Transcript: Question Period: Monday, February 24, 2020 | Feb 25, 2020

A still camera shows the Ontario Legislature. A caption on screen reads "Oral questions."

The Speaker stands. He's is in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short light brown hair. He wears a black robe.

He says IT IS NOW TIME FOR ORAL QUESTIONS AND I RECOGNIZE THE MEMBER FOR BRAMPTON CENTRE.

The caption changes to "Sara Singh. NDP. Brampton Centre."

Singh is in her thirties, with shoulder-length curly black hair. She wears a purple jacket over a black blouse.

She says THANK YOU, GOOD MORNING, SPEAKER. MY QUESTION IS TO THE PREMIER. ON FRIDAY, THOUSANDS OF TEACHERS, PARENTS AND STUDENTS CAME FROM ACROSS ONTARIO TO SEND A CLEAR MESSAGE TO THIS GOVERNMENT. STOP THE CUTS TO OUR CLASSROOMS AND STOP ATTACKING THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE OUR SCHOOLS WORK. THE PREMIER CLAIMS HE GETS TEXT MESSAGES OF SUPPORT FROM PARENTS AND TEACHERS BUT WHEN HE'S ASKED TO PRODUCE THEM, THEY SIMPLY CAN'T BE FOUND. AND HE SPENT THE WEEKEND TALKING WITH P.C. INSIDERS WHILE HIDING BEHIND A WALL OF SECURITY, SPEAKER. THAT'S REALLY NOT LEADERSHIP. WHY IS THE PREMIER REFUSING TO LISTEN TO PARENTS.

The Speaker says ORDER! QUESTION FOR THE PREMIER, I RECOGNIZE THE PREMIER.

Premier Ford stands up. He's in his early fifties, clean-shaven, with short blond hair. He wears a gray suit, white shirt, and spotted blue tie.

The caption changes to "Honourable Doug Ford. PC. Premier."

He says THROUGH YOU, MR. SPEAKER, I TALK TO PARENTS EACH AND EVERYDAY, LIKE ETCH ONE OF US, AND I'M JUST SAYING KEEP GOING. DO NOT BACK DOWN. THERE HAS TO BE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 15 YEARS. THAT'S WHAT I'M HEARING, MR. SPEAKER. I'M ALSO HEARING THESE STRIKES ARE HURTING FAMILIES. THEY'RE HURTING FAMILIES WHEN THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF PARENTS THAT COULDN'T AFFORD A DAY OFF, LIKE SOME PEOPLE TAKE DAYS OFF, THEY COULDN'T AFFORD IT. IT'S HURTING OUR KIDS THAT SHOULD BE IN SCHOOL. OUR GREAT MINISTER OF EDUCATION IS DOING EVERYTHING HE CAN TO MAKE SURE WE STRIKE A FAIR DEAL THAT'S GOING TO BE FAIR TO THE PARENTS AND THE STUDENTS AND THE TEACHERS, MR. SPEAKER.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Singh says MR. SPEAKER, I'D LIKE THE PREMIER TO HEAR FROM A FEW PARENTS LIKE CASSANDRA. SHE SAYS MY DAUGHTER MARIANA HAS ALWAYS STRUGGLED WITH SCHOOL AND RELIED ON THE SUPPORT OF TEACHERS AND QUALITY FACE-TO-FACE EDUCATION. I REALLY WORRY ABOUT HER FALLING FURTHER BEHIND BECAUSE SHE'S FORCED TO TAKE THESE E-COURSES. SHE NEEDS THE IN-PERSON SUPPORTS TO... SUCCEED AND THESE CUTS WOULD ACTUALLY HAVE THE OPPOSITE EFFECT. MARIANA NEEDS TO BE IN A CLASSROOM WITH PROPER SUPPORT SO THAT SHE CAN SUCCEED, SPEAKER. WHAT DOES THE PREMIER HAVE TO SAY TO PARENTS LIKE CASSANDRA?

Ford says WELL, MR. SPEAKER, AND I APPRECIATE WHAT CASSANDRA SAID, BUT I HEARD ANOTHER STORY FROM A FATHER, ACTUALLY, MR. SPEAKER, THAT SAID MY GRADE 12 SON WANTS TO TAKE ONLINE COURSES.

[INTERJECTIONS]

Ford says IF THEY HAD A CHOICE OF DOING ONLINE OR STAYING IN A CLASSROOM THEY'LL TAKE THE ONLINE. BECAUSE GUESS WHAT...

The Speaker says ORDER! COME TO ORDER.

Ford says HIS SON GETS AN ADDITIONAL 70 MINUTES TO STUDY FOR HIS OTHER COURSES. THAT'S WHAT WE'RE FOCUSED ON, MAKING SURE THAT WE KEEP THE STUDENTS IN TO THE CLASSROOM.

