Have you looked at your electricity bill lately?

By MPP Toby Barrett Electricity bills are beginning to send shockwaves as ratepayers discuss the latest round of price hikes. Residents and businesses alike are being caught off guard. Last April, we in Opposition cautioned that an Ontario Energy Board approved rate increase would lead to an annual $350- hike for the average Ontario hydro … Continue reading “Have you looked at your electricity bill lately?”

All commodity groups need ongoing risk management

By MPP Toby Barrett Farmers across Ontario, as well as those of us in Opposition, have been calling on the government to implement a permanent Business Risk Management Program for all commodity groups – not just grain and oilseeds. Over the last year, MPP’s have heard the Ontario Agriculture Sustainability Coalition (OASC) proposal for a … Continue reading “All commodity groups need ongoing risk management”

Be clear, consistent and keep out of the way

By MPP Toby Barrett Municipal and Provincial governments won’t always agree, which is understandable. But agree or disagree, both sides should count on a partner that keeps its word. The era of promises that are politically expedient, financially unaffordable, easily made and more easily broken must end. Last week I attended meetings in Windsor of … Continue reading “Be clear, consistent and keep out of the way”

What happened to McGuinty water legislation?

By MPP Toby Barrett Four months ago I questioned the provincial announcement of new water legislation. Now that the Legislature has risen with no debate of the government’s proposed water bill, I have further questions. After much fanfare in this Spring’s Throne Speech and Budget, and the introduction of the Water Opportunities Act to coincide … Continue reading “What happened to McGuinty water legislation?”

Wind towers can pit neighbour against neighbour

By MPP Toby Barrett This Spring, I attended the installation of a windmill in Jarvis – at the Walpole Antique Farm Equipment Association. The tower is 100 years old, 40 feet high and part of our farming heritage. What is not part of our farming heritage is the plan for hundreds of industrial wind towers … Continue reading “Wind towers can pit neighbour against neighbour”

Eco fees are taxation without representation

By MPP Toby Barrett ‘No taxation without representation’ was the call in 1773 when revolutionaries hosted the Boston Tea Party to protest taxes by unaccountable government. Some 230 years later, on this side of the border, consumers bushwacked by eco fees are asking where was the legislative debate, and is this legal? As government damage … Continue reading “Eco fees are taxation without representation”

Gas tax in rural Ontario pays for urban transit

By MPP Toby Barrett In rural Ontario, we can’t go anywhere without getting into a vehicle. And we pay provincial taxes every time we fill up the tank – a portion of which is used to support public transit. As we know, there’s no public transit in Norfolk County or Haldimand County. All municipalities should … Continue reading “Gas tax in rural Ontario pays for urban transit”

Should we have the right to recall politicians?

By MPP Toby Barrett On March 22nd 2004, I introduced The Recall Act, 2004, to enshrine a right for people to retain or remove elected representatives at times other than election day. During debate, I felt I was about as popular as a snake at a garden party as this present government used its majority … Continue reading “Should we have the right to recall politicians?”

Taxpayers being played by OLG spending

By MPP Toby Barrett Just as the Ontario Legislature rose for the summer, Jim McCarter, the province’s Auditor General, released a special report into the expense practices of Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) employees. The findings of this report exemplify this current government’s inability to control runaway spending. Finance Minister Dwight Duncan was shamed into … Continue reading “Taxpayers being played by OLG spending”

HST is one in a long line of taxes

By MPP Toby Barrett June 1st marked the start to Seniors Month in Ontario and ironically it also marked the one-month countdown to the implementation of Mr. McGuinty’s HST tax grab that will punish everyone, including vulnerable seniors already struggling to make ends meet. The HST is a tax on seniors and every other Ontarian. … Continue reading “HST is one in a long line of taxes”