Ten weeks have now passed since the 2018 Provincial Election and it is now time for me to inform you of the progress we have achieved so far in our summer session at Queen’s Park, as well as outside of it.
In order to best serve Ontarians, our government started summer session early so we could take immediate steps to restore faith in Ontario's public institutions and our government. Thanks to this, we have come far from where we started, to Get Ontario Back in Business!
We have indeed successfully ended the Cap-and-Trade Tax in Ontario, resulting in lowered gas prices and energy bills as well as in an influx of new jobs in our province.
Our government also launched a new commission to analyze past government spending in order to improve government spending as well as transparency; allowing us deliver on our promise to end the mismanagement of funds and let the Ontarians know where their tax money goes.
I am proud to announce as well, that this session allowed to put an end to the York University strike that had negatively affected more than 48,000 students over the course of five months.
The latest of our successes took form in the restoration of the $12 million cut from the fight of guns and gangs two weeks ago, when we secured an investment of $25 million to help protect our citizens and combat gun violence. This victory hits close to home, as it is directly related to the investment of $182 million to replace ageing infrastructure with nine new Ontario Provincial Police detachments, one of which being located in Orillia.
However, these weren’t the only successes for our riding! The past weeks have seen many events on the local scene. The sanctioning of the new Custom Head Dress for the Beausoleil First Nations, our unanimously supported motion for skilled trades reform, the celebration of our Scottish cultural heritage as well as of the Pride. Our riding also saw a plurality of sports events in which victories were plentiful, as well as festivals with the highlight of the nationally-renowned Boots & Hearts Music Festival
I would like to finish by giving my most heartfelt thanks to everyone who volunteered and supported me throughout my campaign. It was a team effort and I am grateful for all your hard work. I am very proud to be representing all the constituents of Simcoe North at Queen’s Park as the first-ever elected female provincial representative from this riding. I have appreciated all the feedback I have received and I am looking forward to hearing from everyone in the continued months so that I can best represent all people of Simcoe North. I hope to see you all at the upcoming fall fairs in Oro-Medonte, Ramona, Coldwater, and Orillia and I am eager to share with you more about our advancement at Queen’s Park when fall session begins again on September 24th, 2018.
Jill Dunlop, MPP
QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Jill Dunlop delivered her first maiden speech on August 1st, 2018 in legislature at Queen’s Park where she highlighted Simcoe North’s culturally and geographically diverse landscape. Dunlop proudly stated that her riding was a quintessential representation of small town rural Ontario and was thankful that the constituents of Simcoe North selected her to be their new voice at Queen’s Park.
“I am […] very proud that within our electoral district are two first nations communities,” MPP Dunlop stated. “These communities are the Chippewas of Rama First Nation and Beausoleil First Nation on Christian Island […] I was honoured to celebrate the sanctioning of the new Custom Head Dress for the Beausoleil First Nations. The head dress serves as a significant symbol of strength, bravery, and individuality. While the head dress is certainly beautiful, it most strongly represents the virtue of traditions and customs.” Dunlop stated that she gains valuable knowledge from everyone she talks to and thanked residents for being so gracious and engaging in their open dialogue.
Dunlop also spoke of the number of primary employment industries in her riding including agriculture, tourism, the service industry and small manufacturing. She said she was looking forward to promoting and supporting the skilled trades and small businesses in her riding of Simcoe North to create better jobs for constituents.
During her election, MPP Dunlop stated she had several meetings and conversations with residents across her riding regarding the skilled trades shortage and that the issue was impacting all trades people, in a wide-variety of skilled trades related businesses. In response to this message, she tabled a motion calling for government to respond to this important issue.
“I was thrilled that this motion was given support by our government, and I look forward to collaborating with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities, and the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade to build on this tremendous policy opportunity.” She stated that because of the positive response by government, many skilled trades organizations contacted her expressing incredible enthusiasm for the future of skilled trades in Simcoe North and in Ontario.
Dunlop also recognized local artistic talent from her riding including artist Charles Pachter, whose iconic work includes Murals of Hockey and famous images of the Royal family, moose and maple leaf flag, and Gordon Lightfoot, who recently attended Mariposa Folk Festival, and highlighted the importance of art and culture in her community.
MPP Dunlop recognized her family for their commitment to the communities of Simcoe North and specifically highlighted her mother, Jane Dunlop, and her father, Garfield Dunlop, for their commitment to public service and for inspiring her love of politics. As the first female representative for Simcoe North, she says she aims to show other young women, including her daughters Rachel, Karley, and Madison, that they can have a strong voice and make history too. Thanking her partner Steve Cartwright, a sergeant with the Ontario Provincial Police for his support, she stated she was also thankful that government was committed to providing the resources and training to keep police officers safe and reduce violence. “We will listen to, and respect, our police officers and front line workers.”
“It’s not the government that makes Ontario great”, Dunlop said. “Ontario is great because of its people. Our people are smart, kind, and above all, striving to create a better life for themselves and their families […] I am proud to be part of a government that has already proven we will keep our promise and listen to the people of Ontario and frontline workers to make life more affordable!”August 01, 2018
QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Jill Dunlop took home a big win on July 26th, 2018 when her skilled trades resolution was unanimously passed, proving widespread support from all political parties.
“There is a major and growing shortage of skilled employees to create and/or grow businesses and industries in Ontario” she reminded the assembly. “As we execute our plan to make Ontario open for business, we will need skilled labour to fill the jobs that a thriving economy will generate. Skilled labour jobs are good jobs and provide a meaningful, financially stable career path for many Ontarians, including young people, newcomers and individuals looking for a career change. [...]There is a negative stigma surrounding skilled trades workers, whereby people believe that skilled trades are not a career to aspire or to be proud of. […] Our youth deserve to be presented with as many career options as possible, and the skilled trades should be at the top of that list.” Dunlop stressed the need for immediate action to fill the skilled trades gap.
MPP Dunlop uncovered in her speech some very alarming statistics illustrating the skilled trades worker deficit. Only 10 percent of Ontario’s youth follow through with a career in the skilled trades and today, 20 percent of skilled workers are over the age of 54 and will be retiring in the next decade. Dunlop highlighted her first-hand experience in the skilled trades sector, with her family successfully operating a skilled trades business for over 60 years.
Through close collaboration with the Ministry of Education; the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities; and the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, MPP Dunlop believes that her government can improve the existing skilled trades framework and provide meaningful solutions to reduce the negative stigma surrounding the trades and address the shortage of skilled labour. Dunlop stated that she believed the government should assume leadership in improving education, training, and job creation in the skilled trades sector.
Her family, staff, Simcoe North business owners, and mayors of her riding joined her at Queen’s Park to support her and show a united front on the issue.