Ontarians Standing With Military Families



    McGuinty Government Introduces Legislation That Would Ensure Faster
    Access To OHIP Coverage, Job Protection For Reservists

    TORONTO, Dec. 3 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is standing with those
who serve in the military and the reserves by introducing legislation that
would, if passed, provide immediate access to OHIP for eligible military
families and protect the jobs of reservists who are called up to duty.
    "When asked to make sacrifices on our behalf, our men and women in
uniform do not hesitate, so when it comes to accessing government services,
they and their families shouldn't have to wait," said Premier Dalton McGuinty.
    "Compared to what they do for us, these are modest measures, but it is
our hope that they will make military families' lives a little easier, and
provide our soldiers with some peace of mind."
    The legislation, if passed, would also remove the 90-day waiting period
for services insured under OHIP for military families. Military families
transferred to Ontario from other provinces or from overseas are sometimes
required to pay physician fees up front during the waiting period. The new
policy is expected to benefit approximately 8,500 military family members each
year.
    "People who serve our country should not have to face an additional
burden of paying fees up front for publicly funded heath care for their
families. This legislation, if passed, would ensure that military families
have immediate access to coverage for the full range of provincially funded
health care services," said Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and
Long-Term Care George Smitherman.
    The proposed legislation would also ensure that military reservists have
job protection while on a tour of duty either at home or abroad. There are
about 12,000 reservists from Ontario, with several hundred serving abroad at
any one time.
    "Job-protected leave for reservists would acknowledge the service and
sacrifice these citizens render their country and community. Ontarians who put
their lives on the line to serve our country should never have to worry that
their civilian jobs back home are on the line," said Labour Minister Brad
Duguid.
    Premier McGuinty met with military families today to outline the changes
and thank them for their service and sacrifices.
    "Canadian Forces members and reservists do a tough job, often in
difficult conditions. They stand ready to protect us - we have to make sure
our province stands with them," he said.

    Disponible en français

    
                           www.ontario.ca/premier
    





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For further information: Premier's Media Office, (416) 314-8975

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