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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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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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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MPAC Spikes Farm Assesments

MPAC SPIKES FARM ASSESSMENTS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
21 October 2016 

(PERTH) – MPP Randy Hillier expressed his concern over the significant increases in the property value assessments currently being received by farmers from MPAC. 

“I am being contacted by farmers who have received assessment notices that are almost double previous assessments, and I am hard-pressed to see any justification,” remarked Hillier. “MPAC says these increases are the result of market trends, but I’m not aware of any trends that warrant spikes like we’re seeing.”

“MPAC mailed out farm property assessments on October 11, and you can appeal your assessment,” Hillier added. “But there is a deadline for filing a Request for Reconsideration (RfR), so if you want to appeal, you need to get your RfR application in to MPAC as soon as you can.”

MPAC offers a website, aboutmyproperty.ca, where property owners can create an account and understand how their property was assessed by MPAC, as well as specific information regarding farm properties and market trends in each community.

“I strongly recommend that people examine their assessment closely when they get it, and file an RfR application if they feel their assessment is incorrect,” Hillier advises. “If you miss the filing deadline, you’ll be stuck with the assessment you received.”

 

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Contact:

Perth Constituency Office 613-267-8239

Queen’s Park 416-325-2244

[email protected]

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Justice Gets a Failing Grade

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5th, 2016

Justice Gets a Failing Grade

(QUEENSPARK) Randy Hillier (Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox & Addington) pushed the Attorney General and the Liberal Government today on the revelation that, according to a recent Macdonald-Laurier Institute report, Ontario ranks as one of the lowest provinces in the country in terms of “access to justice”. On top of this, MPP Hillier cited the report’s conclusion that 43% of all cases are either stayed or withdrawn before trial.

“Such a large number of cases being stayed or withdrawn is, to me, an indication that there is something very wrong with the system” said Hillier. “This data suggests a failure on behalf of either the courts or law enforcement, and when our justice system receives more money than any other province, these sorts of problems are unacceptable.” 

MPP Hillier made a point of identifying the fact that the abysmal state of Ontario’s justice system enables innocent people to have legal conditions placed on them, lose custody of their children and be put in to hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt due to legal fees, only to have charges against them dropped. 

“This government does nothing to provide any sort of remedy for the thousands of innocent people who have had their lives flipped upside down by the justice system only to have their cases withdrawn” proclaimed MPP Hillier. “It’s about time the Attorney General addressed the abhorrent state of our justice system and did more to protect the innocent rather than persecute them”

A full recording of MPP Hillier’s questions to the Liberal 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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Ontario's Lubricious Throne Speech

Ontario's Lubricious Throne Speech
"A Balanced Plan to Screw Up Ontario for Everyone"

(QUEENS PARK) - Today's Speech from the Throne rings in a new session of parliament, justified by the Wynne Liberals as a necessary 'reset' of their legislative priorities.

One should ask how there can be a reset while at the same time a commitment to reintroducing all the legislation that died on the order table with prorogation? Clearly the Premiers words and her actions are at odds with one another once again. Instead, what was presented was a chest thumping agenda of re-announced priorities delivered with lubricious language.

“The Speech from the Throne today was nothing more than lip service to past commitments and re-announcements of existing projects,” MPP Randy Hillier proclaimed. “The only new announcement was the subsidy on the provincial portion of the HST for residential and small business hydro bills with no explanation of how this will affect the Treasury.”

Today’s speech simply parroted the same stale policies from the previous session. In truth what the Premier is attempting to accomplish is a reset of her political fortunes – not the wellbeing of the people of Ontario.

“Keeping with how they have operated in the past, all of these announcements where delivered in oily and slippery language without detail,” Hillier explained. “They didn’t even attempt to explain where exactly they plan to get the money needed for these policies. How do they plan to provide subsidies and balance the budget while meeting the outrageous spending commitments they regurgitated today?”

“These re-announcements of the same old ideas illustrate that this was far from a reset, it’s business as usual in the Legislature and the Liberals will continue to govern with their own self-interest as their priority,” concluded Hillier.

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Local Reps Demand Quality Care, Not Cuts

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
23 August 2016
 
(PERTH) – MPPs Randy Hillier (Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox & Addington) and Steve Clark (Leeds-Grenville) met with Champlain CCAC Chief Executive Officer Marc Sougavinski on Monday to discuss their concerns surrounding cuts to PSW hours serving clients in the Champlain catchment area.
 
"While we're told there are no changes to current patients' hours, I remain cautious and concerned for future patients," remarks Hillier.
 
"The model does appear to be changing, and we remain unclear on how this might impact patient care in the long term," adds Clark. "Without evidence that care isn't being compromised, I am reserved in any support for change."
 
Mr. Sougavinski pledged his commitment to ensuring any problems and concerns brought to his attention by either Mr. Hillier or Mr. Clark on behalf of their constituents would receive his personal attention. Both members agreed they would be watching the situation closely.
 
"We're both encouraging any Champlain CCAC clients or their loved ones in either of our ridings who encounter a reduction in service that compromises care, or feel they are receiving inadequate care, to contact our offices," Hillier declared.
 
"We'll be following this closely," Clark concluded.
 
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Contact:

Randy Hillier, MPP
Perth 613-267-8239
Steve Clark, MPP
Brockville 613-342-9522
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Champlain CCAC Cuts Services For Seniors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10 August 2016

(PERTH) MPP Randy Hillier (Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox & Addington) expressed his alarm that seniors in the Champlain Community Care Access Centre's catchment area are having their Personal Support Worker (PSW) care visits cut in half.

After meeting with a number of PSWs that work in the Champlain CCAC region, and as highlighted in a recent story by Bob Hepburn of the Toronto Star, Hillier has learned that many seniors will see their assisted care reduced to a 15-minute visit.

"What kind of care could we possibly be providing someone in fifteen minutes?" Hillier asked rhetorically.

Hillier has penned a letter to the Board Chair and the President of the Champlain CCAC, demanding a reversal of the policy decision, and suggesting that they instead focus on the larger financial problems and find greater efficiencies within administration before diminishing patient services.

It appears these changes have been initiated in the Champlain CCAC catchment area, however it is anticipated they will expand to other CCACs prior to their anticipated incorporation into the LHINs with Bill 210.

"Clients in in my riding are served by either the Champlain CCAC or the South East CCAC; by far, the services delivered by the Champlain CCAC have been a regular source of complaints and aggravation for their clients, as compared to the SE Region, which seems to function much more effectively," says Hillier. "These new changes only magnify the mismanagement and further demonstrate that lack of concern the Champlain CCAC has for their clients."

You can read MPP Hillier's letter to the Champlain CCAC  here.

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

 

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Hillier Calls for End of Cash-For-Access

(QUEEN’S PARK) MPP Randy Hillier (Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington) has called on the government to amend Bill 201 - Election Finances Statute Law Amendment Act, which is currently before a traveling committee, to prevent Ministers and other Government Officials from holding cash-for-access fundraisers with stakeholders under their jurisdiction.

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Cartel Gains Control of Our Community Hospital

(CARLETON PLACE) – With a decisive and rigged vote by the Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital Board last evening, the community lost their hospital. “It was extremely disheartening to watch a number of anonymous autocrats extinguish community participation in our publicly funded hospital,” lamented MPP Randy Hillier (Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox & Addington). “The community represented, democratic Board was last night fundamentally altered into an unaccountable cartel that will answer to no one.”

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