Editorials, Letters & Political Commentary

Constituency Clinics

Frequent readers of this column well know how much I value holding regular constituency clinics in communities across the riding. Having the opportunity to talk face-to-face with individuals to listen to their concerns is one of the most effective ways for an MPP to stay in touch with what is going on in the lives of their constituents. Not only ...

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AG report shows where Liberals let Ontario down, Ford is making things worse

Ontario’s Auditor General has released a report that paints a grim picture of just how badly the Liberal government let Ontario down — but is also a foreshadowing of what’s to come, because where the auditor flags major problems, the Ford Conservatives have been making things even worse.   “The auditor really lays out a picture of a Liberal government ...

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US regulators blame Doug Ford’s meddling for deal breakdown

NDP Environment and Sustainability critic Ian Arthur released the following statement in response to news that Hydro One’s deal with Avista Corp has been scrapped by Washington state’s regulator due to Doug Ford’s political meddling: “Today’s decision (December 5th, 2018) makes it clear that Doug Ford’s political meddling has sent shockwaves through the business community and increased the risk of ...

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NDP MPP says fight for disability rights in Ontario not over

Joel Harden, NDP critic for Accessibility and Persons with Disabilities, released the following statement on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities: “On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, I want to commend the work of the disability rights movement for making Ontario a more inclusive place. It is thanks to the movement’s tireless campaigning that we have an ...

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Indigenous, racialized youth disproportionately impacted by Ford axing Child Advocate

The NDP’s Anti-Racism critic Laura Mae Lindo is pointing out that, with Indigenous children far more likely be in care than non-Indigenous children, Doug Ford needs to reverse his elimination of the Child Advocate’s office to avoid putting up another discriminatory barrier for Indigenous youth. “In my riding of Kitchener Centre, Indigenous children are five times more likely to come ...

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NDP says Taverner appointment raises concerns

Kevin Yarde, NDP critic for Community Safety and Correctional Services, released the following statement regarding the appointment of Ron Taverner as Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP):   “Police forces need to be free from political influence, real or perceived. The Official Opposition shares the concerns of Ontario people about the Ford government’s appointment of Ron Taverner to the ...

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Horwath calls on MPPs to support motion to reverse cuts to Francophone community

Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath and NDP critic for Francophone Affairs Guy Bourgouin are calling on all MPPs from all parties to support Horwath’s motion to restore Ontario’s independent French Language Services Commissioner and the province’s Francophone University.   “Franco-Ontarians deserve the long-awaited Université de l’Ontario français, as well as a French Language Services Commissioner that is fully independent, and nothing less,” said Bourgouin (Mushkegowuk-James ...

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NDP’s Mamakwa calls for investment in “lifeline” airports for fly-in communities

During question period on Thursday, November 22, 2018, Sol Mamakwa, NDP MPP for Kiiwetinoong, told the Ford government to begin working with First Nations communities and invest in northern airports that fly-in communities depend on.   “These airports are essential lifelines for the communities they serve,” said Mamakwa, the NDPs critic for Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.   “But Ontario’s northern ...

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Bill 57 – Premier Ford subjugating Independent Officers of the Legislature

Like many jurisdictions with parliamentary traditions, the Legislature of Ontario appoints Legislative Officers (sometimes called Parliamentary officers) to oversee and review activities of government that warrant special concern. Their duties include regularly issuing public reports that critically evaluate government performance in specific areas. The Officers are chosen by an all-party Committee and report directly to the Legislature through the Speaker, ...

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Letter – Poor Media Coverage of Postal Strike

Dear Brenda, I have been dismayed over the coverage of the Postal Strike has been.  It was predictable that most businesses would cheer the back to work legislation and that labour unions would be angry that labour negotiations have be short-circuited.  What has been missing is the actual content of the bill?  Does the bill contain arbitration leading to the ...

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Ford’s $3.2 billion in cuts will hurt Algoma-Manitoulin families

In the Fall Economic Statement, Doug Ford and his Conservatives have cut more than $3.2 billion, including the Transportation operating budget by $305 million.   “Northerners are already affected by poor road maintenance, winter and summer.  We can’t afford more cuts when our highways are closed for days after floods or snowstorms,” said NDP MPP Micheal Mantha.  “People in Northern ...

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Letter – Can Passenger Trains be saved?

Dear Brenda, One has to wonder when The Canadian’s resiliency will be exhausted and the train will be on the chopping block. In late 2008, I had the opportunity to examine the confidential financial data on The Canadian and I found it was then recovering about 75% of its costs year-round and actually showing an above-the-rail profit during the peak ...

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Ford spends $106,700 on Highway signs as trade strategy

  Doug Ford has revealed that just a partial cost for his useless highway signs is $106,700 – money NDP International Trade critic Taras Natyshak said won’t actually increase trade. Ford has only revealed the manufacturing and shipping costs of the signs – not staff time, installation contractor bills, or what is sure to be a small fortune in having ...

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Hydro and water system failing Indigenous, remote communities

Northern Ontarians are being failed by a utility system that leaves them without running water or electricity for years at a time – something most Ontarians would never tolerate, says Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa.   “Several weeks ago, I stood in this house to remark about the tragic suicide of 13-year-old Karlena Kamenawatamin from Bearskin Lake,” said Mamakwa in the ...

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Letter – Waterfront Improvements?

In August, work was begun to do some upgrading along the shoreline of Wawa Lake and to the drains that run into the lake. Since the end of that month, nothing further has occurred and culverts, equipment, temporary fencing was set up. Well, here it is approximately two months later and after the wind and waves of the past few ...

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