From the Park – Sept. 16

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It’s time to brush the dust from my shoes gathered at all of the festivals, pow wows events, celebrations and meetings that I attended over the summer and head back to the Legislature. After all the conversations and meetings I had with many constituents this summer, clearly, there is a lot of work to be done back in Queen’s Park. My colleagues and I feel primed and pumped, ready to bring the concerns we gathered over the summer to the government.

This year MPPs were greeted by a Throne Speech on the first day back. The Liberals say they chose to deliver a Throne Speech at this time to show the people they plan on making changes in people’s lives.

My colleagues and I say the people of Ontario don’t need a government that just wants to push a “reset button” only to begin to do the same things that got us into the situation we are in as a province today. We don’t need change just for the purpose of looking new and improved for appearance’s sake. We need a government that plans to take action here and now. We need better plans to go in different directions that will improve the lives of Ontarian’s – both now and in the future.

We have to improve health care. And that means stopping the cuts in our hospitals and starting to get wait times and overcrowding under control.

We have to lower hydro bills. There are seniors and families who couldn’t turn on the air conditioner all summer long, when it felt like it was forty degrees because they can’t afford their hydro bill. We need to see real steps to lower hydro bills like removing the HST. Stop the sale of Hydro One, right now before it is too late and it is in the hands of the rich and powerful rather than the hands of the public who built it.

We need to support good jobs and improve the quality of work across the province. Unemployment is far too high in many regions of Ontario and certainly among our young people. And for folks who do have work – too often the pay is too low, the hours are unpredictable, and it just isn’t a good job. We can do better in Ontario. But it demands real action.

I don’t know how many times I spoke with people who work 2 or even 3 jobs, and still can’t make ends meet. Workers need access to decent benefits. They need a $15 minimum wage. And they need equal pay and fair treatment for temporary workers. The government needs to bring forward improvements to employment standards to ensure that every worker has the ability to care for their loved ones and spend time with their family – and can share in all this province has to offer.

In this session my New Democrat colleagues and I will be pushing the government, hard, to make it easier for workers to join a union – and to join the middle class. We will be holding the Liberal’s accountable to show real commitment and action to ensure Ontario is home to good jobs that look to the future.

These are just a few of the issues we will be pushing the government on over the coming months. There is no doubt that right now we are at a tipping point here in Ontario. We must begin today to make big changes so that our next generation will have a brighter future tomorrow, right here in Ontario. The only way this can happen is if we all work together. I urge you to join my colleagues and me in this effort. You can help by getting involved. Sign our on-line petitions to support a $15 minimum wage, Lyme disease prevention and gasoline pricing. Sign my petition to tell Premier Wynne to keep Ontario Hydro public.

As always, please feel free to contact my office about these issues, or any other provincial matters. You can reach my constituency office by email at [email protected] or by phone at 705-461-9710 or Toll-free 1-800-831-1899.

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