Jim McDonell is the Member of Provincial Parliament for the riding of Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry. Mr. McDonell is currently the Ontario PC Critic for Consumer Services.
Back to Queen’s Park after a Busy Summer
MPP - Stormont, Dundas, South Glengarry
My summer in the riding was very busy and productive as we were able to dedicate time to meet our constituents to discuss and address their many concerns. It’s very clear that the priorities from this McGuinty government have shifted away from the protection of our health care, our social safety net and providing the basic ingredients needed for a healthy economy.
Cornwall - September 10, 2012 - My summer in the riding was very busy and productive as we were able to dedicate time to meet our constituents to discuss and address their many concerns. It’s very clear that the priorities from this McGuinty government have shifted away from the protection of our health care, our social safety net and providing the basic ingredients needed for a healthy economy.
I was very pleased to host a health care town hall public meeting with some of our local doctors and concerned citizens. They discussed the recent budget cuts made without consultation from the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) and the negative impacts that they will have on local services and patient care. In late July, we met with local farmers to discuss the serious impact of the drought in Eastern Ontario. Our College of Trades tour met with local contractors, who highlighted the restrictive practices that this McGuinty government has created and that the legislation is preventing them from growing and hiring more staff. It is also blocking our young people from becoming well paid skilled trades people and adding to the huge skilled trades shortage that is forecast to peak around 2020. Starting in January, this new organization will collect almost $100 million in new registration fees from our trades people and their employers and will do nothing to solve the skilled labour shortage. It is just another reward for the union bosses who support this government.
As a member of the Government Agencies Committee, we met to hear from numerous stakeholders about their issues with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). Small Ontario wineries highlighted how restrictive regulations made it very difficult to sell their wines in the province. At the WSIB, stakeholders reflected on the huge bureaucracy and the frightening unfunded liability that has skyrocketed under this government from $5 billion to $19.7 billion (C.D. Howe report). As stated by representatives from the WSIB, you can’t continue to raise benefits without addressing the premiums. The increase in rates required to eliminate this gigantic debt will further damage our businesses’ ability to compete in this global economy.
My constituency session came to an abrupt end when we were called back to Queen’s Park two weeks early to pass what the McGuinty government termed as “emergency legislation” to stop an imminent teacher strike. With the teachers already agreeing to a two year wage freeze, it seemed clear that this was only a diversion to get attention away from the scandals that were continuing to unfold at Queen’s Park. With by-elections looming, committees were continuing to meet and identify more examples of waste and corruption. He needed to change the channel away from the scandals at ORNGE, the seat-saving cost of the two cancelled power plants in Oakville and Mississauga and the huge cost of the Green Energy Act and how it has doubled our energy bills, resulting in more businesses leaving our province. But as we see the end of the second week of school come and go and the so called “emergency” legislation still waiting to be passed, the true motive starts to become clear.
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