These members of MNO are here, along with Regional Chief Charles Fox, to attend a commemorative gathering on the anniversary of the hanging and death of Louis Riel, and to honour his memory and celebrate his contribution to his people and to Canada. As well, the gathering today honours the historic bond between the MNO and First Nations. A protocol has just been signed between the MNO and the Chiefs of Ontario.
The Metis Nation of Ontario currently has major issues with the MNR, and I'd like to read a clip. I want to put this on the record today.
"On October 7, 2004, Metis Nation of Ontario (MNO) president Tony Belcourt and the Ontario regional chief of the Chiefs of Ontario, Charles Fox, expressed dismay at the actions of the Ministry of Natural Resources, which unilaterally decided to break the historic agreement with the Metis Nation of Ontario. The MNR announced the changes with no notice to the Metis people.
"Mr Belcourt and Ontario Regional Chief Fox called upon Premier McGuinty to immediately convene a meeting to discuss the creation of an aboriginal policy, to prevent this situation from occurring in the future.
"The government continues to treat the aboriginal people in Ontario in an arbitrary manner. Ontario Regional Chief Fox and Mr Belcourt said that they expect the government to live up to its commitment to the constitutionally recognized aboriginal people in Ontario -- the First Nations and the Metis Nation."
I appreciate the opportunity to speak to this today.
CORRECTION OF RECORD
Mr Gordon Kennard was a very special person who did not allow his physical disabilities and challenges to keep him from living a life that was full and meaningful. When Gord was born, his family was advised to place him in a home, but his loving and close family would not do so and Gord was enrolled at George Armstrong school in Hamilton, where he made close friends who remained part of his circle all of his life.
Through his physical therapy at Chedoke, Gord met a doctor who saw his potential and helped him to obtain a position at Chedoke Hospital as an orderly, where he worked until retirement. He became a proud and active member of his union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
For Gord, the church and the NDP were what kept everything in perspective. He might have experienced adversity because of his many health challenges, but they never stopped him. He was a long-time Hamilton East NDP executive member and a proud life member of the New Democratic Party. Talking politics at the food court of Hamilton's Centre Mall was a favourite pastime, and he was never prouder than when he signed up his own church minister as a member of the NDP. He also was a talented pianist who played the organ on most Sundays at church, Fairfield-St David's United.
I feel honoured to have known Gord Kennard. Gord was a man of courage and dignity and used his life and time to work for the betterment of everyone. His compassion for others was limitless, perhaps because he himself experienced cruel taunts and discrimination.
Rest in peace, Gordon. You touched many in Hamilton by your kindness and caring, and are missed.
HEALTHY WORKPLACE AWARD
The National Quality Institute has recognized the unique collaborative partnership between the company and the union, and the innovative health, safety and wellness initiatives delivered to DaimlerChrysler Canada's employees, retirees, and their families.
DaimlerChrysler Canada and the CAW provide numerous employee initiatives, such as health and safety programs and policies, education and training programs, on-site health and wellness services, and environmental programs and policies. This award recognizes the way in which DaimlerChrysler and the CAW are working together to ensure DaimlerChrysler's international success. I commend the efforts of both DaimlerChrysler and the Canadian Auto Workers union and congratulate both DaimlerChrysler and the Canadian Auto Workers on their award.
This year was especially significant because the organizing committee, led by head scarecrow Marilyn Morris, partnered with the executive of the International Plowing Match. Scarecrows were a prominent theme during the rural expo, with over 500 of them on display throughout the tented city and beside signage leading visitors to the event.
While the partnership was a tremendous success for both committees, I guess it was a little bit too confusing for Ministry of Transportation officials. It seems the MTO took the scarecrow invasion title just a fraction too literally and feared for the safety of people in my riding. I don't know how else to explain their decision to remove all the scarecrows from their highways.
While that may be a little bit untrue, Mr Speaker, I can think of one other explanation: Perhaps MTO officials were worried that the travellers going to the plowing match on Highway 26, the roughest highway in this province, could not afford any distraction. Drivers taking their eye off the road or a hand off the wheel for even a split second risked hitting one of the potholes, sending them into the ditch for an up-close-and-personal visit with each of the scarecrows.
