News from Queen’s Park

Workplace Safety & Insurance Board(WSIB) cases take the longest to resolve

A short while ago my office team was telling me about some improvements to a computer program we use to manage the huge volume of case work that comes through our office. The improvements were predominantly geared to efficiency, streamlining file management and advanced means of file saving and recall. I was very pleased to hear my team finds the ...

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Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease

Northerners tend to be very fond of the early days of spring. You know, the days just before the leaves come out. I say this because Northerners also know what comes along immediately after the opening of the leaves – Blackflies! So I decided to make the most of these fleeting blackfly-free–daysand get some work done around my camp. While doing ...

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We are still here and going strong

It seems to be an unfortunate sign of the times that almost all of the news people are exposed to is, to be quite frank, of an extremely negative nature. Some like to put the blame on media, but in my opinion, that’s simply too broad of a paintbrush stroke. Yes, media reports a steady stream of disconcerting news, but ...

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Walkerton – Déjà Vu

Recently some of my Northern region colleagues and I were discussing concerns regarding Doug Ford’s deep cuts to public health. Later as I was driving down the road after the meeting, a particular former politician’s image came to my mind followed by the name – Walkerton. Even those too young to remember the horrific circumstances involving the contamination with the ...

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Lunch Bag Let Down

If you were a kid who had to take your lunch to school with you, did you ever experience “lunch bag let down?” Most of us did from time to time. As a kid you would sit in class all morning and your mind would wander to thoughts of a favourite PB&J sandwich or some of Mom’s homemade cookies. Then, ...

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It takes a village to raise a child

All of us have heard the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child,” many times. Some attribute the origin to the Igbo and Yoruba tribes in Africa, while others say it was passed down through North American Indigenous teachings. No matter what the origin, few would argue with the statement. Those of us who have children can readily ...

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Portal to another World

You know those sci-fi movies and television programs in which the story revolves around a portal adjoining two worlds. Often the plot is based on the idea that whatever the main character does in one world has some sort of effect in the other world. Some days, when I plunk myself down in my residence in Toronto, I feel like ...

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What Makes Canada the best place to live?

How many times has Canada been chosen as the best place to live or placed at least in the top ten best nations to live in the entire world? There have been many surveys based upon responses to a large variety of criteria. Admittedly I didn’t come up with a final answer in my research, but suffice to say we ...

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Who would I hire?

Recently I was in the positon of needing to make arrangements for a special retrofit project back home. Knowing such a project would likely take some time to complete and given my work schedule, doing the work myself just wasn’t practical. Besides, I admit that I didn’t really know where to begin, so I needed to hire someone. As I ...

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Constituency Clinics are Important

As I write this column I find myself concluding another week of constituency clinics covering numerous northern communities in the riding. MPPs are back to the Legislature on Monday. I take pride in being able to say that my face is no stranger to virtually any community in Algoma-Manitoulin. There is no doubt in my mind that constituency clinics play ...

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Life is a Balance

Like many Ontarians, I often find myself trying to balance my career life with that of being a dad. I can honestly say that while being a politician and a father, both jobs come with some real challenges, but I couldn’t be happier and more proud to have the opportunity to fulfill my duties for each of these roles. I ...

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The first wealth is health

I spend a great deal of time on the road which gives me lots of time to think things over. Just recently I was travelling along the TransCanada heading back from Wawa. The view along the shores of Lake Superior are truly breathtaking. The view made me think of how fortunate we are to live in Algoma-Manitoulin where we readily ...

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Return after Winter Break

This week MPPs returned to the Legislature after the winter break. Recently the NDP caucus members spent several days meeting to prepare for the weeks and months ahead. Undoubtedly the consensus was that all of us are eager to return to the Legislature to do our best to help guide the government to work toward bettering the lives of all ...

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Ontarians are Resilient

In my view, Ontarians, in general, are pretty resilient people. I take great pride in saying this is particularly true of Northern Ontarians. Ontarians can work with just about any situation that comes our way. Here in the North, sometimes we just don’t have easy access to every product or service we need. Be that as it may, if Northerners ...

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Snowballing Headlines

In looking at all snowballing headlines that are hitting the papers lately, I concluded that it only makes sense that they come at us now. After all, snowballs do form in winter. And since we have been experiencing some pretty cold temperatures lately, the headline snowballs continue to grow and grow. It reminds me of when we were kids we ...

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