News from the Park – Cancer Care and Bears

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This past week, the NDP has demanded the Liberal government extend coverage for at-home cancer drugs. New Democrats demanded that Premier Wynne stop delaying full public coverage of cancer medication taken at home.

 

Members of the Cancer society, along with many cancer survivors gathered in the House to express that no one in this world should have to fight for their life, as well as fight for drugs to help save their lives.

 

Patients are forced to pay out-of-pocket for their life-saving medication, or fight for reimbursement through insurance and Trillium. The problem has gotten so bad that one in six cancer patients in this province say their out-of-pocket drug costs are significant or even unmanageable.

 

Cancer patients have been waiting for over a year for support from the Liberal government.

 

Life is becoming more and more expensive.  When I speak to people in the north and across the province one of the main concerns highlighted is the need for more affordable housing. The NDP has been demanding to know why the Premier and her ministers think the answer to affordable housing problems is to kick more people out.  We’ve been asking the government to provide evidence or any peer-reviewed study, other than the anecdotes of some landlords, showing that more evictions would create new affordable housing units.  It makes no sense.

 

This government needs to address concerns raised by Ontarians.  If the government wasn’t so entrenched in scandal and mismanagement and were more transparent with their spending there would be plenty of funds to address real issues affecting Ontarians.

 

Our office has received numerous calls regarding the Spring Bear Hunt. The first Ontario-wide spring black bear hunt in over a decade was approved 8 weeks ago, and will be launched May 1st.

 

We have been contacted by several outfitters who have expressed serious concern over the fact that their hunting licenses have been drastically reduced. For these companies to be economically viable they need to be able to expand and broaden their tourism base.  Having their licenses reduced in some cases more than half will impact their revenues significantly.  I will continue to address these concerns with the Ministry with hopes that we improve this so that more people will be attracted to the area and tourism will increase.

 

The government has stated they are committed to making new economic opportunities available to operators with the spring black bear hunt. While they now have two seasons for hunting black bears, the number of black bears available has not changed. Long-term hunting opportunities in Ontario are dependent on ensuring a sustainable black bear population.

 

Going forward, the ministry will be working towards implementing a harvest planning model which will consider black bear population objectives, relative bear abundance, population demographics, past harvest levels and non-hunt mortality data. We will be working toward releasing harvest allocation numbers to all harvest sectors including the tourist industry in advance of the spring and fall black bear hunting seasons.

 

As always, please feel free to contact my office about this issue, or any other provincial matters. You can reach my constituency office by email at mmantha-co@ndp.on.ca or by phone at 705-461-9710/1-800-831-1899.

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