Public Values

Ontario closing provincial parks, reducing Ranger program

Unoperating parks under-served, day-based jobs inadequate.

Gravelle: The program will continue to operate as day camps and students will be able to commute. by Julie Dupuis, Straight Goods News staff

Editor's note: This is PublicValues.ca Associate Editor Julie Dupuis's departing editorial. For her last issue, she shares her views on protecting public services in light of the Ontario government's latest changes to Ontario Parks programs and operations.

FRENCH RIVER, ON, October 4, 2012: Hitting home hard to a former Ontario Ranger (Esker Lakes Provincial Park, 1996) and current hiking enthusiast, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources recently announced that ten provincial parks will revert to non-operating status while it will also be transforming the overnight Ontario Ranger program to a day-based one. ...

Posted: October 05, 2012

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Benson: One would expect government to make the effective delivery of important services a priority Red Tape Reduction Commission puts Canadians' safety at further risk

OTTAWA, ON, October 1, 2012: Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board, and several other ministers made announcements across the country with regards to the Red Tape Reduction Commission.

Made up of corporations and lobby groups, this partisan commission is seeking to reduce regulatory compliance instead of focusing on keeping Canadians safe from harm. ...

Posted: October 04, 2012

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Thomas: This doesn t move the yardsticks 1 inch forward in protecting workplace rights of employees. Ontario Ministry of Labour lays off the same number of inspectors it just hired

TORONTO, ON, September 26, 2012: An announcement last week by the Ministry of Labour that it intends to strengthen the Employment Standards Act by hiring 18 additional enforcement officers was quietly followed days later by a decision to lay off 19 staff doing investigative work.

On September 17, the Ministry announced with considerable media fanfare that it was hiring the additional 18 officers in a bid to "protect" vulnerable workers from predatory employers who fail to meet minimum standards of wages, hours of work, paid holidays and other regulations under the Act. ...

Posted: October 04, 2012

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Abbott said he didn t want by-elections because the people might return the same just-fired trustees BC Liberals blocking right to democratically-elected school board in Cowichan Valley

September 21, 2012: While Cowichan Valley kids are back at school, their democratically-elected school trustees aren't. District 79 is still being overseen by an appointed trustee after the province tossed the board out for submitting a needs-based budget in May.

The Cowichan Valley Board of School Trustees voted for a budget with a $3.7-million deficit, explaining its duty was to protect and restore services for students after years of government cuts. The board called for vital school services such as adequate hours of work for education assistants, custodial time, technology courses and bus service. ...

Posted: October 04, 2012

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City of Ottawa to store contaminated soil beneath planned Lansdowne urban park

newsletter for the Friends of Lansdowne's Let's Get It Right email list

OTTAWA, ON, September 24, 2012: One of the better features of the Lansdowne Partnership Plan is a 7-acre urban park facing the canal. However, it has just come to light that there can be no new buildings of any size in the park area — ever. There can be no public washroom buildings, no outdoor cafes and no kayak/bicycle rental pavilions. There can be tents and porta-potties, but no structures connected to the city's sewage system. So even though the park is intended to serve hundreds of thousands of visitors, and is part of a project costing taxpayers over $400 million, new amenities will be restricted to whatever is inside the Aberdeen Pavilion and the Horticulture Building. If these buildings happen to be closed, there will be no public washrooms in the park area and you will have to walk to the privately controlled stadium or shops just to wash your hands. ...

Posted: October 04, 2012

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Ontario set to sell Thornhill hospital to private for-profit US-based conglomerate

TORONTO, ON, September 24, 2012: Ontario nursing professionals are calling on the Health Minister to reject the proposed sale of Shouldice Hospital to a large for-profit conglomerate.

Members of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) have consistently called on governments of all political stripes to affirm their commitment to the Canada Health Act and the fundamental principle of a single-tier, not-for-profit health care system. ...

Posted: October 04, 2012

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University education in Canada no longer affordable for most — study

OTTAWA, ON, September 11, 2012: Average tuition and compulsory fees for Canadian undergraduate students are estimated to rise almost 18 percent over the next four years, from almost $6,200 in 2011-12 to over $7,300, says a study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). ...

Posted: October 04, 2012

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Concern over McGuinty's pension super-fund proposal grows

TORONTO, ON, September 26, 2012: Members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) have the power to stop a government takeover of their pension plans, thousands heard on two telephone town hall meetings.

"This government can be swayed if there are enough people going in to see them," OPSEU Region 2 Vice-President Mike Grimaldi told callers. "There are already splits in Cabinet on this." ...

Posted: October 04, 2012

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