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I’d like to begin this newsletter by recognizing and remembering a great community leader: the Honourable John Wise. Mr. Wise passed away on January 9th of this year. John left behind an exceptional legacy of community service that made Elgin County and indeed Canada a better place. A successful farmer, he began his career in politics at the municipal level serving as councilor and reeve for Yarmouth Township and ultimately as Warden for Elgin County. He turned his sights to federal politics and was elected as MP for the riding of Elgin. As MP, we served as Minister of Agriculture under the Joe Clark and Brian Mulroney governments.
John’s success can be attributed to his constant devotion to his constituents. Even after retiring from politics, John continued to contribute his time, skills, and passion to making his community a better place. He was a model politician that continues to influence our area representatives, myself included. John was a source of invaluable advice and guidance throughout my nascent political career. He remains the model of the people’s representative to which I strive.
While John touched many lives, he was always a devoted family man. He is survived by his wife Anne and his daughter Susan Elizabeth. Please follow the video link below to view the statement I made in the provincial legislature commemorating John’s life.
Free 2013 Tax Preparation Services:
My office will be hosting Certified General Accounting professionals later this month to assist low-income individuals and families in the preparation of their income tax filing. If you meet the standards below or know of someone who may benefit from this service, please contact our office to set up an appointment.
Services Available to:
- Individuals with gross income under $25,000
- Families with gross income under $30,000
What you need to bring:
- 2011 Notice of Assessment
- Copy of 2011 income tax return
- All information slips received from employment, pension and investment income (T4s, T5s, T3s etc.)
- Receipts for charitable donations, medical expenses, RRSP contributions, child care receipts, tuition fees etc.
- Details of spouse’s and/or dependent’s income
Dates and Times: Saturday, April 20th (10am-4pm); Wednesday, April 24th (5-8pm)
Location: 750 Talbot Street, Suite 201, St. Thomas
By Appointment Only: Please contact Whitney at 519-631-0666 or email@example.com.
The Drive Clean program has implemented a number of changes that came into effect on January 1. Chances are if your vehicle has been tested this year, the testing experience was more inconvenient and in some cases downright frustrating. A new computerized testing method is the main source of these frustrations. This government-approved system plugs into a car’s on-board computer. Any activated warning signal on the dashboard results in a failed emissions-test. For instance, a problem with your brake-line, while not related to the emissions of your vehicle at all, will generate a failed test result.
It’s time we recognize that the $30 million Drive Clean program no longer serves a useful purpose and needs to be scrapped. The Auditor General noted that since 1998, emissions have declined significantly but largely for reasons unrelated to the Drive Clean program. I, along with some of my colleagues, have spoken publically about dismantling the program. Our municipalities have also taken up the cause. So far, the Townships of Malahide and Southwold have passed resolutions calling on the provincial government to scrap the Drive Clean program. I support these efforts and will continue to work with our municipalities and the provincial government to relieve people of this inconvenient program.
Recently, the Ontario Tire Stewardship program has announced increased fees to dispose of agricultural purpose tires. Ontario has the highest tire disposal fees in all of Canada with certain tire models costing up to eight times more to dispose here than in the next most costly province. These costs hurt our agriculture and agriculture related businesses. At a time when hydro rates, eco-fees, and the cost of regulation are going up, we should not be levying additional job killing fees. I have started a petition calling on the government to abandon its plan to increase tire fees. The petition can found at: http://www.jeffyurekmpp.com/?attachment_id=805.
On March 22, I proudly stood up and voted in favour of my colleague Todd Smith’s bill An Act to Amend the Electronic Commerce Act. I commend my colleague as well as the other two parties for coming together to pass this piece of legislation with unanimous support. This bill takes a small but meaningful first step to reducing the red tape burden of our small business owners. The act allows for the use of electronic signatures on real estate transactions and land transfers. This will reduce the time it takes for realtors to finalize paperwork and free up time to focus on their core activity of their business: selling homes.
The CFIB estimates that red tape costs businesses in Ontario $11 billion every year. Small businesses bear a disproportionate brunt of this cost. As an MPP, there is always a focus on creating jobs and ensuring the health of our economy. To that end, we need to recognize the detrimental economic effects of burdening small businesses with excessive red tape. Reducing red tape creates a more favourable business climate in which small businesses can thrive. When small businesses are successful and growing, they look to expand and employ more people. This process creates jobs that provide people with incomes which they in turn invest into our economy and so on and so forth. In order to get this ball of prosperity rolling, we must remain vigilant in our commitment to eliminating excessive red tape. That’s why I was encouraged to see all parties support PC MPP Todd Smith’s private member’s bill two weeks ago. While it is one small step, it’s a step in the right direction.
One of the perks of my job as your MPP is all the places within our community I get to visit. Here are some of the events I attended these past few weeks:
- Adoption Day at City Animal Services
- Palmer’s Maple Syrup Festival
- Sparta’s 200th Anniversary Dinner
- Bowl for Kid’s Sake
- Canadale Garden Show
- Ducks Unlimited Dinner
- The launch of Middlesex County’s Trails Guide
- The Hilton Boxing Club’s Grand Opening
In addition to these events, I co-hosted a roundtable discussion with Christine Elliott on mental health policy and a Town Hall meeting with Randy Hillier to discuss mandatory WSIB coverage.
To invite me to an event or to request a scroll, please do not hesitate to call or email my office at 519-631-0666 and firstname.lastname@example.org respectively.