Action to support children on the autism spectrum

By MPP Toby Barrett Three years ago, Ontario’s Autism Program was facing some major challenges that had been decades in the making. The program was under-funded, with a long waitlist. We had a program that did not provide the much-needed range of clinical services. Further, we had a waitlist that was not moving the way … Continue reading “Action to support children on the autism spectrum”

Only one per cent on assistance move to employment

By MPP Toby Barrett At a cost of $10 billion a year, Ontario supports 600,000 people on Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). However, Ontario’s Auditor General recently highlighted the current system has not been working well for social assistance recipients. Only one per cent were finding employment every month, and … Continue reading “Only one per cent on assistance move to employment”

More internet for Haldimand-Norfolk and beyond

By MPP Toby Barrett Connecting Ontario to fast reliable internet has been an initiative of our government since elected in 2018. Recently, Ontario announced it would move forward with the ambitious plan to bring high-speed internet to all communities across the province by 2025. This $4 billion commitment is the largest single investment in high-speed … Continue reading “More internet for Haldimand-Norfolk and beyond”

Conservation officers working for us and the great outdoors

By MPP Toby Barrett Many in Ontario aspire to be a conservation officer (CO). I know I wanted to be a forest ranger while in high school, a sentiment shared by many today as 1,700 people recently applied for 25 CO positions. Through the recently-amalgamated, Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, conservation … Continue reading “Conservation officers working for us and the great outdoors”

The safety of our offshore workers is paramount

By MPP Toby Barrett  Ontario welcomes more than 20,000 temporary foreign workers (TFWs) each year. About 90 per cent arrive between the months of January and July, leaving behind families in Mexico, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Trinidad and Tobago.  Their work is hard as I can attest.  However, the work is essential as TFWs … Continue reading “The safety of our offshore workers is paramount”

A front row seat to the impact of COVID on agriculture

By MPP Toby Barrett My past two years as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) have been a front row seat to the impact of the pandemic on our agriculture production. It is no exaggeration that our agri-food sector not only touches every corner of Haldimand-Norfolk, but every corner … Continue reading “A front row seat to the impact of COVID on agriculture”

Fixing long-term care is key, locally and provincially

By MPP Toby Barrett Fixing long-term care has always been extremely important for our government, and that commitment continues. The pandemic has highlighted the immediate need for action. As a newly elected Mike Harris government member, one of my first meetings was with the board of Parkview Meadows in Townsend. That was 26 years ago, … Continue reading “Fixing long-term care is key, locally and provincially”

Local hospitals must capitalize on new provincial funding

Local hospitals must capitalize on new provincial funding By MPP Toby Barrett Ontario’s response to COVID-19 has been to support frontline workers, build healthcare capacity and invest in our hospitals. We continued to respond to the pandemic by creating more beds for example, Norfolk General Hospital (NGH) got a boost of $2.35 million for up … Continue reading “Local hospitals must capitalize on new provincial funding”

Casting light on baitfish disease and invasives

By MPP Toby Barrett Recreational fishing is a $1.7 billion economic driver in Ontario. As such, the government is committed to supporting recreational fishing in Ontario. The commercial bait industry has a lengthy history with 1,100 commercial bait lincenses issued each year and a value estimated at $23 million. Some of Ontario’s popular fisheries – … Continue reading “Casting light on baitfish disease and invasives”