Kitchener-Waterloo

2 Waterloo region MPPs' private member's bills pass second reading

Private member's bills by Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife and Cambridge MPP Belinda Karahalios have passed second reading in the Ontario legislature.
Two private member's bills, one from Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife and one from Cambridge MPP Belinda Karahalios, received support at Queen's Park on Thursday and passed second reading. (Mike Crawley/CBC)

Two private member's bills proposed by Waterloo region MPPs passed second reading Thursday, meaning they will now move on to committee.

Both bills received unanimous support.

The support of Cambridge MPP Belinda Karahalios' bill came as a surprise after Premier Doug Ford said he did not support it. Karahalios' bill would make internal party elections, like those for party president or leader, more transparent.

Karahalios, a Progressive Conservative MPP, says the rules are necessary because too many parties skirt the rules. Her own husband has sued the PCs and alleges they breached the rules in the election for a new party president in Nov. 2018.

"This bill is about moving forward," Karahalios said. "It's to prevent that from happening to other people in the future."

While the PCs initially said they wouldn't support it, both the NDP and Green party said prior to the vote they'd consider supporting the bill. Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner said the bill would help Ontarians have confidence in the electoral process.

Don't separate senior couples

Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife, a member of the NDP, also had her private member's bill, called Till Death Do Us Part, pass.

The bill calls on the provincial government to create rules where seniors who are couples cannot be separated when entering a long-term care facility.

"This bill touches everyone across the province, across the ridings," Fife said.

Fife says she's heard from people across Ontario who have similar stories of being seniors being separated from each other. 

The bills were passed just before the Ontario legislature rose for winter break.

Both bills will now move to the committee stage before they go for third reading. If they pass third reading, they become law.

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