Frank Klees

Frankly Speaking

2010 In Review: YOUR MPP WORKING FOR YOU

 

"I have never contacted my MPP or anyone else in elected office."

 

I hear this many times a week as I sit with constituents in my Aurora office or take their phone calls. What never ceases to amaze me, are the number of people who are surprised to hear back from me by phone, or express gratitude for a meeting. My response is always the same: “That’s my job. It's what you've elected me to do".

 

And so as 2010 comes to a close, I thought it appropriate to report on my work on your behalf, here in our community and at Queen's Park. Here are my picks for the Top Ten :

 

HST: I strenuously opposed the implementation of this new tax. I made it clear that while I support simplifying our tax system, this was the wrong time to increase the cost of living and that it would be particularly difficult for seniors and others on fixed incomes.   

I challenged the policy on the floor of the legislature and invited constituents to join the fight against the tax by signing petitions and sending emails and letters to the Premier.

 

ECO Tax: I met with many local business owners who pleaded their case against yet another tax grab that was killing their business and picking the pockets of consumers. I joined with my colleagues in the PC Caucus in mounting a province-wide campaign to raise awareness of this new tax. In the end, the government was forced to cancel the tax within a matter of weeks, and I thank the many of you who helped wage this campaign. 

 

Red Tape: Regulatory burden is killing businesses and jobs. I invited business owners to share examples of the impact on their business of time-consuming regulations and bureaucratic process. The evidence is clear that we need to implement a Red Tape Commission that will eliminate unnecessary regulations that punish small business.

 

Organ Donation: I tabled a Resolution calling on the government to implement an on-line organ donation registry.  This would significantly increase the number of organs available for transplant and save countless lives. In his Annual Report, the Auditor General confirmed the importance of an on-line registry.

 

Support for Pharmacists:

The McGuinty government announced a policy that would result in cuts to front-line healthcare services provided by independent, local pharmacists. The impact would be hardest on seniors, and would put many independent pharmacists out of business. I convened a fact-finding meeting for local pharmacists and the public, launched a petition and opposed this policy on the floor of the legislature.

 

Speech Therapy Crisis:

More than 1,000 students in York Region were not receiving the speech and language therapy services they need to cope with speech and language disorders. I convened a public meeting attended by parents, school board representatives, and speech/language therapists. A petition was launched that received province-wide support, I raised the issue with the Minister during Question Period and subsequent meetings with the CCAC.

 

OSPCA: With overwhelming public support, I was instrumental in putting a stop to the planned euthanasia of the entire animal population at the OSPCA's Newmarket shelter. I called for an Independent Review of the OSPCA's handling of this issue, which is now under way headed by the Hon. Patrick LeSage. I tabled a Resolution calling for provincial oversight of the OSPCA, and although it was defeated by the Liberal majority, I have the commitment of my colleagues that a PC government would implement the Resolution following the election on October 6th.  

 

Transportation and Infrastructure:

As the PC Critic for Transportation and Infrastructure, I was asked to speak at the International Transport Futures Conference in Toronto. The theme of the conference was solutions to traffic congestion and infrastructure funding. My central message was that if we are to meet these challenges, we must put transportation and infrastructure planning and funding "beyond politics" and ensure that transportation plans are based on sound transportation planning principles and are not hijacked by political agendas.

 

Homecare: Many seniors would prefer to remain in their homes rather than take up residence in long-term care homes. But the government is penny wise and pound foolish when it comes to funding homecare. "No money to pay an 87 year old patient's equipment rental, but thousands to hire more bureaucrats". That's what I told the Minister of Health when I questioned her why my constituent was refused payment for a $500 rental fee that makes it possible for her to be at home rather than take up a hospital bed at thousands of dollars a day.

 

Victory for Cody: Cody Hughes is a 17 year old constituent. He has multiple health issues resulting from Rheumatoid Arthritis. The most serious complication is the disintegration of his jaw bones, resulting in constant, excruciating pain. His pain medication is at the level of a dying cancer patient. Only a titanium jaw replacement can relieve his pain. He was advised that the wait list for his operation is 3 years. I asked Cody's parents to come to the legislature where I brought the issue to the attention of the Minister of Health during Question Period and asked her to personally intervene.

Cody's operation is scheduled for January 13, 2011.

 

This is a very limited list of the issues for which I have had the privilege of advocating on your behalf. My allocated space doesn't allow for more, but I invite you to visit my website at www.frank-klees.on.ca where you will find more detailed information on these and many other issues. And as always, I welcome your calls at 905 750 0019.

 

On behalf of our family, I wish you and yours the very best for the coming year, and I thank you once again for the privilege of serving you in the Parliament of Ontario.

 

Frank Klees, MPP