2023-06-01 Question Period
no time for oral questions I recognize the leader of his Majesty's Royal opposition good morning speaker this question is for the minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing earlier today the NDP released a document obtained from Freedom of Information requests showing that officials at the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing were discussing the removal of specific Greenbelt lands prior to the last election will the minister tell us which officials were discussing these Green Belt removals and was he one of them to apply Minister Municipal Affairs and Housing Mr Speaker there wasn't much detail there but I believe that that I'm familiar with the what the opposition is referring to my understanding is that the third party in question was the city of Hamilton and that the record should be released in due course supplementary question so uh speaker let's be clear according to the documents we've obtained from anywhere from about six months to two years before the public was told Ministry staff were talking about removals from the Green Belt but the minister told the Integrity commissioner that he did not know about the green belt removals until shortly before the public did on November 4th 2022 how could that be true does the minister want to correct his timeline right now speaker I'm not familiar in totality with what the leader of the opposition speaks but if I understand it correctly the the request was from the city of Hamilton a third party and those documents will be released very very shortly the final supplementary I'm gonna go to the premier with this one it's now clear that government officials in the premier's office and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs new specific details about the green belt removal plans much earlier than the premier and the minister have claimed there is also evidence that certain landowners were tipped off about the Greenbelt plans long before the general public learned about them the NDP and journalists have filed more Freedom of Information requests for documents that might shine more of a light on who knew what about the green belt plans and when they knew it we know these documents exist but the premier and the minister are keeping them Secret why are these documents being kept from the public and will the premier release them now secret documents at the leader of the opposition got in the Freedom of Information request so Mr Speaker this is just another this is just I will speak up because what we're doing is speaking on behalf of the people the problem who because of 15 years of liberal and NDP mismanagement of the economy have put the province of Ontario in a housing crisis the largest land mass in the country has a housing crisis why because they put obstacle after obstacle after obstacle in the way of building new homes and that is all that they have been doing since we got back here we won an election on a promise to build more homes we won an election on a promise to grow the economy to bring more people to the province of Ontario they can stand in the way all they like but it really comes down to one thing they want people to be dependent and reliant on the government and aggressive conservatives want to give people the tools and the resources to succeed and we will not stop we will remove obstacles we will build homes and we'll continue to ensure the most prosperous province in the country [Applause] restart the clock the next question speaker that doubling down well that tells us a lot uh this next question is 2 to the premier the disillusion of Peel is an unprecedented change that will affect the daily lives of millions of people it's going to be complicated and it could get very messy if this is going to work then the people of Peel need to be at the center of the process they need to be consulted they need to be heard so why won't the premier consult the public and conduct committee hearings to ensure that bill 112 will deliver the best possible outcome for peel residents Minister Municipal Affairs and Housing well I I want to say to the leader of the opposition you know we were crystal clear in the press conference with the three Mayors the day we presented the Hazel mccallion act on the legislative floor this is an issue that has been widely discussed there have been elections uh run on this topic and our government was clear in terms of the dissolution appeal if you live in peel today and you receive services on January 1st 2025 when the dissolution will take place those same services will be in place if the bill passes we'll appoint a transition board that transition board will work with those three Mayors and those Mayors are going to have to roll up their sleeves because it's going to be a big process to be able to transition from the region appeal which has been in effect for 50 years and end on that January 1st 2025 with three separate municipalities that stand on their own but that still provide those same uh excellent front page or front line services join today supplementary question thank you speaker and I'd say to the minister needs to get out there and listen to the people particularly in Brampton and Caledon who are very deeply concerned uh but you know people in Mississauga in Brampton and in Caledon have a lot of questions about about what's going to happen to them what's going to happen Municipal Services what's going to happen to their tax bills or their utility bills these questions are to be answered apparently by a transition board whose mandate and also who's on it remain completely unknown right now with no guarantee that this process will be any more transparent than the last Regional governance review the findings of of which I'll remind everyone remain a complete government secret right who will serve on the transition board and will their findings be released to the public well in advance before the government makes a decision about peel Minister mystical carries and housing you're the leader of the opposition knows how this place works right the minister of legislative affairs uh and I are working very closely but you don't appoint a transition board until the bill passes you know we we want to ensure that there's certainty for the people appeal as we move the Hazel mccallion act through the process but until the bill passes the transition board will not be appointed but I can tell you exactly the same thing today that I said the day the bill was presented we need all of those Mayors in Mississauga Brampton account in some of our provinces fastest growing municipalities to work together with the transition board to to ensure that my mandate that those excellent Frontline services that people in peel region receive today are going to be the same Services they receive on Jan 1 2025. final supplementary speaker I cannot