[APPLAUSE]

Ford says says WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WE LOOK AT MERIT-BASED PAY, NOT BASED ON SENIORITY THAT THE NDP BELIEVE WE SHOULD BE DOING BUT WHO'S THE MOST QUALIFIED TO TEACH OUR KIDS MATH?

The Speaker says RESPONSE?

Ford says THAT'S WHAT PEOPLE ARE FOCUSED ON.

The Speaker says FINAL SUPPLEMENTARY.

Singh says MR. SPEAKER, IT'S PRETTY CLEAR TO THE CONSERVATIVES' CUTS ARE ACTUALLY KEEPING KIDS OUT OF CLASSROOMS AND IT'S CLEAR TO THEY DON'T CARE WHAT PARENTS HAVER TO SAY SO MAYBE THEY'LL START LISTENING TO WHAT STUDENTS HAVE TO SAY. ANOTHER STUDENT IN THE RIDING OF BRAMPTON CENTRE REACHED OUT TO SAY THANKS TO THESE CONSERVATIVE CUTS THEY DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO THE COURSES THEY NEED TO GRADUATE. THEY TOLD ME DUE TO TEACHERS BEING LAID OFF AND THE INCREASE IN CLASS SIZES, MAY NOT BE ABLE TO COMPLETE THE REQUIREMENT TO BE CONSIDERED INTO THE PROGRAMME OF MY CHOICE WHEN I APPLY TO COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY, SPEAKER, LET'S BE REAL. CONSERVATIVE CUTS ARE HURTING STUDENTS PLAIN AND SIMPLE. IS THE PREMIER GOING TO START LISTENING TO PEOPLE IN ONTARIO AND REVERSE THESE CUTS TO HE HAD NATION.

[APPLAUSE]

Ford says THROUGH YOU, MR. SPEAKER, AGAIN, I DON'T KNOW WHERE THEY GET THE CUTS FROM WHEN WE'RE INCREASING 1.2 BILLION DOLLARS OF FUNDING INTO EDUCATION. WE INCREASED 176 BILLION DOLLARS TO MAKE SURE NO TEACHERS LOST THEIR JOBS.

[INTERJECTIONS]

The Speaker says ORDER.

Ford says WHAT'S HURTING THE CHILDREN, MR. SPEAKER IS WHEN THE TEACHERS GO ON STRIKE. THEY GO ON STRIKE AND THEN THEY PULL BACK THEIR SERVICES. WHO ARE THEY HURTING? THEY'RE HURTING THE PARENTS, THEY'RE HURTING THE STUDENTS THAT SHOULD BE BACK IN THE CLASSROOM. THAT'S THE PEOPLE THAT THEY'RE HURTING.

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says THE NEXT question. The member for Davenport.

The caption changes to "Marit Stiles. NDP. Davenport."

Stiles is in her forties, with feathered blond hair in a bob. She wears a purple blazer over a black blouse, and a black stone necklace.

She says THANK YOU MR. SPEAKER, MY QUESTION IS TO THE PREMIER. SO DESPITE MONTHS MUCH CHAOS THIS GOVERNMENT STILL TO, THIS DAY, IS REFUSING TO ACCEPT THAT THEIR ATTACK ON EDUCATION ISN'T JUST UNPOPULAR, IT'S HURTING FAMILIES ALL ACROSS THIS PROVINCE. IN FACT, "THE TORONTO STAR" REPORTS THAT OVER THE WEEKEND, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS ONE EVER WITH THE PREMIER'S COP ADVISORS CLAIMED.

[INTERJECTIONS]

The Speaker says COME TO ORDER.

Stiles says HAD QUOTE GROWN FAT FROM LARGESS, HOW IRON ECK, FROM A GOVERNMENT SPENDING MILLIONS HIRING INSIDERS AND RELATIVES. MR. SPEAKER, THAT'S PRETTY RICH. DOES THE PREMIER THINK THAT SORT OF ATTACK IS GOING TO IMPROVE EDUCATION IN OUR SCHOOLS?

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says MINISTER OF EDUCATION.

The caption changes to "Honourable Stephen Lecce. PC. Minister of Education."

Lecce is in his thirties, with short dark hair and a stubble. He wears a gray suit, white shirt, and blue tie.

