A have-not budget for a have-not province

By MPP Toby Barrett The man who turned Ontario into a have-not province has released a have-not budget. And what’s missing from Premier McGuinty ‘s 2011 provincial budget may very well cause grief for Ontario’s hard-working families as promises of new spending often bring new taxes to balance the equation – and in Mr. McGuinty’s … Continue reading “A have-not budget for a have-not province”

There’s potential for our forest industry to recover

By MPP Toby Barrett For generations, lumbering has been a primary driver of our economy. Although the forest industry is one of the major planks in Northern Ontario’s economy, that doesn’t mean it’s not important in Southern Ontario. Here in Haldimand-Norfolk, there are four major saw mills and many working in logging and value-added. The … Continue reading “There’s potential for our forest industry to recover”

Waste diversion trail is littered with setbacks

By MPP Toby Barrett When it comes to landfills and waste management in this province, there is little doubt that this government continues to trip over itself to over-regulate, over-promise and under deliver – leaving all of us to pay for the clean up. From eco-fees, to failed electronics recycling, to the bait and switch … Continue reading “Waste diversion trail is littered with setbacks”

Proposals for better municipal-provincial partnerships

By MPP Toby Barrett All is not well with respect to provincial and municipal governance. Lack of accountability has driven up the size and cost of provincial government by a staggering 70 per cent over the past eight years. And 67 per cent of homeowners say they are unhappy with municipal taxes – a recent … Continue reading “Proposals for better municipal-provincial partnerships”

A wind of uncertainty blowing through area

By MPP Toby Barrett The storm of uncertainty swirling about the McGuinty Green Energy policy grows more worrisome and divisive as residents become aware of the extensive list of projects slated to blow into our area. I hear it at the door, at my office, at the open houses in Jarvis, Fisherville, and Port Dover. … Continue reading “A wind of uncertainty blowing through area”

February 28th is fifth anniversary of Caledonia

By MPP Toby Barrett “There is nothing politically right which is morally wrong” – Daniel O’Connell 1775-1847 At the five year mark, militants continue to occupy and control the Douglas Creek Estates subdivision in Caledonia – a burnt out truck trailer and hydro barricade remain at the entrance – smoke shacks remain on government property, … Continue reading “February 28th is fifth anniversary of Caledonia”

Taxes, fees – a growing threat to Ontario households

By MPP Toby Barrett “IRS: We’ve got what it takes to take what you’ve got” – Anonymous During the course of pre-budget hearings in London, Windsor, Thunder Bay, Timmins, Ottawa and Toronto, we on the Finance Committee heard from dozens of stakeholders and received hundreds of written submissions. Many testifying recognized that the government’s management … Continue reading “Taxes, fees – a growing threat to Ontario households”

Getting our money’s worth by eliminating waste

By MPP Toby Barrett There’s really no good reason why government can’t operate in a business-like manner – efficiently, effectively, and with a minimum of waste. One tactic would be to stop doing unnecessary things. By eliminating that which is obsolete, duplicative, or just plain silly, we can eliminate much of the waste of taxpayer’s … Continue reading “Getting our money’s worth by eliminating waste”

Electricity experiments put rates through the roof

By Toby Barrett MPP Electricity is arguably an essential responsibility of government. Virtually everything we do involves energy and electricity – without which, much of life as we know it and our economy grinds to a halt. That’s why it’s so critical when it comes to electricity for government to get it right, and – … Continue reading “Electricity experiments put rates through the roof”

Farmers require stability and predictability

By MPP Toby Barrett Mid-winter is the time for farm meetings as well as the Finance Committee’s annual pre-budget tour. What I’ve been hearing from various cash-crop, pork, beef, hort and general farm organizations is the ongoing need for a Business Risk Management Program. A solution is needed now and in the future. The current … Continue reading “Farmers require stability and predictability”