2019-05-14 Question Period


>>The Speaker: IT IS TIME FOR ORAL QUESTIONS. I RECOGNIZE THE LEADER OF THE OFFICIAL OPPOSITION.>>Andrea Horwath: THANK YOU, MY QUESTION IS TO THE PREMIER, THE HEALTH UNITS ARE ONLY NOW GETTING A LOOK AT THE CHAOS IN STORE FOR THEM FROM THIS GOVERNMENT’S PUBLIC HEALTH SCHEME. YESTERDAY WE SAW THE BOUNDARIES FOR THE PREMIER’S TEAM TO DO AWAY WITH 25 UNITS. NOW LARGE SECTORS WILL SHARE THE UNIT OF THE RENFREW HEALTH UNIT WILL BE SLICED DOWN THE MIDDLE. WHO DID THE GOVERNMENT CONSULT TO DRAW UP THESE BOUNDARIES, SPEAKER?>>The Speaker: QUESTIONS FROM THE PREMIER.>>Premier Ford: MINISTER OF HEALTH.>>The Speaker: MINISTER OF HEALTH AND LONG TERM CARE. >>WELL, I THANK THE OFFICIAL OPPOSITION FOR THE QUESTION, BUT THE BOUNDARIES HAVE NOT BEEN DECIDED UPON YET. THERE’S NUMEROUS CONSULTATIONS TO YET HAPPEN. THERE WERE DISCUSSIONS THAT HAPPENED BY PHONE LAST WEEK WITH THE MEDICAL OFFICER OF HEALTH UPON THE SUGGESTS OF BOUNDARIES, BUT THEY ARE ONLY SUGGESTIONS. THEY HAVE NOT BEEN DECIDED UPON. THERE’S A LOT OF CONSULTATION, PARTICULARLY WITH MUNICIPALITIES THAT IS YET TO HAPPEN.>>The Speaker: SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.>>Andrea Horwath: WELL, SPEAKER, IT’S CLEAR THAT THE GOVERNMENT’S PROPOSING THAT, FOR EXAMPLE, WATERLOO, PEEL, HALTON, WELLINGTON PUBLIC HEALTH UNITS MERGE INTO ONE. CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICERS IN HAMILTON AND NIAGARA ARE STILL STRUGGLING TO FIGURE OUT HOW THE MERGERS OF THEIR REGIONS WILL EVEN WORK, MUCH LESS WHAT THE IMPACT WILL BE ON THE SERVICES THEY PROVIDE TO PEOPLE IN THOSE COMMUNITIES. WHILE THE GOVERNMENT COOKED UP THESE SCHEMES BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY WORK IN PUBLIC HEALTH EVERY DAY ARE WORRIED FOR IRTHAT COMMUNITIES AND THEIR JOBS. WHY IS THE GOVERNMENT KEEPING PUBLIC HEALTH UNITS IN THE DARK WHILE THEY FORCE THROUGH THESE RISKY CHANGES?>>The Speaker: MINISTER?>>THE PURPOSE OF THIS PROPOSAL IS TO MAKE SURE THAT WE MODERNIZE OUR PUBLIC HEALTH SYSTEM TO BE ABLE TO RESPOND TO CRISES IN PUBLIC HEALTH THAT DO OCCUR FROM TIME TO TIME, AND WE CAN PROBABLY EXPECT IT’S GOING TO OCCUR EVEN MORE FREQUENTLY IN THE FUTURE. SO WE NEED TO BE READY FOR IT. THAT’S WHAT WE’RE PREPARING FOR. AS FOR THE PUBLIC HEALTH UNITS BEING LEFT IN THE DARK, THAT IS ABSOLUTELY NOT THE CASE. THEY HAVE BEEN CONSULTED. THEY HAVE HAD CONVERSATIONS. THERE ARE MANY MORE DISCUSSIONS THAT HAVE YET TO BE HAD, AND AS I INDICATED IN MY PREVIOUS ANSWER, NO BOUNDARIES HAVE BEEN DECIDED YET. THAT WAS GOING TO BE DECIDED AFTER APPROPRIATE CONSULTATIONS WITH MUNICIPALITIES, WITH THE PUBLIC HEALTH UNITS, AND WITH OTHERS.>>The Speaker: FINAL SUPPLEMENTARY.>>Andrea Horwath: WELL, SPEAKER, TO TAX FIRST AND PLAN LATER IS IRRESPONSIBLE. TO DO THAT IN HEALTH, COULD BE CATASTROPHIC FOR THE PEOPLE OF OUR PROVINCE, SPEAKER. [ Applause ]>>Andrea Horwath: THE PREMIER’S ATTACK ON OUR REGIONAL HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS WILL IMPACT EVERY SINGLE PART OF OUR PROVINCE, AND THIS KIND OF CHAOS WILL ONLY HARM THE PEOPLE WHO DEPEND ON THEIR SERVICES. AND I FIND IT DISGRACEFUL THAT CABINET MINISTERS ARE LAST — >>The Speaker: COME TO ORDER. >>Andrea Horwath: — I CAN TELL YOU PEOPLE IN PUBLIC HEALTH ARE CERTAINLY NOT LAUGHING. THEY’RE VERY, VERY, VERY CONCERNED. IN RESPONSE TO THE NEWS IN WATERLOO, REGIONAL CARE KAREN REDMOND SAID THIS, I HAVE GRAVE CONCERNS. THE FARTHER YOU MOVE AWAY FROM LOCAL DECISIONMAKING THE GREATER THE OPPORTUNITY THERE IS FOR LESS RESPONSIVE AND ACCOUNTABLE DECISIONS. WHY IS THE PREMIER REDUCING ACCOUNTABILITY AND IMPOSING A ONE SIZE FITS ALL SCHEME ON COMMUNITIES ACROSS ONTARIO?>>The Speaker: MINISTER OF HEALTH AND LONG TERM CARE. >>THE MODERNIZATION OF OUR PUBLIC HEALTH SYSTEM IS SOMETHING WE’VE BEEN WORKING ON FOR MONTHS, AND THEY CHANGE FROM THE 35 UNITS OF PUBLIC HEALTH TO TEN IS SOMETHING WE ARE WORKING ON THROUGH THE CONSULTATIONS THAT ARE NECESSARY WITH THE APPROPRIATE PEOPLE INVOLVED. SO THIS IS NOT SOMETHING THAT’S JUST BEEN THOUGHT UP IN THE LAST MINUTE. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT’S VERY PURPOSEFUL, HAS BEEN THOUGHT ABOUT IN GREAT DETAIL BY MANY PEOPLE, AND IT’S SOMETHING THAT’S GOING TO BE SUBJECT TO FURTHER CONSULTATIONS AS THE PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO BE DEALING WITH THIS ON THE FRONT LINE. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR LOCAL PUBLIC HEALTH UNITS ARE GOING TO BE ABLE TO RESPOND TO ISSUES THAT ARE GOING TO COME UP FROM TIME TO TIME. THERE ARE OUTBREAKS OF CERTAIN DISEASES. THAT’S GOING TO CONTINUE. SO WE NEED TO BE READY. WE ARE READY AT THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH, AND WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT LOCAL HEALTH UNITS ARE READY TO DEAL WITH IT AS WELL. >>The Speaker: RESPONSE? THE NEXT QUESTION. LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION.>>Andrea Horwath: THANK YOU, SPEAKER. MY NECK QUESTION IS ALSO TO THE PREMIER. YESTERDAY THE TORONTO DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD RELEASED THEIR PROPOSED OPERATING BUDGET FOR THIS YEAR WHICH HAD A $42 MILLION HOLE BECAUSE OF THE GOVERNMENT’S CUTS TO EDUCATION. IN THE PAST THE SCHOOL BOARD HAS BEEN ABLE TO MAKE UP SHORT FALLS IN THEIR BUDGET WITHOUT MAKING CUTS THIS THE CLASSROOM. BUT THIS YEAR THEY SAY IT’S NOT POSSIBLE. THE PROGRAMS AND SERVICES FOR STUDENTS WILL NEED TO BE SCALED BACK IS WHAT THEY’RE SAYING. IS THE PREMIER READY TO ADMIT HIS EDUCATION CUTS ARE ACTUALLY HURTING STUDENTS. >>The Speaker: QUESTIONS TO THE PREMIER.>>Premier Ford: THROUGH YOU, MR. SPEAKER, OUR GOVERNMENT IS ABOUT MAKING SURE THE STUDENTS ARE READY FOR THE NEW ECONOMY, MAKING SURE THAT THEY’RE READY TO GET OUT IN THE WORK WORLD. THE NUMBERS THAT THE TDSB PUT OUT WAS ABSOLUTELY RECKLESS. THEY PUT THESE NUMBERS OUT TO THE PUBLIC PREMATURE — >>The Speaker: OPPOSITION COME TO ORDER. >>Premier Ford: BEFORE THEY EVEN KNOW THE NUMBERS. THEY’RE THROWING THESE NUMBERS OUT ARBITRARILY. OUR MINISTRY’S NUMBERS ARE AKERATE AND IT’S DISHARTENING THEY MOVE NOTRE-DAME WITH THESE FIGURES WITHOUT EVENING VERIFYING THE ACCURACY OF THESE NUMBERS.>>The Speaker: COME TO ORDER.>>Premier Ford: POLITICAL STUNTS LIKE THIS ONLY SERVE TO CAUSE ANXIETY WITH PARENTS AND WITH STUDENTS. OVER THE PAST 15 YEARS, THERE’S BEEN ZERO OVERSIGHT, ZERO OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY WHEN IT COMES TO THE EDUCATION SPENDING AT OUR SCHOOL BOARDS. THE SCHOOL BOARDS ARE — >>The Speaker: STOP THE CLOCK. I’M GOING TO ASK THE MEMBER FOR DAVENPORT AND MEMBER FOR WATERLOO TO COME TO ORDER. START THE CLOCK. SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.>>Andrea Horwath: SPEAKER, THE PREMIER HAS TO HOLD UP A MIRROR TO SEE RECKLESS OUT OF CONTROL AND PREMATURE. ONE OF THE PREMIER’S CUTS IS TO FRENCH IMMERSE AND EXTENDED FRENCH PROGRAMS. STUDENTS WILL NOW HAVE FEWER OPPORTUNITIES TO PARTICIPATE IN FRENCH IMMERSION BECAUSE THE BOARD IS FORCED REDUCE THE NUMBER OF PATHWAYS INTO THE PROGRAM, AND FEWER STUDENTS ARE ABLE TO TO BE BUSED INTO SCHOOLS TO ACCESS THE PROGRAM. DOES THE PREMIER BELIEVE THAT FORCING SCHOOLS TO CUT ESSENTIAL PROGRAMS LIKE FRENCH IMMERSION WILL ACTUALLY HELP STUDENTS SUCCEED?>>The Speaker: THE PREMIER.>>Premier Ford: JUST THIS YEAR, MR. SPEAKER, WE’RE GIVING THE TDSB $3 BILLION. AND, MR. SPEAKER, WE’RE ASKING THE TDSB TO FIND THREE QUARTERS OF ONE PERCENT EFFICIENCIES, THREE QUARTERS OF ONE PERCENT OF THE EFFICIENCIES, BUT GUESS WHAT THE SCHOOL BOARD DOES INSTEAD, MR. SPEAKER, THEY GO OUT AND WASTE TAXPAYERS’ MONEY. THEY SPENT OVER $700,000 TO REPLACE SOME LOCKS. LOCKS ON SCHOOLS. THE TDSB, THESE ARE GREAT ONES, TO REPLACE ONE ELECTRICAL OUTLET, THEY SPENT $3,000, FOR A $2.50 OUTLET, THEY SPENT $3,000 TO INSTALL IT. THIS IS EVEN BETTER. ONE OF THOSE WHITEBOARDS, THE WHITEBOARDS THAT COST $127. THE SCHOOL BOARD WENT OUT AND SPENT $2500, MR. SPEAKER, ON A WHITEBOARD. THIS IS RECKLESS SPENDING OVER AND OVER AGAIN. >>The Speaker: OPPOSITION COME TO ORDER. >>Premier Ford: WE WENT TO ONE SCHOOL, MR. SPEAKER — >>The Speaker: THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. FINAL SUPPLEMENTARY.