He says MR. SPEAKER, IT IS TIME FOR A DEAL THAT KEEPS KIDS IN CLASS IN THIS PROVINCE. THAT IS WHY TODAY WE ARE NEGOTIATING IN GOOD FAITH WITH THE CATHOLIC TEACHERS BECAUSE THIS HAS GONE ON FOR TOO LONG. MR. SPEAKER, THIS NEXT, WE WANT A GOOD DEAL FOR STUDENTS AND WE ARE AFFIRMING THAT WE WANT TO PROTECT FULL DAY KINDERGARTEN. COMMITTED TO MAINTAINING HIS SOAR RICK INVESTMENTS IN SPECIAL EDUCATION. WE ARE KEEPING CLASS SIZES LOW AND WE ARE ENSURING THE HIRING OF NEW TEACHERS IS PREMISED ON QUALIFICATION NOT SENIOR IN A UNION. MR. SPEAKER, WE HAVE TO MAKE CHOICES CHOICES AND WE CHOOSE INVESTMENT IN SCHOOL, STUDENTS, CURRICULUM NOT HIGH COMPENSATION FOR THE SECOND HIGHEST PAID TEACHER IN THIS STATION.

The Speaker says A SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Stiles says MR. SPEAKER, I'VE SAID IT BEFORE, I'LL SAY IT AGAIN. A CUT TO A CUT IS STALE CUT. THE GOVERNMENT WANTS TO HAVE IT BOTH WAY, MR. SPEAKER. THEY WANT TO MAKE DEEP CUTS TO OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM AND THEN CLAIM THEY'RE ENHANCING IT. THEY WANT TO RIP RESOURCES AWAY INTEREST KIDS AND SAY THEY'RE PREPARING THEM FOR IF THE FUTURE AND THEY WANT TOP REPLACE IN PERSON LEARNING WITH ISOLATING ONLINE COURSES AND CLAIM THEY CARE ABOUT STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH. SPEAKER THIS GOVERNMENT CAN'T EVEN GET THEIR VANITY LICENSE PLATES RIGHT AND THEY EXPECT US TO TRUST THEM WITH THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN THIS PROVINCE. WILL THE PREMIER FINALLY READ THE RIGHTING ON THE WALL AND REVERSE THESE CUTS.

The Speaker says MINISTER.

Lecce says WHAT PARENTS WANT IN THIS PROVINCE IS ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THEIR HARD-EARNED TAX DOLLARS ACTUALLY HELPING THEIR CHILDREN SUCCEED IN LIFE. AND THAT'S WHY WHEN 80 CENTS OF THE DOLLAR, SPEAKER IS SPENT ON COMPENSATION, WE KNOW IN THIS PARTY WE CAN DO BETTER FOR THE STUDENTS OF THIS PROVINCE. IT'S WHY IN NEXT, WE BELIEVE UNLIKE THE OTHER PARTIES MERIT MUST GUIDE THE HIRING OF NEW EDUCATORS IN THIS PROVINCE. THAT IS A CONSEQUENTIAL POSITION WE BELIEVE ON A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE WE MUST ADVANCE, INVESTMENTS AUGHT TO GO TOWARDS OUR STUDENTS, NOT COMPENSATION FOR WAGES AND BENEFITS FOR INDIVIDUALS, FOR WORKERS WE VALUE. AFTER A DECADE OF SERVICE, THEY ARE THE HIGHEST PAID IN THE NATION. WE WANT A FAIR DEAL THAT WORKS FOR OUR KIDS. THAT'S WHAT WE'RE FIGHTING FOR, AND IT STARTS, MR. SPEAKER, WITH KEEPING KIDS IN CLASS.

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says FINAL SUPPLEMENTARY.

Stiles says MR. SPEAKER YOU'RE DARNED RIGHT THAT PEOPLE UNTIL THIS PROVINCE.

[INTERJECTIONS]

The Speaker says OKAY, THE EXCESSIVE CLAPPING IS NOT HELPFUL. I APOLOGIZE TO THE MEMBER. PLEASE RESTART THE CLOCK.

Stiles says THANK YOU, SPEAKER, MINISTER IS DARNED RIGHT PEOPLE IN THIS PROVINCE CARE ABOUT THE QUALITY OF THEIR CHILDREN'S EDUCATION AND THAT'S WHY TENS OF THOUSANDS OF THEM CAME OUT HERE ON FRIDAY TO PROTEST THE GOVERNMENT CUTS. THE GOVERNMENT UNILATERALLY CUT CLASSROOMS. THEY CAN UNILATERALLY REVERSE THEM NOW. THERE IS NOTHING TO STOP THE PREMIER FROM DOING THAT TODAY. IT IS UNACCEPTABLE TO BE USING OUR CHILDREN AS PEONS SO INSTEAD OF TWISTING THEM.

[INTERJECTIONS]

The Speaker says ORDER. ORDER.

Stiles says THEY COULD ACTUALLY INVEST IN OUR KIDS FUTURE AND START BALANCING THEIR BUDGET ON THEIR BACKS. SO MR. SPEAKER, THROUGH IS THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION OR ANY ONE EVER THESE MEMBERS WILLING TO PULL THEIR HEADS OUT OF THE SAND FOR A MINUTE AND FACE FACTS? WHEN ARE THEY WILLING TO REVERSE THEIR CUTS.

