VICTORIA–CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill joined a group of concerned parents on the steps of the Legislature yesterday to support an Opposition bill that calls on the public school system to protect children with life-threatening allergies.
O’Neill, whose granddaughter has extreme allergies, joined Sara Shannon, an Ontario mother who lost her 10-year-old daughter Sabrina in 2003, to call for a B.C. version of “Sabrina’s Law”. The Law was adopted in Ontario after Shannon’s daughter died at school from inadvertently consuming fries that were likely contaminated with a dairy protein to which she was highly allergic.
“We need this law to ensure the safety of our children,” said O’Neill, who was accompanied on the steps by Shannon, NDP Education critic David Cubberley, and CUPE 873 ambulance paramedic B.J. Chute.
Shannon will meet today with Education Minister Shirley Bond in the hope of convincing the BC Liberal government to pass Bill M210. The Bill, introduced by Cubberley in March, would support up to 13,000 children in B.C. schools who are at risk of anaphylaxis, a potentially lethal form of allergic reaction.
Later this week, at CUPE BC’s 44th annual convention, an emergency resolution supporting Bill M210 will be brought to the floor.