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Liberal policies threaten Demonstration Schools

Jim with Ruth and Patrick Bourachot re Demonstration Schools April 2016 web version 1

(April 14, 2016) Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson joined Ruth and Patrick Bourachot of Collingwood outside the legislature today during a massive protest against Liberal policies that threaten the future of Demonstration Schools.


The couple's son Nathanial attends the Trillium Demonstration School in Milton.

Wilson urges Senate to pass federal bill that will provide greater transparency for unions

(December 19, 2012) – Earlier this week Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson sent a letter to Canadian senators urging them to promptly pass Bill C-377, a bill that will amend the Income Tax Act to require that labour organizations provide financial information to the Minister for public disclosure.

“In the last Ontario provincial election, a group of powerful unions came together to form the Working Families Coalition and took millions of dollars from workers to spend on partisan attack ads,” said Wilson. “Another union, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, took an extra $60 from every member – whether they consented or not – to run their own attack ads.”

Wilson is concerned that these groups currently operate outside the rules governing political parties and have no restriction on donation size or how much money gets spent.  They are allowed to spend untold millions on attack ads – more than any political party—and have no accountability to their membership or to Elections Ontario.

“When an interest group outside the Legislature has as much or more political clout as the elected Members within, the health of our democracy itself is being compromised,” said Wilson. “Groups like the Working Families Coalition are an anti-democratic force – and they are setting a dangerous precedent.”

This legislation was recently passed in the federal House of Commons and is now awaiting approval by the Senate.  When approved, the bill will increase transparency of labour organizations and level the playing field for all political parties in the next election.

“Bill C-377 is an important and necessary measure that will empower workers to hold their unions accountable and ensure that union dues are being used to benefit workers – not for partisan attack ads,” concluded Wilson. “I support this legislation and urge senate to support and pass the bill as soon as possible.”

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Auditor General’s Report: More Spending, Fewer Results

(December 14, 2012) Bloated bureaucracy, wasteful spending, poor oversight, mismanagement of taxpayer dollars—these are all themes coming out of the Ontario Auditor General 2012 Annual Report this week. And, they offer further proof that we need a new team of strong fiscal managers to govern this province.

A decade of reckless overspending by the current government, coupled with chronic mismanagement of taxpayers’ money, has left the province in a very deep hole. And it’s a hole that if things don’t change will only continue to grow deeper. 

According to the Auditor—and I agree—Ontario needs to start making tough and bold decisions to reduce the size and cost of government. In fact, it is the same message that the Ontario PC Party has been pushing and recently reiterated in our New Deal for the Public Sector discussion paper released last week. 

The Auditor’s report details various areas the Liberal government has failed to ensure taxpayers receive good value for their money and lists where efficiencies are possible.

There are few especially troubling examples:

The Auditor found that the number of government funded crown attorneys has more than doubled in the last two decades, while the total number of criminal charges they handle in a year has not changed at all. 

He found that staff at Ministry-operated youth detention facilities has increased by 50 percent, while the average youth population has decreased by 37 percent. 

He found that crime rates over the last two decades have declined by 40 percent, yet OPP expenditures net of recoveries from municipalities rose by 27 percent.

He found that the number of people on the Long-Term Care home waiting list has gone up by 85 percent, while the number of beds for them has only increased by three percent.

He found that the Drive Clean program took $30 million from the pockets of motorists last year, while contributing little to recent reductions in vehicle emissions. We created this program to encourage car makers to reduce emissions. Now that they’ve done that, the program is no longer needed.

The McGuinty government is paying for more bureaucrats to do the less work, while ignoring the things that matter most like frontline healthcare, classroom education and strong transportation.

It doesn’t make sense.

Overspending and mismanagement puts everything we value at risk. Whether it’s the Drive Clean program, Ornge, eHealth, cancelled power plants or McGuinty’s doubling of our debt, the Ontario Liberals have proven that they have no idea how to manage the books or efficiently govern this province.  

Ontario needs to set a course for balanced budgets and better value for taxpayers. But that needs to start with new leadership. A PC team of strong fiscal managers led by Tim Hudak will make the tough choices needed to get Ontario back on track.