Lecce says MR. SPEAKER, I AM PROUD TO BE PART OF A GOVERNMENT THAT IS INVESTING MORE IN PUBLIC EDUCATION THAN ANY GOVERNMENT IN THE HISTORY OF ONTARIO!

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says COME TO ORDER. OPPOSITION.

Lecce says IT IS THIS GOVERNMENT, UNDER LEADERSHIP OF THIS PREMIER, MORE MONEY IS BEING SPENT IS AND GIVEN TO SCHOOL BOARDS IN THIS PROVINCE TO ENSURE PUBLIC EDUCATION'S IMPROVED FOR THE NEXT GENERATION. IT IS THIS GOVERNMENT INVESTING THE HIGHEST LEVELS EVER RECORDED...

The Speaker says ORDER.

Lecce says TO SUPPORT THE MOST VULNERABLE KIDS WITHIN OUR SCHOOLS. IT IS THIS GOVERNMENT THAT MORE THAN DOUBLED THE MENTAL HEALTH PORTFOLIO TO SUPPORT THOSE IN NEED IN OUR SCHOOLS, IT IS...

The Speaker says Apologies TO THE MINISTER. THE OFFICIAL OPPOSITION WILL COME TO ORDER TO ALLOW THE MINISTER TO RESPOND TO THE QUESTION THAT YOU'VE ASKED. MINISTER OF EDUCATION, PLEASE.

Lecce says SPEAKER, IT IS THIS GOVERNMENT OF THAT IS INVESTING IN A 200 MILLION DOLLARS FOUR-YEAR MATH STRATEGY TO IMPROVE MATH SCORES AFTER A DECADE OF STAGNATION. SPEAKER, WE'RE INVESTING HISTORIC AMOUNTS IN THE SKILLED TRADES...

[INTERJECTIONS]

The Speaker says ORDER.

Lecce says IT'S SO IMPORTANT TO THE FUTURE PROSPERITY OF THIS PROVINCE. WE'RE INVESTING MORE, SPEAKER, WE EXPECT MORE FOR OUR KIDS, WE'RE GOING TO STANDS UP FOR THAT EVERYDAY IN THIS NEXT.

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says THE NEXT QUESTION.

The caption changes to "Sol Mamakwa. NDP. Kiiwetinoong."

Mamakwa is in his thirties, clean-shaven, with short black hair. He wears a gray suit, white shirt, and spotted black tie.

He says GOOD MORNING, SPEAKER. LAST NIGHT THE O.P.P. GAVE AN ULTIMATUM TO THE LAND DEFENDERS AT TYENDINAGA THAT AS OF LAST NIGHT THEY WOULD ARREST ANYONE THAT HAS NOT CLEARED THE CAMP. NOW AS WE SPEAK, THE O.P.P. HAVE MOVED IN AND MADE ARRESTS OF THE LAND DEFENDERS THERE. WHEN WAS THE PREMIER MADE AWARE OF THIS POLICE ACTION BY THE O.P.P. AND WHAT ROLE DID HE, HIS OFFICE AND THE CABINET PLAY?

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says QUESTIONS ADDRESSED TO THE GOVERNMENT. MINISTER OF ENERGY, NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT AND MINES TO REPLY.

The caption changes to "Honourable Greg Rickford. PC. Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines."

Rickford is in his early fifties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair. He wears glasses, a gray suit, white shirt, and striped blue tie.

He says THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. FROM THE OUTSET OF THIS BLOCKADE, OUR GOVERNMENT, THE TYENDINAGA POLICE, THE ONTARIO PROVINCIAL POLICE, REGIONAL CHIEF ROSEANNE ARCHIBALD HAVE FACILITATED, SUPPORTED AND LEVERAGED, MR. SPEAKER, A RESPECTFUL DIALOGUE WITH THE ACTIVISTS AT THE SITE OF THE BLOCKADE. OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS, MR. SPEAKER, WE HAVE CONTINUED TO BE PATIENT AS WE BELIEVE THAT AN INDIGENOUS-LED SOLUTION WAS THE BEST SCENARIO THAT WE COULD ALL HOPE FOR. MR. SPEAKER, WE APPRECIATE THE LEADERSHIP IN PARTICULAR OF THE TYENDINAGA CHIEF AND COUNCIL AND AS I SAID EARLIER GRAND REGIONAL CHIEF ROSEANNE ARCHIBALD WHO FACILITATED DISCUSSIONS, MR. SPEAKER, THAT HAVE PROTECTED, MR. SPEAKER, AND RESPECTED THE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM IPPERWASH. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SPEAKER.