understand why this government would refuse to consult the public on a bill that's going to have such significant consequences Mississauga in Brampton and Caledon the mayor of Brampton in particular and many Brampton residents have raised serious concerns that this disillusion of Peel is going to cost the city billions of dollars and drive up their tax bills or threaten their services so Mr Speaker through you to the associate minister of women's social and Economic Opportunity who was also the member for Brampton Center why did she move the motion that blocked her Brampton constituents from being heard on Bill 112. Mr Speaker let me get this straight a party that lost all of their members in peel region they were all thrown out in the last election is now pretending to understand what the people of Peel want I will say very directly to the leader of the opposition the reason why we voted on the legislation was because the NDP allowed the bill to collapse at nine o'clock right we had scheduled hours of debate on this and you know what happened the members appeal from the progressive conservative caucus all talk they off had speeches they engaged in comments and questions they stood up on behalf of the people appeal who sent them here unanimously unanimously and you know what happened with the opposition order they went home at nine o'clock collapse in a whimper Mr Speaker you know why because they know it's the right thing to do and you know what this is about for the leader of the office position more obstacles in the way of moving the province forward obstacles in the way of building home this minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing will remove those obstacles [Applause] the next question remember foreign morning the people of Minden have lost their emergency department there is now a big piece of plywood where blue H used to be the emergency department in Chelsea Almonte and prior and many other are in precarious position the hospital in Fort Erie and Port Coburn went from having a full emergency department to a 24 7 urgent care center and now Niagara Health has announced a 50 reduction in the hours of operation and even with this reduction in hours they will not be able to cover all the shift this summer in Fort Erie or Port Coburn what is the minister the premier doing to keep emergency Health Services going 24 7 in all area of our problems thank you speaker you know the member opposite knows very well that these are not unique circumstances to Ontario in fact we see it across Canada and in fact around the world where health human resources are being stretched and we are making sure that we put programs and incentives in place to make sure that hospital leadership have many different programs to tap into but I have to say you know the NDP keeps talking about the status quo we are not satisfied with the status quo so while since 2018 we've had 1800 new Physicians open and practicing in the province of Ontario which the NDP office had voted against when we voted and invested in two new medical schools the NDP chose to vote against when we expanded the ability for Community surgical centers to have that critical access to critical Diagnostic and surgical Pathways in their communities the NDP he voted against Houston order the supplementary question the member for Niagara Falls they expect to the premier the residents in Fort Erie and Port Corbin deserve Health Care in the province of Ontario and you're causing the crisis right here in this province the actions of this government are serious consequences for the people of Ontario just ask the people of Fortier another Community losing Access to Health Care Services Under This government yesterday Niagara Health announced the 40 Urgent Care Center would greatly reduce their hours only operating between 10 a.m and 10 p.m that's a 50 percent cut in hours why because this government is facing a staffing crisis in health care one this government is happy to make extremely worse with Bill 124 and Bill 60. speaker
will this government step in repeal Bill 124 and provide the support now to keep the 40 urgent care center open 24 7 now thank you direct their comments through the chair not directly across the floor of the house minister of Health 27b billion dollars in capital Investments across 50 different hospitals new expanded Renovations including I might add a large building build that is happening in Niagara Region why because our government saw from 2018 that lack of investment lack of foresight ensured that we need to make those Investments and we are we've done short-term medium-term and long-term Investments and every single time speaker the NDP voted against them you can talk about status quo we will order with Investments and we will continue to do that work including in my order where we have a very substantial hospital bill that is happening in his own community [Applause] question the member for Carlton thank you Mr Speaker my question is for the minister of Education with Ontario's population growing rapidly and an increasing demand for workers in many sectors we need to make sure that our students are properly equipped for the jobs of the future sadly the previous liberal government failed to update critical elements of the curriculum which left too many young people unprepared for the emerging global economy since taking office in 2018 our government has demonstrated unprecedented leadership in addressing these urgent needs our students deserve to learn fundamental concepts and skills that will prepare them for the workplace of Tomorrow speaker through you can the minister please elaborate on how our government has updated Ontario's education curriculum thank you minister of Education well thank you very much I want to thank the member from Carlton for this question I think many parents are seized with the question how are we helping to set kids up for success in this economy and Mr Speaker one of the most fundamental ways we can enable the success of young people is to make sure they are learning skills relevant for the job market today and so Mr Speaker in the legislation before this house did better schools and soon outcomes act we have a provision that will mandate as a matter of course at the government every three years at the least must update curricula to keep it relevant to labor market into the skill sets young people need to succeed in addition this coming September we're very proud to be unveiling a new language curriculum that aligns with the Ontario Human Rights commission's right to read report invoking a phonics-based approach to learning again that's going to help young people read particularly children with special education needs we're hiring two thousand more staff particularly literacy focused teachers to get this right and we know a modern curriculum will help kids