Local MPP and Ontario Minister of Labour Laurie Scott has introduced reforms to protect full-time firefighters who also serve as volunteer firefighters (double hatters).
Full-time professional firefighters have risked serious consequences such as fines or dismissal if they also chose to serve as volunteer firefighters. Minister Scott’s reforms, included in last week’s Fall Economic Statement, would eliminate these unfair penalties and empower double hatters to serve their communities without the fear of legal repercussions.
“Local fire departments and municipalities in our riding have been asking for protection for double hatters for a long time, and I’ve been personally advocating on this issue for over fifteen years,” Scott said. “As Minister of Labour I’m thrilled to finally have the opportunity to protect these heroes from unfair punishment and empower them to serve their communities and save lives,” she continued.
The Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue Service welcomed the reforms to protect double hatters. Fire Chief Mark Pankhurst said, “I support Minister Scott's legislation to protect the freedom of full-time firefighters to volunteer without the fear of fines or job loss. Allowing 'double hatters' will strengthen fire departments across Ontario and reinforce public safety in our community. This is a long overdue change that will benefit the City of Kawartha Lakes."
“We have several double hatters in the Kawartha Lakes, and I'd like to thank our Kawartha Lakes Professional Firefighters and double hatters for always maintaining a respectful working relationship,” Chief Parkhurst added.
Fire departments and chiefs across the province have also reacted positively to the changes introduced by Minister Scott. President of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) Chief Stephen Hernen said, "We commend the Ford Government for acting on these long-standing issues, and look forward to continuing to work together, protecting our firefighters, and ultimately keeping Ontario's residents safe."
Following Minister Scott’s speech at the OAFC Annual General Meeting last Wednesday, she was named a Honourary Fire Chief for her long-standing advocacy on this file.
On Saturday, Minister Scott met with volunteer firefighters, Haliburton County Fire Chiefs, and municipal officials at the Minden Hills Fire Hall to discuss the changes to protect double hatters in Bill 57. Minden Hills Fire Chief Mike Bekking said, “Fulltime fire firefighters should be able to service their community as volunteers and we welcome the government’s policy change, making it easier to volunteer in smaller communities and finally putting this issue to rest. I feel volunteers should be thanked for their service, not punished”.November 29, 2018
The Government of Ontario is putting more money back in people’s pockets in Haliburton – Kawartha Lakes – Brock by introducing one of the most generous tax cuts for low-income earners in a generation: the Low-Income Individuals and Families Tax Credit (LIFT).
Those who earn $30,000 or less would pay zero provincial personal income tax on their 2019 tax returns. Low-income individuals will save up to $850 per person and couples will save up to $1,700 together.
“This tax break will make a real difference for low-income families and workers in Haliburton – Kawartha Lakes – Brock,” said MPP Scott. “It will put more money in their pockets and help make life more affordable.”
In all, 1.1 million people in Ontario will benefit from this tax relief measure. Individual incomes just over $30,000 a year and family incomes over $60,000 a year will see graduated tax relief, as well.
“I am pleased to see that every single dollar of these savings is going to those who need it the most,” added MPP Scott.
The tax credit will take effect on January 1, 2019.
“In a few short months, our Government has provided more than $2.7 Billion in much-needed tax relief to the people of Ontario,” concluded MPP Scott.November 15, 2018
As part of our Open for Business plan today local MPP Hon. Laurie Scott announced investments to help create jobs and prosperity in rural communities. Nearly one in eight jobs in Ontario is sustained by the agriculture and agri-food sector, which contributes to a healthy economy that benefits rural and urban communities across the province.
Hon. Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton – Kawartha Lakes – Brock made the announcement today at the Abbey Retreat Centre in West Guilford on behalf of Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ernie Hardeman.
The Abbey Retreat Centre is receiving up to $55,300 in funding through the Rural Economic Development program to complete phase two of their retreat centre project, including a commercial kitchen upgrade, renovations to the lower garage, and training for leadership. Additionally, the Corporation of the Township of Minden Hills will receive up to $33,500 in funding to prepare a Community Improvement Plan that will identify community priorities for revitalization of the historic downtown core. Finally, the Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce and The Corporation of the County of Haliburton will receive up to $5,000.00 to hire a consultant to develop a marketing video.
