The Summer Scuttlebutt from Queen’s Park

Sorry for my delay in keeping you up to date on the Ontario Legislature and my activities as the representative for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston.

The last few months could be best described as tumultuous and full of the unexpected.

First off, I’ve parted company with Doug Ford over a number of irreconcilable differences regarding both ethics and the proper role and responsibilities of elected representatives. These differences cannot be resolved so long as Doug Ford’s senior backroom advisors are in control of the party and the government.

As a member of the Government’s caucus, I found my ability to effectively represent all my constituents unduly restricted and my ability to offer constructive criticism and improvements to government policy was extinguished. My crossing of the aisle to the opposition benches can be best described as a positive development for the people of Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston.

Here is a quick snapshot of some of my recent activities. You can read more about my work as your representative on my website RandyHillierMPP.com.

Lyme disease

Lyme disease treatment and diagnosis has been an acute and growing problem in our area, I have been a long-time advocate for reforming how our healthcare system deals with people presenting symptoms or diagnosed with Lyme disease. In March, I asked the Minister of Health to consider implementing a pilot project on these reforms with a group of dedicated and knowledgeable constituents, and the Minister agreed. You can view my questions to the Minister here.

Autism

I continue to press the government to end the chaos they have created for families in need of support for their autistic children. The Minister of Finance has tabled conflicting provincial estimates and budget, which suggests someone is not being truthful on the provincial autism policy. You can view the question and exchange here.

Domestic Violence

The Ontario budget has been a disaster for my former colleagues and clearly few Ministers or caucus members are aware of the details. I discovered another unreported fact; the government has reduced funding for women’s shelters and victims of violence by $17 million, resulting in a number of closures. You can view my exchange in the legislature here.

Charter Challenge

On June 10th, I served the Attorney General with a Notice of Application for a Charter of Rights challenge to strike down elements of the Election Finance laws which prevent independent members from accepting donations for their re-election. You can read more at RightToRep.ca.

Cabinet Shuffle

After only one year in office the Premier has shuffled his Cabinet for the second time, making wholesale changes and adding six new Ministers. While I believe it imperative, and welcome a significant course correction by the current administration, I am neither convinced nor optimistic. This change is unlikely to result in any tangible/beneficial improvements in the operations or administration of this Government. While unelected friends of the Premier continue to emanate policy and direction change is doubtful. Changing the seating arrangement of the passengers does not alter the course of the ship.

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