With the Ontario Legislature back in session after the summer recess, I have tabled six Private Members’ Resolutions to call attention to important issues facing our riding and the province.
Here they are, and why they are important:
1. We need the Minister of Transportation to begin planning for a Highway 7 Acton bypass. The mayor and council of the Town of Halton Hills are concerned about the growing volume of truck traffic along Highway 7 through Acton, as well as in Georgetown and Norval. The town has offered to partner with the Ministry of Transportation to look at long-term solutions, including the possibility of an Acton bypass. I believe we need to start planning for one.
2. We need the government to keep its commitment to establishing all-day, two-way GO train service with stops in Wellington-Halton Hills. During the 2014 provincial election campaign, the Liberals promised to establish all-day, two-way GO train service on the Kitchener Line between Waterloo Region and the GTA. After the election was over, they admitted it might take as long as 10 years. I believe we need to accelerate this expanded GO service, and have more trains stopping in Wellington-Halton Hills on their way to Toronto.
3. We need to ensure that the Permit to Take Water process for large volume water users continues to be science-based, that our groundwater is protected over the long-term for future generations, and that municipalities receive a substantial portion of any increase in provincial fees or taxes. The premier recently stated that she wants to review permit conditions for water bottling companies. She appears to want an increase in the fees charged to large volume water users. I believe that any fee or tax increase should be substantially shared with our municipalities.
4. We need to get a firm date from the attorney general for the commencement of construction of a new Halton courthouse. For the past two years, I’ve been working with local courthouse users, municipal officials, and Halton MPPs to advocate for a new Halton courthouse. I believe it is time for the new attorney general to announce a firm date for construction to begin.
5. We need the government to approve the proposed Wilfrid Laurier University campus in Milton. This past spring, I began publicly advocating for a new Laurier campus in Milton to serve the growing western GTA. This would give our students a new opportunity to study close to home. I believe the government should support this exciting proposal.
6. Once the budget is balanced, we need the government to commit to begin paying down the provincial debt. I have been pushing for a long-term debt retirement plan for many years. Under the Liberals since 2003, the provincial debt has doubled to $308 billion. The government claims the budget will be balanced by next year. I believe we should begin paying down the provincial debt, not just making interest payments.
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MPP Ted Arnott can be reached at 1-800-265-2366. His website is tedarnottmpp.com.