Column by Bill Walker, June 4/18Published on June 04, 2018
As a proud and lifelong resident of Bruce County, born and raised in Hepworth, and a champion working to build better communities, I have always been proud to take a stand as your MPP to ensure better outcomes and opportunities for all of us in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound.
Over the last years I have been proud of getting action for individual constituents in need and moving the government forward on local priorities, such as stopping mass school closures across rural Ontario, exposing deplorable wait-times for seniors needing long-term care, and fighting for promised Markdale Hospital to support our community’s health needs, which I remain committed to and which I believe will be built in 2020.
As your provincial representative, the concerns of the people of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound will always be my priority.
Running for public office takes immense commitment, energy and passion.
It also takes commitment from your family. When we get elected, our family gets elected. Representing constituents isn’t a one-person rally. If I didn’t have my wife, Michaela, and the support of my sons, Zach and Ben, my siblings and my extended family and circle of friends, I would not be able to dedicate my entire lifestyle to representing every day the great people of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound.
This is all-encompassing, where most days you are running a marathon for the people who put their trust in you to be their voice at Queen’s Park. I am humbled to have earned your trust over the last 6 1/2 years. To me, your trust is sacred and treasured, and it’s why I am still running to make a difference.
I have always been involved in our communities because public service has always played a key role in my life. Whether it was as Parks & Recreation Director for the Town of Wiarton, the Area Manager for Heart and Stroke Grey-Bruce, the Executive Director of the Bruce Peninsula Health Services Foundation, the captain or coach of a sports team, or the manager of the world-renowned Wiarton Willie Festival, I always strive for roles where I can be in a position to rally and motivate a team, to show courage and determination when seeking better outcomes for all. I’m a believer in the adage that it is a noble endeavour to offer yourself to public service, and I take pride in every single moment that I am out representing you, your frustrations, angst, or triumphs, and truly wanting and fighting for better outcomes for you and your family and following through with action.
This is the passion I brought to the table when I was fighting against the government’s cuts to special-need children and school closures. This is the energy I put into fighting skyrocketing hydro rates that were forcing constituents to choose between heating and eating, and businesses who are worried about keeping their doors open. And this is the commitment I offered when I was standing up for seniors who were being wait-listed and demanding new capacity in long-term care.
As you’re aware, our province is in dire straits after 15 years of waste and scandal. People have had enough of seeing Liberal insiders get richer while their cost of living kept spiraling out of control. People need relief. The PC party’s main focus is the economy so we can create jobs and prosperity, and protect public services we need and rely on every day.
We’re scrapping the carbon tax, reducing gas prices by 10 cents per litre, and giving tax relief to lower- and middle-class families.
We’re bringing quality jobs back to Ontario by lowering taxes, stabilizing hydro bills and cutting job-killing red tape.
We’re ordering a line-by-line audit of government spending to bring an end to the culture of waste and mismanagement in government that eats up billions of dollars from the Budget every year, such as eHealth, gas plants and corporate welfare for favoured companies with no accountability, no criteria and no rules.
We’re ending hallway health care by creating 15,000 new long-term care beds over the next five years and adding $1.9 billion in new support for mental health, addictions and housing.
Our party is made up of caring and talented individuals with a strong record in serving the public. People like Christine Elliott who has been a fierce advocate for the rights and services of both children and adults with special needs, Jim Wilson, Ted Arnott and Ernie Hardeman (who have all served in government) and former North Bay mayor Vic Fedeli whose entrepreneurial spirit earned him a spot in the Top 50 employers in Canada and who has spent over a decade managing three non-profit ventures.
When it comes to the economy, our party has a plan to clean up the mess in government and restore respect for taxpayers.
In contrast, the other parties want to increase gas prices by 35 cents per litre and hike taxes on small business. The last time the NDP were in power, unemployment shot up 28 per cent, 125,000 people lost their jobs and more than a million people ended up on welfare. Some suggest we are still paying for "Rae Days"!
It is my commitment to continue to stand with the people of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound. This means to continue our work on the new Markdale Hospital, which is expected to begin construction in the next two years, to continue to work on improving Highway 6 safety, to continue to push for more doctors for our area and to advocate for money for infrastructure projects in our communities. As always, I will work with colleagues and staff across all parties to ensure the people in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound get their share that they need and deserve.
It is a pleasure and a privilege to serve my constituents who will always remain my priority. On June 7th, I ask for your support so we can ensure we bring real change that puts the people of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound first.