For 570,000 Ontario school children with asthma, their families and loved ones, Thursday April 30, 2015 is the day they could all breathe a little more easily. At Queen’s Park today, MPPs voted unanimously to pass Ryan’s Law (Ensuring Asthma Friendly Schools).
The legislation requires every school in the province to institute policies and procedures to make the school environment safe for children with asthma. Schools will be required to allow students with asthma to carry their emergency inhalers, with permission from a parent or guardian. The new law also replaces the patchwork of school board policies and rules with consistent standards for asthma education and preparedness across the provincial education system.
Ryan’s Law is named after Ryan Gibbons, who died after suffering an asthma attack at school. The campaign for passage of the legislation was led by Ryan’s mother Sandra and her MPP Jeff Yurek.
“The Ontario Lung Association pays tribute to Sandra Gibbons whose strength and dedication on behalf of the children of Ontario has been an inspiration to us all,” said George Habib, president and CEO of the Ontario Lung Association. “We also express our gratitude to Jeff Yurek for bringing this issue to Queen’s Park as a private member’s bill and for persevering through a difficult and protracted legislative process.”
“The Ontario Lung Association is privileged to have supported Sandra along her journey and proud to have played a role in the formulation and passage of Ryan’s Law,” said Habib.
“This legislation will ensure that children with asthma have a safe school environment where they can learn and play. We stand ready to work with our partners in government, in schools and in the community to help implement the provisions of Ryan’s Law.”