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Mamakwa says LAST WEEK WHEN I ASKED THE PREMIER ABOUT HIS GOVERNMENT'S COMMITMENT TO A RECONCILIATION , THE MINISTER OF INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS REPLIED TO SAY THAT WITH RESPECT TO TYENDINAGA BLOCKADES WE MOVE QUICKLY TO LEVERAGE, SUPPORT, AND FACILITATE INDIGENOUS LEADERSHIP TO BRING A RESOLUTION TO THAT BLOCKADE. NOW THAT THE O.P.P. HAVE ARRESTED MOWHAWK LAND DEFENDERS, POTENTIALLY CREATING A FLASHPOINT, NOT JUST HERE BUT ACROSS THE COUNTRY, WHAT EXACTLY DID THIS GOVERNMENT DO TO FACILITATE A RESOLUTION IN THIS PROTEST?

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says MINISTER OF INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS TO REPLY.

The caption changes to "Honourable Greg Rickford. PC. Minister of Indigenous Affairs."

Rickford says MR. SPEAKER, OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS AT EVERY TURN, THE PREMIER OF THIS PROVINCE, MYSELF, THE SOLICITOR GENERAL, THE MEMBER FOR BECAME OF QUINTE HAVE WORKED CLOSELY, MR. SPEAKER, WITH FOLKS FROM THAT COMMUNITY. WE'VE COMMUNICATED FREQUENTLY WITH OUR INDIGENOUS MINISTER COUNTERPARTS ACROSS THE PROVINCE TO COME UP WITH A PEACEFUL PLAN TO MOVE FORWARD. WE CONTINUE TO CHALLENGE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND SPOKE WITH THEM FREQUENTLY, INCLUDING THE PRIME MINISTER, MR. SPEAKER, TO TAKE LEADERSHIP ON A MATTER THAT ASKED PROFOUND QUESTIONS, MR. SPEAKER, THE SCOPE AND POWER HEREDITARY CHIEFS, THE DUTY TO CONSULT HEREDITARY CHIEFS, MR. SPEAKER, THE APPLICATION OF INDIGENOUS LAW TO BE CONSIDERED IN THE CONTEXT OF RESOURCE PROJECTS, MR. SPEAKER. THESE WERE ALL QUESTIONS THAT DEMANDED LEADERSHIP FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. FORTUNATELY HERE IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO, MR. SPEAKER, WE ALL WORK TOGETHER TOWARDS A PEACEFUL RESOLUTION OF THIS CHALLENGE, MR. SPEAKER AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES ACROSS THIS PROVINCE MOVING FORWARD SO THIS DOESN'T HAPPEN AGAIN. THANK YOU.

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says THANK YOU. THE NEXT question. The member for Ottawa West-Nepean.

The caption changes to "Jeremy Roberts. PC. Ottawa West-Nepean."

Roberts is in his thirties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair. He wears a gray suit, gray shirt, and patterned black tie.

He says THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. MY QUESTION IS TO THE PREMIER. PREMIER, OUR GOVERNMENT INHERITED A FIRST CAPITAL ECONOMIC MESS FROM THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT. THE LIBERALS WERE SPENDING 40 MILLION DOLLARS A DAY MORE THAN THEY BROUGHT IN. AND WHAT DO THE PEOPLE OF THIS PROVINCE HAVE TO SHOW FOR IT? HISTORIC JOB LOSSES THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE PROVINCE, COMPANIES BEING FORCED TO CLOSE SHOPS AND RELOCATE TO OTHER PLACES IN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES, AND THE HIGHEST ENERGY RATES IN ALL OF NORTH AMERICA, WOULD FORCE PEOPLE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN HEATING AND EATING IN THIS PROVINCE. PREMIER, SINCE OUR ELECTION TWO YEARS AGO, CAN YOU SHARE WITH THE LEGISLATURE HOW THE ACTIONS OF OUR GOVERNMENT HAVE... THAT OUR GOVERNMENT HAVE TAKEN HAVE HELPED TO TURN THIS PROVINCE AROUND?

The Speaker says QUESTION FOR THE PREMIER?

Ford says WELL, FIRST OF ALL, MR. SPEAKER, I WANT TO THANK OUR ALL-STAR MPP FROM WOULD THE WEST NEPEAN, THEY LOVE HIM UP THERE!

[APPLAUSE]

Ford says MR. SPEAKER.

[INTERJECTIONS]

The Speaker says OPPOSITION, COME TO ORDER.

Ford says MR. SPEAKER, OUR PLAN TO BUILD ONTARIO TOGETHER IS WORKING. OUR ECONOMY IS FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS RIGHT NOW.