UNIVERSITY AND COLLEGE FACILITIES
In what many consider a model for post-secondary education in the 21st century, UOIT shares its campus with Durham College, one of the province's leading community colleges. Less than two years after opening its doors, enrolment at the university already stands at 1,850 full-time students, and Durham College has more than 5,600 full-time students and an astounding 19,000 part-time students.
Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the grand opening of the university's new academic buildings and the brand new, state-of-the-art campus library, which serves both the college and the university. The buildings reflect the college's and the university's dedication to academic excellence and cutting-edge, market-oriented innovation. That commitment is attracting some of the finest scholars and researchers in the world. Just recently, for example, one of the university's engineering professors, Dr Ibrahim Dincer, received UOIT's first major research award, the $100,000 Premier's Research Excellence Award, for his leading-edge work involving practical fuel cell technology for automobiles.
For more than a decade, parents in the region have dreamed of a local university that would enrich the lives of their children and of students from across Canada and around the world. Today, thanks to the tireless efforts of local educators and countless volunteers, as well as the support of the local and Ontario governments, that dream is a wonderful reality.
I proudly invite Ontario students to learn more about these two great post-secondary schools on-line at www.durhamcollege.ca and www.uoit.ca.
We clearly acknowledge and value the professional services provided by Ontario pharmacists every single day. They don't simply dispense medications. They give invaluable health advice. They recognize and intervene when medications are prescribed that could cause adverse reactions or even lead to hospitalization, the number one reason why seniors go into hospitals for a pharmacological reaction.
The Minister of Health lauds his OMA agreement that bonuses doctors by $50 million if they will help cut consumption of medications for seniors and social assistance recipients and their children for up to $200 million, and yet nowhere has the government acknowledged the vital role that pharmacists play as learned intermediaries in the drug prescribing and dispensing continuum.
The Ontario Pharmacists' Association has expressed concern about the growing number of Americans coming across the border into Ontario to acquire cheaper drugs and the proliferation of Internet pharmacies. Perhaps the Ontario College of Pharmacists should be focusing on creating proper regulations governing the practice of pharmacy in this province and not simply getting involved in attempting to manage the business side of pharmacy in this province.
As you are aware, this event took place 45 years ago in Clinton, Ontario, a small town in my riding, and many people today still feel a very strong attachment to this case. Justice Minister Cotler stated that there is a reasonable basis to conclude that a miscarriage of justice likely occurred in this case.
Closure needs to be brought to the case that has weighed heavily on the people of Clinton for over four decades. The people of Clinton and Ontario wait to see the final chapter written.
The pharmacists' interactive displays in room 228 show how they manage their expertise in drug and medication management to improve the health and well-being of Ontarians. Pharmacists help reduce asthma attacks, control diabetes and obesity, manage medication appropriately and much more. Ontario pharmacists play a key role in alleviating health care pressures. They are an accessible health care provider. They have the ability to outreach to patients and to collaborate with other health care providers to ensure Ontarians receive the best patient care within their community.
Recently, the Ontario Seniors' Secretariat partnered with the Ontario Pharmacists' Association to deliver safe-medication-use seminars for seniors across Ontario. The seminars involve a presentation by a community pharmacist and a question-and-answer period. Pharmacists have a wealth of information to share and to make a positive contribution to the health and well-being of Ontarians every day.
If you managed your medication well today, thank a pharmacist.
CONSUMER PROTECTION LEGISLATION
This bill will address the issues brought up recently in the Hamilton Spectator. This is a bill that has the support of unions and the business community. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Construction Council of Ontario supports it, TransUnion supports it, and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce supports it, just to name a few.
I would like to end by asking a simple question: Why are they opposed to getting these consumer protections in place? Why, yesterday in the House, did they not grant unanimous consent to bring the bill out of committee into this House? We called the bill yesterday at 6 o'clock, not at 6:45. The opposition didn't want to work here. No, they were too busy, maybe going off to a party or something. Instead, we could have had this matter settled. They denied the fact that all of us want this bill passed. Opposition? Boy --
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