OFFICE OF LINDSAY PARK, MPP for Durham
DURHAM: On Tuesday, March 22nd, the Member of Provincial Parliament for Durham, Lindsey Park, introduced a bill in the Ontario Legislature requiring the Ontario Government to develop a strategy to reduce loneliness and social isolation and support Ontarians who may be struggling with loneliness or social isolation. “Before the pandemic, there were signs that many people in Ontario, young and old, were feeling less connected than they did in past generations,” said Lindsey Park, Member of Provincial Parliament, Durham. “Seeing friends less, volunteering less time in the community and the effect of new technologies all have an impact on our productivity, health and well-being.” “The pandemic only exacerbated this serious public health problem,” stated Ms. Park. “When it comes to our most vulnerable Ontarians, loneliness and social isolation are major risk factors for abuse and neglect. The time for a comprehensive, province-wide strategy is now.” If passed, the Connected Communities Act, 2022 will provide one year for developing an initial strategy and require the Government of Ontario to review the strategy at least once every five years. The Act would require consultations when developing or reviewing the strategy and that the strategy be published. According to oft-cited research, being disconnected is just as dangerous to good health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. The young are also more lonely than the elderly; surveys have repeatedly discovered.