Bad timing

Recently, I finished work at my Queen’s Park office at about 7:30pm, and headed for home.

On the way, I stopped in at the grocery store in Acton, as I often do.

“How are you enjoying your holiday?” someone asked.

I replied that I was decidedly not on holiday, but that the premier had prorogued the Provincial Legislature … meaning he’d shut it down until further notice.

Adding that I would still be working in our riding and at Queen’s Park in the coming weeks did little to dispel her disappointment.

Many of our residents in Wellington-Halton Hills are more than just disappointed; they are angry at this latest, cynical move by the Liberal government to stifle debate in the Ontario Legislature.

With the house prorogued, there is no daily question period, which holds the government to account. No new legislation is introduced. The people’s elected representatives from all three parties cannot gather to discuss the important questions of the day. All-Party Standing Committees of the Legislature do not meet. No laws are passed.

Behind closed doors, the business of the provincial government continues.  But Members of Provincial Parliament do not assemble together to debate it.

At a time when the province is  facing a staggering $14.4-billion deficit and a growing provincial debt, a stagnating economy with an unemployment rate of eight per cent, unanswered questions about the cost of cancelling the Oakville and Mississauga gas-fired electricity plants, and turmoil in some of our schools, the Ontario Legislature should be in session.

When the lights are dimmed in the Ontario Legislature, the light of democracy in our province is dimmed as well.

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Our Ontario PC Caucus has released Paths to Prosperity: An Agenda for Growth, the latest in a series of White Papers, intended to present a comprehensive plan for the future direction of our province.

We believe that Ontario can lead again, and have offered constructive ideas to encourage job creation and economic growth.

All of our White Paper proposals can be found at:

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On Oct. 4, I took the opportunity to speak in the Legislature, updating MPPs on the progress we are making with the planning for a new Groves Memorial Community Hospital.

The Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network has endorsed the program and service elements of the Groves plan, and urged the Ministry to help keep up the momentum.

More detailed design consultations will begin, and an architect has been hired. The hope is to begin tendering the project by 2014-15.

Our community is grateful for all the work being done by everyone associated with the hospital.

Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott welcomes comments.  He can be reached at 1-800-265-2366.  His website is


Ted Arnott