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  • Mike Schreiner reflects on the fall sitting at Queen’s Park

QUEEN’S PARK – Mike Schreiner, released the following statement on the end of the fall legislative session.

“One after another, the government has squandered opportunities to make life better for Ontarians, preferring to embark on a legislative agenda that was frustrating and often appalling.

It is no surprise to see that Premier’s approval numbers have plummeted since September. The people of Ontario are watching and they clearly don’t like what they see.

The government’s agenda over the past few months reads like a catalogue of negligence, mismanagement and legislative overreach:

  • The egregious use of the notwithstanding clause to trample on the rights of education workers.
  • The attacks on local democracy enshrined in the various pieces of strong mayors legislation.
  • The broken promise – with a blatant gift to PC-friendly land speculators – of opening up the Greenbelt to development.
  • The housing bill that guts environmental protections and sets the course for more destructive sprawl.
  • A shameful five per cent increase in ODSP rates while people with disabilities languish in legislated poverty.
  • The decision to appeal Bill 124 – digging their heels in to defend unconstitutional legislation that undervalues and disrespects nurses and other provincial workers.
  • Refusing to admit there’s a crisis as the healthcare system crumbles and children’s hospitals scramble to provide care for our kids.

This list is not exhaustive but it is indicative of a government that is intent on pursuing its program of budget austerity regardless of the cost to Ontario’s people and its environment.

The encouraging developments of the past few weeks have happened outside the legislature.

It was wonderful to see how people stood up and fought back when the government tried to suppress the rights of the lowest paid education workers. The government had to back down and, hopefully, learned a lesson.

And now people are coming together accross the province to stand up and speak out against the government’s plans to pave the Greenbelt and line the pockets of wealthy land speculators.

Let’s hope the government is prepared to listen again – and learn yet another lesson.”

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