[APPLAUSE]

Ford says says OVER 307,000 IN JOBS, NEW JOBS, MR. SPEAKER, WE CREATED SINCE WE'VE TAKEN OFFICE. MR. SPEAKER, THAT'S 307,000 NEW OPPORTUNITIES. THAT'S 307,000 NEW PAYCHEQUES THAT PEOPLE CAN GO OUT AND PUT FOOD ON THEIR TABLE, PAY RENT, PAY A MORTGAGE AND GET MOVING FORWARD. THAT'S 307,000 MORE PEOPLE GIVING BACK TO THE ECONOMY, MR. SPEAKER. THAT'S OVER 500 NEW JOBS EACH AND EVERY DAY SINCE WE'VE BEEN ELECTED. WE'RE LEADING THE COUNTRY IN JOB CREATION.

[APPLAUSE]

Ford says says 76 percent OF EVERY JOB CREATED IN ONTARIO...

The Speaker says THANK YOU VERY MUCH. SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Roberts says THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. BACK TO THE PREMIER. PREMIER, THOSE ARE INCREDIBLE NUMBERS AND SHOW WHY PEOPLE ARE REFERRING TO THE ECONOMIC MIRACLE THAT IS HAPPENING IN OUR PROVINCE.

INTERJECTION: HEAR HEAR.

Roberts says PREMIER, YOU SAID IT BEST, WHEN YOU TRUST IN THE PEOPLE OF THE PROVINCE, EMBRACE THE SPIRIT OF INGENUITY, ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND DECENCY, THIS PROVINCE WILL ALWAYS COME OUT ON TOP. WHEN YOU HAVE A GOVERNMENT THAT UNDERSTANDS THE WORKERS AND BUSINESS LEADERS OF THIS PROVINCE AND SUPPORTS THEM INSTEAD OF WORKING AGAINST THEM, THE POTENTIAL FOR SUCCESS IS UNLIMITED. PREMIER, CAN YOU SHARE WITH THE HOUSE WHAT INITIATIVES OUR GOVERNMENT IS INTRODUCING TO SUPPORT THE PEOPLE OF THIS PROVINCE AND BUILD UP ITS POTENTIAL ONCE AGAIN?

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says PEOPLE ARE HERE?

Ford says THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER, AND I WANT TO THANK THE MEMBER. MR. SPEAKER, WE'VE CREATED MORE JOBS THAN THE LIBERALS... IN JUST 18 MONTHS, THAN TO THE LIBERALS AND THE NDP HAVE CHASED OUT MUCH THIS PROVINCE. THEY CHASED OUT 300,000 IN JOBS IN A DECADE. WE CREATED 307,000. WE'RE CREATING MORE OPPORTUNITIES THAN EVER BEFORE. MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR THOSE FORGOTTEN BY THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT. WE STOPPED TAXING MINIMUM WAGE WORKERS, LOW INCOME WORKERS, SAVING THEM UP TO 850 A YEAR.

[APPLAUSE]

Ford says AND DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE SAVING 850 A YEAR, MR. SPEAKER? 1.1 MILLION PEOPLE, LOWEST INCOME FOLKS IN THE ENTIRE PROVINCE THEY'RE PAYING 0 percent TAX. WE'RE PROMOTING THE SKILLED TRADES. WE'RE CONNECTING OUR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH REWARDING CAREERS, MR. SPEAKER. WE'RE PROVIDING 1800 PLACEMENTS FOR STUDENTS THIS YEAR IN PRE-APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMMES ALONE. THAT IS UP 14 percent SINCE WE'VE TAKEN OFFICE, MR. SPEAKER.

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THE NEXT question. The member for Oshawa.

The caption changes to "Jennifer French. NDP. Oshawa."

French is in her thirties, with shoulder-length straight gray hair. She wears a blue blazer over a black blouse.

She says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. MY QUESTION IS FOR THE PREMIER. ONTARIO'S LICENSE PLATE FIASCO HAS BEEN A GLARING EXAMPLE OF WHAT CAN GO WRONG WHEN A GOVERNMENT? IN A HURRY TO MAKE A NAME FOR ITSELF BUT NOT RESPONSIBLE DECISIONS. THE PLATES REFLECT TOO MUCH AND ARE UNREADABLE. UNDER SOME CONDITION THE LETTERS AND NUMBERS DISAPPEAR AND CAN'T BE READ. TORONTO PHOTO RADAR CAN'T READ THE SMALL LETTERS IN THE WORD ONTARIO AND SPEAKER I RECEIVED A LETTER WITH A PHOTO HIGHLIGHTING YET ANOTHER ISSUE. THE PLATES CAN'T BE READ CLEARLY IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. BRIGHT SUN MAKES THEM OVER-REFLECT. IF SUNSHINE WASN'T PART OF YOUR EXHAUSTIVE TESTING, WHAT WAS? A CELLPHONE FLASH? ALL OF THIS IS ABSURD BUT MORE THAN IT IS RIDICULOUS, IT IS ABOUT SAFETY. SO HOW WILL YOU FIX THIS AND KEEP US SAFE?

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says MINISTER OF GOVERNMENT AND CONSUMER SERVICES.

