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Bill 126 - An Act to Protect Ontario’s Inactive Cemeteries

On November 2, 2010, Mr Jim Brownell, MPP (Stormont, Dundas, South Glengarry) rose in the Ontario Legislative Assembly and introduced Bill 126, An Act to Protect Ontario’s Inactive Cemeteries. The Bill prohibits the relocation of inactive cemeteries despite anything to the contrary in another Act or regulation dealing with cemeteries.

The Bill is available on-line for your scrutiny.

Bill 126 is essentially a re-introduction of Bill 149 that Jim Brownell presented in the previous sitting of the Assembly. Bill 149 had received 2nd Reading and was in Committee when the Assembly was prorogued and the Bill died.

This is the 1st Reading of the Bill. There is no indication of when the Bill will come up for 2nd Reading. OGS will continue to follow the progression of this Bill and post updates as they occur.

This is an extremely important piece of legislation that will protect the pioneer cemeteries that are found across the province. They tell the story of our ancestors and must be protected from those who have no regard for the history and culture of those who settled this Province and made Ontario the place it is today.

What Can You Do?

You can provide invaluable support for this Bill that will protect our cemeteries.

First, you can contact your MPP as well as others in the government and tell them that you want the Bill to be passed so the cemeteries are protected and your past is preserved. You can telephone these people or write them a note by mail or send them an email. Please be polite but firm in your communication so that they understand what you want to happen. Tell them how you feel about the issue.

Here are some topics you can mention in your letter:

  1. The sanctity of the deceased is of paramount concern.
  2. The deceased have a right to rest in peace in the tradition and custom of their religion or beliefs at the burial site of their choosing.
  3. Common human dignity must be respected.
  4. The living must be responsible for the care of the deceased.
  5. The cultural heritage to which burial sites bear witness must be maintained to ensure the historical record for future generations.

Since there will be a provincial election in October 2011, it might not hurt to remind the MPPs that you will remember how they have responded to this issue when it comes time to make your "mark".

If you get an opportunity, please sign a petition to support this Bill. These petitions will be appearing at Branch meetings or other heritage events. Please sign only once to preserve the integrity of the petition. These petitions will be delivered to Mr. Brownell to read in the Assembly. They will be recorded in the official record of the sitting and will show the level of interest from the public. You can also download a copy of the petition and return it to the provincial office when it is signed.

In addition, you can always write letters to your Municipal Council and the Editor of your local newspaper and ask them why they are not coming forward to support this Bill.

We do, however, need to be speedy in our response. There will be a long summer recess and other times leading up to the election. This will reduce the time for the Bill to progress through the Assembly.

So, act now to help preserve our cemeteries!

People you can contact

Hon Dalton McGuinty, MPP (Ottawa South)

Room 281, Main Legislative Building,
Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A1

Tel 416-325-1941
Fax 416-325-3745

Constituency Office
1795 Kilborn Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario K1H 6N1

Tel 613-736-9573
Fax 613-736-7374


Hon John Gerretsen, MPP (Kingston and the Islands)

Minister of Consumer Services (this Ministry is in control of cemeteries)
6th Floor, Mowat Block
900 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1L2

Tel 416-327-8300
Fax 416-326-1947

Constituency Office
Suite 2, 303 Bagot Street, The LaSalle Mews
Kingston, Ontario K7K 5W7

Tel 613-547-2385
Fax 613-547-5001


Jim Brownell ( Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry)

Paliamentary Assistant, Ministry of Consumer Services
6th Floor, Mowat Block
900 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1L2

Tel 416-325-5300
Fax 416-326-3112

Constituency Office
2nd Floor, 20 Montreal Road
Cornwall, Ontario K6H 1B1

Tel 613-933-6513
Fax 613-933-6449


Andrea Horwath, MPP (Hamilton Centre)

Leader, New Democratic Party of Ontario
Room 113, Main Legislative Building,
Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A5

Tel 416-325-2777
Fax 416-325-2770

Constituency Office
Suite 200, 20 Hughson Street South
Hamilton, Ontario L8N 2A1

Tel 905-544-9644
Fax 905-544-5152


Tim Hudak, MPP (Niagara West-Glanbrook)

Leader, Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario
Room 381, Main Legislative Building
Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A8

Tel 416-325-8454
Fax 416-325-0998
Toll Free 1-800-665-3697

Constituency Office
Unit M1, 4961 King Street East
Beamsville, Ontario L0R 1B0

Tel 905-563-1755
Fax 905-563-1317



The contact information for your MPP is available on-line. If you do not know the name of your MPP you can use the following to find the information:

You will have the name and contact information of your MPP.

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