Parliamentarians pay tribute to former MPP Peter Preston

By MPP Toby Barrett The Ontario Legislature recently paid tribute to former Brant-Haldimand MPP Peter Preston. I first came to know Peter back in 1995, after we were both nominated candidates for neighbouring ridings. Together we worked on tactics to see if we could get ourselves elected, despite the odds against us. My riding hadn’t … Continue reading “Parliamentarians pay tribute to former MPP Peter Preston”

Tinkering won’t fix the crisis in corrections

By MPP Toby Barrett In December of 2015, I toured the aging Thunder Bay District Jail. The nearly century-old jail had recently been the scene of a riot that led to a correctional officer being taken hostage – 70 inmates took control of the upper floor for a period of 20 hours. In Ontario, assaults … Continue reading “Tinkering won’t fix the crisis in corrections”

Spring budget is not the relief Ontario needs

By MPP Toby Barrett As many will know, this spring’s Ontario budget proposes a spending spree that calls for billions more in debt, and six additional years of deficit. This was supposed to be a balanced budget. The tax hikes to pay for these promises have already started. For example, a carton of smokes just … Continue reading “Spring budget is not the relief Ontario needs”

My first budget cut income taxes 30 per cent

By MPP Toby Barrett As this column was being sent out to local media, I was on the floor of the Ontario Legislature debating my Private Member’s Motion: ‘That in the opinion of this House, the Ontario government should reduce taxes where feasible, and not introduce any new provincial taxes or raise existing provincial taxes … Continue reading “My first budget cut income taxes 30 per cent”

Legislature pays tribute to former MPP Norm Jamison

By MPP Toby Barrett Recently the Ontario Legislature paid tribute to my predecessor, former MPP Norm Jamison. First and foremost, having known Norm for 30 years, I can attest that Norm Jamison was a true gentleman. He was quiet, thoughtful, and courteous. He was a listener and an engaging conversationalist. Norm had respect. And why … Continue reading “Legislature pays tribute to former MPP Norm Jamison”

A commitment to mental health is long overdue

By MPP Toby Barrett Health Canada recently announced it will provide Ontario with an additional $4.2 billion in health funding. Of those funds, $2.3 billion is for better home care and homecare infrastructure requirements. The remainder, $1.9 billion, is for mental health initiatives. The Official Opposition has asked the Wynne government to match the funding; … Continue reading “A commitment to mental health is long overdue”

A trade war with New York State would be reckless

By MPP Toby Barrett Parliamentary debate last week addressed the fact New York State passed legislation that will mandate only American-made steel may be procured for certain infrastructure projects. Texas has similar legislation that came in last September which placed ‘Buy American’ requirements on iron and steel in highway and construction projects. As a result, … Continue reading “A trade war with New York State would be reckless”

Ontario’s healthcare crisis is beyond bandaids

By MPP Toby Barrett Now, more than ever, we must address Ontario’s healthcare crisis to ensure families and seniors can rely on help in times of need. Ontario’s universal public healthcare system was once our source of pride, but over the past 15 years we have seen the system pushed to its limit. We’ve all … Continue reading “Ontario’s healthcare crisis is beyond bandaids”

Farmers should make the decisions that affect farmers

By MPP Toby Barrett The 2.2 million people working in agri-food boosts Ontario’s rural and small town economy, and that of the entire province for that matter. As the Opposition Critic for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, I co-chaired a provincial policy committee of farmers and others last winter. It didn’t take long and it … Continue reading “Farmers should make the decisions that affect farmers”