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Wilson seeks advice from his top advisors

Says medical lab closures will remain a top priority

(December 13, 2010) Jim Wilson is looking for advice from the people he calls his top advisors - Ontario families.  The local MPP used his year-end press conference in Collingwood today to launch an extensive survey to get ideas on how local families want to move Ontario forward.  He also used the occasion to confirm that medical lab closures will remain a top priority.

"It has always been very clear to me that you simply get the best advice from ordinary Ontario families that work hard and play by the rules," said Wilson.  "Sadly, that kind of family no longer seems to be on the list of Dalton McGuinty's priorities. He believes he has a more intelligent understanding of what Ontario families' need."

"Have Your Say Ontario" is the largest ever consultation with families in Simcoe-Grey, with over 50 questions strong.  The survey will arrive in mailboxes this week and will seek advice on topics that range from the environment, to taxes, education and healthcare.  Most of all, Wilson says he wants to know how he can help get families the break that they need to put their household budgets back in order.

Wilson also talked about his ongoing campaign to get medical labs in Stayner and Elmvale re-opened permanently.  While he says he's happy to have won back the Tottenham lab and secured an expansion of the Wasaga Beach lab, he won't be happy until the other locations are back serving constituents permanently.

"I'm not going to stand by and watch an erosion of health services in our riding," he said.  As an example of his resolve, Wilson recalled his crusade to bring dialysis to Collingwood and Alliston which ended in a fundamental reform of how dialysis services are delivered in Ontario. He also cited the successful campaign to re-establish the birthing unit at Stevenson Memorial Hospital, saying "we fought so hard that we even managed to get the government to backtrack to the point where they even threw in a new CT scanner just to help calm the community down."

As for what happens if the government doesn't force the permanent re-opening of labs in Stayner and Elmvale, Wilson says he's in it for the long haul.  "If Dalton McGuinty wants to fight a local election campaign here in Simcoe-Grey over these medical lab closures and cuts to frontline health services, I say bring it on."

The former Health Minister says he's convinced that major legislative changes are needed, saying "decision making power needs to be taken away from unelected and unaccountable corporate executives and hospital CEOs and put back in the hands of taxpayers and their representatives."

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