The caption changes to "Honourable Lisa M. Thompson. PC. Minister of Government and Consumer Services."

Thompson is in her forties, with chin-length wavy blond hair. She wears a blue blazer and a black blouse.

She says THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SPEAKER, AND I'M PLEASED TO STAND IN THIS HOUSE TODAY AND ASSURE EVERYONE THE MEMBERS OPPOSITE, THE ONTARIANS FROM ACROSS ONE END OF THIS PROVINCE TO ANOTHER, THAT SAFETY IS A NUMBER ONE CONCERN. I CAN ALSO SHARE WITH YOU, SPEAKER, THAT I'M 100 percent COMMITTED TO VYING CONCERNS, I'M COMMITTED TO CONTINUING TO LISTEN, AND I'M COMMITTED TO GETTING THIS RIGHT. AND I'M VERY PLEASED TO SHARE WITH YOU THAT WE'RE WORKING COLLABORATIVELY WITH ALL OF OUR KEY STAKEHOLDERS, AS WELL AS 3M TO DELIVER AN ENHANCED PRODUCT IN THE COMING WEEKS. AND SPEAKER, I WANT EVERYONE IN ONTARIO TO KNOW THAT WE HAVE BEEN ASSURED BY 3M THAT THEY STAND BY THEIR PRODUCTS AND WILL DELIVER OUR ENHANCED LICENSE PLATE TO ONTARIANS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. SPEAKER, AGAIN, WE HAVE HEARD, WE CONTINUE TO LISTEN, AND WE CONTINUALLY WORK COLLABORATIVELY WITH NOT ONLY OUR KEY STAKEHOLDERS BUT WITH 3M TO GET THIS RIGHT. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION?

French says THANK YOU SPEAKER AND AGAIN TO THE PREMIER, THIS MORNING CTV REPORTED THAT THE SHINY NEW BLUE LICENSE PLATES CANNOT BE READ BY AUTOMATED LICENSE PLATE READERS AT OUR CANADIAN BORDERS. BORDER OFFICIALS ARE FORCED TO INPUT THE PLATES MANUALLY. OF WHAT IS NEXT WE HAVEN'T HAD A GOOD RAIN YET. ARE THE PLATES GOING TO DISSOLVE? STOP PUTTING MORE UNSAFE PLATES ON THE ROAD. FIRST WE UNDERSTOOD THE GOVERNMENT DESTROYED THE LEFT OVER WHITE PLATES BUT REPORTERS WERE TOLD YOU DO HAVE INVENTORY BUT JUST DON'T WANT TO USE THEM. RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT MEANS RESPONSIBLE DECISION MAKING AND THIS GOVERNMENT MAKES MISTAKES. BIG, BRANDED AND BLUE MISTAKES. ONE THING IS CLEAR, SPEAKER, AND IT ISN'T THE PLATE, WE SHOULD NOT BE PUTTING MORE STEALTH PLATES OUT ONTO THE ROAD. WHY CAN'T THIS MINISTER AND PREMIER SEE THAT THIS IS A GLARING SAFETY ISSUE?

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says MINISTER'S REPLY?

Thompson says THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SPEAKER. UNLIKE THE MEMBER OPPOSITE WHO STANDS UP TO POSITION HERSELF BASED ON ONE REPORT, WE'RE ACTUALLY WORKING COLLABORATIVELY.

[INTERJECTIONS]

The Speaker says OPPOSITION, COME TO ORDER.

Thompson says WITH REGARDS TO OUR ENHANCED PLATES. SAFETY IS A NUMBER ONE CONCERN, AND SPEAKER, I CAN TELL YOU THAT I AM REALLY, REALLY PROUD OF THE TEAM AND HOW HARD THEY'RE WORKING TO MAKE SURE THAT AS WE MOVE FORWARD WITH OUR ENHANCED LICENSE PLATES, THAT WE'RE COLLABORATING. WE'RE LISTENING. WE'RE HEARING AND WE'RE WORKING VERY WELL WITH 3M BECAUSE THEY STAND BY THEIR PRODUCT AND WE'RE STANDING WITH THEM TO DELIVER ENHANCED PLATES IN THE COMING WEEKS. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

The Speaker says THE NEXT question. The member for Don Valley West.

The caption changes to "Kathleen O. Wynne. Liberal. Don Valley West."

Wynne is in her fifties, with short curly blond hair. She wears a gray blazer, white blouse and silver necklace.

She says THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SPEAKER. MY QUESTION'S FOR THE PREMIER. EDUCATION IN ONTARIO IS IN A STATE OF CRISIS THE LIKES OF WHICH WE HAVE NOT SEEN SINCE THE LAST CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT IN THE '90S UNDER PREMIER MIKE HARRIS. THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT IS INTENT ON IMPOSING.