succeed in a changing world around us supplementary question thank you Mr Mr surf help our students to succeed however I hear concerns from many families across my riding of Carleton that students are not being taught the relevant life and job skills that they need to function in our modern economy it's projected that by 2026 approximately one in five job openings in Ontario will be in the skilled trait sector that's why our government must continue to make critical Investments that will benefit our students for years to come and will help to strengthen the economy of tomorrow speaker through you can the minister please explain what our government is doing to prepare students for careers in the skilled trades and Technology sectors thank you sister of Education well thank you again to the member from Carlton I think this is an important question you know the minister of economic and social the minister of response for economic and social opportunities for women often speaks about the fact that there's too few girls in our school system on a path of stem education specifically in the skilled trades and we know a third of girls take a technical education course to help ensure we bridge that Gap we're going to require every student in Ontario Schools starting next September to take at least one technological education course it's going to help open the Horizon and the opportunities of young people to succeed this coming September we have a new technology course being unveiled the next September the entire technology create Club will be unveiled it's all part of a broader plan to ensure with the disruptions happening in the economy around us though we are ensuring young people have the skills necessary from financial literacy to coding learning about skill sets fundamental to help them have a Leading Edge job a good paying job when they graduate from Ontario schools thank you the next question the member for Key West speaker good morning uh my question is to the premier uh in 2017 the chair of the Human Rights Commission toured provincial jail in Kenora and found that every inmate was struggling with mental health and addiction disorders as Speaker I was there last week and uh I can tell you that the situation is not getting any better and uh you know a speaker what I saw you know it's it's as if the people that are there are not human and Ontario needs to act on its promises to provide more treatment in jails especially the addictions crisis as the addiction crisis continues speaker what is Ontario doing to ensure inmates question in the northern jails are getting the mental health and the addictions they need help with solitaire well thank you Mr Speaker and I want to thank my friend for the question you know Mr Speaker I've toured a lot of facilities all over Ontario and it has been an eye-opener for me to see the Investments that we made in the facilities to meet the cultural needs of the indigenous peoples there such as the smudging spaces the sweat lodges and the teaching lodges Mr Speaker it has been my honor to meet so many Native inmate liaison officers the nilos who are absolutely critical to the chaplaincy and the well-being of those facilities it has been my honor Mr Speaker to meet Elder Ken Goodman cam Goodman in Thunder Bay where I've seen for myself Mr Speaker this is important to our government and we will continue to act supplementary question what the solicitor general is describing is is not working because when I was there uh you know the officials that were there with me told me that 50 people that were there did not belong there they need mental health services the lack of resources inside the provincial jails is simply a reflection of society out of sight out of mind the answer is not building more correctional facilities if we had proper addictions and mental health treatment for for our communities there wouldn't be nearly as many people in jails in the first place what is discovering government doing to ensure that the addictions crisis doesn't continue to keep filling until jails especially in the north for our young people members will please take their seats and reply to the government the associate minister of mental health and addictions thank you Mr Speaker and Mr Speaker our government shares the concerns that are being spoken of in the house this morning when you stop and think about the importance of providing culturally safe services that are low barrier to individuals these are investments that need to be made Upstream yes Investments are being made in Corrections facilities by increasing the amount of services and supports transitional housing when they when individuals come out of the correction systems but we have to look Upstream we have to look and see what needs to be done in the communities and provide the services where the individuals live and that's exactly what we did the 90 million dollar investment put 54 percent of the dollars and created 7 000 treatment spots the majority of which are in Northern Ontario why because we need to deliver supports and services before individuals resort to situations that get them into Corrections facilities and we've done that in Sioux Lookout in Thunder Bay in Sudbury in Timmins and the list goes on and on and continue building continues of care for individuals that are culturally safe and appropriate as close to home as we possibly can next question the member for Scarborough wage info thank you speaker my question is for the minister of Labor immigration training and the skills development with over 300 000 jobs going on fulfilled daily we are facing a historic shortage of workers in Ontario in order to ensure that our economy is strong and resilient we need more skilled workers to fill labor gaps in key sectors we must welcome more workers who are best positioned to succeed in critical Industries where there are significant labor shortages including construction Healthcare and Technology our government must do everything we can to ensure that we have the workforce that is needed to help build Ontario speaker question can the minister please explain what actions our government is taking to strengthen Ontario's Workforce thank you minister of Labor Training immigration skills thank you very much and thank you to the member for this very important question and he's right one of the greatest economic challenges uh we're facing in Ontario today is that 300 000 jobs are going unfilled I'm proud under the leadership of Premier Ford that our government has landed a truly historic deal with the federal government to double the number of economic immigrants we can select to a minimum of 18 000 by 2025. Speaker this means that we can select more skilled trades workers more software and I.T workers and more health care workers like nurses and personal support workers we're tackling our labor shortage head