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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Consultation Tells Us What We Already Knew

DEMONSTRATION SCHOOLS REPORT STRESSES THEIR IMPORTANCE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 5th, 2016

 

(BELLEVILLE) – The Ministry of Education released the long awaited report into the provincial English Language Demonstration Schools today. The report – which covered four institutions across the province including Sagonaska Demonstration School in Belleville, reiterated many of the points made by the Parents and former students of the schools who argued in favour of keeping them open.

“A lot of what is in the report is stuff that parents groups have been saying for months.” Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith stated. “They’re the same arguments that I made on the floor of the legislature when we debated the future of demonstration schools in April. These schools are giving kids with a severe learning disability hope for a future.”

The report, which is seventy-five pages in length, analyzes the different supports available at demonstration schools that often aren’t available in home school boards. For example, programs that the government has often touted as possible replacements for the schools are often only available in select school boards in major urban centres leaving children in the rest of the province unserved.

“The government has tried to make this an argument about delivering these services closer to home.” Smith continued. “What the government’s experts have said is that that’s just not possible. Often these programs aren’t available, or the school boards are unaware of them, or they don’t have the resources for them. That’s why demonstration schools are essential to fairness in our education system.”

The Ministry of Education has said it will be making a statement about the schools on Monday.

“I want the Ministry to commit to a future for these schools beyond 2017.” Smith concluded. “Anything less is unacceptable because anything less would be denying a future to these kids.”

 

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Letter to Minister of Energy About Cap and Trade on Natural Gas Bills

August 3, 2016

 

Hon. Glenn Thibeault

Minister of Energy

Hearst Block 4th Flr,

900 Bay St,

Toronto, ON M7A 2E1

 

 

Dear Minister,

 

I am writing you to express my disagreement with the decision by the Ontario Energy Board yesterday regarding the line itemization of the cost of the province’s cap and trade program. The various reasons raised through the OEB, including the potential for increased customer complaints at their customer service centre, are simply insufficient rationale for denying customers crucial information.

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