Gearing up for spring legislative session

S-D-SG MPP Jim McDonell. Nation Valley News file photo

SDSG MPP Jim McDonell News Release

CORNWALL — As we look toward the new 2019 spring legislative session at Queen’s Park it’s hard to acknowledge “spring” considering the current weather here at home.

Although the Legislature was in recess, our government kept up its torrid pace to implement positive changes. When you are left with a fiscal mess, there is no time to lose to get the province back on track and Open For Business.

My colleagues and I have spread out across this great Province gathering input from constituents. We’ve tackled a host of problems, as well as those involving my role as Parliamentary Assistant in my own Ministry, such as affordable housing, the building code and regional governance.

We have received overwhelming and positive responses from our fellow citizens on these issues. This helps us to navigate forward, together.

A delicate task is ahead as we return moderation and sanity to shortsighted polices that will reduce the $350 billion deficit, which had tripled under previous Liberal governments.

This province pays around $12 billion annually in interest on that staggering black hole. Think how much treatment the $1.1 billion the Liberals spent to scrap two gas-fired generating plants could have bought.

As we embark on returning austerity and services to Ontarians, I wish to touch upon a few achievements since the rise of the Fall Legislative Session. These of course include:

– Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Lisa MacLeod outlined the widespread reforms to the Ontario Autism Program that will restore fairness, equality, and sustainability to the program.  Under our government’s proposed reforms, the waitlist for funding will be cleared in 18 months and we will make the system more accountable to guarantee that supports are there for families with the greatest need, now and well into the future.

– Minister of Training Colleges and Universities Merrilee Fullerton announced that our government will be lowering tuition for all college and university students.  Starting September 2019, domestic tuition for students will drop by 10 per cent.  As well, we are helping students and their families save money by allowing for choice in student fees.

-Minister of Natural Resources John Yakabuski introduced two new licence-free fishing events this year on the weekends of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. This is in addition to our decision to freeze fishing licence fees and remove the $2 service fee in 2019 in order to make life more affordable for families

It seems that our government and our commitment to being Open for Business is already paying dividends.

Statistics Canada announced that employment in Ontario increased by 41,400 jobs in January. The gains included 34,000 full time positions and 7,300 part time jobs.

To maintain this momentum, we will continue to seek your input on Government services and courses of action.

If you would like to get more details or just stay up to date on our Government initiatives, please sign up  for my newsletter at http://www.jimmcdonellmpp.ca and follow me on Twitter and Facebook!

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