on and making it easier for employers to find the skilled workers they need to grow and build the future of Ontario all across our Province they're in demand and well-paying jobs waiting to be filled welcoming more immigrants with the skills we need is a win for workers businesses and communities in every corner of Ontario [Applause] thank you speaker the increase of individuals and families arriving to the Ontario immigration nominee program is certainly good news for workers employers and for the overall prosperity of our province however for some newcomers who have already settled in Ontario and many of them started in a Scarborough agent Court there are barriers that unfortunately prevent them from pursuing careers in fields that they are trained for and are eager to work in currently only one info Insurance are able to continue working in their professions when they come to Ontario that is why our government needs to show leadership and remove obstacles that make it difficult for qualified individuals to apply for work it costs our Province billions in Lost productivity when jobs remain unfulfilled speaker question can the minister please explain how our government is eliminating barriers so that the security immigrants can pursue employment in their professions thank you minister of Labor immigration training and schedule thank you uh speaker and I want to thank the member he's been such a champion uh to really set up immigrants for Success when they come here to Ontario so I want to I want to say thanks to the member speaker our government through our first working for workers Act made it regulators acquire Canadian worker experience we are leading the way in Canada by eliminating this unfair and truly discriminatory barrier that far too many immigrants coming to our Ontario face the Professional Engineers of Ontario became the first regulator to remove their requirement for Canadian worker experience every single regulator should follow their lead before our December deadline we need all hands on deck to build a brighter future for all of us this change allows immigrants to start better jobs earn bigger paychecks and build a better life for themselves and their families our government under the leadership of Premier Ford is leveling the playing field and bringing the Canadian Dream Within Reach for more people question a number for Waterloo I thank you speaker my questions to the premier Ontario's own education Equity action plan directs school boards to undertake work which will eliminate inequities in the education system most School boards have taken this responsibility to Heart they understand that it impacts student achievement and well-being but there has been significant and damaging pushback in communities in Waterloo both public and Catholic School boards have faced outright vicious hatred boards are doing this important Equity work as directed by the government and yet Ontario school boards are receiving very little support from the ministry so I'm asking today very clearly does the minister of Education stand behind Waterloo Public and Catholic School boards their trustees their directors of education and their students as they undertake this important Equity work mix of Education Mr Speaker We Stand by everyone who is committed to Quality education for the people and students of this province and that includes in Waterloo Region and in all regions of Ontario where we value the work of our Frontline Educators trying to make a difference in our schools but Mr Speaker if the aim fundamentally is to reduce barriers that impede progress for some of the most at-risk kids in Waterloo or in any region then the members opposite should explain in the supplemental The Logical consistency of opposing the de-streaming of the entire grade nine curriculum how the members opposite could pose the question when we are trying to ensure there's more racialized qualified merit-based Educators in the front of classes where we have some of the highest amount of classrooms with racialized kids when we removed regulation 274 it was the lead of the opposition the former education critic who suggested siding with the education Union say that's the wrong policy fine stand up for kids make actions necessary to approvalizing kids get over the performative politics [Applause] members will take their seats start the clock supplementary question interesting that the minister of Education avoided my question but I might add you might try funding de-streaming to make it successful in the province of interior because because earlier this week when the premier was asked whether he thinks the York school board should fly the pride flag in June he said no comment a failure to comment is a failure to stand up for Equity there are no neutral positions on this when those who oppose equity in our schools hear the premier's refusal to comment they feel emboldened they assume rightly or not that he agrees with them order and is making space for those voices does this government realize the harm caused by saying no comment on matters of equality and equity receipt order minister of Education Mr Speaker on this issue on an issue of fundamental on human rights I would hope and expect members opposite to bring people together instead of dividing US based on your own political opportunism it is actually shame for order it is shorter to divide people instead of bringing us together on the basis of standing up for Waterloo come to our every child every single child to be respected and safe in a school the premier of Ontario [Music] with parents and with students divisibility the presence The Pride we share in those kids and we're going to be there again irrespective of the division of the NDP [Applause] order the member for Waterloo will come to order the minister of Education will come to order member for Hamilton Mountain will come to work are you ready to start again start the clock the next question the member for Kingston and the islands Mr Speaker earlier this month the Ombudsman released a report on the landlord and tenant board in response to questions the Attorney General stated that Ontario's tribunals were in a shambles when this government took over in 2018 however the chapter entitled issues contributing to the delay notes that the problem started in 2019 2019 Mr Speaker delays were specifically attributed to the conservatives decision to leave positions unfilled presumably waiting for preferred candidates while experienced applicants were available or could have been renewed Mr Speaker under this government's watch Ontario's tribunals have fallen into a shambles will this government commit to putting aside what the Ombudsman called the quote political nature of Elections especially when tribunals have many unfilled positions so that people can have timely access to Justice to reply the Attorney