New math curriculum welcome news for September

By MPP Toby Barrett All aspects of our lives have been impacted by COVID-19. Although we have collectively made progress, the virus remains and we must be vigilant. There’s the worry of a second wave this fall and that’s why this week our Ontario Government presented parents and students with options for schooling. We also … Continue reading “New math curriculum welcome news for September”

Haldimand-Norfolk goes to Stage 2 reopening

By MPP Toby Barrett The Ontario Government, on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has moved the Haldimand-Norfolk public health region into Stage 2 reopening, as of Friday, June 19. Further investigation into the farm outbreak determined the virus has been contained and there is now less chance of spread to the … Continue reading “Haldimand-Norfolk goes to Stage 2 reopening”

We have problems in Haldimand-Norfolk; we will fix them

By MPP Toby Barrett     Anyone who reads or watches the big city news will know Haldimand and Norfolk, over many months, have had the dubious notoriety of going above and beyond Ontario policy on COVID-19. More recently the local mayors yet again garnered headlines, and caught the eye of Queen’s Park, with the announced reversal … Continue reading “We have problems in Haldimand-Norfolk; we will fix them”

We must all aggressively plan for our recovery

 By MPP Toby Barrett It has been over four months since Ontario’s first case of coronavirus, and our focus now is getting businesses up and running – and people back to work – in a safe and responsible manner. Reopening Ontario is the toughest balancing act we’ve ever had. My staff constantly hears conflicting opinions; … Continue reading “We must all aggressively plan for our recovery”

The invasion of garlic mustard and common buckthorn

By MPP Toby Barrett The trillium is a symbol of spring – Ontario’s white floral emblem. But there’s another symbol of how invasives can dominate our landscape – the white blossom of garlic mustard.  Like many invasives, garlic mustard is highly competitive and can force out natural species – like Ontario’s trillium. It produces an … Continue reading “The invasion of garlic mustard and common buckthorn”

As Ontario reopens, consider wearing a mask

By MPP Toby Barrett The incremental reopening of the Province of Ontario is based on the confidence that people in Ontario will up their game as far as following health and safety measures during these dangerous times. Recently, the Ontario Ministry of Health recommended the use of face coverings when physical distancing and keeping apart … Continue reading “As Ontario reopens, consider wearing a mask”

Difficult times require different ways to cope

By MPP Toby Barrett  We continue to get a lot of calls during these tough times – bear in mind, it’s normal to feel stressed out, worried, sad and confused during this pandemic. What’s really important is to look after yourself – not only your physical health but also your mental health. We know that … Continue reading “Difficult times require different ways to cope”

COVID-19 weighs heavily this spring in farm country

By MPP Toby Barrett Soil temperatures, soil conditions, weather forecasts, commodity markets, availability of labour, and the restrictions of COVID-19 weigh heavily this spring in farm country. COVID-19 is life changing for all and certainly for the business of farming. Ernie Hardeman, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and I, as Parliamentary Assistant, … Continue reading “COVID-19 weighs heavily this spring in farm country”

Gearing up to bring back Ontario’s economy

By MPP Toby Barrett  Several weeks ago in this space I solicited input on how best to plan for Ontario’s economic recovery – how best to help normalize our social and economic life by way of consultation, and a thoughtful and common sense way forward, all based on an analysis of the costs, the risks, … Continue reading “Gearing up to bring back Ontario’s economy”

Long-term care, essential services and public health

By MPP Toby Barrett My MPP report this week emanates from on-going emails and telephone conversations about two issues – long-term care, and the definition of an essential service. On March 13, the Ontario government mandated essential visits, only, to long-term care and other congregate care settings. This was one of the first of a … Continue reading “Long-term care, essential services and public health”