Growing up in Fort Erie, I remember times when Niagara’s economy was thriving and neighbours had good paying jobs to go to. Today as an MPP representing Hamilton and Niagara, I’ve seen how the government’s made-in-Ontario jobs and debt crisis are preventing new investments here at home and holding residents back from reaching their full potential.
Niagara’s unemployment rate is nearly 11 per cent – among the highest in Ontario and Canada. Our communities have been rocked by plant closures including Grand River Foods in Beamsville, where 110 employees lost their jobs and Siemens in Hamilton where another 550 lost their jobs.
In the middle of a jobs crisis and deepening debt crisis, the Liberals decided to prorogue government. This decision effectively shut down parliament so they could escape another scandal while abandoning Hamilton and Niagara residents. With the doors shut, they’ve put a government that wasn’t doing its job on autopilot, leaving overspending to continue unchecked and the debt to accumulate.
This is unacceptable. We can’t afford to go on like this. On behalf of 600, 000 Ontarians in search of work, I have repeatedly called on Premier McGuinty and Ontario Liberals to change course and to recall the Legislature so MPPs can get back to work. I want to get on with the job of helping to create jobs.
The Ontario PC Party has launched a series of radio advertisements pressuring Liberals to get back to work. Tune into local radio stations to hear them. If you want to send a message to government to get back to work, sign our petition at www.ontariopc.com or call my office at 1 800 665 3697 to request a copy. I encourage all Hamilton and Niagara residents to sign it if you want to tell the Premier and Ontario Liberals to reopen the Legislature.
Despite the wrong path Ontario is headed down, I know our best days are still ahead. With the right ideas for private-sector job creation, Ontario will lead again in job creation and communities like Hamilton and Niagara – to name a few – will prosper and grow.
The path to jobs and economic prosperity runs through Hamilton and Niagara – but it’s going to take bold, new and transformative ideas to kick-start the local economy and help residents find good-paying jobs. It’s also going to take a Legislature that’s hard at work.
The Ontario PC Caucus recently brought forward Paths to Prosperity: An Agenda for Growth. It’s out latest discussion paper which proposes 15 bold, new ideas to create jobs and grow the economy.
But we need the Legislature to be open to put our ideas into action to rein in government spending and put our province and economy on the right track. As the MPP of Niagara West-Glanbrook my constituents expect nothing less and they’re right.