Last Week in Queen’s Park — Sept. 28, 2018
A guest column by Jim McDonell
At the beginning of this week, I was off to Charlottetown PEI as our government’s representative at the Conference of Public Account Committees. While there we engaged in and discussed matters related to the important role served by the committee to ensure effective and efficient government.
Closer to home, it was difficult to see the devastation brought upon our neighbours as Mother Nature wreaked havoc in the Ottawa Region. The Premier and the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing sprung into immediate action on behalf of those directly affected.
On Saturday, Premier Ford stated: “I’ve told my officials that the provincial government will provide whatever resources are required to support Ottawa as they work to recover.” Our government worked closely with our municipal partners to activate the province’s Disaster Recovery Assistance Program for immediate action to restore essential services.
In Queen’s Park, The Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board, announced the highly anticipated release of the independent line-by-line audited review of government spending, which took a thorough look at 15 years of financial records.
“This detailed analysis of Ontario’s current spending will help us build a modern, more sustainable government,” said Bethlenfalvy. “We are taking important steps to get Ontario back on the road to fiscal health, and we will continue to be open and transparent about the state of Ontario’s finances.”
These results will provide the foundation for our action plan to modernize and deliver services more efficiently. Our government has a clear goal to return Ontario to balance on a timetable that is modest, responsible & pragmatic. We will make better decisions and put People at the centre of every service, program, process, and policy.
On September 20th – Bill 34, Green Energy Repeal Act, 2018 was introduced by Hon. Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. It repeals the Green Energy Act, 2009 and takes steps to address the years of runaway energy costs that Ontario has experienced, making like unaffordable for our residents and businesses.
As well, Bill 36, Cannabis Statute Law Amendment Act, 2018 was tabled by the Attorney General, Carline Mulroney to provide for the federal government’s mandatory sale cannabis and related products, commencing on October 17. This bill is the result of consultations held across the province with municipalities, health authorities, police, and educators.
On Friday, the Premier announced 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. The cancellation follows the recommendation of the Auditor General. Effective April 1, 2019, drivers will no longer be required to get Drive Clean emissions tests and repairs for their passenger vehicles. Cancelling the outdated Drive Clean program will save taxpayers upwards of $40 million annually.
As we move through our term, we will continue to look for more examples to put the people of Ontario first, by eliminating unnecessary regulations and costs and keeping more money in people’s pockets.