>>Andrea Horwath: WELL, I THINK THE PREMIER SHOULD CHECK IF IT WAS A WHITEBOARD OR SMART BOARD. MAYBE HE DOESN’T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE, SPEAKER. [ Applause ]>>Andrea Horwath: FRENCH IMMERSION IS NOT THE ONLY PROGRAM TO BE CUT BACK BECAUSE OF THE PREMIER’S EDUCATION CUTS. THE INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE PROGRAM, THE INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE PROGRAM. THE OUTDOOR EDUCATION PROGRAM. >>The Speaker: COME TO ORDER. >>Andrea Horwath: ARE ALL SEEING CUTS. THERE WILL BE FEWER PSYCHOLOGY STAFF, FEWER SUPPORTS FOR TEACHERS TO BOOST THEIR SKILLS IN SCIENCE, MATH, AND TECHNOLOGY, AND FEWER OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS TO LEARN MUSIC AND ART. IS THIS THE KIND OF CHANGE THE PREMIER THINKS OUR STUDENTS DESERVE, SPEAKER?>>The Speaker: PREMIER.>>Premier Ford: MR. SPEAKER, I THINK THE PUBLIC NEEDS TO KNOW HOW THEY WASTE MONEY AT THE SCHOOL BOARD. SEVEN HOURS, MR. SPEAKER, SEVEN HOURS. THEY HIRED SOMEONE TO HANG THREE PICTURES. SEVEN HOURS. BUT IT EVEN GETS BETTER.>>The Speaker: COME TO ORDER. >>Premier Ford: THEY SPENT SEVEN HOURS HANGING THREE PICTURES, THEY COME TWO DAYS LATER, AND THEY TOOK HOURS TO HANG THREE MORE PICTURES UP, MR. SPEAKER. IT’S OUTRAGEOUS SPENDING WE SEE. THEY WENT OUT AND SPENT $143 ON A PENCIL SHARPENER THAT’S RECKLESS. THEY CUT A SINGLE KEY THAT COST $5 AT HOME DEPOT THEY SPENT $147 TO CUT ONE KEY. AT H.R. McGREGOR, THEY NEED A LITTLE BENCH MR. SPEAKER, THE SCHOOL BOARD HIRED FOUR GUYS TO COME BY TO MOVE ONE BENCH. THAT’S THE RECKLESS SPENDING WE’RE GOING TO STOP. WE’RE GOING TO MAKE SURE THERE’S ACCOUNTABILITY. >>The Speaker: STOP THE CLOCK. [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: ORDER.>>The Speaker: RESTART THE CLOCK. NEXT QUESTION LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION. >>Andrea Horwath: I KNEW THE PREMIER WANTED TO BE THE MAYOR OF TORONTO, NOW HE WANTS TO BE THE PREMIER OF THE TORONTO DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD. MY QUESTION IS TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. TODAY’S “GLOBE & MAIL” — [Interjections]>>The Speaker: ORDER.>>Andrea Horwath: TODAY’S “GLOBE & MAIL” PROVIDES MORE DETAILS OF A DISTURBING INCIDENT LAST YEAR. THEY ORDERED POLITICAL AIDS TO DIRECT POLICE TO RAID CANNABIS STORES THE DAY MARIJUANA BECAME LEGAL WITH THE GOAL OF GETTING PEOPLE IN HANDCUFFS ON THE NOON HOUR NEWS. THE GLOBE REPORTS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ATTENDED A FOLLOW-UP MEETING IN WHICH THE STAPLE STAFF WERE REPRIMANDED FOR NOT FOLLOWING THROUGH ON Mr. FRENCH’S ORDERS. CAN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL CONFIRM THAT SHE ATTENDED THIS MEETING, AND IF SHE DID, DID SHE ACTUALLY TAKE THE TIME TO EXPLAIN TO THE PREMIER HOW INAPPROPRIATE IT IS FOR POLITICIANS AND THEIR STAFF TO ATTEMPT TO — >>The Speaker: QUESTIONS TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. >>THE SOLICITOR GENERAL. >>The Speaker: REFERRED TO THE SOLICITOR GENERAL. >>THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. YOU KNOW, THE NDP MIGHT NOT GET IT, BUT I THINK THE VAST MAJORITY OF ONTARIO RESIDENTS UNDERSTAND THAT OUR GOAL IS TO COMPLETE AND ENSURE THAT OUR FAMILIES AND OUR COMMUNITIES ARE SAFE. THE FACT THAT CHIEFS OF STAFF AND MINISTERS, FRANKLY, ARE ASKING FOR UPDATES SUGGESTS THAT WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THE POLICIES IN LEGISLATION THAT WE ARE BRINGING FORWARD IS ACTUALLY MAKING A DIFFERENCE TO THE FRONTLINE OFFICERS. YOU KNOW, I CONTINUE TO APPRECIATE AND UNDERSTAND, AND I WISH THE NDP WOULD, THAT THESE ILLEGAL CANNABIS SHOPS FUND OPIOIDS, FUND HUMAN TRAFFICKING, FUNDS GUNS AND GANGS IN OUR COMMUNITY. WE MUST SHUT THEM DOWN. AND THE ONLY WAY THAT WE CAN DO THAT IS MONITOR TO MAKE SURE THAT THE POLICIES AND LEGISLATIONS THAT WE HAVE BROUGHT FORWARD IS ACTUALLY MAKING A DIFFERENCE TO THE FRONTLINE OFFICERS. THAT’S WHAT WE’RE DOING. THAT’S WHAT OUR STAFF ARE DOING, AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO THAT.>>The Speaker: STOP THE CLOCK. START THE CLOCK. SUPPLEMENTARY.>>Andrea Horwath: WELL, SPEAKER, THE GOVERNMENT STAFF WHO REFUSED TO DO DEAN FRENCH’S BIDDING DID SO FOR A VERY GOOD REASON. >>The Speaker: ORDER.>>Andrea Horwath: IN A DEMOCRACY, THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT DICTATE WHO POLICE INVESTIGATE OR HOW THEY CONDUCT INVESTIGATIONS. IT’S A CONCEPT, SADLY THAT THE FORD GOVERNMENT SEEMS TO HAVE A PROBLEM WITH.>>The Speaker: COME TO ORDER. >>Andrea Horwath: THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, HOWEVER HAS A UNIQUE ROLE AT THE CABINET TABLE, AND THIS IS EXACTLY THE SORT OF MOMENT WHEN SHE SHOULD HAVE SPOKEN UP. WHY DID SHE NOT SPEAK UP, SPEAKER?>>The Speaker: STOP THE CLOCK. SORRY TO INTERRUPT AGAIN, BUT I HAVE TO CALL MEMBERS TO ORDER. THE PREMIER MUST COME TO ORDER. THE MINISTER OF CHILDREN, COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL SERVICES MUST COME TO ORDER. THE MINISTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE MUST COME TO ORDER. THE MINISTER FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TRADE COME TO ORDER. THE MEMBER FOR EGLINTON–LAWRENCE COME TO ORDER, MEMBER FOR ETOBICOKE CENTRE COME TO ORDER. START THE CLOCK. SOLICITOR GENERAL TO REPLY. >>YOU KNOW, OUR GOVERNMENT UNDERSTANDS AND APPRECIATES HOW IMPORTANT LAW AND ORDER IS IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO. AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE ACTIVITIES OF THESE ILLEGAL CANNABIS SHOPS, BECAUSE AS I SAY, SPEAKER, IT IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT — OPPOSITION SIDE COME TO ORDER. >>– THIS IS A SOURCE OF FUNDING FOR GUNS AND GANGS IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO. THIS IS FUNDING HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO. ILLEGAL CANNABIS SHOPS ARE FUNDING THE OPIOID CRISIS IN OUR COMMUNITIES.>>The Speaker: OPPOSITION COME TO ORDER. >>THE GOVERNMENT DOESN’T UNDERSTAND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT THAT WE KNOW WHY THESE ILLEGAL CANNABIS SHOPS ARE SHUT DOWN, THEN — >>The Speaker: COME TO ORDER. >>– WHY THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND CHIEFS OF STAFF NEED TO HAVE THE INPUT — >>The Speaker: STOP THE CLOCK. [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: THE MINISTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE WILL COME TO ORDER. THE MINISTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE IS WARNED. THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION WILL COME TO ORDER. THE MEMBER FOR WATERLOO WILL COME TO ORDER. FOR REPEATED INTERJECTIONS, IF YOU’RE WONDERING WHY. THE MEMBER FOR KITCHENER-CONESTOGA WILL COME TO ORDER. THE MINISTER OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS AND HOUSING WILL COME TO ORDER. THE PREMIER WILL COME TO ORDER. I WANT TO APOLOGIZE TO THE SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR INTERRUPTING HER RESPONSE, BUT I HAVE TO CALL ONE OF HER COLLEAGUES TO ORDER, BECAUSE OF REPEATED INTERJECTIONS. START THE CLOCK. THE NEXT QUESTION. THE MEMBER FOR AURORA–OAK RIDGES–RICHMOND HILL. >>The Speaker: . >>THAT’S CORRECT, THE THERE WAS A JOB KILLING CARBON TAX ON APRIL 1st. IT WAS NO APRIL FOOL’S JOKE. PEOPLE ACROSS THE PROVINCE, FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE ARE FEELING THE IMPACT OF THE CARBON TAX. HOSPITALS, UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES, BUSINESSES AND SENIORS ACROSS ONTARIO ARE PAYING THE PRICE. NO ONE IS EXEMPT. THE PRIME MINISTER BETTER TAKE NOTE, BECAUSE CANADIANS ARE GROWING ANGRY. MR. SPEAKER, CAN THE PREMIER PLEASE UPDATE THE LEGISLATURE ON THE STATUS OF THE CARBON TAX CHALLENGE?>>The Speaker: THE PREMIER.>>Premier Ford: WELL, I WANT TO THANK A GREAT MPP FOR AURORA–OAK RIDGES–RICHMOND HILL. HE’S A CHAMPION LIKE THE REST OF THESE CHAMPIONS. [ Applause ]>>Premier Ford: MR. SPEAKER, I HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO HOST PREMIER SCOTT MOE FROM SASKATCHEWAN AND TALK ABOUT THE CARBON TAX AND THE EFFECTS THAT ARE TAKING PLACE RIGHT ACROSS THIS PROVINCE, RIGHT ACROSS THIS COUNTRY. IT’S NOT A COINCIDENCE, MR. SPEAKER, EVERY PREMIER THAT RAN AGAINST THE CARBON TAX HAS WON, FROM PEI TO NEW BRUNSWICK, QUEBEC, ONTARIO, MANITOBA, SASKATCHEWAN, AND ALBERTA, THE PEOPLE OF CANADA DO NOT WANT A CARBON TAX. IT’S A JOB-KILLING TAX. IT PUTS A BURDEN ON THE BACKS OF EVERY SINGLE FAMILY IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY. IT PUTS A BURDEN ON EVERY SINGLE COMPANY THAT EXISTS. EVERYTHING IS GOING UP, MY FRIENDS. EVERYTHING THE PEOPLE UP THERE ARE BUYING TODAY IS GOING UP IN HAD PRICE IN THE STORES. THEIR GAS IS MORE EXPENSIVE. EVERYTHING IS MORE EXPENSIVE, MR. SPEAKER — >>The Speaker: THANK YOU. THANK YOU. SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.