Occupy Caledonia will be six years February 28

By MPP Toby Barrett On February 28, 2006, Dawn Smith and Janie Jamieson blocked the entrance to Douglas Creek Estates in Caledonia. Six years later, the scars of the resulting mayhem remain, continuing to seed division in the community and to block home building, commercial and industrial development. The subdivision – festooned with warrior flags, … Continue reading “Occupy Caledonia will be six years February 28”

Wage freezes, outsourcing and arbitration reform

By MPP Toby Barrett “We can’t manage the deficit without addressing what is the single biggest line in our budget – public sector compensation” – Finance Minister Dwight Duncan December through February has traditionally meant pre-budget public hearings across the province for me over the past eight years as a member of Ontario’s Finance Committee. … Continue reading “Wage freezes, outsourcing and arbitration reform”

Some history on how we got our two counties back

By MPP Toby Barrett Last week I reported on some of the historical background and manoeuvring that eventually led to our local fight to restore Haldimand and Norfolk Counties – pulling us out of the arranged regional government marriage. Following local resolutions and petitions – and the Haldimand-Norfolk Regional Government’s decision to impose a 17.9 … Continue reading “Some history on how we got our two counties back”

The clay/sand boundary – invisible but understood

By MPP Toby Barrett The interest in recent weeks on restoring historic township names in Norfolk echo some of the heritage principles that helped drive the re-establishment of our traditional two county system over a decade ago. By the time I arrived at Queens Park as a rookie in 1995, there had been 20 years … Continue reading “The clay/sand boundary – invisible but understood”

Should we take township titles back to the future?

By MPP Toby Barrett I somewhat sheepishly confess I do not know my ward number – never did, and am sure I never will. I know who my municipal councillor is, I know my lot and concession number, my 911 number, my postal code, my rural route number – but not my ward number. Replacing … Continue reading “Should we take township titles back to the future?”

When will Ontario accept credit counselling?

By MPP Toby Barrett “My name is Dalton McGuinty and I have a spending problem” – MPP Sylvia Jones The news that Moody’s Investor Services could downgrade Ontario’s credit rating unless it takes serious steps to deal with the mounting deficit is a wake-up call for Ontario’s reeling economy. While Ontario’s Opposition has been counselling … Continue reading “When will Ontario accept credit counselling?”

Pick up an informative consumer services calendar

By MPP Toby Barrett Each year at this time my office receives a popular and informative calendar from the Ministry of Consumer Services. The “Smart Consumer Calendar” provides ‘buyer beware’ tips that last the year through. Feel free to pick one up, or order extras at Service Ontario, 1-800-668-9938. For example, the January page discusses senior’s … Continue reading “Pick up an informative consumer services calendar”

Parading toward Christmas in Haldimand-Norfolk

By MPP Toby Barrett By the time this column goes to print, Santa and his nine tiny reindeer will have left the local parade circuit for the North Pole. Given the jam-packed schedule of float-filled events and photo-ops across our two counties the jolly red-elf will have his work cut out for him readying for … Continue reading “Parading toward Christmas in Haldimand-Norfolk”

Auditor General exposes folly of Green Energy Act

By MPP Toby Barrett Ontario’s Auditor General has now verified that the McGuinty green energy dream has turned into a nightmare. As local people continue to sign petitions, attend meetings, and contact their representatives regarding the planned arrival of hundreds of wind turbines, the release of the 2011 Auditor General’s annual report provides a scathing … Continue reading “Auditor General exposes folly of Green Energy Act”