It’s been a busy few weeks, but very productive ones!
Less than two weeks ago, the Ontario government has begun to expand its plans for organ donation. Although the government says this will take several months before it is in place in every ServiceOntario office, the end result is that it will soon be mandatory for all applicants for a driver’s license or a health card to answer “yes” or “no” to the request to register with the Ontario Trillium Gift of Life Organ Donation Registry. This simple change will result in increased awareness throughout the province, and will, undoubtedly, save many lives. In the test marketing done, to date, an additional 8% of applicants joined the registry. Province-wide, that would translate into 920,000 additional registrations on top of the over two million generous and compassionate Ontarians who have already signed up. What is most remarkable is that one donor can save the lives of up to eight people! I encourage you to consider registering and you can find out more at www.beadonor.ca.
By far the greatest concern I'm hearing is the issue of the arbitrary cancellation of the very successful "Slots at Racetracks" partnership and how this will have devastating effects in the horse breeding and racing industry in our riding and all across the province. This partnership has been generating over $1.1 billion for the government, while providing employment for 60,000 people – more people than are employed in the auto industry in Ontario! On the other hand, revenue at the 10 provincial casinos has dropped from $1.3 billion per year, to only $100 million, so it’s difficult to see how one new casino will make up for the losses at the tracks.
Last Thursday, I was delighted to host Tim Hudak in Cobourg for one of the town hall meetings he has been holding all across Ontario. We had an excellent turnout, with over 80 people coming through the doors to hear Mr. Hudak and ask him questions. Mr. Hudak stressed the need for Ontario to get its financial house in order, and talked about the ways that failing to do so could negatively impact our core social services. People from communities all around Cobourg had a chance to see, first-hand, how Tim was prepared to offer straight-forward answers, to even the toughest of questions, and describe the steps he believes we need to take to return Ontario to its historic position as the strongest province in Canada.
I’m looking forward to hosting my own series of town hall meetings next month and hearing your ideas and concerns, on any provincial matter. The first will be in Port Hope, at the Town Park Recreation Centre, on Thursday, June 14, at 7 p.m., and the second in Brighton, at the Community Centre, on Tuesday, June 19, at 7 p.m. I look forward to seeing you there!
Published in Northumberland Today as 'Milligan set to host town hall meetings'.