Subprime Policies from a Subprime Premier

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6th, 2017

Subprime Policies from a Subprime Premier


(QUEENS PARK) In response to the government’s recent announcement of planned hydro cost decreases set for this summer, Randy Hillier (MPP for Lanark-Frontenac- Lennox & Addington) questioned the government on why they continue to replace existing low cost generating facilities with new, high cost replacements.

“The Kingston Generating Station, which employs 18 people and produces electricity for a low rate of 5.9 cents per kwh, is being forced to close while new facilities are being built just down the road in Bath and Amherst Island that will produce for 20 cents a kwh,” exclaimed Hillier. “The Premier can claim all she wants that they are doing what they can to reduce hydro costs, but the fact of the matter is they continue to build expensive and unneeded generating stations will closing down low cost stations that already exist.”

The latest announcement from the Liberal government promises a 25 percent cut off the average residential hydro bill, which will come from a subprime “remortgaging” deal that will extend costs years beyond the life cycle of these assets.

“The Premier has said publicly that this plan is going to cost the people of Ontario more, and take longer to pay off,” explained Hillier. “The government is doing nothing to prevent expected future cost increases, and is now not only dumping the costs of their reckless policies on to future generations; they are continuing to perpetuate cost increases by signing more expensive contracts.”

A full recording of MPP Hillier’s question to the government can be found here.

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Contact: Perth Office 613-267- 8239
Queen’s Park 416-325- 2244
[email protected]

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Hydro Telephone Townhall

Join me tonight at 7PM where I will be hosting a telephone town hall, exploring the concept of energy poverty and the recently implemented Cap and Trade program. You can watch the live stream of the town hall below.

You are encouraged to contact any or all of the following regarding your issues with Hydro:

Minister of Energy
Hon. Glenn Thibeault, MPP
Ministry of Energy
4th Floor, Hearst Block
900 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 2E1
416-327-6758

Office of the Premier
Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne, MPP
Room 281, Main Legislative Building, Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A1
416-325-1941

To join the class action lawsuit against Hydro One contact:
Koskie & Minsky LLC
Email: [email protected]
Toll free Hotline: 1-855-595-2628

Hydro Ombudsman
[email protected]
1-844-608-8756
1.888.448.7777
[email protected]

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Lessons for Rural School Boards

I have called upon the Limestone District School Board to follow in the footsteps of their peers at the UCDSB in order to avoid the closure of schools within their board. I would like to thank all those who spoke out and demonstrated the need to keep these schools open. While your voices were an integral part of keeping these community hubs intact, we must continue to advocate for the schools that remain on the chopping block within the LDSB. Below you will find a press release sent out today by my office regarding the Upper Canada District School Board's announcement that schools in the Lanark area will remain open.


 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
14 February 2017 

LESSONS FOR RURAL SCHOOL BOARDS

 (PERTH) – Randy Hillier (MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox & Addington) calls upon the Limestone District School Board to carefully consider the Upper Canada District School Board's (UCDSB) Final Staff Report regarding school closures in Lanark County.

"My only disappointment is that the lessons learned and recommendations in Lanark were not adopted throughout all areas of the UCDSB," remarked Hillier. "The province has placed great pressures and challenges onto our school boards, and the Limestone District School Board and indeed all rural school boards, ought to consider and implement my recommendations."

"Many Lanark County schools were facing potential closure with serious and negative consequences to our communities," Hillier continued. "I was pleased to see so many speak up, rally, and demonstrate against the uninspired and trite proposed school closures."

"I am pleased that my recommendations have been adopted such as the sharing of space and resources with the Separate board, as well as improvements to curriculum, in order to mitigate the enrollment pressures for schools in Lanark County," commented Hillier. "I remain firm in my view, however, that the pupil accommodation process itself was misguided, and contained within it some fundamental flaws. As an example, nowhere in the process did I see any examination of administrative costs at the Board itself, adjustment of school hours to allow for shared transportation costs with the Separate school board, or an undertaking to reach out with other community associations for lease sharing, which truly can make our schools true community hubs."

"However, there remain a great number of rural school closures which will have serious and enduring negative consequences for our rural communities; it's time all school boards learn these lessons and become champions for our rural and small town schools," Hillier concluded.