“Our government is proud to support projects that help to grow jobs and open the doors to economic development in rural communities. Ontario has a first-class agri-food and agriculture sector, and I’m pleased to be able to help our community identify their economic strengths and develop strategies that can attract business and investment.”
- Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton – Kawartha Lakes Brock
“Rural Ontario has been ignored for too long. A strong and vibrant agri-food and agriculture sector is a priority for this government, said Hardeman. “These investments along with our commitment to cut red-tape will help create a strong future for our rural communities by boosting economic growth, creating jobs and ensuring they are great places to live and do business.”
- Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs,
Haliburton County is one of over 80 communities across the province that will benefit from this support by boosting and diversifying the local economy. Eligible projects include such things as developing a downtown revitalization plan or marketing, branding and promotional activities to attract investment to the community.
“Our government is committed to ensuring that rural Ontario is open for business,” said Hardeman.
The project announced today is one of over 80 approved Rural Economic Development projects from across the province, that are helping to create jobs and prosperity i rural and Indigenous communities.
November 09, 2018
Last week, Haliburton – Kawartha Lakes – Brock MPP Hon. Laurie Scott presented much-needed shelter supplies to two local organizations, Kawartha Haliburton Victim Services and Women’s Resources. Each organization was presented with approximately fifty shelter kits, which were generously donated by GlobalMedic, a humanitarian aid organization. The kits include essential personal hygiene products for women.
“I am pleased to present these hygiene kits to Kawartha Haliburton Victim Services and Women’s Resources, on behalf of GlobalMedic. Kawartha Haliburton Victim Services and Women’s Resources are fantastic local organizations that do extremely important work to support vulnerable women in our community. I hope that these supplies will help these organizations continue to support local women in need,” MPP Scott said.
“I would like to thank GlobalMedic for generously donating these kits to Kawartha Haliburton Victim Services. The feminine hygiene kits will be offered to women who have been victimized by crime or suffered through a traumatic event,” said Laura Proctor, the Executive Director of Kawartha Haliburton Victim Services.
“These feminine hygiene kits are a welcome addition to our Emergency Shelter supplies at Women’s Resources, and will go directly to women in need,” remarked Penny Chatson.
Kawartha Haliburton Victim Services works alongside Police and Emergency Services to provide support to victims of crime and tragic circumstances. Kawartha Haliburton Victim Services has volunteers available 24/7 at 1-800-574-4401 to provide crisis assistance to victims. Women’s Resources operates a variety of services for women in need, including an emergency shelter, housing for abused women, and outreach counselling. Women’s Resources operates a 24-hour crisis support line at 1-800-565-5350.October 15, 2018
Statement by MPP Laurie Scott on the Agreement in Principle with Kawartha Downs and Ontario Government
October 10, 2018
The decimation of Ontario’s horse racing industry at the hands of the former Liberal government came to a head when it cancelled the Slots at Racetracks Program, all but guaranteeing the death of horse racing in rural Ontario.
The Doug Ford Government has taken action after hearing repeated, strong opposition against the former Liberal plan.
I take rural issues in this riding very seriously and have been fighting this decision ever since it was made. I am pleased to confirm that an agreement in principle has been reached with Kawartha Downs and our government.
I want to thank the many people involved for working tirelessly to resurrect support for horse racing in rural Ontario. Many hours were spent working out the details, a few more than expected in our case, to ensure that horse racing will continue at Kawartha Downs.
With this agreement in principle in place, Kawartha Downs will be offering horse racing nights as well as slots for years to come.
The previous Liberal government had the slots moving completely out of the building and closing the doors behind the moving trucks.
With this agreement in principle, we now we have 150 slots staying to complement our continued nights at the races, keeping horse racing and jobs going in rural Ontario.October 10, 2018
June 29, 2018
QUEEN'S PARK - Premier Ford and Ontario's new Executive Council were sworn-in this morning, with Laurie Scott, the MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, being named Minister of Labour.
