology of electrical and lightning related deaths and injuries among Canadian children and youth, Inj Prev 2004;10:122-124

    This kind of comparison makes this seem even more ridiculous. Maybe material for a petition.

  2. I sent my comments to Dr. Jaczek who is Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health Promotion. I also sent my commets to her “boss”, the Hon. Margarett R. Best, Minister of Health Promotion and to my local MPP.
    So far, I only received a reply from Dr. Jaczek. Does this mean that her “boss” is not supporting Dr. Jaczek’s bill?
    Dr. Jaczek’s reply was filled with vague statistics. My next letter will ask for backup of these stats as I cannot reconcile the stats with any event of injured children while riding as a passenger on a highway in Ontario.
    Write your letter to all 3 MPPs.

  3. I e-mailed my MPP as well as the MPP who introduced the bill, and cc’d the Premier as well. I received replies from both their offices. Perhaps it’s because I made it very clear that if the bill gets passed, they will lose my vote, and in future the votes of all the kids that I take for rides on my bike.

    Al

  4. I’ve emailed my M.P.P. as well as forwarded the petition and its comments. There were over 900 signatures with some very good comments…although they may not be admissible to parliament it will still prove to be a good read for them in the hopes that common sense will prevail.

  5. you can contact your MPP’s office and ask for the proper formatting of a petition and ask the MPP to present this at QP. ask the mpp to sign the petition as well. done all the time…..

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