Wilson: Highway 26 Realignment Finally Complete

(December 10, 2012) Standing on the side of the road on a section of the new Highway 26 realignment, Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson was joined by local mayors and town councillors to launch the unofficial opening of the new highway—a project that he fought the McGuinty government on for close to a decade.

“For the past 13 long years, residents of our area have joined with me in an effort to get the Highway 26 realignment complete and open to the public,” said Wilson. “It is because of these persistent efforts that the government has ceded to our requests and almost completed construction of this long awaited project”


The construction of the realignment originally began in 2003 under the PC government at the time in response to safety and traffic concerns.  The project was delayed without explanation in the summer of 2004 when the McGuinty government pulled construction crews off the site mere months after winning the previous election.


With the help of local residents, Wilson raised the issue in the legislature more than 47 times on 47 different occasions through petitions, Members' Statements and by questioning the government in Question Period. In addition, he wrote countless letters, attended various meetings and collected more than 4,500 signatures from local residents.

“In all my years, I have never heard of a government coming in and cancelling such a small project that posed such serious safety concerns, but that’s exactly what happened,” said Wilson “Now that the highway’s just about built, I think it looks great and I know it will strengthen our area’s economy and the quality of life for area residents.”

Wilson indicated that the MTO has initiated studying east-west capacity improvements in the highway 26 corridor, including potential future bypasses of Stayner, Collingwood and Thornbury. The Study Design Update is expected to be complete in 2013.

“My commitment should we win the next election is to do everything I can to work with local municipalities to continue to improve the Highway 26 corridor,” concluded Wilson.


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Paths to Prosperity: PC Party Agenda for Patient Centred Health Care

(December 3, 2012) Ontario needs bold action to create jobs and grow the economy, but we also need fundamental reforms in core services that people rely on most. Nowhere is that more evident than in the $47.3 billion we spend on health care—an estimated 25 percent of which is spent inefficiently and could be better directed to front line care.

Ontario’s health system is in rough shape and stretched to a point where people have to fight to get the care they need.  Health spending continues to increase, yet we are failing to meet the needs of many patients. And, if we continue down the path we are on, health spending will take up to 80 percent of the budget by 2030—the remaining 20 percent wouldn’t even be enough to cover the cost of education in Ontario.

Our local hospitals are bursting at the seams.  

In Alliston, the emergency department that deals with the ill and dying doubles as the main entrance and registration desk where less serious patients sign in for procedures.  On a recent tour of the hospital, it was pointed out to me that surgery patients, obstetrical patients and out-patients all enter and wait at the same location leaving them exposed to patients in the ER. We have been trying to secure funding for upgrades at this hospital for years. 

In Collingwood, the hospital has had a capital expansion application into the government for almost a decade with no success. Some services have now been moved to portables outside the building.

If the health system doesn’t have money for hospitals, what does it have money for?

Tim Hudak and the Ontario PC Party know that our province can do better. And, as I explained in my column last week, we have put together a number of policy papers that lay out a better path for our province.

In Paths to Prosperity: Patient-Centred Health Care—one in a series of white papers—we put forward a number of proposals that would reform the health system so patients are put at the forefront of every health decision. 

Our approach transfers power from bureaucrats to frontline health professionals who know firsthand the needs of patients in their communities. We focus each policy idea around three objectives: keeping Ontarians healthy, enhancing the patient experience and controlling healthcare costs. 

One of our proposals includes the elimination of two costly layers of middle management—14 Local Health Integration Networks and 14 Community Care Access Centers.  In their place we would build off the existing high performing health infrastructure of the hospitals we already have and create ‘healthcare hubs’ that will organize plan and commission services for patients in their respective regions. 

This restructuring alone would remove 2,000 bureaucratic jobs from Dalton McGuinty’s bloated bureaucracy and save money that could be reinvested into frontline care.

The Ontario PC Party message is clear—more frontline patient care, less bureaucracy. 

We can’t balance the books without reforming the delivery of health care and our policy paper demonstrates the way to do that.

To learn more about our plan for healthcare reform please click here

Paths to Prosperity: PC Party Agenda for Growth

(November 23, 2012) Ontario has never been in as bad of an economic situation as we are today, and not enough people are talking about it. There are over 600,000 Ontarians out of work. We are careening toward a $30 billion deficit and $411 billion debt. We have record high hydro rates, increased taxes and a costly and time consuming regulatory burden affecting growth and job creation.

