Vijay electrified by opportunity to serve residents
It has certainly been a busy month for me and I continue to be electrified by the opportunity to serve the residents of Scarborough–Rouge Park. Every day I find inspiration talking to residents and hearing how the government of Ontario has improved their day-to-day lives or working with my staff to find solutions to the myriad of issues that our constituents face.
It’s been just over 100 days in office for our new government and wow, we have done a lot! While I do not have space to discuss it all, I would like to highlight a few of our successes.
Long-term care beds
Our government recently announced that it will be providing funding to add 6,000 new long-term care beds across Ontario. This will help start to address the long hospital wait times and the hallway health care that we see far too often throughout the province. I am proud to say that 353 new beds will be added in Scarborough with a further 159 beds to be redeveloped.
Cancellation of Drive Clean
A few weeks ago, the government of Ontario decided to scrap the Drive Clean program first established in 1999. This test had outlived its original purpose since almost all family cars on the road today pass it. Eliminating this program saves the government the $40 million it cost to run while allowing it to focus on the real polluters. A new enhanced program will better target heavy-duty trucks (e.g. commercial transport trucks) whose emissions are the real threat to Ontario’s air.
Our government promised a full line-by-line audit of the province’s books. While I am happy we did a detailed investigation, I cannot say that I am pleased with the results. The province is in a worse financial situation than we knew about with the independent report stating that the 2017-2018 budget was not balanced but in fact ran a deficit of $3.7 billion. Additionally, because of spending commitments by the previous government, the 2018 budget will see a $15 billion deficit. This leaves the province in a big hole as we have the largest subnational debt of any province or state in the world! Our government is, however, determined to restore accountability and trust by putting Ontario’s fiscal house in order in a responsible manner.
Although busy at Queen’s Park, I have enjoyed all of the time I’ve managed to spend in the riding. A few weeks ago, I joined a community meeting at the Tony Stacey Centre where I had a chance to listen to the staff and residents both of the TSC and the surrounding neighbourhoods as we brainstormed ideas for the future of that valuable institution. I’ve had the chance to attend the Highland Creek Salmon Festival and learn more about the importance of the rivers, fish and other wildlife to our Scarborough ecosystem. Additionally, along with many volunteers, I joined with the Friends of the Rouge Watershed and WWF to plant over 200 trees, bushes and wildflowers for generations to come. In early October, I was honoured to rise in the Legislature to announce to my colleagues that a portion of the Waterfront Trail in the Port Union neighbourhood would be dedicated the “Ron Moeser Trail” and humbled to attend the ceremony a few days later.
I would be pleased to meet with you to help with any provincial issue you may be having, hear your thoughts and/or suggestions on the government’s policies, or just enjoy a cup of coffee. I keep Fridays open to meet with residents at our Constituency Office (105-8130 Sheppard Ave E) and you can call ahead to book a time. My local office staff can be reached at 416-283-8448 or my Queen’s Park staff at 416-326-7274. And I can always be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.