ERIN O'TOOLE MP Durham
According to Greek mythology, Icarus flew too close to the sun and plunged to his death after his wings melted. In his iconic poem, Williams Carlos Williams depicts Icarus’ fall as an afterthought: “Unsignificantly/ off the coast/ there was/ a splash quite unnoticed/ this was/ Icarus drowning.” The fall of Canada’s Icarus has created a splash that has been noticed.
When Justin Trudeau came to office in 2015, he promised to climb to new heights on his “sunny ways” wings. He promised a return to “positive politics” and promised various groups of Canadians what he thought they wanted to hear. He promised electoral reform to woo voters and the left. He pledged to restore Veteran pensions to woo voters on the right. Trudeau promised to be Canada’s first feminist prime minister and that he would achieve reconciliation with Indigenous Canadians. He promised to be all things to all people.
Like Icarus, however, Trudeau discovered his mortality the hard way. Trudeau made promises to win, but not to deliver on. On electoral reform, Trudeau abandoned his declaration that the 2015 election would be the last conducted under the first-past-the-post system. On veterans’ pensions reform, the government marketed a Pensions for Life program that is nothing of the sort.
Instead of making governance more transparent, Trudeau has ignored and shown disdain for different voices, revealing the emptiness of his sunny ways promise. The Liberal government has continued to force through omnibus bills after promising to never do that. Though the Prime Minister calls himself a feminist, we learned that he bullied or ignored his party’s brightest and most competent female MPs.
In the SNC-Lavalin Affair, for example, Canadians found out that Trudeau sought to coerce Jody Wilson-Raybould to ignore her ministerial responsibilities and to do his bidding. He yelled at Whitby MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes when she shared with him her desire not to run for re-election. Trudeau also showed his lack of commitment for Indigenous reconciliation when he ejected Wilson-Raybould and MP Jane Philpott—the two strongest voices on that file—from the Liberal caucus. The only sunny finding from the SNC scandal is the realization that there are many MPs within the Liberal Party who are willing to stand on principle and against Trudeau.
Across the board, Trudeau has demonstrated his focus on style over substance. While bedazzling Canadians with empty promises and progressive rhetoric, Trudeau has proven unable to deliver. The federal budget is no closer to being balanced. Instead of prioritizing pipeline construction and sustainable economic development that would benefit Indigenous and resource communities across the country, Trudeau has proven unable to get the job done. And though Icarus falls in silence in Williams’ poem, Trudeau’s fall has been anything but silent. Trudeau’s failure to respect the rule of law has negatively impacted Canada’s standing in the world and has led to examination by the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD).
I recently had the pleasure of speaking at a debate organized by the Churchill Society for the Advancement of Parliamentary Democracy. Churchill knew the value of rhetoric, but more importantly, the power of hard work and commitment. Historian Martin Gilbert notes that Churchill was fond of the motto that “the heights achieved by men and kept/ were not achieved by sudden flight/ but they, while their companions slept/ were toiling upwards through the night.”
In our debate, I said the 2019 election would be about authenticity. It doesn’t matter how many promises you make if you do not follow through with them. There has been no “sudden flight” with the Trudeau government but a steady fall from grace as people realized the Prime Minister was not the authentic brand they advertised. In the lead-up to the October election, the Trudeau Liberals will make a whole new set of pledges. The difference is that this time, Canadians understand what happens when you fly too close to the sun.
We would like to express our thanks to the community for the support of our 2nd Walk for Dog Guides. We have significantly surpassed last year’s number but it is too early to give final numbers as donations are still coming in. Donations are accepted until the end of June.
This could not have been done without the support of our sponsors, like: Vos, The Old Flame Brewery, PP Print, Anja of Sweden, Framers Gallery, Brocks, Port Perry Marina. McDonalds, Perfect Scoop, and Budget Blinds to name a few. Jack from the Old Flame Brewery has confirmed, next year the Old Flame will be applying for a road closure permit, due to the growth of the event.
The golden retrievers this year decided to switch from Vos hot dogs to the Perfect Scoop Gelato. And some walkers really enjoyed the treat bags, handed out, so much they took two.
Thank you to the fabulous organizing committee of Sue Brain, Scott Riley. Pam Riley. John Eden, Anna Fava, Livia Tymon and Robyn Hulowski, to their spouses, and to all who gave tirelessly of their time.
We could not have asked for better support than what we received from Scott Riley of Pet Valu, Pam Riley of Paulmacs and their team, and the Port Perry Lions, under the new leadership of Karen Thompson.
Thank you Mayor Drew for attending and Councillor Angus Ross for walking. Thank you to our print media for their support, coverage and constant updates. Thank you especially to the Port Perry BIA for their support and hospitality on the day of the walk, and to the Chamber and the Town for their social postings.
Thank you to Paula Crebbin, Toiné Lahner and York for sharing their stories with dog guides. Thank you Cheerio Crebbin for bringing the Puppies in training
Jonathan Van Bilsen put his own unique spin on the MC and then also walked. Thank you to Mike Slade, Alexander Sivilla, Steve Brain and Kelly, for the professional photographs, and Jonathan Van Bilsen for the finishing touches and his wisdom.
All the pictures will be posted by Wednesday, at http://tiny.cc/05t86y thanks to Kelly Lea Photography
A big thank you to the army of volunteers and all the walkers and donors. We could not have done it without you.
We look forward to working together for an even better walk next year.
Co-Chair, 2nd Port Perry Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides May 26 at 10:00 at Palmer Park
Giving Canadians a New Leash on Life
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