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 Contact:
Perth Constituency Office 613-267-8239
Queen's Park Office 416-325-2244
[email protected]

 

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Hillier Demands Compensation Model for the Wrongfully Accused

In a letter to the Attorney General of Ontario, Randy Hillier (Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox & Addington) has called upon Minister Yasir Naqvi to establish a select committee to study the systematic failures of Ontario’s justice system that have resulted in over 43 percent of proceedings dismissed before trial.

“In 2015 alone 82,400 cases have been stayed or withdrawn before trial, and another 9,900 were dropped mid-trial,” explained Hillier. “Couple that with the fact that on average, each case generally takes 140 days to reach deposition, we are clearly presented a very bleak picture.”

You can read the letter in full below.

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Hillier Demands Court Vacancies Filled

MPP Hillier has called on both the federal and provincial Attorneys General to take action on the 14 Superior Court of Justice vacancies in Ontario. In his letter, MPP Hillier has cited the debilitating effect on access to justice that these vacant positions are imposing on the people of Ontario.  

“There are far too many cases being thrown out due to systemic delays. In 2015, over 43% of all cases in Ontario were stayed or withdrawn before trial,” proclaimed Hillier. “This failure to fill vacancies is resulting in both dangerous and violent criminals being released back into our communities, or innocent people being unduly deprived of their liberties.”

You can read both letters in full below.

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MVCA Wetlands Policy Proposal

Below is a copy of my response to the MVCA’s request for public feedback relating new policy proposals surrounding unregulated and unprotected insignificant wetlands. 

It is important to remind ourselves that these new policies are not a provincial requirement or the result of any new provincial legislation or mandates, but a desire to expand their authority, and originates with the staff of the MVCA. Further, the only means for these new policies to become lawful and have effect is through municipal concurrence and adoption. 

From the attached correspondence you will see I have significant concerns that these new policies, if adopted would have substantial negative consequences on the municipalities that comprise the MVCA watershed. 

I encourage you to review my thoughts and concerns, and share your directly with the MVCA via their website here:http://mvc.on.ca/changes-to-wetlands-open-discussion/

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School Closures a Symptom of Rural Neglect

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 21st, 2016

 School Closures a Symptom of Rural Neglect

(QUEENSPARK) Randy Hillier (Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox & Addington) challenged the Premier to take ownership of yet another one her “mistakes”, the decline of small town rural Ontario. Hillier argued that the Liberal Government’s legacy of failure and indifference to small town rural Ontario has devastated these communities and that school closures are the unsettling result of their failure.

“School closures are not the cause but a symptom of communities in decline,” Hillier stated “And that is the true Liberal legacy, the decline of small town and rural Ontario.” remarked Hillier. “Now in my riding alone 40 community schools are on the chopping block.”

Hillier laid the blame on a number of government actions which have led to the decline of rural communities across Ontario. “The Premier’s policies, The Premier’s economic actions, the Premier’s restrictive land regulations and skyrocketing hydro rates have suffocated growth and prosperity in rural Ontario,” Hillier explained.

Additionally, Hillier believes that parents should have a seat at the table in the discussions on school closures and consolidations. “School boards should allow parents of the affected children an opportunity to voice their concerns and provide their insights into these decisions via deputations to the board,’ Hillier proposed. “Instead the school boards are choosing to dictate its actions to these communities they have long been a part of and shut out the voices of those they service.” concluded Hillier

MPP Hillier's petition to the Upper Canada District School Board on the Pupil Accommodation Review process can be found here.


A full recording of MPP Hillier’s questions to the Premier can be found here.

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Contact:

Perth Office 613-267-8239

Queen’s Park 416-325-2244

[email protected]

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Bill 41 Survey

With Bill 41, the convenience of the bureaucracy and administration of health care gets priority over actual front line service.

Rather than addressing the need for more doctors and front line care, Ontario is going to hire more bureaucrats to manage services and direct patient care in a manner most convenient to the government's administration, regardless of patient wishes and needs. This government's unwillingness to have open and frank discussions with health sector workers, nurses, and physicians on what is and isn’t working is problematic, and has resulted in a bill that is nothing more than an ineffectual game of whack-a-mole.

Please take a moment to complete my survey on Bill 41 which will be delivered to our Premier and Minister of Health (here).

