Defibrillator Registration and Public Access Act Passes Third Reading with Unanimous Support

Published on May 26, 2020
Private Members Bill introduced by MPP Robin Martin will help save lives


May 26th, 2020

TORONTO – Bill 141, the Defibrillator Registration and Public Access Act, passed third reading in the Ontario Legislature today with unanimous support, and will now become law. The private member’s bill was introduced by Robin Martin, MPP for Eglinton-Lawrence, in November 2019.
The legislation enables the government to create a registry of publicly accessible automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and establish requirements relating to the installation, maintenance, testing and availability of defibrillators in designated locations. The legislation also requires that AEDs have appropriate signage, be accessible for easy identification, and be properly maintained. 
“There are more than 7,000 sudden cardiac arrests in the province each year, and the only effective life-saving treatment is an electrical shock from a defibrillator, delivered as quickly as possible,” said Martin. “During hearings held by the Standing Committee on Social Policy, we heard clearly from experts that the creation of a defibrillator registry, combined with public accessibility requirements, will help save lives across Ontario.”
A key goal of the legislation is to ensure the locations of publicly accessible defibrillators are made available to 911 dispatchers, allowing them to direct callers to a nearby AED. At present, defibrillator installation and registration in Ontario is voluntary. In the Greater Toronto Area alone, approximately 1500 are currently registered with the province or local paramedic services, which is believed to be less than 10 per cent of the total number sold over the past twenty years.
“I want to thank all of our stakeholders, including CARE and Heart and Stroke, for their ongoing advocacy on this important issue,” added MPP Martin. “I also want to thank all of my colleagues across party lines for their thoughtful contributions to this bill during the debate, during committee hearings, and for their support today.”
We are thrilled about the motion to introduce a bill regarding an Ontario Registry for Automated External Defibrillators. As you are aware, our group CARE strongly endorses the creation of such a Registry. It is an essential part of increasing the survival of sudden cardiac arrest victims.” - Dr. Katherine Allan, PhD Chair, Cardiac Arrest Response and Education (CARE) on behalf of CARE Members
Heart & Stroke strongly supports the creation of an AED registry integrated with 9-1-1 in Ontario. A survey we commissioned in September showed that more than 90 percent of Ontarians do as well. We are very excited about this legislation and to work with the Government of Ontario to support this critically important initiative once it is passed.” - Avril Goffredo, Executive Vice President, Ontario and Nunavut, Heart & Stroke
“As a cardiologist, I have worked for many years to ensure AEDs are as publicly accessible as possible because the chances of survival double when an AED and CPR are used within the first few minutes after a cardiac arrest. Registering and maintaining AEDs in this province will save lives. This legislation is a significant step forward and I encourage all MPPs to support it.” - Anthony Graham CM, MDHonorary member, Advisory Board, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto, and Medical Director, Robert McRae Heart Health Unit, St. Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health Toronto