>>THANK YOU SPEAKER, AND I THANK THE PREMIER FOR HIS VERY ELOQUENT ANSWER AS ALWAYS. MR. SPEAKER, ONTARIO WILL BE PAYING — BECAUSE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S COSTLY CARBON TAX. INSTEAD OF HAVING A FEDERAL LIBERAL GOVERNMENT THAT IS LOOKING TO MAKE THE LIVES OF ONTARIANS MORE AFFORDABLE, WE HAVE A GOVERNMENT IN OTTAWA THAT IS DOING THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE. THE PRIME MINISTER HAS AN ANTI-COMPETITIVE AGENDA, AND THE PEOPLE AND THE JOB CREATORS IN MY RIDING ARE FEELING IT EVERY DAY. MR. SPEAKER, THE SAME MOTLEY CRUES THAT BROUGHT ONTARIO TO THIS DIRE STATE IS NOW PLAYING AN ENCORE FOR ALL CANADIANS. NOW, THANK GOODNESS THAT OUR PREMIER IS WORKING HARD EVERY DAY TO MAKE IT EASIER TO GET AHEAD IN THIS PROVINCE, ONCE AGAIN. MR. SPEAKER, WILL THE PREMIER REASSURE ONTARIANS OF HIS COMMITMENT TO DEFEATING THIS CARBON TAX?>>The Speaker: PREMIER. >>I’D LIKE TO THANK THE MEMBER FOR THE QUESTION, MR. SPEAKER. I CAN ASSURE EVERY ONTARIO RESIDENT, WE’RE GOING TO USE EVERY TOOL IN OUR TOOLBOX TO FIGHT AGAINST THE MOST AGGRESSIVE, WORST TAX THIS PROVINCE HAS EVER SEEN. AGAIN, IT MAKES US UNCOMPETITIVE. EVERY COMPANY I TALKS TO MAKES THEM UNCOMPETITIVE, MR. SPEAKER, BUT THROUGH OUR GREATER MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, HE’S COME UP WITH AN INCREDIBLE PLAN TO MAKE SURE WE HAVE CLEAN AIR, CLEAN LAKES, CLEAN PARKS. WE’RE LEADING THE ENTIRE COUNTRY WITH 22.5% EMISSIONS REDUCTION AS THE REST OF THE CONTRIBUTE IS A POSITIVE FIVE, WE’RE MINUS 22-AND-A-HALF PERCENT WE’RE GOING TO HILT OUR 30% TARGET IN THE NEXT 11 YEARS, AND GUESS WHAT, MR. SPEAKER, WE DID IT WITHOUT A CARBON TAX. WE WILL NOT STOP UNTIL WE GET RID OF THIS CARBON TAX. MR. SPEAKER, IN OCTOBER, THE PEOPLE WILL DECIDE IN THIS COUNTRY IF THEY WANT A CARBON TAX OR NOT, AND I’M BETTING THAT THEY WILL — >>The Speaker: THANK YOU. THANK YOU. STOP THE CLOCK. THANK YOU. START THE CLOCK. THE NEXT QUESTION, THE MEMBER MEMBER…>>THANK YOU MIIGWETCH. MY QUESTION IS FOR THE PREMIER. RECENTLY THERE WAS A DEVASTATING FIRE IN BIG TROUT LAKE. FIVE COMMUNITY MEMBERS DIED IN THIS FIRE. A MOTHER AND FOUR OF HER CHILDREN ALL UNDER THE AGE OF 13. ACHIEVE DONNIE MORRIS HAS ISSUED A DECLARATION OF EMERGENCY BECAUSE OF THE FIRE’S IMPACT ON THE COMMUNITY. USING JORDAN’S PRINCIPLE, WILL THE GOVERNMENT HELP THE YOUTH, COMMUNITY’S YOUTH, WHO ARE MOST AFFECTED BY THE FIRE AND NEED MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS? MIIGWETCH.>>The Speaker: THE QUESTION FOR THE PREMIER. >>Premier Ford: MINISTER OF INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS NORTHERN AFFAIRS MINISTRY AND MINES. >>WE SHARE OUR DEEPEST CONDOLE APSES WITH THE VICTIMS’ FAMILIES AND THE FIRST NATION IN TROUT LAKE. I HAD A CHANCE TO SPEAK TO CHIEF DONNIE MORRIS A PERSON I’VE KNOWN FOR A GREAT NUMBER OF YEARS. WE PLEDGED OUR SUPPORT NOT JUST IN THE IMMEDIACY OF THE INVESTIGATION BY THE CORONER AND VARIOUS OTHER URGENT SUPPORTS, BUT TO CONTINUE TO PROVIDE ANY SUPPORTS THAT HE REQUESTED. HE SAID THAT HE WOULD BE IN TOUCH WITH ME AS THOSE NEEDS AROSE, AND I PLEDGED ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES AS THEY WOULD BE REQUIRED. IT WAS A GOOD CONVERSATION UNDER A DIFFICULT SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES, AND WE REMAIN COMMITTED TO SUPPORTING THAT COMMUNITY DURING THIS DIFFICULT TIME. THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER.>>The Speaker: SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION. >>BACK TO THE PREMIER. THE FIRE IN BIG TROUT LAKE IS THE LATEST TO CLAIM LIVES IN A FIRST NATION. FIRES IN PIKANGIKUM, AND OTHER FIRST NATIONS HAVE HAD TRAGIC OUTCOMES. FIRST NATION RESIDENTS ARE TEN TIMES MORE LIKELY TO DIE IN A HOUSE FIRE THAN THE REST OF CANADA. IT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH JUST TO FEEL BAD. IT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH — IT’S NOT ENOUGH JUST TO HAVE THOSE MOMENTS OF SILENCE. THERE ARE ACTIONS THAT COULD BE TAKEN TO MAKE EVENTS LIKE THIS LESS LIKELY SO IT DOESN’T HAPPEN AGAIN. WILL THE GOVERNMENT COMMIT TO WORKING WITH FIRST NATIONS TO IMPROVE FIRE SAFETY IN OUR COMMUNITIES? [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: MINISTER?>>THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER, AND I WANT TO RECOGNIZE MY COLLEAGUE, THE MINISTER OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH SERVICES, WHO SPOKE ABOUT JORDAN’S PRINCIPLE AT THE HOUSE OF COMMONS LAST WEEK. THE MEMBER OPPOSITE IS RIGHT, IT IS MORE THAN JUST ABOUT A MOMENT OF SILENCE AND ACTION — IT’S MORE ABOUT ACTION, MR. SPEAKER. THAT’S WHY WE RESPONDED TO THIS FIRE VERY QUICKLY, REACHED OUT TO THE CHIEF, IN FACT, RESOURCES FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF ONTARIO WERE MOBILIZED IMMEDIATELY. THE CHIEF ACKNOWLEDGED THAT, AND WE REMAIN COMMITTED TO SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITY. WE’LL TAKE OUR CUE FROM THE LEADERSHIP OF THAT COMMUNITY IN TERMS OF WHAT ADDITIONAL SUPPORT WILL BE REQUIRED, AND IT WILL BE THERE, MR. SPEAKER, THANK YOU. [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: NEXT QUESTION. THE MEMBER FOR OAKVILLE NORTHCLOIRED,USTAND MARE — MAK DIFFICULT TO BUILD THE HOUSING OUR PROVINCE SO DESPERATELY NEEDS. CAN THE MINISTER PLEASE EXPLAIN TO THIS HOUSE AND TO THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO, WHAT OUR GOVERNMENT IS DOING TO INCREASE HOUSING SUPPLY IN ONTARIO. >>The Speaker: QUESTION TO THE MINISTER OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS AND HOUSING.>>THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER, AND I WANT TO THANK THE INCREDIBLE MEMBER FROM OAKVILLE NORTH–BURLINGTON FOR ALL THE WORK THAT SHE DOES ON BEHALF OF HER CONSTITUENTS. SPEAKER, I WAS HONOURED TO SPEAK THIS MORNING AT THE TORONTO REGION BOARD OF TRADE ABOUT MORE HOMES, MORE CHOICE IN ONTARIO’S HOUSING SUPPLY ACTION PLAN. AND THE MEMBER IS RIGHT, IT’S CLEAR AFTER YEARS OF MISMANAGEMENT AND INACTION ON THIS FILE BY THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT, THERE’S A SHORTAGE OF HOUSING IN ONTARIO. THERE’S NOT ENOUGH HOMES FOR INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES WHO NEED IT. SPEAKER, IT TAKES TEN YEARS — TEN YEARS — TO BUILD A ROW-RISE OR HIGH-RISE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IN THE GTHA. OUR PLAN AND LEGISLATION AIMS TO SPEED UP THE TIME IT TAKES TO BUILD HOUSING ACROSS ALL OF ONTARIO BY CUTTING RED TAPE, REDUCING UNNECESSARY DELAYS, DUPLICATION, AND BARRIERS. THIS IS GOING TO MAKE IT EASIER TO BUILD MORE HOMES AND PROVIDE MORE HOUSING CHOWSES MORE QUICKLY WHILE MAINTAINING PROTECTION TO PEOPLE’S HEALTH AND SAFETY AND THE ENVIRONMENT, SPEAKER.>>The Speaker: SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION. >>THANK YOU, SPEAKER, AND THANK YOU, MINISTER, FOR THAT ANSWER. SPEAKER, IT IS CLEAR MORE HOUSING OF MORE KINDS NEEDS TO BE BUILT. UNFORTUNATELY, THERE IS A MAJOR BACKLOG OF LEGACY CASES AT THE LOCAL PLANNING APPEALS TRIBUNAL. IT IS A TWO- TWO THREE-YEAR APPEALS PROCESS AT A TIME WHEN ONTARIO IS IN A HOUSING CRISIS. SPEAKER, THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE. IT’S ESTIMATED THERE ARE APPROXIMATELY 100,000 HOUSING UNITS THAT ARE CAUGHT UP IN THOSE LEGACY CASES AT THE TRIBUNAL. THAT’S 100,000 DESPERATELY NEEDED HOMES AND RENTALS THAT CAN’T GET BUILT, OR THREE YEARS’ WORTH OF CONSTRUCTION IN ONTARIO WAITING TO BE APPROVED. SPEAKER, CAN THE MINISTER TELL THIS HOUSE HOW THE TRIBUNAL WILL BE ABLE TO EXPEDITE DECISIONS MADE MORE QUICKLY IN ORDER TO GET MORE HOUSING ON THE MARKETS? THANK YOU.>>The Speaker: MINISTER?