For more information on Bill 41 you can view a recording of my debate in the House on the bills bureaucratic meddling in our health care system (here).

 

 

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Upper Canada District School Board Responds to Open Letter on School Closures

 

The Upper Canada District School Board has replied to MPP Hillier's October 3rd Open Letter to the Board of Trustees on the student accommodation review process and the potential closure of schools. 

You can view the UCDSB's letter below, followed by a copy of MPP Hillier's reply.

UCDSB Letter:

MPP Hillier's Response:

Jeff McMillan
Chair
Upper Canada District School Board
225 Central Avenue West
Brockville, ON K6V 5X1

Dear Mr. McMillan,

Thank you for your October 12 response to my open letter to the Board of Trustees.

In your response, you request my assistance and support to address the perceived inadequacies of the per-pupil funding model. While a review of the funding model may be justified, from my perspective an examination of the revenue model is more appropriately undertaken after a thorough review and examination of program and operational expenditures. If, after an objective analysis of expenditures, there is a determination that statutory responsibilities cannot be executed under the existing funding formula, then I expect that would trigger a funding review. At this time I have not seen evidence that this has been undertaken. 

I am, however, disappointed that your correspondence made no reference to my specific suggestions and advice, and that they remain unaddressed. In the absence of a response to my concerns, I only see that a revenue hand out is being sought. I trust this was inadvertent and an oversight that will be remedied shortly.

Let me reiterate and emphasize that from my discussions I am left to conclude that the Board appears to have transposed their responsibilities to those of their administrative employees. From my perspective it is imperative that the Board begin to provide direction and vision in the areas I outlined in my open letter, which included:

- It is necessary that the Boards and their respective Review Committees avail themselves of current short and medium term development plans of the affected municipalities. I am aware that a number of municipalities involved have growth and development plans and forecasts that likely are more current than the data that was reviewed.

- There needs to be a careful examination and consideration of the concentration of curriculum into fewer schools that has resulted in the busing of students over long distances to ‘specialized’ schools resulting in, and exasperating, the underutilization and occupancy of rural schools. Greater consideration towards the reallocation of programming to reduce travel and facilitate student retention in community schools need examination.

- The public and separate school board ought to be considering and negotiating space sharing arrangements that would allow small and rural communities to retain a local school within their community. I would add that it is imperative that space sharing agreements with community groups could provide an additional revenue stream for our community schools, including youth and/or seniors programs.

- The boards need to do a better job of ensuring that parents with children in their schools are aware that they have the ability and right to bring their concerns with this and any other education matters directly to the Board; what that process is, when those opportunities are available, and how to go about doing it. Further, they ought to be encouraged and welcomed to do so.

I remain optimistic that these efforts, if undertaken, would alleviate some of the pressures currently being felt by both our school boards and community schools.

Sincerely,

Randy Hillier

 

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Collaboration Brings Success to CPDMH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 28, 2016

Collaboration Brings Success to CPDMH

(CARLETON PLACE) Randy Hillier (Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox & Addington) announced the investment of $8.7 million towards the revitalization of the Carleton Place District Memorial Hospital's emergency room plus an additional 9000 square feet of additional ER space today, alongside the Minister of Health and Long Term Care Dr. Eric Hoskins, Carleton Place Mayor Louis Antonakos, and Beckwith Township Reeve Richard Kidd.

"This improvement to our hospital has been a long time coming; in fact the idea pre-dates my time in public office," remarked Hillier. "This investment will contribute to the revitalization of our emergency room and will enable our doctors and nurses to build upon the excellent service the hospital already provides." 

MPP Hillier highlighted this investment in the community's hospital as an example of how elected representatives from all levels and political stripes can come together to implement changes that are in the best interest of their community. Despite CPDMH having various development proposals for many years in the Ministry, MPP Hillier referenced an initial meeting earlier this year that triggered moving the project forward.

"We saw a significant change of direction on this project, starting back in February of this year, when Carleton Place Mayor Antonakos and I sat down with the Minister at ROMA, and had a thoughtful and frank discussion about the need for investment in CPDMH," recalled Hillier.  "Continued meetings,  discussions and timelines overcame historical challenges with strong collaboration and only 9 months later, the Ministry has made the significant investment we discussed in February." 

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Contact:
Perth Office 613-267-8239
Queen's Park 416-325-2244
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