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Wilson working hard for Simcoe-Grey

(February 23, 2016) It has been a busy winter for me as your Member of Provincial Parliament.


The most pressing issue I've been dealing with is the province's decision to approve the Wpd Canada wind turbine project.


As you know, this project will involve placing eight 500-foot turbines near the Collingwood Regional Airport.


So many people fought to stop this project, including myself. These turbines will put pilots' lives at risk. As well, a study done by the Town of Collingwood and the Township of Clearview has shown the turbines will hurt the local economy. The study also found these turbines will negatively impact future investment at the airport and in the area.


Why the Liberal government is ignoring the people of Simcoe-Grey is beyond me. Even more troublesome is the fact they are putting lives on the line in order to advance their energy policy.


I will continue to fight the government on this matter. And let me tell you, if one life is lost because of these turbines I will hold Premier Wynne personally accountable.


Earlier this winter, I was in Northern Ontario with PC Party Leader Patrick Brown and some of my other elected colleagues. We met with Ontarians in communities such as North Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Elliot Lake, and Thunder Bay.


In each community, the stories were the same – people are frustrated with the poor way in which the Kathleen Wynne Liberals are running this province.


In Simcoe-Grey, I've been meeting with constituents, and working on special projects, such as a mail campaign to send my Stevenson Memorial Hospital petition to homes across South Simcoe. The petition went out a week ago and it calls on the Liberals to provide funding for the redevelopment of our hospital. If you did not get a copy of the petition in the mail, I encourage you to telephone my Alliston constituency office at 705-435-4087.


I'm also working to help Collingwood General and Marine Hospital move forward with its redevelopment plans, and I'll have more to say about that in the future.


Now back at Queen's Park, our party has resumed raising the issues that are important to Ontarians. We do it daily, Monday to Thursday, during Question Period.


We continue to urge the government to manage the public purse in a much better fashion than it has over the years. Our party has heard loud and clear from Ontarians that they want better fiscal management, especially during these tough economic times.


As well, we continue to press the Liberals to do a better job handling the health care file. On a regular basis, I get contacted by constituents who are frustrated with wait times for surgical procedures, such as hip replacements. People shouldn't have to wait months and months to get the care they need.


Earlier this month, I had PC Health Critic Jeff Yurek visit the north end of Simcoe-Grey. He was kind enough to meet with doctors at the Stayner Medical Centre. He also toured Collingwood General and Marine Hospital. In both cases, he heard serious concerns about how the Liberals are badly handling health care. It's a story he hears on a regular basis in other parts of the province.


On Thursday, the Liberals will introduce the 2016 budget. The PC Party has three recommendations that we'd like to see the Wynne government include.


Firstly, we'd like to see the Liberals include a credible plan to make energy affordable in Ontario. Government mismanagement has meant that hydro in Ontario is much more expensive than it should be for businesses and families. This plan would have to include halting any further sale of Hydro One. We should be looking at ways to make Hydro One more efficient and making electricity more affordable.


Secondly, the 2016 budget must include a plan to properly manage Ontario's health care system. Government scandals, waste and mismanagement are taking away funding for essential services. The budget must include reversing the current and planned cuts to doctors, nurses and hospitals.


And thirdly, the budget needs to address Ontario's financial situation. Until Ontario's poor financial state is properly dealt with, the government will continue to cut funding to doctors, close needed schools, and raise hydro rates as a way of coping.


And personally, I'm looking for the government's budget to include much needed funding for the operation of Matthews House Hospice in Alliston. The Liberals have made overtures that such funding is coming, so I hope they don't let our community down.


The people of Ontario expect better from their government, and they deserve better from their government.


I promise you that I will continue to press the Liberals to govern in a far more responsible manner than we've seen.

Jim Wilson is the Progressive Conservative MPP for Simcoe-Grey.


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