BarrieToday welcomes letters to the editor at email@example.com. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letter is from Barrie resident Brandon Rhéal Amyot, who served as president of the Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte NDP riding association in the recent federal election.
Where’s Doug? You’d be forgiven for forgetting, given the snap federal election especially, but Barrie has a Member of Provincial Parliament — Doug Downey.
He’s a member of the governing party, the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, led by another Doug — Doug Ford. You’d also be forgiven for forgetting, because they’ve forgotten us.
At the start of September, rather than getting back to work after a summer vacation, rather than addressing the pandemic or a myriad of other issues, his government decided to prorogue the Ontario Legislature. Their claim is that the federal election would have an impact on their “legislative agenda.”
I’d say it’s both an attempt to ‘change the channel’ when they return as well as an abdication of responsibility to the people of Barrie and this province.
This government has a habit of taking breaks instead of fighting for us. In 2019, they adjourned for a record five months, until after the last federal election, and then only six weeks later adjourned for a two-month break. In December of 2020, they adjourned early
amidst the second wave and didn't return until February.
I wonder how many breaks they will take during this new session?
The only time they seem willing to work late is at midnight sessions of the legislature. Most recently, this June. But not to guide us through a sensible lifting of measures after the third wave, or pushing his government to fund a supervised consumption site, or to fight for rent relief and a safe return to school. No, to ram through a bill on political financing with the notwithstanding clause, done in an attempt to give them the edge in next June’s provincial election.
If his government isn’t interested in governing, they ought to just step aside come the next election. They can keep doing their photo-ops in their own time.
So where’s Doug? What’s he up to? From where I look, he’s everywhere but where he should be and doing everything but what he should be doing. In the streets, at the office, and at Queen's Park fighting for us, for better.
It’s our time to send Doug Downey and Doug Ford a message. Now, by supporting each other as a community when they won’t, and in eight months at the ballot box.
Brandon Rhéal Amyot