General thank you Mr Speaker and and I'm not sure which of those questions to answer uh but I'm gonna I'm gonna tell you what we are doing the landlord tenant board because we are investing so much money and effort and time to make sure that the people of Ontario are served Mr Speaker when the when the Liberals left the the fire that was in tribunals when they left it to us to fix Mr Speaker I can tell you the back office system the back office system was not working Mr Speaker and so we we undertook as soon as we came into office to start rebuilding the backbone of the tribunal system and the landlord tenant board in particular Mr Speaker we worked with the province of British Columbia an NDP government to see what they were doing and we've adopted parts of their system we've invested 26 and a half million dollars Mr Speaker to fix that part of the LTB alone Mr he can talk about the the ombudsman's report Mr Speaker there are so many things that they've done that we've had to fix but we are going to get it done Mr Speaker supplementary question well Mr Speaker the Attorney General knows well that the timeline for the problems that the land or intending board as identified by the Ombudsman started in 2019 made no mention of the of the liberal government tribunal watching on Ontario in response to the report said quote experienced and proven leaders were replaced in some cases by people for whom political affiliation seemed to be the main qualification this seems to be a common theme with this conservative government it's okay to ignore what's broken in Ontario so long as their friends are taken care of Mr Speaker let me be constructive will this government commit to creating a nonpartisan oversight body that protects the independence of Ontario's adjudicative tribunals Porter government side come to order order the Attorney General to respond thank you Mr Speaker and and you know I I welcome the opposite member to the politics of Queen spark Mr Speaker I and maybe not everybody knows but I can tell you Mr Speaker that the way that it works is tribunals Ontario is an independent operation and they advertised for positions they interview for positions and they recommend for positions Mr Speaker all independently and in a non-partisan way now I know he's new to the legislature Mr Speaker but it's important that he understands that the independence of the tribunal is is really important and we honor that and we are making sure that qualified people are serving the people of Ontario and we will continue to do that Mr Speaker thank you the next question the member for Scarborough agent Court thank you speaker my question is for the associate minister of Transportation my community is growing rapidly and they need more convenient ways to contact connect to their jobs family appointments and other communities in the GTA whether traveling by car or bus traffic congestion and gridlock adds frustration and unnecessary delays even though our government is making historic investment into new Transit infrastructure Toronto's North End still needs more Transit option the people of my community and across the GTA are looking to our government for solutions that will make Transit easier and more convenient speaker can the associate Minister please explain how our government plans to increase the transit options in the GTA associate minister of Transportation they do speaker it is a good question because we need to increase those Transit options Minister mul Rooney and I actually recently gave official direction to develop an initial business case for an extension of the shepherd Subway let's break it down speaker we've asked officials to examine extending the shepherd line eastwards from its current Terminus at dawn Mill Station to the Future Scarborough Subway extension which would serve that very members Community but that's not all while the initial business case will focus mostly on the Eastward route we've also tasked agency officials to investigate a possible Western extension from Shepard young station to Shepherd West station this potential East-West expansion would create a game-changing Transit Corridor across Toronto's North for Riders across Scarborough North York and Beyond speaker this is a stark contrast to the Liberals and the NDP who for decades did nothing nothing to build transit in any meaningful way we're not only cleaning up their mess speaker we're building that transits for graduates today and supplementary question thank you associate Minister speaker our government's commitment to deliver Transit relief for the people of Ontario is welcome news and I am sure the resident of the Scarborough agent Court Scarborough North and Don Valley North they will be delighted with this news today Transit upgrades and expansions are needed now to ensure frequent and convenient service for years to come the previous liberal government failed to plan for Ontario's Transit needs and failed to invest in building vital Transit infrastructure the investment and construction work that are currently underway to strengthen our province's Transit networks show that our government is getting it done for the people of Ontario but more can should be done to deliver on our commitment to these projects speaker can the associate Minister please expand on how our government is making historic investment in building Transit networks thank you the social minister of Transportation figure vitally important question as I look up at the gallery and see our young friends visiting us in the chamber I think back to when I was their age no transit in any meaningful way it was a joke for a growing city a world-class City like the city of Toronto but that Transit Gap is being filled under the leadership of this Premier and this government in fact with the largest Transit expansion plan in Canadian history being underway but to turn those plans into reality speaker we have to get through the red tape and I know the Liberals love the color red whether it be a ties or tape but we've got to cut through that to actually build that Transit that's why we passed the building Transit Fast Track that's why our four priority Subway projects are well underway that includes the shepherd Subway East extension the initial business Case by examining track alignments grade options storage facility requirements and Technology regimes of the potential extension speaker dedicating one million dollars to the early planning work on this all that is to say these aren't just plans these are reality we're bringing Transit into meaningful way to the great people of Scarborough and across this entire project the next question remember for Toronto Danforth thank you speaker speaker through you to the minister of energy yesterday the body that oversees electricity grids in North America reported that Ontario risks power outages