Ontario Environment Minister Rod Phillips says province on road to recovery

News Feb 26, 2019 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Environment Minister Rod Phillips said the Ontario government could be more “compassionate” with people using certain programs, but the previous Liberal government handcuffed the Progressive Conservatives with an exploding deficit that must be contained.

Phillips, who spoke to about 45 people at a breakfast meeting of the Hamilton chapter of the Macdonald-Cartier club at Carmen’s C Hotel Feb. 21, said the $12.5 billion of interest the province will pay this year on its $347 billion debt could have been better spent on autism, health care or other vital services.

“The reckless spending of the (Dalton) McGuinty and (Kathleen) Wynne governments really has put us in this position to make sure we get our finances in order,” said Phillips.

Finance Minister Vic Fedeli announced in early February the province’s deficit has dropped to $13.5 billion this year after about $1 billion in higher sales and income tax revenues improved Ontario’s finances. It means, said Progressive Conservative MPPs the government is moving in the right direction.

Ontario’s financial accountability officer has said the deficit is actually about $2.5 billion lower that what the government has calculated.

Opposition parties have accused the Progressive Conservatives of inflating the deficit to justify cuts to programs and services.

Phillips said Ontario’s precarious financial situation “makes it harder to attract businesses” and prevents the province to “be as compassionate as we would all like to be.”

Phillips said under Premier Doug Ford’s government, the goal is to spend money “in the places that make a difference” while improving the lives of families and creating a competitive environment for businesses.

Despite the financial constraints, Phillips, the former Postmedia board chair, said the Progressive Conservatives are “getting rid of hallway health care,” reforming OHIP and upgrading existing hospitals.

There has been additional funding for education, mental health, cuts to secondary school tuition fees, money for police, and revamping of the Ontario Police Services Act to “hold criminals accountable.”

Within Phillips’ own environment ministry, the goal is to “balance a healthy, vibrant, beautiful environment with a healthy economy.”

He said “polluters will pay their share,” but businesses “are not unduly burdened.”

Phillips said the province will start consulting with residents about how to manage the waste stream, such as the blue box program, and will address reducing litter, as part of the ministry’s Preserving and Protecting our Environment for Future Generations: A Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan that focuses on litter and reduce waste. The government has already received 1,400 comments.

Phillips said in an interview that the province listened to the outrage from Ontarians and MPPs about allowing developers to build on the Greenbelt and the government agreed that wouldn’t happen.

Phillips said scheduled 10, contained in Bill 66, which would have allowed development in the Greenbelt — 7,200-square-kilometre area that borders the Greater Golden Horseshoe — will be removed.

Critics contend the vague language in schedule 10 would have allowed municipalities to pass a bylaw to request the province to override particular regulations that govern the Greenbelt.

“We have always had a very strong commitment to preserving the Greenbelt,” said Phillips.

But, he said, there are no plans to expand the Greenbelt, which recently had its 10-year review under the Liberal government.

“Right now, we are making sure we preserve and protect the Greenbelt,” he said.

Ontario Environment Minister Rod Phillips says PCs cleaning up Liberals financial mess

News Feb 26, 2019 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Environment Minister Rod Phillips said the Ontario government could be more “compassionate” with people using certain programs, but the previous Liberal government handcuffed the Progressive Conservatives with an exploding deficit that must be contained.

Phillips, who spoke to about 45 people at a breakfast meeting of the Hamilton chapter of the Macdonald-Cartier club at Carmen’s C Hotel Feb. 21, said the $12.5 billion of interest the province will pay this year on its $347 billion debt could have been better spent on autism, health care or other vital services.

“The reckless spending of the (Dalton) McGuinty and (Kathleen) Wynne governments really has put us in this position to make sure we get our finances in order,” said Phillips.

Finance Minister Vic Fedeli announced in early February the province’s deficit has dropped to $13.5 billion this year after about $1 billion in higher sales and income tax revenues improved Ontario’s finances. It means, said Progressive Conservative MPPs the government is moving in the right direction.

Ontario’s financial accountability officer has said the deficit is actually about $2.5 billion lower that what the government has calculated.

Opposition parties have accused the Progressive Conservatives of inflating the deficit to justify cuts to programs and services.

Phillips said Ontario’s precarious financial situation “makes it harder to attract businesses” and prevents the province to “be as compassionate as we would all like to be.”

Phillips said under Premier Doug Ford’s government, the goal is to spend money “in the places that make a difference” while improving the lives of families and creating a competitive environment for businesses.

