Shovel-ready or not, where are the stimulus jobs?

By MPP Toby Barrett As I prepare to travel on another round of pre-budget deliberations with the Finance Committee, it is important to evaluate the stimulus, or ‘shovel-ready’, spending that has recently flowed. The most important measure of success, in my view, is job creation. It was the 2009 budget that saw McGuinty announce more … Continue reading “Shovel-ready or not, where are the stimulus jobs?”

A lot of us can’t afford our electricity bills anymore

By MPP Toby Barrett There is a growing concern locally and across Ontario. People are finding they just don’t have the extra money to pay for electricity. I hear it at my offices and I’ve heard it door to door as I canvassed hamlets across Norfolk and Haldimand. And the dawning of a new year … Continue reading “A lot of us can’t afford our electricity bills anymore”

Last year commenced with concerns about jobs and taxation

As we begin, with apprehension and expectation, to ponder the year ahead, we may wish to reflect on the year just past. 2010 kicked off with 35,000 Ontario kids to be enrolled in all-day everyday kindergarten. The Grand Erie District School Board approved nine of its schools while the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School … Continue reading “Last year commenced with concerns about jobs and taxation”

Christmas will see an empty chair at many tables

“It’s Christmas time There’s no need to be afraid…” ~ Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” By Toby Barrett MPP Like many in our area, I find myself meeting people who have just returned from Kandahar. Their stories are real and raw. I spent time in Afghanistan in 1969 and it was a bit … Continue reading “Christmas will see an empty chair at many tables”

Have you read Christie Blatchford’s book on Caledonia?

By MPP Toby Barrett The only inquiry into the mayhem that occurred in Caledonia has not come from government. It has come from journalist Christie Blatchford’s investigative piece: HELPLESS, Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear and Anarchy, and How the Law Failed All of Us. Christie Blatchford is real – she’s tough – and as anyone who … Continue reading “Have you read Christie Blatchford’s book on Caledonia?”

Will biomass and/or natural gas save OPG Nanticoke?

By MPP Toby Barrett It’s no secret that Haldimand-Norfolk is home to the largest coal-fired generating station in North America. And it’s no secret that Premier McGuinty has promised – many times over – to shut down coal-fired generation at Nanticoke as well as at her sister plants in Lambton, Thunder Bay and Atikokan. The … Continue reading “Will biomass and/or natural gas save OPG Nanticoke?”

We’ve seen this steelworker movie before

By MPP Toby Barrett It took seven months for US Steel’s Lake Erie Works at Nanticoke to end a bitter lockout. Area steelworkers are again locked out – this time at Hamilton’s Hilton Works. Rumours are, the lockout may permanently close Hilton’s blast furnace and end 100 years of steelmaking. For these reasons I recently … Continue reading “We’ve seen this steelworker movie before”

Will energy plans change our area forever?

By MPP Toby Barrett This year’s Jarvis Symposium on Energy and Our Environment pulled together companies, unions, engineers, activists and others to discuss everything from wind, solar and coal generation to natural gas and nuclear – just about everything except hydro dam turbines, something that was discussed the week before at Port Dover’s Save Silver … Continue reading “Will energy plans change our area forever?”

Still seeking answers on Smuckers/Bicks closures

By MPP Toby Barrett We are watching the further demise of food processing, and its contracts to area farmers, with the slated closure of Smucker’s Delhi tank farm and Dunnville processing plant. It is with some melancholy, as we recognize Remembrance Day, that we also recall seventy years ago, our area sent tons of locally … Continue reading “Still seeking answers on Smuckers/Bicks closures”