McDonell to host local budgetary consultations

MPP Jim McDonell. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

CORNWALL — Vexed by the Wynne Liberals’ new cap-and-trade scheme and the proposed closure of schools in his district — among other issues — local MPP Jim McDonell will conduct his own consultations this month on the upcoming 2017 Ontario budget. That’s after McDonell’s riding was left off the list of official stops by the Standing Committee of Finance and Economic Affairs.

The committee has no plans to meet with the public in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry to gather input this year, notes the Tory MPP in a press release declaring that “local residents and businesses should have the opportunity to be heard.”

“Last year, community members came together to share their vision for a budget that works for the residents, businesses and community groups that live, work and operate in Ontario,” McDonell pointed out.

“On January 1st of this year, the present government introduced the new cap-and-trade tax, which will increase the costs of all goods and services in Ontario. Many local schools are being considered for closure due to cuts in funding and changes to regulations governing school boards in the province,” he said.

“Health care continues to be rationed as hospitals face funding that fails to account for annual cost increases, such as salaries and the cost of electricity. Life is becoming much more expensive and difficult, especially for those on low and fixed incomes.  Businesses are deciding to scale back, close or expand elsewhere as they try to contend with the uncompetitive regulatory, tax and cost burden they face in today’s Ontario.”

The MPP is scheduled to hear constituent concerns about the 2017 budget at the following locations and times:

  • Wednesday, Jan. 11, 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m., Morrisburg, McIntosh Inn, 12492 County Rd 2
  • Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m., Avonmore, North Stormont Place, 16229 Fairview Dr
  • Thursday, Jan. 12, 9.30 a.m. – 11 a.m., Chesterville, Nelson Laprade Centre, 9 William St
  • Thursday, Jan. 12, 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m., Long Sault, South Stormont Hall, 2 Mille Roches Rd
  • Thursday, Jan. 12, 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Lancaster, Royal Canadian Legion 544, 181 Military Rd
  • Friday, Jan. 13, 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Cornwall, Ramada Inn (Ontario Room)

Participants are encouraged to register by Monday, Jan. 9 at www.sdsgprebudget.eventbrite.ca or by calling Marilyn McMahon in MPP McDonell’s office at 613-933-6513.