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The Picton Gazette THURSDAY, MAY 15, 2014
VOLUME 1 8 4 , N O . 2 0
Candidates hit ground in Picton Tuesday Thompson, Smith try to leave their impression on county voters AdAm BrAmBurger Staff writer
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Prince Edward County’s largest urban centre got its first direct taste of the 2014 provincial election Tuesday as two candidates made their way to Picton. In the morning, Liberal Georgina Thompson joined former County mayor Leo Finnegan and a small group of her campaign team as they went up and down Main Street to introduce the candidate to business people and their patrons. After about a couple of hours of discussions and glad-handing in any open shop she could visit, Thompson was upbeat upon a return visit to the Gazette office. “We went all the way up to Tim Hortons, stopped in just about every business, then crossed the street (and visited more),” Thompson said. “They’re very positive. Nobody is out there saying ‘Yay, yay, we’re going to vote for you, but they were very positive and saying they’re glad I’m running — things like that.” Thompson said she received questions about a variety of topics on her walk, including job creation, infrastructure, the hospital, and green energy. She indicated the stimulus budget Kathleen Wynne’s government brought forward that triggered an election had a provision to help rebuild rural infrastructure in Ontario. “I believe there’s $24.8 million for rural infrastructure in the budget,” she said. “It appears your roads are a big deal. There will be money in there for roads.” Thompson said her party is interested in listening to the needs of municipalities and, if elected, would look to councils to identify their needs to be addressed. “It’s not really for us to dictate what we’re going to do,” she said. “It’s for you to tell us what you need and put in for that.” Calling the budget a “very aggressive” one, Thompson said the Liberals will be investing in health care and education if they return to government. With respect to the hospital, the former South East Local Health Integration Network chair said she
Blue crew Progressive Conservative candidate and incumbent MPP Todd Smith shakes hands with Chris Rogers upon entering his office on Main Street Tuesday evening. Smith told his supporters that he was looking for them to help him reach out to the public in an effort to keep Prince Edward-Hastings blue next term. (Adam Bramburger/Gazette staff)
heard concerns about the hospital closing, but noted the plan was always to rebuild the facility and that plan is still moving forward. “It’ll have the services the area needs,” she said. “For sure, you’re going to have an emergency department, you’ll have some beds — it’s between the committee that is working on it, doctors from this community are working on it and they’ll best decide what services and what its specialty is going to be.” With regard to the turbine issue, Thompson said “I see the need for all forms of clean energy” and added some groups have told her they don’t think turbines need to be gone entirely, but rather, just moved away from flight paths. She indicated the many appeals that followed the Ostrander Point approval are part of the democratic process. She appeared ready to let the courts determine the outcome. “Nobody has won or lost,” she said. “It all depends what comes out of the (appeals process).” Thompson said she believes Wynne is the only leader who knows how to stimulate the economy and
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she attacked Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak’s million jobs plan. “Where are all those jobs going to come from, where is he going to take them from?” she said. “Police, nursing, and not-for-profit organizations. That is a good thing? I don’t think so.” Thompson indicated she would be back in the county knocking on doors, but did not mention any plans for a county- based office. Meanwhile, just after 6 p.m. Smith walked into his office just south of Shire Hall with his wife Tawnya and his daughters Peyton and Reagan to the applause of about 30 supporters, including former Progressive Conservative MPPs Gary Fox, James Taylor, and Bill Wightman, Taylor, the first mayor of the County, had high praise for Smith. “I want to say how impressed I was with our candidate here, just a very solid, knowledgeable intelligent person who does what he says,” Taylor said with a staccato delivery on the last five words. “It's that integrity that is so important to me”.
See CAMPAIGN, page 2 E S TAT E
Liberal candidate Georgina Thompson was on the campaign trail with former County mayor Leo Finnegan Tuesday morning on Main Street.(Adam Bramburger/Gazette staff)
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The Picton Gazette THURSDAY, MAY 15, 2014
Smith says its his job to help people understand party’s plan to cut bureaucracy
CAMPAIGN, from page 1
Smith told the crowd that in his two-and-a-half years as a first-time MPP, he did what he promised in 2011. “When I was elected I promised I was going to bring a strong voice to
Queen's Park, I was going to bring the voice of Prince Edward County and Hastings County to Queen's Park so they understood what wasn't amenable in Price Edward County, your voice wasn't being heard at Queen's Park,” he said.
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tion Networks, which don’t directly care for patients, they’re at the Ontario Power Authority, which will be made redundant when his party ends the feed-in tariff program, or other hydro jobs that are already redundant. “Even Smokey Thomas of OPSEU said there are 40,000 jobs at the middle management of the public sector that we can do without,” he said. “It all adds up to a bloated bureaucracy and everyone knows it exists. “Priorities is what it all comes down to. It’s providing front-line health-care services, it’s about putting teachers in classrooms, not board offices, and about those developmental service workers we need to provide front-line services, not people pushing pencils in offices,” he said. Smith said he doesn’t shy away from talking to constituents concerned about public sector cuts and indicated the campaign period is his chance to explain the plan. “That’s my job over the next four weeks to make sure
people understand it,” he said. “There are people in unions who have their own take, but this all just comes down to priorities.” Smith had members of local anti-wind groups, wineries, small business organizations, and service clubs in his audience Tuesday. He noted he worked hard to support their issues over the past term. “I’ve met with local tourism organizations and chambers of commerce — I've met with all of them, I know what their issues are. I"I’ve been pleased to bring forward legislation to deal with those issues,” he said, citing legislation to restore municipal decision making in green energy planning, another bill that helped the wine industry, other red-tape reducing legislation, as well as the meetings he’s had with health-care stakeholders and others in the riding. “I promised to be that strong voice for Prince Edward County and I’m looking to follow through as best I can,” he said.
