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Tay joins growing chorus in support of Draven Alert proposal

Wrinkle ironed out in meeting as council endorses complementary alert system with focus toward missing autistic/vulnerable children
Wording to support a proposed Draven Alert system for autistic/vulnerable children was provided by Coun. Paul Raymond (third row, far left) to Tay Township council at a recent regular meeting, as a detail was questioned by Coun. Jeff Bumstead (top row, centre right).

Nothing is more important than the safety and wellbeing of our children, and Tay Township councillors have taken steps to ensure that.

Tay council, at a recent regular meeting, agreed to support, endorse, and spread awareness for a proposed Draven Alert system which would complement the Amber Alert system in use across the province.

Whereas the Amber Alert system is tailored to send notifications by OPP through the Alert Ready emergency broadcast system to television, radio, and LTE-connected and compatible wireless devices when searching for an abducted child and suspect, the Draven Alert would have a different focus.

The proposal came in the aftermath of an incident this summer where an 11-year-old Lindsay boy with autism, Draven Graham, was found deceased without an Amber Alert notification due to his not being abducted.

In the wake of the tragedy, the town of Brighton endorsed a resolution to create a new system for “vulnerable children who have not been abducted but are at high risk of danger, injury or death and alert the public that they are missing.”

Many municipalities have lent their support, including Bonfield Township, Cobourg, Mississauga and Shuniah. Last month, Tiny Township also added their support to the list of names, and since then the towns of Magnetawan and Mattawa have joined as well.

Tay council had discussed it at last month’s regular meeting, and returned to the most recent meeting with a notice of motion for support.

A lengthy notice of motion had been recommended with a last-minute amendment included.

One section, which pertained to the motion to be sent to municipalities across Ontario and the Association of Municipalities Ontario (AMO) for endorsement, was rewritten and provided for council’s benefit.

Mayor Ted Walker read: “That this motion be sent to the North Simcoe municipalities for endorsement, and to the County of Simcoe for consideration and endorsement, to demonstrate the collective support of all Simcoe County municipalities regarding the requested change to the Amber Alert system.”

Coun. Jeff Bumstead noticed particular wording and raised the question: “Are we actually requesting a change in the Amber Alert system, or are most municipalities requesting a new system?”

Having brought the motion before council, Coun. Paul Raymond fielded the query by referring to the section immediately preceding the amendment, that: “the Minister of the Solicitor General and the Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, as well as the Premier's Office, be requested to make the necessary changes to the Amber Alert system and create a new alert called the Draven Alert, which will protect vulnerable children who have not been abducted but are at high risk of danger, injury or death and alert the public that they are missing.”

Bumstead reiterated that the amendment wording was confusing, but agreed it was clarified in the preceding statement.

Council carried the notice of motion, with the endorsement to be spread to other municipalities accordingly.

The full notice of motion in support for the proposed Draven Alert can be found in the council agenda on the Township of Tay website.

Tay council meets for regular council meetings every fourth Wednesday of the month. Further information including council’s agenda can be found on the Tay township website.

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Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Derek Howard covers Midland and Penetanguishene area civic issues under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada.
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