Friday, April 08, 2016

Glen Murray, MPP - News From Queen's Park

News From Queen's Park

Ontario to Introduce Changes to Municipal Elections Act
Ontario has recently proposed changes to the Municipal Elections Act, with the goal of providing new electoral options for municipalities and more open and transparent elections for voters. One aspect of the proposed changes would be to give the option of a ranked ballot voting system for municipal elections, beginning in 2018. A ranked ballot system allows voters to rank their preferred candidates from first to last, and in the event that no candidate wins a majority, the candidate with the least votes is eliminated and their voters' second choice is now taken into account. For more information on ranked voting, click HERE.

The proposed legislation will also create a framework to limit third-party advertising, simplify campaign finance rules, and make the election process more accessible to disabled voters and candidates.

New Legislation Supports First Responders With PTSD
The Government of Ontario has recently passed the Supporting Ontario's First Responders Act, which creates a presumption that PTSD suffered by first responders is work related.Once a first responder has been diagnosed by a physician or psychiatrist, it is no longer necessary to prove a causality between a specific workplace event and the worker's symptoms. This enables first responders with PTSD to more easily access the WSIB benefits that they need.

Workers affected by the new legislation include: police, firefighters, paramedics, emergency response teams, certain workers in correctional facilities, and dispatchers for first responders. There are 73,000 first responders in Ontario, and studies have shown that first responders are twice as likely to have PTSD as non-first responders. This new legislation will enable them to get the help they need faster and more easily.      

Ontario Generates $1.7 Billion from Hydro One Sale
The province of Ontario is broadening the ownership of Hydro One via a secondary share offering. This offering will generate $1.7 billion, which will in turn be used to fund infrastructure projects across the province. Once this particular offering concludes, the province will hold around 70% of Hydro One. Over time, the province's stake in Hydro One will be reduced to 40%, while still remaining the corporation's largest shareholder.

New Youth Jobs Program Has Launched in Ontario
As of April 1st, the province of Ontario has launched a new Youth Jobs Program that will help people ages 15-29 help prepare for the labour market and make important employment connections. The Youth Job Link Program is available at more than 320 locations across the province. For information on the Youth Job Link Program and the locations, click HERE

Community News  

Earth Day is Almost Here!
As many of you are aware, Friday April 22nd is Earth Day! Earth Day is a celebration of the planet we all call home and is usually accompanied by a variety of environmentally progressive initiatives. This year's Earth Day will focus on restoring Canada's forests, as well as forests all over the world, to their former robust state. There are many different ways to celebrate Earth Day. One simple way to celebrate is to calculate the amount of carbon your household produces by using THIS calculator, and trying to reduce that number by the 22nd!

Also, be sure to stay tuned for our own Earth Day event, as news about what we have planned is coming soon!  

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