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ELECTION COVERAGE: MPP Jones proud of PC plan to cut 100,000 jobs

May 21, 2014   ·   0 Comments

Despite strong push back from Ontarians, Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones is standing behind her boss, Tim Hudak and his plan to cut 100,000 public sector jobs in Ontario should the Conservatives be elected to Provincial Parliament June 12th. “I am proud that our leader is willing to have an honest conversation with the people of Ontario about the state of our finances,” the MPP wrote in an email interview. The Conservative election ploy may be risky for voters who feel it could drive the province back into recession in the face of continued layoffs, as well as rising gas, food and electricity prices.

Cutting good paying, middle class jobs is likely to be a tough sell for the incumbent MPP on the campaign trail and at public debates in the coming weeks. Jones is currently serving her second term as Dufferin-Caledon’s representative in Provincial Parliament. Elected to the Ontario Legislature in 2007, she now serves as the Progressive Conservative Caucus Chair.

Raised on a farm with her six brothers in Tay Township, near Midland in Simcoe County, Jones says she learned the importance of community service from her parents who were active in the Red Cross, United Church and the Agricultural Society. “As you can imagine, in a family of nine, we cover the spectrum of political views,” says Jones. “Engaging in political subjects was not a taboo subject growing up, in fact the debate and discussions were encouraged.”

Jones earned a diploma in Radio Broadcasting and moved to Dufferin-Caledon in 1987 to work at a new radio station, DC103. It was while working there that she was approached by then MPP, Conservative David Tilson, to work with him. “I am grateful for the opportunity David gave me,” says Jones, “because it allowed me to start learning more about how government works, and how individual MPP’s can and do make a difference for the communities they serve.”

Jones and her husband David Gilles have lived in Orangeville for over 25 years and have two children. “My husband also comes from a very involved family,” she points out, “so we have always understood the importance and value of giving back to the community that has given us so many opportunities to succeed. I hope we are able to instil those values to our two children. Dufferin-Caledon is a wonderful place to live and raise your family. We need to make sure that when our children grow up Ontario is as prosperous a place for them to live, work and raise a family in as it has been for us.”

As the incumbent in a riding that has voted almost categorically Conservative since 1987, Sylvia Jones begins the election race with a strong advantage. When asked to describe her biggest challenge in this is election, Ms. Jones responded, “I hear from people a frustration that government is too big to make a substantive difference in their lives. I understand their frustration. I believe that when Government gets so large, and has too many priorities, it loses focus and ends up having no priorities.” Her response receives full marks as a definition of Conservatism, but it seems more likely that Jones’ biggest challenge on the election trail will come from voices of descent. Food and Water First land owners, food producers, and supporters numbering in the thousands, dissatisfied with the MPP’s role as a committee member for the Review of the Aggregate Resources Act (ARA), in the wake of the Mega Mine battle, are throwing their full support behind the Green Party. Carl Cossack, Chair of the North Dufferin Agricultural and Community Taskforce (NDACT) says of the ARA Review, “When the Aggregate Resources Act Review was announced we were elated that our MPP was on that very important committee…after their report was tabled nothing had changed for Dufferin, or Ontario, to protect class 1 farmland and source water regions, the same application filed by the Highland Companies could be filed again tomorrow.”

Jones admits, “Aggregate development can always be a contentious issue. Government projects however, account for approximately 60 percent of all aggregate consumption in Ontario.” Her private member’s bill, Bill 56, the Aggregate Recycling Promotion Act, aimed to stop the exclusion of recycled aggregates from public construction which drives the demand for more pits and quarries. It received wide spread support, but Jones says, “Liberals refused to allow MPPs to vote on the bill.”

Electorates will get a chance to see Dufferin-Caledon candidates, including MPP Jones, debate the issues in Shelburne at Glenbrook Elementary School on May 29th at 7pm. MPP Jones reminds voters that elections are “the time that people can make a difference. Engage your friends and families in the issues and get involved. I guarantee it; you will feel differently about your community if you do.” To read more about MPP Jones and what she is doing in the Legislature visit www.sylviajonesmpp.ca

By Marni Walsh

         

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