MPP JOURNAL for the week of February 5, 2021


David Tilson, MPP Dufferin-Peel-Wellington-Grey

Children are our future

The old saying that "children are our future" may be a cliché, but it is a true one. The quality of our society and our lives in 10, 20 and more years will depend on whether today's children grow to be well-adjusted, healthy, productive citizens.

That's why our government funds scores of programs for early childhood development, and has been devoting record amounts of money to ensuring safety, health, education and future opportunities for our youth. We have also increased government's role in supporting and working with the volunteer groups, individuals and charitable foundations that work so tirelessly on behalf of our next generations.

For example, Our Healthy Babies, Health Children program makes sure that if any of the 140,000 babies bore each year in Ontario has a health problem, it is addressed right away. And our partnership with the Canadian Living Foundation's Breakfast for Learning ensures that 135,000 Ontario schoolchildren get a nutritious meal every school day.

Despite efforts such as these, there is still work to do. Too many of our young people still face challenges ranging from lack of encouragement, to substance abuse and violence.

In a province as rich as ours, with all of the resources at our disposal, there is no reason why even one child should lack for the basic elements she or he needs for good health, safety, personal development and a future as a productive citizen.

That's why I am proud to join Premier Mike Harris in promoting Ontario's Promise, an ambitious, new partnership aimed at bringing the efforts of government, volunteer groups, the private sector and everyday citizens to focus on meeting children's needs.

The goal of Ontario's Promise is to ensure that every child grows into a successful adult. To do so, we are making a promise to every Ontario child, pledging to provide them with:
1. A healthy start
2. An ongoing, positive relationship with a caring adult;
3. Safe places with positive, meaningful activities outside the home;
4. Marketable skills through effective education; and
5. An opportunity to give back to the community.

Keeping all of these promises will be a challenge, but our government has earned a reputation for making commitments and keeping its word. Ontario's Promise is one of the most important commitments we have ever made. Keeping that promise will demand the very best from all of us, not just government.

Since the Premier launched Ontario's Promise on November 3rd, it has received a very enthusiastic response, and many offers of support: eight corporate partners have pledged to spend $23 million more to help children and youth; three agencies have agreed to sign on as Agencies of Promise, to help keep one or more of the five promises. Many more have expressed interest in getting involved.

From individual volunteers, to charitable organizations, to businesses large and small, we will need many more new partners across the province. Key communities throughout Ontario will focus local involvement as Communities of Promise, where community members, organizations and businesses can join forces. Every sector, from corporations to non-profit agencies and volunteers, will be asked to follow our example and increase the contributions it makes to children and youth.

Our government will not only continue its record-high funding of dozens of services for Ontario's young people, it will provide leadership and opportunities for all citizens to join and contribute. As our combined efforts grow, government will also have a role in tracking the results and ensuring they are fulfilling the five promises made to our young people.

To learn more about Ontario's Promise and how you can help, please visit their website to, call 1-866-ONT-KIDS, or contact my office at 1-800-265-1603.

Providing a good start and a real opportunity for the next generation is one of the most important challenges a society can take on. Our government is dedicated to doing its part and working with concerned citizens like you, in building a better future for our province and its people. I hope that you will join us.


David Tilson, MPP Dufferin-Peel-Wellington-Grey


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