>>AGAIN, I WANT TO THANK THE MEMBER FOR THAT EXCELLENT QUESTION. SPEAKER, THANKS TO THE SUPPORT OF OUR FANTASTIC ATTORNEY GENERAL. WE’RE ADDING AS MANY AS 11 NEW ADJUDICATORS TO THE TRIBUNAL. SPEAKER, THAT’S A 45% INCREASE. WE’RE PROPOSING CHANGES THAT WILL BROADEN THE TRIBUNAL’S JURISDICTION, AND IN MAJOR PLANNING APPEALS ALLOW IT TO MAKE THE BEST PLANNING DECISION. WE’RE ALSO PROPOSING TO CHANGES TO ENCOURAGE THE USE OF MEDIATION, TO SIMPLIFY THE PROCESSES AND REMOVE POTENTIAL DELAYS. WE’RE ALSO GIVING THE TRIBUNAL GREATER DISCRETION REGARDING ITS FEES TO MAKE SURE THAT THE BARRIERS ARE REMOVED FOR THOSE SEEKING TO LAUNCH AN APPEAL. WE’RE MOVING TOWARDS, SPEAKER, A MORE COST-RECOVERY MODEL SO THAT DEVELOPERS PAY MORE FORMENT-OF-THE SYSTEM NOT THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO. >>The Speaker: RESPOND. >>THESE CHANGES ARE GOING TO ELIMINATE THE BACKLOG, REDUCE DELAYS AND ENSURE THEY CAN UNJAM THAT LOGJAM AND GET UNITS CREATED FOR THE PEOPLE — >>The Speaker: THANK YOU. THE NEXT QUESTION. THE MEMBER FOR NIAGARA FALLS. >>MR. SPEAKER, MY QUESTION IS TO THE PREMIER. LAST WEEK IT WAS RELEASED THAT THE MINISTER OF LABOUR IS CUTTING 16 MILLION FROM THE OFFICE TASKED WITH PREVENTING INJURIES AND DEATH IN THE WORKPLACE. THE MINISTER IS CUTTING 16 MILLION FROM THE OFFICE, DESPITE THE FACT THAT IT’S NOT TAXPAYER FUNDED AND DOES NOT IMPACT THE GOVERNMENT’S BOTTOM LINE. SPEAKER, WORKPLACE DEATHS ARE GOING UP AND UP, NOT DOWN. MY QUESTION TO THE PREMIER IS THIS, HOW MANY MORE WORKERS NEED TO DIE IN WORKPLACES BEFORE HE STOPS THE CUTTING THE SERVICE DESIGNED TO PROTECT THEM?>>The Speaker: QUESTIONS TO THE PREMIER.>>Premier Ford: THE MINISTER OF LABOUR. >>The Speaker: MINISTER OF LABOUR. >>I THANK YOU THE SPEAKER AND THE MEMBER FOR THE QUESTION. WE’VE ACTUALLY INCREASED OUR HEALTH AND SAFETY BUDGET ENFORCEMENT BY OVER HALF A MILLION DOLLARS, MR. SPEAKER. WE TAKE THE SAFETY OF WORKERS IN THIS PROVINCE VERY SERIOUSLY. SO LOOK IT, IN ORDER TO HELP TO PROTECT WHAT MATTERS MOST, WE ASKED OUR PARTNERS AT THE HEALTH AND SAFETY ASSOCIATIONS TO FIND $12 MILLION IN SAVINGS BY EXPLORING OPPORTUNITIES TO IMPLEMENT EFFICIENCIES, LEVERAGING THIRD PARTY REVENUE, RESTRICTING DISCRETIONARY SPENDING ON ITEMS SUCH AS NON-ESSENTIAL HIRING, TRAVELLING, TRAINING, AND EVENTS. SO, YOU KNOW, MR. SPEAKER, WE HAD IMPORTANT DECISIONS TO MAKE PUTTING PEOPLE AS A PRIORITY. WE HAVE LOOKED AT HEALTH AND SAFETY PROGRAMS. WE HAVE WORKED WITH THE PARTNERS THAT DELIVER THESE HEALTH AND SAFETY PROGRAMS. >>The Speaker: RESPONSE. >>AND, MR. SPEAKER, THERE ARE OTHER AVENUES OF REVENUE TO PROVIDE THE PROGRAM, BUT WE HAVE INCREASED OUR ENFORCEMENT BUDGET BY HALF A MILLION DOLLARS, MR. SPEAKER. >>The Speaker: THANK YOU. SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTIONS. >>MR. SPEAKER, AGAIN TO THE PREMIER, WHEN ASKED ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT’S 16 MILLION CUTS TO HEALTH AND SAFETY, A LAWYER WITH THE INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT VICTIMS LEGAL CLINIC SAID, AND I QUOTE, IT WILL ULTIMATELY LEAD TO MORE ACCIDENTS. NO ONE PERSON SHOULD GO TO WORK IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO AND NOT KNOW IF THEY’RE COMING HOME AT THE END OF THE DAY TO THEIR FAMILIES. SLASHING FUNDING DECIDE TO PROTECT WORKERS, FORCING TRAINING SESSIONS ONLINE, AND CREATING UNACCOUNTABLE CLASSES WILL MAKE WORKERS LESS SAFE. THE GOVERNMENT SAID THEY ARE SLASHING HEALTH AND SAFETY IN THIS PROVINCE BECAUSE IT’S COST EFFICIENT. SO MY QUESTION IS THIS. WHAT EXACTLY IS THE VALUE OF A LIFE OF A WORKER TO THIS GOVERNMENT?>>The Speaker: MINISTER OF LABOUR.>>MR. SPEAKER, I MEAN, I HAVE TO REJECT THE PREMISE OF THIS QUESTION. OF COURSE THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF WORKERS ARE OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE TO THIS GOVERNMENT. WE ACTUALLY — [ Applause ]>>I WILL REPEAT AGAIN FOR THE MEMBER. WE ACTUALLY INCREASED OUR SPENDING ON OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ENFORCEMENT BY HALF A MILLION DOLLARS. YES, WE HAVE THE ONTARIO HEALTH AND SAFETY ASSOCIATION. WE WORK WITH THOSE PARTNERS. WE TOLD THEM THE REALITY OF THE PROVINCE’S FINANCIAL SITUATION. THESE ARE PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS THAT RECEIVE REVENUE FUNDING FOR MULTIPLE SOURCES. LOOK IT, MR. SPEAKER, WE HAVE THE PRIORITY OF THE WORKERS IN MIND IN HEALTH AND SAFETY. WE INCREASED THE ENFORCEMENT BUDGET BY HALF A MILLION DOLLARS, MR. SPEAKER. THERE ARE OTHER REVENUE STORIES FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY PROGRAMS TO BE DELIVERED, MR. SPEAKER. WE’VE WORKED WITH OUR PARTNERS IN THESE PROGRAMS, MR. SPEAKER. YOU KNOW, MODERNIZING HEALTH AND SAFETY PROGRAMS, THE MORE PEOPLE CAN ACTUALLY GET HEALTH AND SAFETY PROGRAMS IS NOT — >>The Speaker: THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THE NEXT QUESTION. THE MEMBER FOR DON VALLEY WEST. >>THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER, MY QUESTION IS FOR THE PREMIER. YESTERDAY AFTERNOON IN THE LEGISLATURE AT THE END OF THE DEBATE A YOUNG WOMAN STOOD IN THE MEMBERS’ GALLERY TO EXPRESS HER DISMAY THAT THE GOVERNMENT MEMBERS HAD NOT SUPPORTED AN OPPOSITION DAY MOTION FOR THE NDP TO DECLARE A CLIMATE CHANGE EMERGENCY AND DEVELOP A REAL PLAN TO DEAL WITH THAT EMERGENCY. THE FACT IS, MR. SPEAKER, THAT ONTARIO HAD TAKEN ACTION TO REDUCE POLLUTION. THE FACT THAT THE MINISTER OF THE ENVIRONMENT IS STAND IN THIS PLACE AND CLAIM CONFIDENTLY THAT ONTARIO IS ON TRACK TO MEET ITS TARGETS IS BECAUSE ANOTHER GOVERNMENT, OUR GOVERNMENT, DID THE HEAVY LIFTING. COAL PLANTS ARE SHUT DOWN, CAP AND TRADE IS IN PLACE. THERE ARE MORE ELECTRIC VEHICLES ON THE ROAD.>>The Speaker: GOVERNMENT SIDE COME TO ORDER. >>THINGS ARE BEING RETROFITTED BECAUSE OF — >>The Speaker: STOP THE CLOCK. STAAB THE CLOCK. — STOP THE CLOCK. THE GOVERNMENT SIDE WILL COME TO ORDER. THE GOVERNMENT SIDE WILL COME TO ORDER. I APOLOGIZE TO THE MEMBER FOR DON VALLEY WEST. ONCE AGAIN. START THE CLOCK. >>THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. MR. SPEAKER, EVERYTHING WE UNDERTOOK WAS BASED ON EVIDENCE AND SCIENCE, AND SO TO THE MINISTER OF THE ENVIRONMENT, I SAY YOU’RE WELCOME. BUT THE YOUNG WOMAN YESTERDAY WAS NOT CHALLENGED — [Interjections]>>The Speaker: STOP THE CLOCK. THE MEMBER FOR DON VALLEY WEST IS AN ELECTED MEMBER OF THIS HOUSE, AND HAS EVERY RIGHT TO ASK A QUESTION, JUST LIKE ANY OTHER MEMBER OF THIS HOUSE. AND I NEED TO BE ABLE TO HEAR HER. AND THIS IS TWICE THAT THE GOVERNMENT SIDE IN HUGE NUMBERS HAS SHOUTED HER DOWN. IT’S NOT ACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR. RESTART THE CLOCK. MEMBER FOR DON VALLEY WEST. >>MR. SPEAKER, THE YOUNG WOMAN YESTERDAY WAS CHALLENGING THIS GOVERNMENT TO CARE FOR THE FUTURE. SHE WAS ASKING THIS GOVERNMENT TO THINK ABOUT HER ABILITY TO LIVE SAFELY AND SECURELY, TO HAVE CHILDREN OF HER OWN FREE OF THE RAVAGES OF EXTREME WEATHER AND ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION. CAN THE PREMIER PLEASE EXPLAIN HOW THE CANCELLATION OF SUCCESSFUL PROGRAMS THAT HAVE LED TO THE REDUCTION OF GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS, HOW THE DELETION OF THOSE PROGRAMS WILL SAFEGUARD THE FUTURE FOR THAT YOUNG WOMAN AND HER ENTIRE GENERATION?>>The Speaker: THE QUESTION IS TO THE PREMIER.>>Premier Ford: MINISTER OF ENERGY.>>The Speaker: DEFERRED TO THE MINISTER OF ENERGY. >>I’M SORRY. >>WELL, THANK YOU — THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER, ANOTHER GREAT OPPORTUNITY, A LITTLE BIT RICH COMING FROM THAT MEMBER, MR. SPEAKER. WE SAW WHAT THOSE PROJECTS COST THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO. 17 TO 48 CENTS A KILOWATT, MR. SPEAKER, WHILE LIBERAL INSIDERS GOT RICH, AND THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO, FAMILIES, SENIORS, AND SMALL BUSINESSES, TOOK THE HIT, ESPECIALLY OUT IN NORTHERN ONTARIO. I CAN’T THINK, MR. SPEAKER, OF A LARGER TRANSFER OF WEALTH THAN WHAT OCCURRED UNDER THE PREVIOUS LIBERAL GOVERNMENT AND THEIR IRRESPONSIBLE DECISIONS, MR. SPEAKER, AROUND ESPECIALLY INDUSTRIAL WIND TURBINES, MR. SPEAKER. THIS WAS A DRAMATIC ERROR, MR. SPEAKER. WE HAVE INTRODUCED LEGISLATION TO FIX THE HYDRO MESS ACT. IT’S JUST BEEN PASSED AND WE’RE WELL ON THE PATH, MR. SPEAKER, TO FIX WHAT THEY BROKE. THANKS.