Peter Bethlenfalvy MPP Pickering/Uxbridge
In our 2019 budget, we brought forward a responsible approach to restoring fiscal sustainability while preserving critical front-line services. It is time to return to the core commitment of our plan: to protect what matters most.
However, there has been criticism in recent weeks about some decisions in the budget. We know that the loudest critics are the ones who supported the Wynne government to get us to a $343 billion debt, spending $1.5 million every hour on interest-on-debt.
The question we must ask ourselves is: what did we get in exchange for an additional $200 billion debt burden and are we better off now than we were before? The answer is clear: no, not even close.
Our mandate is to protect core public services like health care and education. To achieve this, we are making an education investment of $1.6 billion this year alone to protect teacher jobs while boards align high school class sizes with other jurisdictions in Canada. We’re laying off zero teachers as a result of our class size and e-learning strategies.
From kindergarten to grade three there will be no changes to class sizes. Students in grades four to eight will see a minimal average increase of one student per classroom. Secondary students will see an average class size of 28 students – aligning Ontario with other jurisdictions in Canada.
We are modernizing learning in our education system by equipping students in Durham Region and across Ontario with the skills they need in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The long-term goal is to increase students desire to pursue math and sciences in high school and beyond.
For students with autism, school boards will receive an average of $12,300 for each eligible new student entering the school in the 2018-19. This will ensure that students get the support they need to succeed.
Under our watch, we will not allow our province to adopt the same failed policies as adopted under the previous government.
Ontario deserves a better, brighter, more prosperous future. That is what we are building – without apology, and with tremendous care of our children and grandchildren.
On April 24th, the Region of Durham, led by Pickering’s mayor, voted to support an airport in Pickering. The motion was handed out at the meeting, with no advance notice to councillors or the public. Mayor Ryan said that the extraordinary (we say undemocratic!) move was necessary because it was an “emergency,” and he further declared (more than once) that the public had already “had its say,” implying majority public support for an airport. Land Over Landings says, “Untrue! The public has not been heard. But it will be!”
Recognizing that the “emergency” excuse was used to avoid a pre-emptive public outcry, Land Over Landings will be combining its Annual General Meeting, on June 2nd in Claremont, with a call to action for all those opposed to an airport on the prime farmland of north Pickering.
Citizen action in the face of government inaction will be the theme of our main speaker, Dr Dianne Saxe, former Environmental Commissioner for Ontario – until the office was closed by the Ford Government this spring. Special guest Steve Parish, long-time Mayor of Ajax and Greenbelt champion, will talk about Pickering's "aerotropolis" event (held in Toronto on April 9th) and discuss advocacy and environmentalism in the current political climate.
With Durham Regional Council and Ajax Council both recently passing motions to support Pickering's push for an airport, it's clear development forces are launching an all-out assault on the Federal Lands. Land Over Landings’ Chair, Mary Delaney, decried the municipalities’ willingness to ignore today’s realities as governments around the world are declaring climate emergencies. "It's like we're in an alternative reality here, where alternative facts are the norm," said Delaney, adding, "How dare Pickering’s mayor speak for us and not let us speak for ourselves?" Citizen action and politicians of vision stopped the airport in the Seventies. Now, more than ever, citizens and politicians of vision need to stand together and declare “no pickering airport!”.
Land Over Landings' Annual General Meeting will be held immediately after guest-speaker Q & A’s on Sunday, June 2nd, 2019, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Dr. Nelson F. Tomlinson Community Centre, 4941 Old Brock Road, Claremont. Refreshments will follow.
On June 6th, 1944, I arrived by boat on Juno Beach in Normandy, France, with the Canadian Scottish Regiment. My role was in the mortar platoon. On June 17th, I was based in a barn, anticipating an attack that never came. I went into a nearby shed to disarm the grenades when one exploded, resulting in the loss of my right arm.
When I returned to Canada, I became a member of The War Amps, which was started by amputee veterans returning from the First World War to help each other adapt to their new reality as amputees. Through the years, we have made it a goal to remember and commemorate our fallen comrades, and to educate youth about the horrors of war.
In Normandy, many Canadians died or suffered wounds that they had to carry for the rest of their lives. As we mark the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, it is important that we never forget.
Allan Bacon, Toronto
From all the team, we would like to thank all the residents for their support of the 2nd Port Perry Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides awareness campaign, which took place this past Sunday at the SmartCenter. We would also like to thank SmartCenter and all their stores for allowing this campaign.
The donations collected were more than last year and the online registrations so far are running at twice the pace of this year.
Thank you Scugog community.
Looking forward to the walk on the May 26th at 10 a.m. in Palmer Park, Port Perry!
Co-Chair, 2nd Port Perry Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides, Giving Canadians a New Leash on Life
Hello Friends of the media and beyond!,
Once again, our 17th annual "Uxbridge Huck Finn Youth Fishing day", held this past Saturday, was a great success, despite the challenging weather conditions.
We had a great turnout throughout the course of our 3 hour event. Our winning brook trout this year was 12 inches in length, caught by a 7 year old little boy! He won a trophy, kayak and a fishing reel, as well as a one day fishing charter for 2!
We served up over 800 hot dogs, handed out close to 600 loot bags, and the McDonald's mobile coffee truck served over 1,000 cups of coffee. An amazing time was had by all.
As a committee and a community, we truly appreciate your support every year. We are already in the planning stages for our 18th annual, scheduled for April 25th, 2020!
All the best and thanks again!
Pat "Huck" Higgins
Chair of Uxbridge Huck Finn Youth Fishing Day, Uxbridge