this summer in fact Ontario is the only province in Canada that is rated with elevated risk that can't meet Peak demand after five years this government's policies of cutting funding for efficiency and conservation of demolishing wind farms canceling other renewable projects it's led to this what will the minister do immediately to protect this province from the risk that he has set up to apply administered energy thanks very much to the member opposite for the question my number one job is to ensure that we have an energy system here that's reliable one that's affordable and one that's clean Mr Speaker and I'm glad to say it's an A plus on all three of those categories in Ontario we have a system that is not clean Mr Speaker one that is attracting investment from all around the world they're coming here because our system is clean because it's reliable and it's affordable if the member opposite was in charge of our Energy System God forbid that that should ever happen we certainly would become one of the most unreliable jurisdictions in the world Mr Speaker because he's against base load power he's against base load power we get 55 to 60 percent of our nuclear energy that provides power on our grid clean not emitting energy he would be against that he would be against Natural Gas which is our insurance policy to ensure that the lights stay on Mr Speaker and don't trust me trust the independent electricity system operator that says that the prices would go up and it would become less reliable [Applause] well again through you speaker the North American electricity reliability Council has just said Ontario under his watch is at risk of power outages this summer he can give us all the Talking Points he wants the independent North American regulator says you got a problem you're in charge you have for five years neglected the steps necessary to make sure that we have the power we need when we need it you refuse to act on the climate crisis we're going to see more extreme weather that increases the chances that we'll have outages we've seen that in Ottawa again what will the minister do today to protect us this summer so that we don't have those outages yeah one more time I'll remind members to make their comments through the chair not directly across the floor of the house minister of energy speaker we have a grid in Ontario that is the Envy of all jurisdictions in North America one that's clean one that's affordable and one that's reliable Mr Speaker and one that's safe God help us if the NDP were ever in charge of our Energy System Mr Speaker we're seeing multi-billion dollar investments in our Province from companies around the world like Volkswagen stalantis so many others Mr Speaker because we have a system that people can rely on you know we're making sure that we're hardening the infrastructure here to deal with some of the conditions that the member is talking about but at the same time because of our success on this file we're now building North America's first small modular reactor Mr Speaker that's going to go online in 2028 our nuclear Fleet is being refurbished Mr Speaker when they come back a little bit later on this decade that's 3 500 megawatts of clean not emitting electricity enough to power the city of Toronto for the next 35 years Mr Speaker the largest procurement of energy storage in Canadian history is a thank you thank you next question member for Hastings Lennox and Addington thank you speaker okay my question is for the minister of Tourism culture and Sport speaker my home communities in Hastings and Linux and Addington have very much to offer in the way of hospitality and tourism across the vast region here in eastern Ontario there are thousands of lakes rivers trees and Wildlife that represent the very best of The Great Outdoors here in Ontario with summer vacation time fast approaching many local businesses in my communities are eager to benefit from visitors enjoying their Hospitality while they contribute to our local economy tourism is vital to Ontario's economy and our our government must do all that we can to encourage more people to visit our cities towns and our rural communities across the province speaker will the minister please explain what our government is doing to encourage and promote tourism all across Ontario Mr tourism culture and Sport thank you Mr Speaker and I'd like to thank the member representative Hastings Lennox and attitude for his question and more importantly telling us earlier today about some of the events and festivals that are going on in your community that's what tourism is all about Sir you've got it and your community is doing it right from the buzz of the big city and the bright lights to the the Stars up north our government is providing support for tourism across the brand this year we are providing 1.3
million through the local Regional tourism organization that will help promote Hastings Linux and Addington as a tourism destination our government is delighted to spread the news about experiences agritourism Trails the nature nature trails and make the members Community an attraction a destination for all people because you have a lot to offer we're excited about where tourism is going and I have more in the supplemental point thank you supplementary speaker I can tell you that our communities appreciate this important investment made by our government to support the initiatives that will draw more visitors to Eastern Ontario our restaurants hotels and all of our attractions are looking forward to increased attendance this year and increased revenues this summer and Beyond the growth that we see in Ontario's tourism sector is encouraging it's exciting however it is vital that our government continues to address the challenges that many tourism-related businesses face the tourism sector contributes significantly to Ontario's overall economy and benefits many other Industries in the process the importance of tourism in Ontario simply cannot be understated speaker will the minister please elaborate on the long-term outlook for tourism the tourism sector here in Ontario military tourism culture and sports uh Mr speaker thank you and thank you again for the question and you know everyone uses the word rebounding we're past that in tourism we're talking about getting stronger we've rebounded we're getting we're moving ahead on things and a lot of people might find it interesting that the World Travel and tourism Council just reported that Canada's travel and tourism sector is poised to a huge rebound I call it moving forward we're the nation's largest travel destination welcoming 42 percent of all visitors to Canada that tells you something Mr Speaker from my meetings uh across the province and specifically just the last couple weeks in Niagara Region I mean with Niagara Parks casinos hoteliers the great wineries