Natyshak appears before county council for annual update

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Essex MPP Taras Natyshak appeared before Essex County council last Wednesday night to give an update on provincial issues and for municipal leaders to give updates to him.

Natyshak noted he meets with local politicians and officials regularly, citing ongoing discussions regarding the McGregor Health Centre. He said his annual visit to Essex County council was to gather feedback from the county’s mayors and deputy mayors as well as to brief them on updates from Queen’s Park.

The partial sell-off of Hydro One was raised by the NDP MPP, with Natyshak expressing concern over the impact it could have on rates. He believed it would not serve businesses or large industries well, either.

“It’s certainly the focus for a lot of debate at Queen’s Park,” Natyshak told county council.

Essex MPP Taras Natyshak speaks to Essex County council at the March 16 meeting.

Essex MPP Taras Natyshak speaks to county council at the March 16 meeting.

With Ontario moving towards a cap and trade program to combat greenhouse gas pollution, Natyshak outlined an issue with how the money raised through the program will be allocated. He believed revenue should be devoted to greenhouse gas emission reduction programs and not into general revenue where it could be used on other matters.

“If we are going to tackle climate change, it has to be focused and fair,” said Natyshak.

Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara spoke on the cap and trade system, and wanted Natyshak to bring the message to Queen’s Park that “we are not to be left behind” on the matter.

McNamara also voiced concern with the level of grant money municipalities in this area of the province receive from the Ontario government, and also pointed out the area has needs as it pertains to social housing.

“In Windsor-Essex, we need help,” he said.

The area was not included in the province’s “innovation corridor,” McNamara added, but stated “no one grows agriculture like we do” and there is significant innovation within such industries as tool and mold, automotive and other fields of work.

“To be left out is a huge mistake,” said McNamara, who is also president of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO).

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