Hatfield's Bill Passes Second Reading

Percy Hatfield's bill to establish a Poet Laureate for Ontario, has passed second reading in the legislature

A bill would name the role after Ontario artist, musician and activist Gord Downie, the late front man of The Tragically Hip.

The Windsor-Tecumseh NDP MPP spoke in the legislature on Thursday.

"This bill is intended to keep alive, the memory of Gord Downie. It's intended to recognize his contribution to Canadian literature, it's offered in a non-partisan fashion, a symbolic way," says Hatfield. "The role of Poet Laureate would include writing poetry occasionally for use in the legislature if called upon by the speaker or the Lieutenant Governor. The role also includes visiting schools, presenting or arranging poetry readings and assisting with writing workshops or other activities."

Hatfield adds, Windsor's first Poet Laureate Marty Gervais, has had a positive impact on the local community and he believes there will be a similar result across the province.

With a unanimous vote among members of the legislature, the bill passed second reading, a major milestone towards becoming law.