and the opportunities there they are ready to go they aren't rebounding they're there Mr Speaker and we are happy to support them to drive them even further in their in their destination of what they're trying to accomplish as being a tourist destination maybe being the best tourist destination in this country [Applause] question the member for Windsor West thank you speaker my question is to the minister of Labor Windsor salt workers from unifor locals 240 in 1959 have been on strike for 104 days they're fighting a U.S hedge fund company that wants to contract out their jobs and is using scab labor to prolong the labor dispute the company is using union busting tactics and refuses to bargain in good faith when will the minister stand up to this American hedge fund company support these uniform members as they fight union busting in the use of scab labor and pass our anti-stab legislation somebody minister of Labor thank you very much Mr Speaker look my message is clear get a deal at the table a deal that's good for workers and families in Windsor but Mr Speaker it's our government under leadership of Premier Ford that continues to work with our labor partners with employers and with workers across this province to ensure that we're creating uh better jobs and bigger paychecks for workers out there under the leadership of the minister of Economic Development and our entire government we have 600 000 more people working in Ontario today than when we were elected back in 2018 including tens of thousands of more people in Southwestern Ontario and in fact Mr Speaker the premier is down there today with our amazing MPP from Windsor Tecumseh to make more great announcements it's our government that's building a brand new hospital down there which the member opposite opposes it's our government that's widening Highway free which the NDP oppose but Mr Speaker will continue having the backs of people in winds through Essex every day [Applause] order [Applause] I heard the member for Windsor West I heard what she said it's going to ask the member for Windsor West to withdraw withdrawal said I withdraw thank you speaker these workers have been on strike for 104 days minister they can't feed their kids and they're about to lose their homes they need you to pass anti-scap legislation and actually support them I have a letter from the minister of Labor in response to a petition supporting anti-scab labor legislation my ntp colleagues and I tabled the minister appears to support the use of scab labor in his response by stating the use of replacement workers does not prevent those employees who are unlawful strike or locked out from returning to their jobs as part of a return to work protocol at the conclusion of a labor dispute the minister knows that using scab labor undermines the collective bargaining process prolongs labor disputes and raises serious safety concerns again I'll State these workers have been out for 104 days so I asked the minister this simple question once again will you support these workers and pass our anti-scout labor legislation yes or no Mr Speaker it's under the leadership of Premier Ford in this Progressive conservative government that is supporting workers everywhere in Ontario every single day Mr Speaker let's look at what happened in the legislature yesterday we passed legislation that reduces diesel exhaust in mines across Ontario by 70 the toughest regulations in all of North America do you know who opposed standing up those thirty thousand miners the NDP or in Ontario do you know who voted against ordered the investments in the skilled trades to get people jobs with defined pensions and benefits in Windsor the NDP do you know who voted against hiring more inspectors today than at any point in Ontario's history the NDP we will take no lessons from the NDP when it comes to standing up for workers in this province it is under the leadership of Doug Ford thank you I had to interrupt the minister of Labor I couldn't hear start the clock the next question member for Hastings Lennox and Addington just delivery I just spoke about the value of Tourism and those entrepreneurs and businesses are vital to Ontario's economic prosperity starting and growing a business can be incredibly challenging and trying to navigate complex processes to obtain permits follow Recreation follow regulations and create jobs while these are necessary requirements as accessing government services should not be complicated and difficult the faster businesses can get up and running the faster they can pursue their dreams and help to build a stronger Ontario that's why it's up to our government to remove obstacles that create unnecessary delays so that business application can be processed easier and more efficiently speaker will the minister please explain how our government is making it easier for businesses in Ontario question to access the government services that they need minister of public and Business Service delivery thank you very much speaker and thanks to the member from hissing clinics and Eddington for his question uh in the past speaker ontarians have been forced to navigate through a fragmented experience when trying to start operate and grow their own business and thanks to unclear and hard to find information that is scattered across the internet but in premier's own words the park stops with us our government has built a new digital experience on ontario.ca business that make it easier for businesses to get the information they need when they need it through a new single window of seamless information speaker and thanks to our ability to use this Best in Class technology we are providing them with the best that Ontario has to offer we absolutely have to seize this unique opportunity speaker to transform how our government better serve businesses right here in our great province [Applause] thank you speaker and thank you to the minister it's great to hear that improved access to our government services will make it easier for businesses to navigate the website and to find the information they need as a former I.T guy I know that when it comes to providing government services we can't be an offline government in an online World any initiative that makes it easier for businesses to get up and running is a positive step that will contribute to their eventual successes it is essential that our government continues to listen to the business community and to implement solutions that help to move Ontario forward speaker will the minister please elaborate on how this new single window system access system will include will help to improve services for businesses here in Ontario this Republican Business Service delivery thank you very much speaker and thanks again to the member for his question uh these new additions to the portal will bring a lot of new benefits that businesses