>>The Speaker: SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION. >>YOU KNOW, MR. SPEAKER, WE’VE ACTUALLY SEEN THIS MOVIE BEFORE, BECAUSE WHEN THAT MEMBER WAS SITTING IN THE FEDERAL PARLIAMENT, STEPHEN HARPER STOOD UP AND TOOK CREDIT FOR CANADA BEING A LEADER IN REDUCTION OF GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS, BECAUSE OF WHAT WAS BEING DONE HERE IN ONTARIO BY A LIBERAL GOVERNMENT, MR. SPEAKER. WE WERE REDUCING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS. MR. SPEAKER, YOUNG PEOPLE — YOUNG PEOPLE ARE, BY NATURE, OPTIMISTIC, AND THEY SHOULD BE. BUT THEY ARE WORRIED ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT, AS THEY SHOULD BE. THEY’RE ALSO WORRIED ABOUT THEIR EDUCATION AND THEIR PARENTS ARE WORRIED ABOUT THEIR ABILITY TO CARE FOR THEIR YOUNGER SIBLINGS. SO THIS WHOLE QUESTION IS ABOUT THE FUTURE, MR. SPEAKER. THEY SEE THIS GOVERNMENTAL REMOVING THE VERY SUPPORTS THAT THEY RELY ON. CUTTING FOR FUNDING THAT WILL RESULT IN LARGER CLASS SIZES, REDUCING ONLINE COURSES IN HIGH SCHOOL, WHEN WE KNOW FROM THE RESEARCH THAT FEWER STUDENTS WILL COMPLETE THOSE COURSES. REDUCING STUDENT ASSISTANCE GRANTS WILL MEAN HIGHER DEBT AND LESS ACCESS TO POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION. CUTTING A BILLION DOLLARS IN SOCIAL SERVICES THAT THE — >>The Speaker: THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. MINISTER OF ENERGY TO REPLY. >>THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT. [ Applause ]>>MR. SPEAKER, I’M SURE IT MUST BE FRUSTRATING FOR THE MEMBER FROM DON VALLEY WEST TO SEE THE PROGRAMS THAT SHE PUT IN PLACE, THE PROGRAMS THAT FAILED, THE PROGRAMS LIKE A CAP-AND-TRADE PROGRAM, A PROGRAM THAT THE AUDITOR GENERAL EXPLAINED TO THE THEN PREMIER, BUT SHE WOULDN’T LISTEN. >>The Speaker: MEMBERS COME TO ORDER. >>SHE SENT HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS TO CALIFORNIA, MR. SPEAKER. WHY DOES SHE LIKE CALIFORNIA BETTER THAN ONTARIO TAXPAYERS? IT MUST BE JUMP SETTING TO SEE A PROGRAM PUT IN PLACE THAT’S ACTUALLY GOING TO — >>The Speaker: COME TO ORDER. >>– MISTARGETS LIKE THE PROGRAMS SHE PUPPET IN PLACE, NOT BASED ON BENEFITTING LIBERAL INSIDERS BUT BENEFITTING THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO. OUR PROGRAMS ARE GOING TO HIT THE TARGET THAT HER FEDERAL MINISTER AGREED TO ARE 30% TARGETS. OUR PROGRAM IS GOING TO DO THAT, WITHOUT A CAP-AND-TRADE PROGRAM, WITHOUT A CARBON TAX, AND WITHOUT SUBSIDIZING AND TAKING WINNERS AND TAKING ELECTRIC VEHICLE FACILITIES. WE HAVE A REAL PLAN FOR ONTARIANS — >>The Speaker: THANK YOU. [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: THE HOUSE WILL COME TO ORDER. RESTART THE CLOCK. NEXT QUESTION, THE MEMBER FOR HASTINGS–LENNOX AND ADDINGTON. >>MY QUESTION IS FOR ANOTHER MINISTER WHO MAKES THINGS HAPPEN OUR MINISTER OF INFRASTRUCTURE. LAST FRIDAY I HAD THE CHANCE TO JOIN THE MINISTER IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF TWEED. WE ANNOUNCED FUNDING FOR PROJECTS RIGHT ACROSS OUR PROVINCE. THESE ARE TO INVEST IN CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE WHERE THIS MATTERS MOST. THESE 49 PROJECTS ARE THE FIRST THAT OUR GOVERNMENT NOMINATED IN THE TEN-YEAR, $30 BILLION INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAM KNOWN AS THE INVEST IN CANADA INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAM. COLLEAGUES, THIS IS AMAZING NEWS FOR RURAL AND NORTHERN MUNICIPALITIES IN ONTARIO, SMART INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT. THEY CREATE JOBS. THEY GROW THE ECONOMY, AND PROTECT WHAT MATTERS MOST TO OUR FAMILIES AND OUR COMMUNITIES, OUR STUDENTS AND OUR BUSINESSES HERE IN ONTARIO. TO THE MINISTER, TELL US MORE ABOUT THIS PROGRAM AND HOW IT IMPACTS THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO.>>The Speaker: MINISTER OF INFRASTRUCTURE. >>WELL, THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SPEAKER, AND I WANT TO THANK THE MEMBER FROM HASTINGS–LENNOX AND ADDINGTON FOR THAT EXCELLENT QUESTION, AND BEING WITH ME ON FRIDAY. MR. SPEAKER, OUR GOVERNMENT RAN ON A MANDATE TO GET ONTARIO MOVING. WE ANNOUNCED FUNDING FOR BETTER ROADS AND BRIDGES IN 49 DIFFERENT COMMUNITIES ACROSS ONTARIO ON FRIDAY, AND, MR. SPEAKER, THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING. THE MAJORITY OF THESE PROJECTS CAN GET STARTED IN THIS CONSTRUCTION SEASON WITH FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SUPPORT. I WAS GLAD TO SEE LAST WEEK MR. SPEAKER, THAT MY HONOURABLE FRIEND MINISTER CHAMPAGNE DECLARED THAT ONTARIO’S PRIORITIES WERE HIS PRIORITIES. HE SAID HE WOULD WORK TO SPEEDILY APPROVE THESE PROJECTS, AND, MR. SPEAKER, THAT IS THE RIGHT THING FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO DO. MR. SPEAKER, THESE PROJECTS ARE VALUED AT OVER $78 MILLION, AND THIS COMMITMENT IS MORE PROOF THAT OUR GOVERNMENT IS PROTECTING WHAT MATTERS MOST TO THE PEOPLE. GOOD ROADS GET PEOPLE TO WORK AND HOME SAFELY SO THEY CAN SPEND MORE TIME WITH THE PEOPLE THEY LOVE.>>The Speaker: SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTIONS.>>MR. SPEAKER, AND MINISTER, THANK YOU FOR THAT GOOD NEWS, GREAT NEWS, AND YOUR CONTINUED GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT FOR OUR NORTHERN AND RURAL COMMUNITIES. THIS PROGRAM DEMONSTRATES OUR GOVERNMENT IS ABSOLUTELY COMMITTED TO I CAN MAING THE RIGHT INFRASTRUCTURE ANNOUNCEMENTS. MR. SPEAKER, FRIDAY’S ANNOUNCEMENT, BACK IN MY RIDING TOOK PLACE OUTSIDE THE BOUPDRY OF RIDGE IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF TWEED, AND I KNOW PERSONALLY FROM TALKING TO ALL THE PEOPLE THERE, HOW IT IMPACTS THEM AND HOW MUCH THIS INVESTMENT FOR BRING REPLACEMENT WILL ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY AFFECT THEIR LIVES IN THAT COMMUNITY. MR. SPEAKER, SIX OF THESE PROJECTS ARE LOCATED IN MY RIDING. MUNICIPALITIES SUCH AS TWIED, STONE MILLS, HASTINGS HIGHLANDS. KARLA MAYO, AND MANY WILL BENEFIT FROM OVER 9.4 MILLION IN FUNDING FOR ROAD AND BRIDGE PROJECTS. MR. SPEAKER, CAN THE MINISTER TELL US MORE ABOUT THESE 49 PROJECTS, AND HOW THEY’RE HELPING PEOPLE RIGHT ACROSS THIS PROVINCE OF ONTARIO?>>The Speaker: MINISTER?>>WELL, THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER, AND I WOULD BE HAPPY TO ANSWER THAT EXCELLENT QUESTION. MR. SPEAKER, SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED TOWNS ARE THE FABRIC OF OUR PROJECTS. PROJECTS LIKE THE BOUNDARY BRIDGE ARE INFRASTRUCTURE PEOPLE NEED, THEY’RE ESSENTIAL TO THE LOCAL QUALITY OF LIFE AND PROSPERITY. THEY CREATE JOBS, GROW OUR ECONOMY, AND SHAPE THE FUTURE FOR HARD-WORKING FAMILIES IN ONTARIO. I CAN ONLY IMAGINE, MR. SPEAKER, HOW MUCH MORE WE COULD ACCOMPLISH IF THE PREVIOUS LIBERAL GOVERNMENT SUPPORTED BY THE OPPOSITION NDP DID NOT LEAVE US STUCK WITH A $15 BILLION DEFICIT. MR. SPEAKER, WE’RE EXCITED ABOUT THESE 49 PROJECTS. WE ARE NOW AWAITING APPROVAL BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO GO AHEAD. IF THEY CAN DO THIS, WE CAN GET SHOVELS IN THE GROUND ALMOST IMMEDIATELY. MR. SPEAKER, WE’RE PROTECTING WHAT MATTERS MOST IN GETTING ONTARIO MOVING AGAIN. >>The Speaker: RESPOND. >>OUR GOVERNMENT IS WORKING HARDER, SMARTER AND MORE EFFICIENTLY TO MAKE LIFE BETTER FOR THE PEOPLE OF THIS PROVINCE.>>The Speaker: NEXT QUESTION. THE MEMBER FOR BEACHES–EAST YORK. >>WE LEARNED THE GOVERNMENT IS CUTTING FUNDING FOR THE POVERTY REDUCTION STRATEGY IN HALF. DEFUNDING THE OFFICE BY $7.5 MILLION. THE POVERTY REDUCTION STRATEGY OFFICE WORKS TO BREAK THE CYCLE OF INTERGENERATIONAL POVERTY, IDENTIFY SYSTEMIC BARRIERS, AND ELIMINATE CHRONIC HOMELESSNESS. INSTEAD OF INVESTING IN STRATEGIES TO ALLEVIATE POVERTY, THE GOVERNMENT HAS SHOWN ITS TRUE PRIORITIES. CAN THE PREMIER PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY ONCE AGAIN HIS GOVERNMENT IS MAKING CUTS ON THE BACKS OF OUR MOST VULNERABLE CITIZENS.>>The Speaker: QUESTION IS TO THE PREMIER.>>Premier Ford: MINISTER OF CHILDREN AND COMMUNITY SOCIAL SERVICES. >>The Speaker: DEFER FOR MINISTER OF CHILDREN’ COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL SERVICES. COME TO ORDER. >>ONE IN SEVEN ONTARIANS LIVE IN POVERTY, ALMOST A MILLION PEOPLE RELY ON SOCIAL ASSISTANCE. THAT COSTS THIS PROVINCE, $10 BILLION BUT DOING NOTHING TO RESTORE DIGNITY. WHAT DOES RESTORE DIGNITY IS THE CREATION OF JOBS IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO. SINCE THIS GOVERNMENT HAS TAKEN OFFICE WE’VE BEEN ABLE TO WORK WITH INDUSTRY AND BUSINESS LEADERS TO CREATE AN ADDITIONAL 160,000 JOBS IN ADDITION TO THE 200,000 JOBS THAT HAVE REMAINED VACANT WHICH IS WHY WE’RE REFORMING SOCIAL ASSISTANCE SO THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE EMPLOYABLE ACROSS THIS PROVINCE HAVE THE DIGNITY OF WORK, HAVE THE COMPASSION OF A GROUP SOCIETY WHERE THEY’RE WORKING WITH INDIVIDUALS, AND WE KNOW, SPEAKER, THAT THE BEST SOCIAL PROGRAMS IS A JOB. I UNDERSTAND THAT THE MEMBERS OPPOSITE WOULD RATHER TRAP PEOPLE INTO POVERTY WHILE THIS GOVERNMENT AND THIS PARTY WANT TO LIFT THEM UP SO THEY CAN SUCCEED, AND THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT THIS GOVERNMENT IS DOING.