MPP Reacts to Auditor General's Report

Central Hastings News

By Sue Dickens 

Queen’s Park - This year’s report by the province’s Auditor General revealed a number of areas where the government’s ability to deliver basic services had totally broken down, according to Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith.
“Over 14 years, we’ve spent eight billion trying to develop electronic health records,” he stated.
“So, in the time that Apple has used to develop eight iPhones, a dozen iPods and the cloud, Ontario has been unable to electronically get your health records from Belleville to Kingston. Nowhere else could you fail so spectacularly and still have your job.”
The delay in developing the province’s health records is only one among a number of healthcare service delivery problems outlined in the report. More problems included 47 per cent of patients who needed emergency surgery having to wait ten hours or more for an operating room; 10 per cent of Ontario patients in emergency rooms faced waiting times of 23 hours or more and only a third of neurosurgeries were being completed within the recommended four-week timeline.
“How many times have we seen Quinte Healthcare forced to cut back on staff? How many times have we had to sacrifice services or beds at Trenton or Picton?” Smith continued. 
“We’re spending money on things that never produce results like eHealth, meanwhile one in ten people with emergencies are sitting in the ER for 23 hours. This is a complete failure on the part of this government to run a healthcare system.”
The Auditor’s report catalogued other issues with government services including road and bridge construction. 
“We’ve spent 23 million to repair three year-old roads that were supposed to last fifteen, often instead of using the contractor’s warranty to get them to do the job right. We just pay them again.” Smith concluded. 
“This government is now failing at the most basic things that Ontarians expect us to get right.”

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Apply for Page Program

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Todd's daughter Reagan has spent the last couple weeks as a Legislative Page at Queen's Park. The program is open to all grade 7 and 8 students in Ontario. For more information on this great opportunity check out the link....

http://discoveryportal.ontla.on.ca/en/youth-programs/page-program/about-program

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Clerk Retires after almost 40 years at Queen's Park

Congratulations to Deb Deller on her retirement as Clerk of the Ontario Legislative Assembly on Thursday, October 27th. Deb started as a tour guide 36 years ago and eventually became the first female clerk at Queen's Park in 2007. The last speech she heard in the house was my one hour lead-off on Bill-39 The Aggregate Resources Act. Happy Sailing Deb!!

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Getting Fit with OTF Grant in Prince Edward County

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Prince Edward Fitness and Aquatic Centre in Picton has a renovated weight room thanks to an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant. The funding was used to install new windows and new equipment. 

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Trillium on Tyendinaga Territory

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The Young Imaginations program and Ohahase Education Centre on Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory received an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant from MPP Smith and OTF Board Member John Blake on October 22nd, 2016. The 18 month project partners with the Quinte West Youth Centre in Trenton to offer a collaborative and unique project called Canada's Cultural Roots.

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Smith Salutes Quinte Business Award Winners

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The Quinte Business Achievement Awards were presented at the beautiful Essroc Arena in Wellington on October 21st, 2016. The winners were....

Business Excellence - Fireplace Specialties

Business Person of the Year - Ed Lehtinen

Agribusiness of the Year - Ramirez Vineyard Services

Hospitality/Tourism Business of the Year - Cottage Advisors Canada

Manufacturing/Industrial Business of the Year- Research Casting International

Young Entrepreneur of the Year - Jenna Empey

New Business of the Year - Furball’s Choice

Not for Profit of the Year - Canadian Mental Health Association/Hastings Prince Edward

Retail Business of the Year - Sunflower Health Shop and Services

Regulated Professions Business of the Year - Belleville Integrated Health Centre

Trade and Construction Business of the Year  -Wentworth Landscapes

Specialized Service Business of the Year - WhistleStop Productions

Sustainability Award - Astoria Organic Matters Canada LP

Trailblazer of the Year - Truckright

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Prince Edward County Pumpkinfest!

A Perfect Morning for the Prince Edward County Pumpkinfest Parade! 
Thank You to all the organizers and volunteers! This is the 20th year for Pumpkinfest in Prince Edward County, and it's still going strong! 

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Public Meeting

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Premier Desperate to Hit 'Reboot'

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 8th, 2016

 

(BELLEVILLE) – A week after losing a by-election in Scarborough-Rouge River, the Premier has decided to prorogue the House and bring it back with a Throne Speech on Monday. This follows a Cabinet shuffle earlier in the summer that showed all the signs of a tired government trying desperately to stay relevant.

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Sagonaska To Stay Open, For Now.

 

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For Immediate Release

August 8, 2016

                                                      

(Belleville) -The Ministry of Education has backed away from plans to close and downsize provincial schools including Sagonaska Demonstration School in Belleville.  Minister Mitzie Hunter announced in a press release Monday morning that the demonstration schools and schools for the deaf and blind will remain open following a consultant’s report on the schools, which was released late last week.

Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith has been leading the opposition to the government’s plans to close the schools and send students back to their home schools. “It’s great news for the parents, families, staff and particularly our severely learning disabled students at Ontario’s provincial schools that the government has finally seen the light.” MPP Todd Smith stated. “However, the question remains for how long will the schools remain open?”

Today’s announcement is a follow up to a climb-down from the previous Minister that the schools would be open for the upcoming school year.

“Minister Hunter hasn’t made it clear whether the schools will be open past the end of the next year” added Smith. “Is this announcement just a band-aid for the government to get them through the next election campaign? Or, is the government actually committed to these life-changing schools?”

The 75 page consultant’s report, released last Friday, analyzes the different supports available at the provincial schools and clearly indicates those same services are not available in most school boards across Ontario.

“These schools never should have been on the table as a potential cost saving measure” added MPP Smith. “It’s sad to think this government would even consider trying to balance its’ books on the backs of our most vulnerable students and their families. 

For Information Contact – Ashley Harnden – 613-962-1144 – todd.smithco@pc.ola.org

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