Queen's Park Scuttlebutt: Land Claims, Labour Pains, and Political Shames

As the long winter of parliamentary dissolution finally draws to an end - it'll be 127 days since Premier McGuinty prorogued the house - and the weekly sojourns to Queens Park recommence, it's time for more Scuttlebutt from Queen's Park. This Scuttlebutt tells the story of Land Claims, Labour Pains and Political Shames in the week past and the week ahead.

Land Claims:
This past week I hosted two fabulous information sessions on the Algonquin Lands Claim Agreement in Principle in Perth and Sydenham. Both were well attended. Though I am generally supportive of the agreement in principle and think that it serves as a good model for future agreements, I do have some significant concerns. I sent these concerns to John Duncan, the Federal Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. You can read the Perth Courier's version of the meeting here.

Labour Pains:
This January 1st Bill 119 came into effect. This new law requires that independent contractors and operators to double up their insurance costs through the WSIB even if they have insurance. It even makes office staff pay the high rates of people on the job site. There are demonstrations being arranged around the Province by independent contractors and operators against the new WSIB laws. I will be attending the demonstration in Ottawa on Feb 12 at the Ministry of Labour's offices on Preston Street. To learn more about these demonstrations and to help out, click here.
Political Shames:
The union leadership at the Perth & Smiths Falls Hospital are trying to generate fear in our elderly residents in their attempt to gain a greater share of the hospital's operating budget. I've exposed their misconstruction of the truth a number of times and that's why they protested at my Perth office. Let me assure you again that the unions claims regarding the Perth & Smiths Falls Hospital are false. The hospital has been very clear about the reality of the situation. Contrary to the union hysteria, the acute care beds that are closing are no longer needed.If the union had their way we would be paying Doctors, Nurses and Orderlies to watch over empty beds while patients needing care would wait endlessly. You can read about it here

And we'll have a new Premier this week. Kathleen Wynne, who voted against my proposed repeal of Breed Specific Legislation and who has consistently supported more taxes and higher spending, is expected to swear in her new cabinet on February 11th. The House will restart on February 19th with a throne speech.  It'll be 127 days since Premier McGuinty left in failure and shame.

In preparation for the upcoming session, I'm busy having new legislation drafted up as well as replacements for all my motions and bills that died on the Order Table with prorogation.

Although I endeavor to keep everyone up to date in a timely fashion with my weekly Scuttlebutt e-mails, for more timely information join me on Facebook or Twitter.