>>The Speaker: STOP THE CLOCK. ORDER. RESTART THE CLOCK. SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION. >>IN ITS RECENT POVERTY REDUCTION STRATEGY REPORT, THE GOVERNMENT STATED, AS THE MINISTER JUST NOW, THAT SHE’S COMMITTED TO SUPPORTING THOSE WHO NEED IT THE MOST, BUT YOU CANNOT SUPPORT THOSE WHO NEED THE HELP THE MOST WHEN YOU CUT FUNDING FOR AT THE POVERTY REDUCTION STRATEGY OFFICE IN HALF. YOU CAN’T REDUCE POVERTY IN ONTARIO WHEN YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW POVERTY WORKS, AS THE MINISTER JUST DEMONSTRATED. YOU CAN’T REDUCE POVERTY IN ONTARIO WHEN YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT SYSTEMIC ISSUES PERPETUATE IT, AND WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE A PLAN AND A COMMITMENT TO MAKING THAT CHANGE. CAN THE PREMIER EXPLAIN HOW THE GOVERNMENT THINKS SLASHING THE POVERTY REDUCTION POVERTY FUNDING WILL ACTUALLY HELP THOSE LIVING IN POVERTY, MANY OF WHOM CANNOT WORK, WHICH IS WHY THE IDEA THAT A JOB IS A SOLUTION IS ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS.>>The Speaker: MINISTER, REPLY.>>SPEAKER, I COME FROM A SMALL TOWN IN NEW GLASGOW, NOVA SCOTIA WHERE THEY WASN’T BIG GOVERNMENT, NEIGHBOURS SUPPORTED ONE ANOTHER AND MADE SURE PEOPLE CAN FIND SUITABLE EMPLOYMENT. I DON’T KNOW WHY THE MEMBERS OPPOSITE ARE SO OPPOSED TO A GOOD DAY’S WORK AND A SOLID DAY’S PAY. I CAN TELL YOU THIS GOVERNMENT IS FOR THE PEOPLE, IS COMMITTED TO ENSURE WE PROVIDE WRAP-AROUND SUPPORT FOR THOSE WHO CAN WORK. THAT IS WHY I’M WORKING WITH THE MINISTER — >>The Speaker: COME TO ORDER. >>– SO WE CAN PROVIDE THE BEST WRAP-AROUND SUPPORT FOR THOSE WHO ARE EMPLOYABLE TO GET INTO THOSE 300,000 AND SOME JOBS WE KNOW EXIST IN THIS PROVINCE. THAT’S WHY WE’RE WORKING WITH THE MINISTER OF HEALTH, SO WE CAN PROVIDE THE BEST MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT, AND WE’RE WORKING WITH THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION TO GELT MORE AFFORDABLE DAYCARE FOR SINGLE MOMS OUT THERE WHO MIGHT HAVE TO STAY ON SOCIAL ASSISTANCE RATHER THAN GET JOBS, BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE AFFORDABLE CHILD CARE — >>The Speaker: THANK YOU. THANK YOU. STOP THE CLOCK. [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: ORDER. MEMBER FOR OTTAWA CENTRE HAS TO COME TO ORDER. THE MEMBER FOR WINDSOR–TECUMSEH COME TO ORDER, THE MEMBER FOR HAMILTON MOUNTAIN COME TO ORDER FOR REPEATED INTERJECTIONS IN THE LAST ROUND OF QUESTIONS. START THE CLOCK. I RECOGNIZE THE MEMBER FOR LANARK–FRONTENAC–KINGSTON. JO THANK YOU, SPEAKER. SPEAKER, MY QUESTION IS FOR THE MINISTER OF CHILDREN AND COMMUNE SOCIAL SERVICES. I’VE WORKED WELL WITH THE MINISTER IN THE PAST AS ADVOCATES TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN. LAST WEEK I MET WITH AARON LEE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF LANARK COUNTY INTERVAL HOUSE WHICH PROVIDES CRITICAL SERVICES FOR VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. ERIN IS CONCERNED THAT THE GOVERNMENT CANCELLED $53,000 IN FUNDING. IN ADDITION, NONE OF THE INTERVAL HOUSES AND WOMEN’S SHELTERS HAVE RECEIVED THEIR 2019 BUDGET PACKAGE OR THEIR CONTRACT FOR SERVICES. MINISTER, THIS IS NOT EFFICIENT. IT CERTAINLY LACKS ACCOUNTABILITY TO HAVE WOMEN’S SHELTERS OPERATING WITHOUT A BUDGET. WILL THE MINISTER COMMIT TO ENDING THE PRACTICE OF UNILATERAL AND HIDDEN FUNDING DECISIONS THAT HARM THOSE WHO HELP VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?>>The Speaker: QUESTION TO THE MINISTER OF CHILDREN AND COMMUNITY SOCIAL SERVICES. >>THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER, I TOO MET WITH AARON LEE LAST WEEK OF THE INTERVAL HOUSE. WE HAD ALL 48 OF THE COORDINATING COMMITTEES FOR VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN JOIN US LAST WEEK TO TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE ISSUES THAT WE FACE ON THE GROUND. BUT BEFORE I GO INTO THAT, I WANT TO SAY ONE THING TO THE MEMBER OPPOSITE. THE REASON WE HAVE A $1.5 MILLION FRONTLINE RURAL STRATEGY IS IN ESSENCE BECAUSE OF THREE MEMBERS OF THIS ASSEMBLY WHO I SERVE WITH IN OPPOSITION, AND ONE IS THE MEMBER FROM LANARY, PREM BROOK AND LEADS AND GRENVILLE, THREE STRONG MEN WHO HAVE COPTLY TIME AND AGAIN STOOD IN THIS LEGISLATURE, AND THAT’S WHY WE ARE INVESTING AN HISTORIC 1 P 4 MILLION INTO VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN. THAT’S WHY ABOVE AND BEYOND THE PREVIOUS LIBERAL ADMINISTRATION WE HAVE INCREASED THE BUDGET FOR VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN FOR AN ADDITIONAL 2%. I’LL GET INTO MORE SPECIFICS IN THE SUPPLEMENTAL, BUT I WANT TO THANK THE MEMBER FOR ALWAYS STANDING TRUE. >>The Speaker: THANK YOU, SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTIONS. >>THANK YOU, MINISTER. YESTERDAY DURING STATEMENTS I MENTIONED THAT ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES AUT TO PRACTICE IN GOVERNMENT WHAT WE PRACTICE IN THE OPPOSITION. THE YEAR OVER YEAR ESTIMATES SHOW A REDUCTION OF $17 MILLION FOR WOMEN’S SHELTERS AND SUPPORTS FOR VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE FROM 172 TO 155 MILLION. IN OPPOSITION WE BOTH WERE VERY CRITICAL OF GOVERNMENT FOR LEAVING AGENCIES AND ORGANIZATIONS IN THE DARK ON THEIR FUNDING, YET WE STILL HAVE TODAY THESE SHELTERS OPERATING IN UNCERTAINTY. WITHOUT THIS CRITICAL BUDGET INFORMATION, BOTH THE SHELTERS AND THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN THEY SERVE ARE LIVING IN THE DARK. MINISTER, WILL YOU CALL AARON LEE AND ALL THE SHELTERS THIS WEEK AND REVEAL WHAT THEIR BUDGETS ARE FOR 2019?>>The Speaker: MINISTER TO REPLY. >>SPEAKER, I MENTIONED I MET WITH AARON LEE AS WELL AS ALL 48 COMMUNITY GROUPS LAST WEEK. WE’RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO HAVE THOSE CONVERSATIONS. IN FACT, I’VE SPOKEN WITH THE MINISTER OF HEALTH ABOUT CONVENING A MEETING WITH HER WITH RESPECT TO MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES. BUT LET ME BE PERFECTLY CLEAR WHERE IT COMES TO THE NUMBERS THE MEMBER OPPOSITE IS DATING. THESE PERCEIVED REDUCTIONS ARE DUE TO THE ELIMINATION OF UNFUNDED AND UNALLOCATED RESOURCES FROM THE LIBERAL CAMPAIGN BUDGET. THAT WAS IRRESPONSIBLE. MANY OF US IN THE SOCIAL SERVICE TYPES OF PORTFOLIO HAVE HAD TO CONTEND WITH A FICTITIOUS BUDGET THAT WAS WRITTEN ON THE BACK OF A NAPKIN, WHEN IT BECAME CLEAR WE ENSURE IN THIS GOVERNMENT THAT WE INCREASED THE SPEND BY ALMOST 2% OR — >>The Speaker: ORDER. >>IN ORDER TO SUPPORT WOMEN’S SHELTERS ACROSS THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO. MY OFFICE CONTINUES TO WORK WITH THEM AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE OUR COMMITMENT TO ERASE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO. THERE WILL BE NO FIERCER CRITIC THAN WE ON THAT FILE. THANK YOU, SPEAKER. >>The Speaker: THANK YOU. THE NEXT QUESTION, THE MEMBER FOR DURHAM. >>THANK YOU, SPEAKER. MY QUESTION IS TO THE MINISTER RESPONSIBLE FOR WOMEN’S ISSUES. OVER THE WEEKEND IT WAS GREAT TO SEE SO MANY MEMORIES AND VIDEOS SHARED ON SOCIAL MEDIA CELEBRATING MOTHERS ACROSS ONTARIO. OUR MOTHERS ARE SO OFTEN THE MOST IMPORTANT WOMEN IN OUR LIVES. I CAN SAY THAT’S TRUE IN MY CASE. UNFORTUNATELY, WOMEN STILL FACE BARRIERS RIGHT HERE IN ONTARIO. TOO OFTEN WOMEN EARN LESS THAN THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS, AND COUNTLESS WOMEN IN OUR COMMUNITIES ARE CONFRONTED BY SEXUAL AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. MINISTER, CAN YOU PLEASE TELL US HOW THE GOVERNMENT IS WORKING TO BREAK DOWN THESE BARRIERS AND HELP KEEP WOMEN SAFE ACROSS THE PROVINCE?