As we approach the holiday season, I want all of us to remember how lucky we to be living in the great province of Ontario. The holiday season is a great time for us to reflect upon how blessed we are. However, there are others who are not as fortunate as ourselves. Please contribute to a good cause or charity, and make this season a brighter holiday for all of us. Those particularly affected are the victims of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in the Philippines. All donations will be matched by the Canadian government dollar for dollar.
In the Legislature
There are two important Bills that I supported in the House.
Bill 123, Members’ Accommodation Allowances Act, which closes a loophole in the rules governing MPP housing allowances, passed unanimously in the Legislative Assembly. I am so happy this Bill passed because it is about being fair not only to all MPPs, but also, more importantly, it is about being fair to the taxpayers. By fixing the process, making it more accountable and transparent, we are boosting the level of trust and responsibility that taxpayers rightfully expect of their elected representatives. Current MPP housing allowance rules state that a member whose principal residence is more than 50 kilometres from Queen’s Park is entitled to receive compensation for the cost of accommodation in Toronto. The new rules will clarify that if an MPP’s entire riding is located 50 kilometres or less from the legislature, that MPP may not receive a housing allowance, regardless of where their principal residence is located.
Bill 116, called the Manorajana Kanagasabapathy Act, in memory of the Scarborough woman killed in a vehicle collision involving a distracted driver, would see increased fines, for hand-held device use while driving, to a minimum of $300. On top of the fine, drivers would also receive three demerit points for each offence. Currently in Ontario it is illegal to use your cell phone while driving. Clearly, drivers are not getting the message as the law is being broken too often by drivers with tragic consequences. The law is being broken because the current penalties are too weak. Adding demerit points and increasing the fine is about giving the law teeth. It will make drivers think twice about breaking the law.
Attention high school students: The Legislative Assembly of Ontario is holding its inaugural 3-day Model Parliament Program for students in grades 9 to 12 from February 19-21, 2014. This new and exciting initiative brings together Ontario high school students representing all 107 provincial ridings who are interested in current affairs, provincial issues and government.
Additional information and the online application is available on the website at http://educationportal.ontla.on.ca/en/model-parliament. If you have any questions about the Model Parliament Program, please call Parliamentary Protocol and Public Relations at 416-325-0061.
Are you looking for seasonal work? A company in Mississauga is hiring 1500 seasonal workers. Please click for flyer.
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