Toby Barrett MPP Haldimand Norfolk

First elected to the Ontario Legislature in June 1995, Toby was re-elected in 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2014 and 2018.

Over the years, Toby has chaired a number of legislative committees and served in portfolios focussing on agriculture, environment, natural resources and social services. Currently, Toby is the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Toby was the first Conservative to be elected Caucus Chair after the 2007 election.

Toby has a Masters of Science degree from the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) and a degree in Economics from the University of Guelph. A former teacher of high school Agriculture and Environmental Science, Toby is a partner in his family farm near Port Dover, and for 20 years worked for the Ontario Addiction Research Foundation.

In 1993, Toby was awarded the Canada 125 medal for outstanding community service. Toby is a life-long resident of Haldimand-Norfolk. He and his wife Cari live on the family farm and have three children – Shawn, Brett and Brittany. Before starting his career,Toby travelled in over 50 countries and has an abiding interest in antique cars, trucks and tractors.

COVID-19 questions and answers

There have been many questions and concerns raised since our world was turned upside down due to COVID-19. Programs to assist individuals and businesses are being rolled out through a combination of provincial, federal and municipal governments.

Here are some answers, or direction to more detailed answers, for the most common questions.

The Ontario government announced $200 million in social services relief funding to protect the health and safety of our province’s most vulnerable people, including those who live in poverty, are homeless or unemployed.

Emergency assistance to support individuals, who may be ineligible for federal financial support, or awaiting further details, is being made available through Ontario Works. This money is earmarked for those not already on social assistance. 

For those on social assistance who need increased support, the province is expanding the discretionary benefit funding.

This funding is available through the local Ontario Works (519-426-617- or 905-318-6623) and Ontario Disability Support Program (1-800-265-8071) offices. Please contact these offices for assistance. Be aware call volume is high and be patient.

In addition, money will be available to shelters, food banks, charities, non-profits and municipalities to help cope with growing demands and extraordinary circumstances. These organizations should reach out to their respective municipality for assistance. 

The Province of Ontario is committed to ensuring Ontario residents are forced to leave their homes while the public health crisis continues. As part of this, the courts suspended enforcement of orders dealing with evictions. This stays in effect as long as regular court actions are suspended. The Landlord and Tenant Board also suspended hearings related to residential evictions, unless the matter relates to an urgent issue such as an illegal act or safety issue.

Updates on provincial case numbers and programs are available at There is also a procurement call for businesses that might be able to provide supplies and medical equipment.

Jobs and businesses
Programs to assist with jobs and business are primarily coming from the federal government. 

A variety of programs are engineered to assist individuals unable to work, including: waiving the one-week waiting period for EI benefits, temporarily boosting child care benefits, extending the tax filing deadline and more.

Support for businesses and business owners is also coming from the federal government. An Emergency Care Benefit for the self-employed, providing up to $900 bi-weekly, and wage subsidies are anchors of this program.

By clicking on this page, there is a good summary of programs for both employees and businesses. There is also a procurement call for businesses that might be able to provide supplies and medical equipment. Further questions on both business and employee support programs should be directed to MP Diane Finley’s office by clicking here.

Mortgage and loans
Canada’s banks have made a commitment to support businesses and individuals through these difficult times in a responsible, fair, and compassionate way. To help provide some stability for businesses through this time of uncertainty, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer requirement, releasing more than $300 billion of additional lending capacity for Canadian financial institutions. Contact your financial institution with questions.

Contact during the crisis
And finally, our office is here to assist you with your personal issues, but please do not forward us bulk e-mail chains with requests or suggestions as our servers can be overwhelmed, and worse yet, we fear we may miss a message from someone truly needing assistance amongst the dozens of bulk e-mails.

Our office is not open, but employees are working from home. Please e-mail at [email protected] or leave a message on the phone at 519-428-0446 or 1-800-903-8629. Your return call may come as blocked caller as employees are working from personal cell phones.