>>The Speaker: MINISTER RESPONSIBLE FOR WOMEN. >>I WANT TO THANK THE MEMBER FOR DURHAM FOR ALWAYS STANDING IN THIS LEGISLATURE AND BE A VERY STRONG ADVOCATE FOR WOMEN FLEEING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, AS WELL AS WOMEN STUCK IN TRAFFICKING. I’VE BEEN A MEMBER IN THIS CONSTITUENCY SO — I’VE BEEN A STRONG ADVOCATE IN MAKING SURE THAT WE CONTINUE THE WORK OF SAVING THE GIRL NEXT DOOR BY LAURIE SCOTT MAKING SURE WE’RE TALKING ABOUT ERADICATING SEX TRAFFICKING IN ONTARIO. WE’RE WORKING WITH THIS GOVERNMENT TO PROTECT A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE. LET ME BE CLEAR, LAST WEEK I HAD THE 48 COMMUNITY GROUPS THAT SUPPORT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN’S INITIATIVES AND WE’RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO WORK WITH THEM. THAT’S WHY WE HAVE AN HISTORIC INVESTMENT OF — >>The Speaker: RESPOND. >>– INDICATING FRONT LINE SUPPORT FOR THOSE IN RURAL COMMUNITIES AND WE’RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO STAND UP AND CONTINUE TO ENSURE THAT OUR VOICES ARE HEARD. LET ME BE CLEAR. WE SUPPORT VULNERABLE WOMEN — >>The Speaker: THANK YOU. THANK YOU. SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.>>THANK YOU, SPEAKER, VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN HAS SIGNIFICANT ECONOMIC COSTS. I THINK PEOPLE SOMETIMES FORGET THAT. IT’S ESTIMATED THAT THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF SPOUSAL VIOLENCE IN CANADA IS $7.4 BILLION. THAT AMOUNTS TO ROUGHLY $220 PER CANADIAN. WHILE WE’VE MADE PROGRESS TO ACHIEVE GREATER GENDER EQUALITIES, WE MUST HAVE WOMEN FULLY ENGAGED IN THE POLITICAL DISCOURSE. SPEAKER, CAN THE MINISTER PLEASE TELL US HOW SHE’S ENGAGING WOMEN IN THIS POLITICAL DISCOURSE IN ONTARIO?>>The Speaker: MINISTER. >>THANKS VERY MUCH, MR. SPEAKER. AS I MENTIONED, I CONVENED ONTARIO’S 48 EXISTING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN COORDINATING COMMITTEES JUST LAST WEEK. TREMENDOUS WOMEN AND MEN FROM ACROSS THE PROVINCE MAKING SURE THAT WE PROTECT OUR MOST VULNERABLE. WE MUST CONTINUE TO HAVE THIS CONVERSATION. HOWEVER, BECAUSE IT IS EASY, PARTICULARLY WITHIN THIS MINISTRY WHERE ONTARIO’S MOST VULNERABLE PEOPLE RELY ON US TO SUCCEED THAT WE CONTINUE TO TELL THE UNCOMFORTABLE STORIESENED A THE TRUTHS THAT ARE OUT THERE. WHICH IS WHY WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK WITH THOSE COORDINATING COMMITTEES, BRING IN OTHER MINISTERS SO THEY UNDERSTAND HOW WE INTERSECT AND HELP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND THE SURVIVORS OF THAT. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WE PROVIDE BEST POSSIBLE OUTCOMES. SPEAKER, WE NEED TO LOOK AND SEE WHAT THOSE ISSUES ARE IN ALL OF OUR COMMUNITIES. I THINK WHEN WE LOOK AT BUILDING UP SOCIETY, AND WE BUILD UP WOMEN, WE MUST ALSO MAKE SURE THAT MEN ARE PART OF THAT CONVERSATION, WHICH IS WHY JUST LAST FRIDAY I WAS PLEASED TO SPEND SOME TIME WITH GRADE 7 TO 11 MALE STUDENTS TALKING ABOUT MANNING UP. I THINK WE ALL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY HERE TO TALK TO THE MEN IN OUR LIVES TO MAKE SURE THEY’RE PROTECTING THE MOST VULNERABLE WOMEN IN SOCIETY. THANK YOU.>>The Speaker: THE NEXT QUESTION THE MEMBER FOR KITCHENER CENTRE. >>THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. MY QUESTION IS TO THE PREMIER. SINCE SEPTEMBER I HAVE ASKED EVERY MINISTER RESPONSIBLE FOR ANTI-RACISM FOR A BRIEFING. THESE REQUESTS HAVE GONE UNANSWERED. IN PURSUIT OF ANSWERS, I WAS TOLD TO BE PATIENT AND TO WAIT FOR THE ESTIMATES, WHICH I WAS ASSURED WOULD SHOW THE GOVERNMENT’S PLAN TO ANTI-RACISM WORK. WHILE THE ANTI-RACISM DIRECTORATE WAS LISTED IN THE ESTIMATE, I WAS DISTURBED TO SEE THERE WAS ONLY $1,000 DEDICATED TO, QUOTE, ANTI-RACISM INITIATIVES. MR. SPEAKER, CAN THE PREMIER PLEASE EXPLAIN TO THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO WHAT KIND OF WORK $11,000 CAN DO TO COMBAT RACISM, WHICH IS SADLY ON THE RISE IN THE PROVINCE?>>The Speaker: QUESTION TO THE PREMIER.>>Premier Ford: SOLICITOR GENERAL. >>The Speaker: DEFERRED TO THE SOLICITOR GENERAL. >>THANK YOU, SPEAKER. THE MEMBER OPPOSITE IS USING NUMBERS THAT, FRANKLY, HAVE NO BASIS IN FACT. WE HAVE RELIED ON THE — >>The Speaker: ORDER. >>– THE AINLT RACISM DIRECTORATE TO DRIVE OUR LEGISLATIVE AGENDA. — ANTI-RACISM. THE OPS THAT WORK IN THIS DIRECTORATE DO EXCELLENT WORK, AND WE USE THAT WHEN WE ARE DOING THINGS LIKES UPDATING THE COMPREHENSIVE ONTARIO POLICE SERVICES ACT. WHEN WE LOOK AT POLICY CHANGES, WE MAKE SURE THAT THERE IS THEIR VOICE AND THEIR INPUT AND IMPACT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO US. THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT ANTI-RACISM IN ALL ITS FORMS IS COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE TO OUR GOVERNMENT, AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO — >>The Speaker: RESPONSE. >>– WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK WITH OUR PARTNERS TO MAKE SURE WE DRIVE DECISIONS BASED ON THAT INPUT. THANK YOU.>>The Speaker: SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTIONS. >>THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. AGAIN TO THE PREMIER, THE STORY THAT THESE ESTIMATES TELL US IS THAT THE CONSERVATIVES ARE JUST NOT INTERESTED IN DOING RACIAL JUSTICE WORK. THEY’RE UNWILLING TO TAKE CONCRETE STEPS TOWARDS RACIAL EQUITIES. THERE’S MONEY ALLOCATED TO STAFF AND ADVERTISING, BUT NO MONEY TO DO THE ACTUAL ANTI-RACISM WORK. NO MONEY TO INVEST IN THE ORGANIZATIONS AND PROGRAMS WHICH ARE MAKING PROGRESS ON THESE ISSUES, AND NO MONEY TO RESOURCE THE BLACK INDIGENOUS, JEWISH THAT THIS GOVERNMENT DISBANDED DESPITE HATE CRIME BEING ON THE RISE. DOES THE PREMIER BELIEVE WE CAN SOLVE RACISM WITH $1,000. >>The Speaker: QUESTIONS DEFERRED TO –>>THANK YOU, SPEAKER, AGAIN, I WILL SAY, I WILL REINFORCE THAT THERE IS NO ROOM IN A FORD GOVERNMENT THAT WOULD IN ANY WAY ALLOW ANTI-RACISM TO CONTINUE IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO. WE ARE ACTIVELY ENGAGED IN WORKING WITH THE DIRECTOR. WE WILL CONTINUE THAT WORK. BUT LET’S BE CLEAR. WE’RE ASKING EVERYONE ACROSS ONTARIO TO PLAY A SMALL PART IN ENSURING THAT WE BRING ONTARIO’S FISCAL HEALTH BACK TO ORDER. >>The Speaker: OPPOSITION COME TO ORDER. >>IN A SMALL WAY WE’LL ASK ALL ORGANIZATIONS AND AGENCIES, OUR TRANSFER PARTNERS, THAT ARE PART OF OUR ABILITY TO ENSURE THAT ONTARIO’S FISCAL HEALTH RETURNS TO BALANCE, BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THE GOVERNMENT, AS CITIZENS THAT WE PROTECT WHAT MATTERS MOST. WE WILL DO THAT, WE WILL DO THAT WITH THE EXCELLENT PARTNERS THAT WE HAVE, AND WE WILL MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE BRINGING FORWARD POLICIES AND IDEAS THAT ACTUALLY — >>The Speaker: THANK YOU. THE NEXT QUESTION. THE MEMBER FOR NORTHUMBERLAND SOUTH. >>MY MEMBER IT TO MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE AND FOOD AFFAIRS. WE WERE ASKED TO STAND UP FOR RURAL AND INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES. THESE REGIONS HAD BEEN REJECTED BY THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT. MY PREDECESSOR CALLED NORTHERN ONTARIO, NO MAN’S LAND. OVER THOSE 15 YEARS, ONTARIANS SAW INVESTMENTS GRIND TO A HALT. THEY FOUNDATIONED ROADBLOCK AFTER ROAD BLOCK, OUTDATED AND REDUNDANT RED TAPE AND LACK OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND RESOURCES AND MEANINGFUL DIALOGUE WITH OUR MUNICIPALITIES PREVENTED THESE REGIONS FROM REACHING THEIR FULL ECONOMIC POTENTIAL. MR. SPEAKER, CAN THE MINISTER PLEASE TELL THE HOUSE ABOUT THE WORK OUR GOVERNMENT IS DOING TO ENSURE THAT ONTARIO’S RURAL COMMUNITIES REMAIN SUSTAINABLE AND VIABLE PLACES TO LIVE, WORK, AND RAISE A FAMILY. >>The Speaker: MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS. >>THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER, AND I WANT TO THANK THE MEMBER FROM ENERGETIC UHM BERLAND PETERBOROUGH SOUTH FOR THAT EXCELLENT QUESTION. OUR GOVERNMENT IS COMMITTED TO WORKING WITH OUR RURAL COMMUNITIES TO ENSURE THEY HAVE THE RESOURCES THEY NEED TO ATTRACT INVESTMENT, CREATE JOBS, AND BOOST ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. THAT’S WHY LAST WEEK I WAS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THAT OUR GOVERNMENT HAS COMMITTED TO REVITALIZING THE RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OR RED PROGRAM. THE RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM WILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT PROJECTS THAT DIVERSIFY AND GROW LOCAL ECONOMIES. IT WILL NOW ALSO TARGET MORE IMPACTFUL PROJECTS, TANGIBLE COMMUNITY BENEFITS SUCH AS REDUCING THE BURDEN FOR APPLICANTS, AND CREATING EFFICIENCIES IN PROGRAM DELIVERY. THIS PROGRAM IS JUST ONE OF THE TOOLS THAT OUR GOVERNMENT IS UTILIZING TO ENSURE THAT ONTARIANS’ TAXPAYER DOCTORS ARE RESPECTED WHILE DELIVERING RESULTS FOR OUR RURAL COMMUNITIES.