Despite the financial constraints, Phillips, the former Postmedia board chair, said the Progressive Conservatives are “getting rid of hallway health care,” reforming OHIP and upgrading existing hospitals.

There has been additional funding for education, mental health, cuts to secondary school tuition fees, money for police, and revamping of the Ontario Police Services Act to “hold criminals accountable.”

Within Phillips’ own environment ministry, the goal is to “balance a healthy, vibrant, beautiful environment with a healthy economy.”

He said “polluters will pay their share,” but businesses “are not unduly burdened.”

Phillips said the province will start consulting with residents about how to manage the waste stream, such as the blue box program, and will address reducing litter, as part of the ministry’s Preserving and Protecting our Environment for Future Generations: A Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan that focuses on litter and reduce waste. The government has already received 1,400 comments.

Phillips said in an interview that the province listened to the outrage from Ontarians and MPPs about allowing developers to build on the Greenbelt and the government agreed that wouldn’t happen.

Phillips said scheduled 10, contained in Bill 66, which would have allowed development in the Greenbelt — 7,200-square-kilometre area that borders the Greater Golden Horseshoe — will be removed.

Critics contend the vague language in schedule 10 would have allowed municipalities to pass a bylaw to request the province to override particular regulations that govern the Greenbelt.

“We have always had a very strong commitment to preserving the Greenbelt,” said Phillips.

But, he said, there are no plans to expand the Greenbelt, which recently had its 10-year review under the Liberal government.

“Right now, we are making sure we preserve and protect the Greenbelt,” he said.

Ontario Environment Minister Rod Phillips says PCs cleaning up Liberals financial mess

News Feb 26, 2019 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Environment Minister Rod Phillips said the Ontario government could be more “compassionate” with people using certain programs, but the previous Liberal government handcuffed the Progressive Conservatives with an exploding deficit that must be contained.

Phillips, who spoke to about 45 people at a breakfast meeting of the Hamilton chapter of the Macdonald-Cartier club at Carmen’s C Hotel Feb. 21, said the $12.5 billion of interest the province will pay this year on its $347 billion debt could have been better spent on autism, health care or other vital services.

“The reckless spending of the (Dalton) McGuinty and (Kathleen) Wynne governments really has put us in this position to make sure we get our finances in order,” said Phillips.

Finance Minister Vic Fedeli announced in early February the province’s deficit has dropped to $13.5 billion this year after about $1 billion in higher sales and income tax revenues improved Ontario’s finances. It means, said Progressive Conservative MPPs the government is moving in the right direction.

Ontario’s financial accountability officer has said the deficit is actually about $2.5 billion lower that what the government has calculated.

Opposition parties have accused the Progressive Conservatives of inflating the deficit to justify cuts to programs and services.

Phillips said Ontario’s precarious financial situation “makes it harder to attract businesses” and prevents the province to “be as compassionate as we would all like to be.”

Phillips said under Premier Doug Ford’s government, the goal is to spend money “in the places that make a difference” while improving the lives of families and creating a competitive environment for businesses.

Despite the financial constraints, Phillips, the former Postmedia board chair, said the Progressive Conservatives are “getting rid of hallway health care,” reforming OHIP and upgrading existing hospitals.

There has been additional funding for education, mental health, cuts to secondary school tuition fees, money for police, and revamping of the Ontario Police Services Act to “hold criminals accountable.”

Within Phillips’ own environment ministry, the goal is to “balance a healthy, vibrant, beautiful environment with a healthy economy.”

He said “polluters will pay their share,” but businesses “are not unduly burdened.”

Phillips said the province will start consulting with residents about how to manage the waste stream, such as the blue box program, and will address reducing litter, as part of the ministry’s Preserving and Protecting our Environment for Future Generations: A Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan that focuses on litter and reduce waste. The government has already received 1,400 comments.

Phillips said in an interview that the province listened to the outrage from Ontarians and MPPs about allowing developers to build on the Greenbelt and the government agreed that wouldn’t happen.

Phillips said scheduled 10, contained in Bill 66, which would have allowed development in the Greenbelt — 7,200-square-kilometre area that borders the Greater Golden Horseshoe — will be removed.

Critics contend the vague language in schedule 10 would have allowed municipalities to pass a bylaw to request the province to override particular regulations that govern the Greenbelt.

“We have always had a very strong commitment to preserving the Greenbelt,” said Phillips.

But, he said, there are no plans to expand the Greenbelt, which recently had its 10-year review under the Liberal government.

“Right now, we are making sure we preserve and protect the Greenbelt,” he said.