have wanted for a very long time for example businesses will be able to get updates in real time on their phones and computers they will find the information they need on streamlined websites quickly speaker they will have a clear resource mechanism whenever they feel that service providers have not met their expectations and they will have proactive alerts and reminders that help them stay on top of their needs speaker as our economy continues to Boom as businesses continue to come in this province we want to make businesses owners life easy not difficult as what the opposition would always be looking for to make life difficult for businesses to come in our Province this government will make sure that businesses have make it easy for them thank you thank you very much next question the member for Thunder Bay Superior north thank you speaker my question is to the minister of natural resources and Forestry on April 21st I received a letter signed by this Minister stating that conservation officers did not deserve to be reclassified thus denying them wage parity with other Enforcement Officers so imagine my surprise when 10 days ago this very same Minister stated that conservation officer classifications are being reviewed with opsu together with the ministry director of enforcement well opsu was as surprised as I was and described The Minister's statement as not accurate and misleading the public so I ask will the minister come clean on the truth he has the power okay I'm going to ask the member to withdraw the environmentary problem okay withdrawal interest questions sir does he or does he not intend to reclassify conservation officers to give them wage parity with other enforcement officers [Applause] legislative affairs government house thank you thank you speaker I have to say look the minister the minister of Natural Resources is working uh very closely with his Partners on this speaker but it really is exhausting to listen to the NDP right so question after question today has been about the NDP wanting something that they have voted against so let's see the member for Windsor the members for Windsor vote against hospitals and then say they want hospitals the members from Toronto vote against Subways and Roads and expansions in Toronto but then say they want them the members for Sudbury and the northern members vote against minors and the work that we're doing to protect and improve the economy in the North and then say oh maybe we should do something about that I'm going to give some unsolicited unpaid advice to the NDP what happens in the parliament is that we bring things forward and when you want them they're supported in legislation and you vote in favor of it so when you vote against things Mr Speaker what happens is that you don't get it a progressive conservative government is moving on all of these things including adding more conservation officers to the province of Ontario and that member voted against that country the members thank you Mr Speaker the situation uh no wage parity is a lack of political wealth and a lack of respect for conservation officers stop hiding behind a Collective Agreement the government needs to finally give the conservative conservatorian officers to respect and the increase they deserve you have the ability to intervene you have done it in the past including this house when you added associate Minister's titles to your mpps the protection officers are asked to wear anti-bullet vests they ask to go and intervene in dangerous situations and they've been asking for many years to be uh to have money paid for the work they do it's a list that the government could do and to say it's the fault of the opposition it's not Superman do the right thing and give conservation officers their Fair compensation similar to utter enforcement officers coming out today yeah seriously president thank you Mr Speaker it's the NDP who's always hiding the answer the policies to increase services for the public is the NDP that each time hides it don't hide behind a Collective Agreement now I don't know colleagues we've been sitting here constantly for months and they keep talking about the importance of respecting Collective agreements and I appreciate the member opposite for confirming that it is Progressive conservatives who actually honor the workers of the province of Ontario day in and day out so let me tell the member very clearly I will not do what he asks I will not turn my back on a Collective Agreement that was signed by the workers of the province of Ontario I'll let him explain to conservation officers to the workers of the province of Ontario while they want to open up those hard fought Collective agreements and turn their backs on the workers conservatives will never do that [Applause] start the clock the next question the member for Newmarket Aurora oh great my question is for the associate minister of women's social and Economic Opportunity great minister our government needs to build a province where every woman and girl is empowered to succeed this starts with getting more women into jobs than ever before according to recent employment data regarding women's labor force participation the overall employment rate in April significantly increased as compared to pre-pandemic levels there has been an increase of 415 000 jobs a large portion of which have been filled by women this number demonstrates that the Investments and supports put in place by our government are increasing women's Economic Security however there is still more that needs to be done in advancing equality and economic independence for women speakers question can the associate Minister please explain what actions our government is taking to support even greater participation by women in Ontario's Workforce good question the associate minister of women's social and Economic Opportunity thank you Mr Speaker and you know the member from Newmarket Aurora is absolutely correct the current data reveals the ongoing increase and contribution of women in Ontario's Workforce one of the key reasons for this success is due to the historic agreement that our government was able to secure regarding enhancements to affordable child care through our minister of Education our Premier in this government speaker we didn't just sign any deal with the federal government we signed a better deal with for the people of this problem a billion additional dollars and an additional year funding guarantee that no other province in on Canada had it is the pre this Premier that was able to do with the NDP and liberals couldn't do for 15 years which has reduced Child Care fees response generations to come to 50 reduction in fees for women working moms and dads and with an increase of 86 000 new child care Spaces by 2026.
thank you for concludes the time we have available for question period this morning foreign