"I am honoured to be joining Cabinet as the Minister of Labour," said Minister Scott.
“My colleagues and I are looking forward to getting to work for the people of Ontario," she added.
"Thank you to the people of Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock for giving me the honour of representing them,” Scott concluded.
June 29, 2018
QUEEN’S PARK – This afternoon, the Legislature voted unanimously in favour of MPP Laurie Scott’s Private Member’s Bill 9 (formerly Bill 120), the Mandatory Sexual Assault Law Training for Judicial Officers Act.
MPP Scott’s bill would implement mandatory sexual assault training for currently sitting judges and justices of the peace.
“I was pleased to have the opportunity to debate my bill in the Legislature again,” said Scott. “Ensuring that our judges are trained to handle sexual assault cases is a straightforward and important way that we can both protect survivors of sexual assault from being re-victimized and bring equality to the justice system.”
“It’s very simple. If you haven’t had the training, you shouldn’t hear these cases,” she added.
Despite voting in favour of this Bill at second reading the last time it was brought up for debate in November, the Liberal government has ignored it for four months.
“This is an urgent and important issue, and my proposal has broad support from survivors, stakeholders and experts. There is no reason that it shouldn’t be the law of the land,” Scott concluded.May 03, 2018
QUEEN’S PARK – As a result of the Wynne government’s decision to prorogue the Legislature this week, MPP Laurie Scott was forced to re-introduce her Private Member’s Bill, the Mandatory Sexual Assault Law Training for Judicial Officers Act this afternoon.
MPP Scott’s bill would implement mandatory sexual assault training for currently sitting judges and justices of the peace.
“Although my Private Member’s Bill received the unanimous support of all parties in the Legislature at second reading four months ago, the Wynne government sat on its hands and allowed this important bill to languish in committee without bringing it up for debate,” Scott said.
“There is absolutely no reason that this Bill shouldn’t already be the law of the land, but this government’s decision to prorogue means that we’re back at square one,” Scott added.
“This government has shown us that they are all talk, and no action, when it comes to implementing real legislative measures aimed at protecting sexual assault survivors from being re-victimized,” Scott concluded.
LINDSAY – MPP Laurie Scott hosted an awards presentation ceremony to recognize the contributions of leading women in our community, in honour of International Women’s Day.
The Leading Women, Leading Girls Building Communities Recognition program acknowledges women and girls who demonstrate exceptional leadership, inspire others through their devotion to community service and are strong role models who encourages future generations to become involved in making their community a better place for everyone.
The 2018 recipients include Bella Alderton and Penny Chatson of Women’s Resources in Lindsay, Evelyn Chamber of the Lindsay Agricultural Society and Sadie-Jane Hickson a student at the University of Guelph.
“I am thrilled to present the Leading Women, Leading Girls award to these four amazing local women. They have each demonstrated how one person can truly make a difference, and so I am proud to celebrate their hard-work contributions to our community today” said Scott.
March 09, 2018
After only a few hours of debate and public hearings, and despite serious concerns expressed by stakeholders, the Wynne Liberals are pushing Bill 175 through the legislative process.
“The Government introduced over 250 amendments to its own bill and even added four last-minute amendments during clause-by-clause in committee. This alone proves that this bill has been rushed, is not well thought-out, and is definitely not ready to become law,” said MPP Scott.
Last week, members of the Standing Committee on Justice Policy had only two days to hear feedback from the public and stakeholders on Bill 175. Shortly thereafter, the government put-forward a Time Allocation Motion further limiting debate on this legislation, including cutting off consideration of opposition amendments.
“This is an example of the disrespect this government has not only for this House and the opposition parties, but for police associations, municipalities, and all Ontarians,” Scott said.
As early as tomorrow, MPPs will have just 20 minutes per party to debate Bill 175 at the third, and final reading.
“The whole process surrounding this legislation has been so horribly mismanaged that there’s no way that this government will be able to restore any goodwill on this file.”