This is not the province that I grew up in. And, these are not characteristics that will attract investment. 

For close to a decade the McGuinty government has dealt with its problems by throwing money at them.  We have seen it with public sector unions. We have seen it in an endless array of new programming.


Record low interest rates have allowed the Premier to get away with spending more, but we have now reached the point when the money has run out. When interest rates go up—which we know they will—so will the amount we pay on our debt.


This means less money for the things we care about and more money in the pockets of overseas creditors. 


And while spending continues to increase, the private sector is steadily in decline. Government has become our only growth industry in Ontario. Just last month, Ontario lost 40,000 private sector jobs while the public sector put another 30,000 people into employment. 

It doesn’t take an Einstein to recognize that this is not sustainable.

The Ontario PC Party knows that our province can do better.  And, in recent months, we have been hard at work putting together a number of policy papers that lay out a better path for our province.

In An Agenda for Growth—one in the series of our white papers—we present 15 bold proposals based on principles of smaller government, a strengthened job sector and level a playing field through lower taxes, freer trade and less government interference. 


The PC Jobs Creation Task Force developed policies by reaching out to businesses, individuals, economists, think tanks and industry experts to hear their ideas and listen to their feedback.


We believe we have developed an integrated approach to economic success that will free us from Dalton McGuinty’s made-in-Ontario jobs and debt crisis and restore our traditional role among Canada’s provinces as the economic leader in growth and job creation.


This is the path that is best for Ontario and it is the path that will make our province a great place to invest, work and do business. If you are interested in reading about our plan for growth click here. I urge you to take a look.

McGuinty ‘closes down’ (prorogues) Ontario Legislature to further Liberal interests

(Queen's Park Report - October 25, 2012) Earlier this week, Tim Hudak, with the support of the entire PC Caucus, wrote to Premier Dalton McGuinty demanding the immediate recall of the Ontario Legislature. The letter was the third attempt by Hudak to contact the Premier about prorogation in less than eight days and condemns the Liberals’ for putting their own party’s interests ahead of the interests of the province.

By proroguing the Legislature, Dalton McGuinty brought all legislative activity to a halt, including a plethora of legislation, and specifically, my ‘Ability to Pay Act’ that has already received recognition from countless municipal councils across the province, including Adjala-Tosoronto, Collingwood and Wasaga Beach.


It also kills a contempt motion against the Energy Minister, who to this day has not released all documents or costs associated with the politically-motivated cancellation of gas-fired power plants in Oakville and Mississauga.  The plants were cancelled mere days before the last election with shovels already in the ground and cost estimates for the decision nearing $1 billion. 


Prorogation also means an end to all investigations into Liberal scandals like gas plant scandal and the legislative committee probe into the disaster at the Ornge Air Ambulance Agency.


Prorogation means I can no longer rise in the Legislature to raise concerns on aggregate production in Ontario. Nor can I question the Minister of Natural Resources on his decision to close Springwater Provincial Park. I cannot present petitions on behalf of the many residents of Clearview Township concerned with the McGuinty government’s ill-advised decision to build 500 foot wind turbines near the Collingwood Regional Airport.

 
The decision to prorogue will not only impact Ontario’s economy—the S&P credit rating agency has already expressed concerns—but it will leave us without a jobs plan that will worsen each day that MPP’s are prevented from being able to deal with issues that are important to Ontarians.  


To prorogue in the midst of a legislative session amongst heaps of negative publicity is an abuse of power and in my opinion nothing but a cynical and crass political attempt to hide from accountability and the full extent of the truth.  Mr. McGuinty’s decision to prorogue is more about pulling the wool over the public’s eyes than doing what’s best for the province.   It’s shameful.


There’s no excuse for this. Mike Harris didn’t lock the doors to the legislature when he resigned as Premier and waited for his replacement to be chosen.  He kept the House in session.


With over 600,000 men and women in Ontario without a job, who are depending on us to grow the economy and create jobs, it’s time to get back to work.

Jim on CHCH's Square Off Program Talking about Gas Plants

Jim on CP24 talking about the hundreds of millions of dollars wasted on cancelled power plants

Wilson to Liberals: Release Gas Plant Documents


Ontario's Debt Clock

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