Municipal/provincial elections about who you trust

By MPP Toby Barrett The ongoing provincial-municipal relationship has surfaced of late during testimony before pre-budget hearings and at the recent convention of ROMA, the Rural Ontario Municipal Association. Discussions are dominated by the fact it’s an election year on both provincial and municipal fronts. The provincial contest is in June, with municipal following in … Continue reading “Municipal/provincial elections about who you trust”

A case to maintain and upgrade our infrastrucuture

By MPP Toby Barrett If there’s anything to be learned from the ongoing boondoggle of potholes on provincial Highway 6, it’s the crucial importance of infrastructure to our social and economic well-being. Highway 6, south of Hamilton, is one of Ontario’s earliest thoroughfares going back to the late 1700s. It’s a major conduit for steel, … Continue reading “A case to maintain and upgrade our infrastrucuture”

Children deserve an education system that is first rate

By MPP Toby Barrett As a former teacher, I was thrilled this winter to meet local resident and inspirational educator Vera Good. Dr. Good, at age 103, can look back on a career in a one-room school, as the Ontario Ministry of Education’s first female inspector and, as the original producer of Television Ontario’s Polka … Continue reading “Children deserve an education system that is first rate”

A scattergun review of last winter and spring

By MPP Toby Barrett   As I reflect on our year now past, I recall the transition from the warmth and cheer of the holiday season to the cold reality of pre-budget hearings conducted by our Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. Case in point, last January, Canada’s leading retailer of packaged meats testified on … Continue reading “A scattergun review of last winter and spring”

Ancient lore and legends of the Winter Solstice

By MPP Toby Barrett This season is a time of tradition. While we all celebrate tradition in many different ways, the ties that bind us together include family, friends, sharing and kindness. Long before Santa charioted his flying steeds across the skies, legend tells of female reindeer that drew the sleigh of the Sun Goddess … Continue reading “Ancient lore and legends of the Winter Solstice”

A fanciful blend of the religious and the commercial

By MPP Toby Barrett This year, for the first time in decades, I had an opportunity to attend the Toronto Santa Claus Parade – originally known as the Eaton’s Santa Claus Parade. I actually didn’t get to see the parade, because of the Queen’s Park vote to get college students and faculty back to work, … Continue reading “A fanciful blend of the religious and the commercial”

We recognize the difficult work of our police

By MPP Toby Barrett Last week during debate in the Legislature I had the opportunity to address the Safer Ontario Act and its changes to the Police Services Act. Regrettably, government is rushing this one through yet again with little time for consultation. My other concern is the removal of powers from police may occur … Continue reading “We recognize the difficult work of our police”

Peace, order, good government . . . compensation

By MPP Toby Barrett It has now been eleven-and-a-half years since protestors have been occupying the Douglas Creek Estates subdivision in Caledonia. On Feb. 28, 2006, a handful of people blockaded the entrance – and from what I could see – without the support of the elected band council or the confederacy chiefs. Within six … Continue reading “Peace, order, good government . . . compensation”

Hiding hydro costs and kicking them down the road

By MPP Toby Barrett  Recently I received a copy of a Caledonia electricity bill and, to compare, a Hydro Quebec bill for a similar house. Even after Premier Wynne’s touted lowering of rates, the Hydro Quebec bill was half the cost – a bill for a family that heat and cook with electricity! There is … Continue reading “Hiding hydro costs and kicking them down the road”