May 26th, 2018

Horwath to put life-saving devices in more public places

TORONTO– Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath will help make families safer in their communities by requiring life-saving automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in public spaces across the province.

“Ontarians deserve a government that does more to help people lead a healthier life, wherever they are,” Horwath said. “AEDs save lives – but a lot of public spaces don’t have one, so let’s do something about it.”

Use of an AED can improve survival rates in cases of cardiac arrest by 50 per cent.

With Horwath’s commitment, devices will be registered in a central directory so that if someone is experiencing a heart attack, a person who calls 911 will get direction about whether that person needs an AED, where to find the device, and how to use it to save a life.

Ontario has a centralized AED registry, but it’s voluntary. An NDP government will make the registration compulsory and require devices to be easily-accessed in public spaces such as large businesses, apartment buildings, arenas and community centres.

In Manitoba, it’s compulsory to have AEDs in public areas like recreation centres, shopping malls and universities.

The commitment to more AEDs is part of Horwath’s plan to help Ontario families stay healthy:

  • Restoring hospital funding and making sure that it always keeps up with inflation, population growth, aging, and the unique needs of our communities, including a $1.2 billion investment in the first year alone
  • Opening 2,000 new hospital beds immediately
  • Investing at least $19 billion dollars over the next 10 years in hospital capital expansions and new hospitals
  • Launching a province-wide ‘find-and-fix’ public inquiry into problems in the long-term care system
  • Addressing wait lists for long-term care
  • Keeping Ontarians healthier and reducing pressure on hospitals by introducing universal pharmacare drug coverage and dental care for everyone

Horwath’s fully-costed Change for the Betterplan can be found at