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“I think people are ready for change. A lot of feeling of mistrust, the current government saying they're going to do one thing and going to do another thing.” When asked about the criticism provincially for Hudak’s plan, Smith quipped that’s because “it’s the only plan out there.” He said the Liberal budget simply brought with it more reckless spending and said it is time for a bit of tough medicine to rein in that spending. “Government has grown by leaps and bounds the last five years, we understand that but nobody else seems to understand that,” he said. Smith noted that since 2009, the public sector has grown by 100,000 jobs, yet virtually no private sector jobs have been added. He dismissed the notion that all public sector jobs are on the chopping block should the PC Party win election. “Most of those jobs are bureaucrats,” he said. Smith said those jobs are at the Local Health Integra-
“ That's exactly what I did when I had that opportunity to sit in that legislature for the first time.” Smith didn’t speak a lot about the issues in the meeting, but attempted to rally his troops to help with door-todoor campaigning and staffing the office to help swing a victory. “We really do need change in Ontario. We got the change right in Prince Edward-Hastings and a lot of other ridings in 2011, we’ve got to finish that job to make sure we have a Progressive Conservative government so we can start the turnaround to get this province back on track.” Smith did indicate that though he has yet to start knocking in the county, he has personally visited 15 different polls in Belleville. He said he was well received. “I’m very pleased with the support from the people of Belleville. The signs are going like crazy. People are grabbing them and putting them on their lawns, he told the Gazette.
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The Picton Gazette THURSDAY, MAY 15, 2014
Collection allows for safe prescription narcotics disposal Committee looks to make progress in education campaign on drug misuse ADAMBrAMBurger
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reADy to DeStruCt Prince Edward County Narcotics Committee members Anthony Mann and Janice Hall brave the wind Saturday to collect unused prescription drugs for safe disposal. Pharmacies also regularly offer the service. (Adam Bramburger/Gazette staff)
â€œThe committee has brought the medical and law enforcement communities together so we can see the problem from all sides,â€? she said. â€œ Mann notes that just through collection events within the OPP jurisdiction alone last year, some 330 kg were collected with an estimated street value of $370,000. â€œIt really is everywhere, not just in the big cities,â€? Mann said. He indicated that through Saturdayâ€™s event, the committee could not only keep the narcotics out of the wrong hands, but also prevent unsafe disposal into landfills and water supplies. Also, both Mann and Hall wanted to stress to
people that the OPP collection isnâ€™t the only opportunity people have to turn in narcotics with no questions asked. â€œThis can be done any day of the year at any pharmacy,â€? Hall indicated.
She explained that pharmacies are able to turn their collected narcotics over for incineration, which takes place in a facility that has been approved by Ontarioâ€™s environment ministry.
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A colorful collection of pills started to pile up within the first hour of a safe narcotics disposal event at the Prince Edward OPP detachment Saturday morning. In loose bags, in vacuum sealed popping packets, and in individual, labelled vials there were ample quantities of such potent prescription drugs as morphine and oxycodone. â€œIf it fell into the wrong hands it would be a concern,â€? said OPP community services officer Const. Anthony Mann, who indicated he was hopeful the collection would net more drugs as the day went on. â€œWeâ€™re hopeful that we do get more, but really, just what we do have, weâ€™re happy to have. It helps reduce prescription drug abuse and misuse. In recent years, that type of usage of prescription drugs has become a real headache for both law enforcement and healthcare professionals. A study conducted through Prince Edward County pharmacies in October 2010 showed that 40,000 oxycodone pills were prescribed by local doctors to their patients in that month alone. With those statistics, the fact that police noticed there is a steady trade of illegal prescription drug sales, and another 2009 study that suggested 20 per cent of Canadian students between Grades 7 and 12 took at least one prescription drug for a non-medical reason in a year, several community stakeholder groups formed the Prince Edward County Narcotics Committee to educate the public and push for change. Janice Hall, a pharmacist with the Prince Edward Family Health Team, said the committee has been actively working on awareness, however it is hard to quantify the impact â€œOn the prescribing side, we are seeing that education working as narcotics are being prescribed less for many conditions, but the overall impact is hard to measure,â€? she said. Hall explained it is hard to quantify how many prescription drugs are out in the community, so itâ€™s hard to measure what is being used as intended and what is being brought in for safe destruction. That uncertainty has also made it a drug of choice for some as elderly or sick relatives often donâ€™t notice their medications are missing.
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The Picton Gazette THURSDAY, MAY 15, 2014
NDP selects party veteran Stewart to carry banner in provincial election Belleville resident ran unsuccessfully in Alberta in 2001 and has been riding exec since 2006 AdAm BrAmBurger Staff writer
Despite holding the balance of power in the last provin-
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cial legislature and being the only party to know when an election would be triggered, the NDP had to play some catch up in Prince Edward-Hastings. On Friday, the Ontario NDP’s local riding association took care of that business by declaring Merrill Stewart its candidate at a meeting at the Unicor Hall in Belleville. The 63-year-old Stewart is making his first run in Ontario, though he is no stranger to provincial politics having run for the NDP
in Clover Bar-Fort Saskatchewan during the 2001 Alberta election, where he placed third behind PC Rob Lougheed and Liberal Skip Gordon. A father of two, Stewart moved to Belleville in 2004 and has spent the last eight years as a member of the local riding association’s executive committee. Stewart had been working with Sears’ home improvement sales division, but recently took early retirement during a round of layoffs in the company.
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