February 1, 2017
Hon. Mitzie Hunter
Minister of Education
Mowat Block 22nd Flr,
900 Bay St,
Toronto, ON M7A 1L2
School Closures in Prince Edward County
Dear Minister Hunter,
I am writing to invite you to meet with Constituents and Municipal Leaders in my area to discuss the Accommodation Review Committee process which is currently underway. I know you had the opportunity, at the ROMA conference to hear from municipal leaders and staff to discuss the potential negative impact the changes will have on their small towns.Read more
Literacy Day at St. Gregory Catholic Elementary School
Today, across Ontario, students were celebrating Literacy Day! I was lucky enough to spend the morning with students at St. Gregory Catholic Elementary School in Prince Edward County.
I read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and The Paperbag Princess by Canadian Author Robert Munsch, to a group of Kindergarten students!
Central Hastings News
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.”
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....
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!!
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.
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.
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
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!