Time for another scuttlebutt update on Freedom, Justice and Democracy from Queen’s Park.
The next few weeks will be pretty hectic, not only with the real business of the Legislature, but also with the frivolity that is always present in a minority parliament. I'm sure you have heard some of the rumours of Dalton trying to lure opposition members to resign with extravagant patronage positions so that he may yet get a majority, but I can assure you he hasn't approached me yet, but if he does I'll let everyone know ASAP.
You may find this both interesting and amusing: on Thursday May 3 the Legislature debated the "Protection of Elephants Act" (I kid you not) which was introduced as a Private Members Bill. Well intentioned as it may seem, instead of debating strategies for dealing with the economy, job creation and spending restraint, we recognized and enshrined into law “Nurses’ week”, “Children’s Mental Health Week”, “International Day of the Midwife” and recognize May as both Jewish and Asian Heritage month.
I continue working to get the government to begin serious policy discussions on high unemployment, rising costs of living and our poor economic performance in the Legislature.
What's on Deck- Labour and Property Rights
- I'll be tabling a Private Members Bill to amend the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board to end their monopoly and allow private insurers to compete in the marketplace. Professor Harry Arthur's has also released his long awaited WSIB report on Friday May 4 at 4:00 pm. I expect there will be some vigorous questions and debate surrounding his report and recommendations.
- I'll also be tabling legislation on amending the Ontario Labour Relations Board by giving people the right to appeal decisions and bring this administrative panel under the authority of "The Statutory Powers and Procedures Act" and instilling concepts of due process. Additionally, there’ll be a Bill to end the practice of card based certification for construction contractors, which currently prevents employees from using secret ballots while certifying contractors to a union bargaining collective.
- On Wednesday May 9 at 9 a.m. we start clause by clause consideration of Bill 16. This is the final step of the committee process and on completion the Bill gets referred to the House for third reading. The committee will be live streamed starting at 9 a.m. and you can click on this link to find the stream.
- Also on Wednesday May 9 I'll be attending the Lanark Leeds Home Builders association in Perth, along with representatives of the Ministry of Labour, which should make for an interesting and lively evening.
- On Friday May 11 I'll be on air just after the 7 am news and just after the noon news on Lake 88 FM, to chat about the upcoming property rights speaking tour I'm hosting for the Fraser Institute on May 14 (Toronto) and May 17 (Ottawa and Perth). Click on here for more details - I hope to see you at one or more of these great events.
- On Friday May 11 I'll be attending the grand opening of A&B Ford’s brand new building on Highway 7 in Perth.
- May 15, I will be launching a white paper on labour reform in Ontario at a fundraiser with the Honourable Lisa Raitt, the federal Minister of Labour.
MPP Lanark, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington