Ontario Ministers Meet Face to Face with Bay of Quinte Residents

Rossmore, ON - Member of Provincial Parliament for Bay of Quinte, Todd Smith, rolled out the welcome mat for cabinet colleague, Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues.

The Government House Leader and Minister of Government and Consumer Services hosted Minister MacLeod in the riding to discuss poverty, women's issues, challenges for military families, labour shortages and more during a whirlwind visit that wrapped up with a quick flight with a Hercules C130J crew at CFB Trenton.

The Ministers met with frontline staff at Three Oaks Women's Shelter in Belleville's west end to hear firsthand how the current funding model is creating challenges for women experiencing violence in the community and how an increase in human trafficking victims has added strain on services.

This meeting was followed by a poverty roundtable, which was attending by various community groups, which including Three Oaks, Canadian Mental Health Association, Voices of Hope, Hastings County Social Services, Community Living PEC, North Hastings Community Trust, and many others who were able to speak directly with Minister MacLeod

"I am extremely pleased that Minister MacLeod was able to meet with the Poverty Roundtable," said Smith. "These are the people that understand exactly where the current system is failing those most vulnerable in our community."

Minister MacLeod has promised to introduce a new delivery model for social services in Ontario by or before November 8th.

The two Ministers also met with Caroline Granger from The Grange of Prince Edward Winery in Prince Edward County to discuss barriers faced in hiring staff through the Temporary Foreign Workers Program.

The Bay of Quinte tour concluded with a stop at 8 Wing CFB Trenton and a meeting with staff at the Military Family Resource Centre where Minister MacLeod committed to forming a Military Caucus at Queen's Park to find a solution for those military family members being left behind.

"Too many family members are falling through the cracks and waiting too long to receive services after being transferred from outside Ontario," said Smith. "I'm looking forward to ensuring that children who need mental health counselling and other medical specialists appointments aren't falling to the bottom of the waiting list because their Mom or Dad gets transferred to CFB Trenton, Borden, Petawawa and other locations in Ontario."

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Ontario Cancelling Outdated, Ineffective Drive Clean Program

BELLEVILLE, ON — Ontario’s Government for the People announced last week the cancellation of the outdated Drive Clean program, saving money and reducing the regulatory burden on Ontarians while enhancing regulations for the biggest polluters on our roads. Effective April 1, 2019, drivers will no longer be required to get Drive Clean emissions tests and repairs for their passenger vehicles.

“By ending Drive Clean tests and repairs for passenger vehicles, this government is reducing the burden on residents and families who own a car, so they no longer need to take time out of their days to take their vehicles in for unnecessary tests,” said Premier Doug Ford. “We’re saving taxpayers over $40 million every year, while better targeting the biggest polluters to protect Ontario’s air.”

“Industry standards have significantly improved since the Drive Clean program was established in 1999,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “This has resulted in a steady decrease in the number of cars that fail the emissions test. The Drive Clean program has outlasted its effectiveness and no longer provides value for taxpayer’s money.”

“This is yet another great example of how this government is putting the people of Ontario first,” said Todd Smith, MPP, Bay of Quinte. “By eliminating unnecessary regulations and costs we are keeping more money in people’s pockets.”

A new, enhanced program will focus on heavy duty vehicles like commercial transport trucks and will ensure that Ontario is leading Canada in reducing harmful smog-causing pollutants.

Proposed enhancements to the heavy-duty program will result in additional vehicles tested and almost double the number of polluting vehicles identified for repairs, resulting in higher reductions of harmful pollutants. It will also bring tougher on-road inspections to ensure owners are properly maintaining their vehicle emissions.

More details about the new program for heavy duty vehicles will be available in the coming months.

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For more information, contact:
Lacy Shunock
Constituency Assistant
(613) 962-1144
Lacy.shunock@pc.ola.org

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Independent Financial Commission Report finds previous government left $15 billion deficit

BELLEVILLE, ON - Ontario’s Government for the People will continue working to restore trust and accountability in the province’s finances following the release of the Independent Commission of Financial Inquiry’s report into the previous government’s accounting practices.

The report states that the previous government left Ontario with a $15 billion deficit.

“The Commission report reveals a culture of waste embedded at the highest levels of the previous government,” said Finance Minister Vic Fedeli. “In an election year, they pursued a reckless spree of deficit-financed spending.”

As well, the government released Public Accounts of Ontario for 2017-18 today, which show that contrary to claims of a balanced budget, Ontario actually ran a $3.7 billion deficit in 2017-18.

With the release of the Commission report, Ontario’s Government for the People takes the first step of many on the path to restore accountability and trust in government, respect taxpayers, and put Ontario’s fiscal house in order.

“The people of Ontario can count on their government to protect our province’s public finances and deliver on our promise to restore accountability and trust in government,” said Todd Smith, MPP, Bay of Quinte.

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For more information, contact:
Lacy Shunock
Constituency Assistant
(613) 962-1144
Lacy.shunock@pc.ola.org

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