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Ontario Government Passes Act Regarding Sisters Of St. Joseph

Supporting Local Organization with Municipal Tax Exemption

                                                                June 5, 2009

LONDON
– Khalil Ramal MPP, London-Fanshawe announces the enactment of Private Bill 26, which exempts The Sisters of St. Joseph residence in London from municipal taxes. The legislation permits the City of London to exempt the Sisters of St. Joseph residence on Windemere Road from municipal taxes and recognizes the charitable status of the religious order.

The Sisters of St. Joseph of the Diocese of London, in Ontario is a not-for-profit religious Roman Catholic order of women whose members are devoted to alleviation of poverty and creating inclusive communities. The first five Sisters arrived in London in 1868 and engaged in education and the care of orphans, opening Mount Hope, a home for orphans and the aged in 1869. In 1888, the Sisters opened St. Joseph’s Hospital in London and St. Mary’s Hospital across the street in 1951. More recently, the Sisters operated a detox centre, a soup kitchen and Josephs’ House, a home for refugee claimants and supportive housing for women struggling with mental illness.

“The Sisters of St. Joseph have reached out and provided care, support and wisdom to vulnerable people in London for many years,” said Ramal. “This bill recognizes their invaluable contribution to London and their selfless service to others.”

“These very generous women have always open their hearts, their doors and their resources to provide much needed supports to those who need it most and they’ve done all of this and much, much more without any financial assistance from any level of government, “ said Matthews. “ I’m proud that we’re recognising their tremendous contributions through this Bill”.

We are grateful to our local MPP's Khalil Ramal, Deb Matthews and Chris Bentley and also to our City Council in London for their strong support of this bill. We value the relationships of trust and collaboration that we experience in London,” said Sister Margo Ritchie, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of St. Joseph. “The passage of this bill will enable us to continue to share our resources with groups whose work includes environmental concerns, poverty reduction and systemic justice.”

London City Council supported the tax free status in light of the ongoing support by the Sisters of St. Joseph of many agencies in the City.

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Contact:

Khalil Ramal, MPP
London-Fanshawe
519-668-1104

Deb Matthews, MPP
London North Centre
519-432-7339

Chris Bentley, MPP
London West
519-657-3120

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