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LETTER: Reader calls on more from MPP Downey

Former NDP candidate says he was caught off guard when MPP's office called to gauge level of support
2019-09-20 Alzheimer funding RB 2
Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte MPP and Attorney General Doug Downey is shown in a file photo. Raymond Bowe/BarrieToday

BarrieToday welcomes letters to the editor at news@barrietoday.com. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letter is from former NDP candidate Peter Bursztyn.
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This morning, I was called by Doug Downey’s office, clearly trying to gauge the level of support our MPP enjoys in the Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte riding. She caught me by surprise, so I was unable to say more than the fact that I definitely do not support Doug Downey.

Most of us are deeply embarrassed at how elderly people in long-term care have been treated during the current COVID-19 epidemic. Some 80 per cent of our COVID deaths have occurred in nursing homes, largely in those operated by large, for-profit corporations.

Adding considerable insult to the actual injury, as attorney-general, Mr. Downey shepherded legislation through provincial parliament making it hard to sue these long-term care homes for their negligence.

Exactly how does this fit into a “law-and-order government” priorities? Lawsuits and bankruptcy are the best — and perhaps only — means capitalism has to keep corporations honest. Shame on you, Mr. Downey!

Then there is the issue of Canada Christian College, an obscure bible school, which applied to be granted university status. The institution counted on its president’s personal friendship with Doug Ford to drive its application, and that almost worked.

Meanwhile, where was our MPP?

The City of Barrie’s Georgian College could make a far better case for such an upgrade. Our institution already offers respected degrees in business administration, interior design and nursing, as well as hosting degree courses under the auspices of Lakehead University.

Perhaps Mr. Downey doesn’t realize that Barrie is the largest city in Ontario without a university, or that we have wanted a university for decades. Learning about the community should have been the most important part of the job for an MPP who was a “parachute candidate” for the Progressive Conservatives!

Just yesterday, I read that the application had failed. I look forward to the Progressive Conservative government repealing the portion of a government bill which granted university status to the college, subject to approval by the independent Post-secondary Education Quality Assessment Board (PEQAB).

In fact, it was entirely inappropriate for government to “pre-approve” the upgrade before PEQAB had done their assessment.

That’s a job for you, Mr. Downey.

Peter Bursztyn
Barrie

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