>>The Speaker: THANK YOU. SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION. >>THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER, AND THANK YOU TO THE MINISTER FOR HIS RESPONSE AND FOR THE WORK HE’S DOING TO PROMOTE RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. I KNOW THAT RURAL RESIDENTS IN MY RIDING ARE HAPPY THAT OUR GOVERNMENT IS CREATING MORE OPPORTUNITY FOR RURAL ONTARIO. WE’RE CREATING AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE OUR JOB CREATORS CAN THRIVE, ESPECIALLY THOSE IN RURAL ONTARIO. IN LESS THAN A YEAR, MR. SPEAKER, WE’VE SEEN INVESTMENTS OPEN TWO STREAMS, RURAL AND NORTHERN, PUBLIC TRANSIT THAT’S MEANT SHOVELS IN THE GROUND IN MY COMMUNITY, SHOVELS IN THE GROUND IN MY COLLEAGUE’S COMMUNITY AND ACROSS RURAL ONTARIO. BECAUSE OUR GOVERNMENT KNOWS WHEN RURAL COMMUNITIES THRIVE ONTARIO THRIVES. CAN THE MINISTER PLEASE EXPAND UPON HOW OUR GOVERNMENT IS SUPPORTING JOB CREATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH ACROSS RURAL ONTARIO?>>The Speaker: MINISTER TO REPLY. >>MR. SPEAKER, I’D LIKE TO REFER TO THE MINISTER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, JOB CREATION AND TRAINING.>>The Speaker: MINISTER. >>I’D LIKE TO THANK THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE FOR SHARING THIS MORNING AND I’D LIKE TO THANK MY FRIEND Mr. PERCINI FOR THE QUESTION THIS MORNING. OTHER GOVERNMENT CAME INTO OFFICE WITH A COMMITMENT TO CREATE JOBS NOT JUST IN BIG CITIES LIKE TORONTO AND OTTAWA, BUT ENSURE WE’RE CREATING GOOD JOBS RIGHT ACROSS ONTARIO, MR. SPEAKER, AND THAT’S WHY WE’RE REDUCING RED TAPE ACROSS ONTARIO. THAT’S WHY WE’RE LOWERING THE HYDRO RATES, AND THAT’S WHY WE’RE LOWERING TAXES SO THAT BUSINESSES ACROSS ONTARIO CAN SUCCEED. WE’RE CREATING AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE JOB CREATORS CAN CREATE MORE JOBS, THROUGH BILL 66, RESTORING ONTARIO’S COMPETITIVENESS ACT, MR. SPEAKER, WE REMOVED BURDENSOME RED TAPE AFFECTING OUR AGRICULTURAL SECTOR AND THANKS TO THE MINISTER FOR HELPING ON THAT FILE TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR FARMERS TO REGISTER ONLINE, REDUCING THE MILK ACT AND REDUCE RED TAPE FOR MEAT PRODUCERS, ALL GOOD THINGS TO CREATE JOBS IN RURAL ONTARIO. WE’RE WORKING WITH OUR COMMUNITIES TO ENSURE THAT ONTARIO IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS. THANK YOU.>>The Speaker: RESTART THE CLOCK. NEXT QUESTION, MEMBER FOR SPADINA FORT YORK. >>THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. MY QUESTION IS FOR THE PREMIER. THE PREMIER’S MINISTER OF FINANCE SAID, QUOTE, I LOOK AT THE YOUNG PEOPLE THAT ARE HERE TODAY AND I THINK ABOUT THE DEBT THAT YOU’RE INHERITING AND IT SADDENS ME. WHAT SADDENS ME, MR. SPEAKER, IS THAT THIS GOVERNMENT IS DIRECTLY DOWNLOADING $414 MILLION IN STUDENT DEBT ON TO YOUNG PEOPLE. IS THE PREMIER NOT SADDENED BY THE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN ADDITIONAL DEBT THAT STUDENTS HAVE TO TAKE ON BECAUSE OF ITS CALLOUS CUTS TO OSAP?>>The Speaker: QUESTION IS TO THE PREMIER.>>Premier Ford: MINISTER OF TRAINING COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES. >>The Speaker: DEFERRED TO MINISTER OF COLLEGES TRAINING AND UNIVERSITIES. >>THANK YOU, SPEAKER, AND THANK YOU TO THE MEMBER OPPOSITE FOR THAT QUESTION. OUR GOVERNMENT IS TAKING ACTION TO DELIVER ON ITS PROMISES TO THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO AND RESTORE TRUST AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN ONTARIO’S FINANCES. WE PROMISED THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO TO CREATE GOOD JOBS AND WE WANT TO ENSURE THAT ONTARIANS HAVE THE SKILLS THEY NEED TO FILL THOSE JOBS. POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION IS CRITICAL TO THE FUTURE OF ONTARIO AND OUR NEXT GENERATIONS. OUR GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN CLEAR THAT WE WILL BALANCE THE BUDGET IN A RESPONSIBLE MANNER, AND DELIVER ON OUR PROMISE TO RESTORE ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRUST IN ONTARIO’S FINANCES. THE PREVIOUS LIBERAL GOVERNMENT CREATED A $15 BILLION DEFICIT, MADE ONTARIO THE MOST INDEBTED SUBNATIONAL JURISDICTION IN ALL THE WORLD, AND WAS SPENDING $40 MILLION A DAY MORE THAN THEY BROUGHT IN. IT LEFT UNCHECKED A DEFICIT THAT WILL PUT ESSENTIAL SERVICES LIKE HEALTH CARE, EDUCATION — >>The Speaker: THANK YOU. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTIONS. >>THANK YOU MR. SPEAKER, AGAIN TO THE PREMIER, IN OCTOBER THE MINISTER OF TRAINING, COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES SAID IN THIS HOUSE, AND I QUOTE, UNLIKE THE PREVIOUS LIBERAL GOVERNMENT, WE KNOW THAT WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO OUR YOUNG PEOPLE TO INVEST IN THEIR EDUCATION, AND NOT TO LEAVE THEM WITH AN UNSUSTAINABLE DEBT LOOKED LIKE FOR THEIR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN. [ Applause ]>>YES. THERE’S A CONTRADICTION HERE. NOW THERE’S A CONTRADICTION BETWEEN THE MINISTER’S WORDS AND THE ACTIONS OF THIS GOVERNMENT. YET, WHEN THE MINISTER FAILS TO UNDERSTAND IS HER ACTIONS TO CUT 650 MILLION FROM COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES, AND OVER $400 MILLION FROM OSAP WILL LEAVE OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN WITH EVEN MORE STUDENT DEBT. WHY DOES THE PREMIER AND HIS MINISTRY WANT STUDENTS TO START THEIR LIFE UNDER A MOUNTAIN OF DEBT?>>The Speaker: DEFERRED TO THE MINISTER OF COLLEGES UNIVERSITIES AND TRAINING. >>THANK YOU. UNLIKE THE PREVIOUS LIBERAL GOVERNMENT PROPPED UP BY THE NDP, WE ARE BALANCING ONTARIANS’ BUDGET IN A RESPONSIBLE MANNER, WHILE PROTECTING WHAT MATTERS MOST TO THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO. AND IF LEFT UNCHECKED, THE DEFICIT THREATENS ESSENTIAL SERVICES THAT THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO RELY ON. IN TERMS OF THE FIGURE, YOU KNOW, AND THE THINGS YOU MENTIONED, I CAN SAY THAT THE FIGURE REPRESENTS POST-SECONDARY REFORMS, INCLUDING OUR HISTORIC 10% REDUCTION IN TUITION FOR ALL ONTARIO STUDENTS, WHICH WILL PROVIDE ONTARIO STUDENTS $450 MILLION IN TUITION RELIEF. AND BY LOWERING TUITION ACROSS THE ENTIRE PROVINCE, OUR GOVERNMENT IS ENSURING THAT ALL QUALIFIED ONTARIO STUDENTS WILL HAVE MORE ACCESS TO HIGH QUALITY SKILLS TRAINING AND EDUCATION. SPEAKER, WE ARE FOCUSED ON PROTECTING THE SERVICES THAT MATTER MOST TO THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO. THANK YOU. >>The Speaker: THANK YOU. PURSUANT TO STANDING ORDER 38 (A) THE MEMBER FOR KITCHENER CENTRE HAS GIVEN NOTICE OF HER DISSATISFACTION WITH THE ANSWER TO THER QUESTION GIVEN BY THE SOLICITOR GENERAL CONCERNING RESOURCING THE ANTI-RACISM WORK IN ONTARIO. THIS MATTER WILL BE DEBATED TOMORROW AT 6 P.M. GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADERS INFORM ME HE HAS A POINT OF ORDER. >>THANK YOU, I SEEK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO PUT FORWARD A NOTICE WITH THE PARLIAMENTARY ASSISTANCE RESPONDING TO THE LATE MAY SCHEDULE FOR 2019. >>The Speaker: GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER SEEKING UNANIMOUS CONSENT REGARDING A MOTION REGARDING THE LATE SHOWS TONIGHT. AGREED?>>AGREED.>>The Speaker: AGREED. ONCE AGAIN, THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER. >>I MOVE THE NOTWITHSTANDING ORDER 38(b) MAY RESPOND BY USE MAY 14 BY THE MEMBER FOR BRAMPTON CENTRE IN REPLACEMENT OF THE PARLIAMENTARY ASSISTANT TO THE MINISTER. AND THE MINISTER OF HOUSING MAY RESPOND BY THE MEMBER FOR GUELPH IN PLACE TO THE PARLIAMENTARY ASSISTANT TO THE GOVERNMENT OF FINANCE AND PARLIAMENTARY ASSISTANT TO THE MINISTER OF HEALTH MAY RESPOND TO THE SCHEDULE BY THE MEMBER FOR ESSEX IN PLACE TO THE PREMIER.>>The Speaker: GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADERS MOVE NOTWITHSTANDING 38(B). >> PARLIAMENTARY ASSISTANT TO THE MINISTER OF THE ENVIRONMENT, MAY RESPOND TO THE SCHEDULE MAY 14 FOR THE MEMBER FOR BRAMPTON CENTRE. SUSPEND. SUSPEND? IS IT THE PLEASURE OF THE HOUSE THE MEXICO CARRY? CARRIED. — IS IT THE PLEASURE OF THE HOUSE THE MOTION CARRY.>>The Speaker: MEMBER. >>I ACKNOWLEDGE THE PARLIAMENTARY ASSISTANT PRACTISING AT THE GENERAL HOSPITAL. >>The Speaker: THIS HOUSE STANDS IN RECESS UNTIL 3 p.m..

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