[INTERJECTIONS]

The Speaker says COME TO ORDER.

Wynne says FOR FUNDING, DISREGARDING THE EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE OF TEACHERS, INVESTING IN STUDENTS AND FAMILIES AND EVIDENCE FROM OTHER JURISDICTIONS. TODAY IS FOETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDER AWARENESS DAY TO THE A QUEENS PARK AND I KNOW THAT MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNMENT WILL BE EXPRESSING THEIR CONCERN FOR YOUNG PEOPLE SUFFERING FROM FASD. ACCOUNT PREMIER TELL THIS HOUSE AND THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO HOW THE POLICIES THEY'RE IMPLEMENTING WILL BENEFIT THE CHILDREN IN OUR 5,000 PUBLICLY FUNDED SCHOOLS AND PARTICULARLY HOW THEIR CUTS WILL SUPPORT VULNERABLE CHILDREN LIKE THOSE WITH FASD.

The Speaker says MINISTER OF CHILDREN, COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL SERVICES TO REPLY.

The caption changes to "Honourable Todd Smith. PC. Minister of Children, Community and Social Services."

Smith is in his late forties, balding, with a gray goatee. He wears a gray suit, white shirt, and blue plaid tie.

He says WELL, THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SPEAKER.

[APPLAUSE]

Smith says I WANT TO THANK THE MEMBER OPPOSITE FOR THAT QUESTION THIS MORNING AND I KNOW THERE ARE MEMBERS FROM THE FASD COMMUNITY WHO ARE HERE WITH US TODAY. WE WANT TO CONTINUE TO RAISE AWARENESS FOR FOETAL IT ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDER AND THE EXPERT RESEARCH THAT HAS BEEN DONE IN THIS AREA, MR. SPEAKER, THAT SHOWS THAT THERE IS NO KNOWN AMOUNT OF ALCOHOL THAT'S SAFE TO CONSUME DURING PREGNANCY, AND PING THAT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE EMPHASIZE THAT FACT, MR. SPEAKER. OUR MINISTRY, OUR GOVERNMENT IS CONTINUING TO PROVIDE SERVICES TO FAMILIES DEALING WITH FASD, AND WE'LL CONTINUE TO IMPROVE ON THOSE SERVICES EVERYDAY BUT OUR MINISTRY CONTINUES TO OFFER A JANE OF SERVICES TO FAMILIES AND CAREGIVERS AND INDIVIDUALS, COMMUNITY BASED FOETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDER WORKERS, THE INDIGENOUS FOETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDER CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAM AS WELL AS FAMILY AND CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUPS ACROSS THE PROVINCE. THIS INCLUDES IMPROVING OUTCOMES FOR CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES AFFECTED BY FASD. THERE'S MORE WE CAN DO, MR. SPEAKER AND I LOOK FORWARD TO THE SUPPLEMENTARY IN ANSWERING THAT QUESTION.

The Speaker says THE SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Wynne says THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SPEAKER, AND THE MORE THAT COULD BE DONE IS THAT THE GOVERNMENT COULD ACTUALLY IMPLEMENT THE FASD STRATEGY THAT IS ON THE BOOKS, BECAUSE WE PUT IT ON THE BOOKS, MR. SPEAKER, BUT IT HAS NOT BEEN FULLY IMPLEMENTED AND IN FACT THERE'S MUCH MORE NEEDED IN TERMS OF SUPPORT IN COMMUNITIES, SUPPORT IN SCHOOLS, AND I BOW INTRODUCED A MAEVE VAT MEMBERS BILL LAST WEEK THAT WOULD GO A LONG WAY, BUT MR. SPEAKER, INSTEAD OF DOING THAT, WHAT'S HAPPENING IS THE GOVERNMENT IS IN PITCH BATTLE WITH TEACHERS, SUPPORT STAFF ACROSS THE PROVINCE, MR. SPEAKER AND IT ALMOST SEEMS AS THOUGH THE GOVERNMENT WANTS TO HAVE A FULL-OUT WAR SO THAT THEY CAN THEN HAVE THE EDUCATION RELATIONS COMMISSION DECLARE THAT STUDENTS' YEAR IS AT RISK AND THEY CAN BRING IN BACK TO WORK LEGISLATION, WHICH SHOULD BE A LAST RESORT.

[INTERJECTIONS]

The Speaker says ORDER.

Wynne says MR. SPEAKER, IS THAT THE PLAN THAT TO THE GOVERNMENT HAS PUT IN PLACE...

The Speaker says ORDER. QUESTION!

Wynne says INCLUDING STUDENTS WITH FASD THAT TO THE GOVERNMENT WANTS...

The Speaker says STOP TO THE CLOCK. I STOPPED THE CLOCK. BOTH SIDES OF THE HOUSE WERE INTERRUPTING THE MEMBER FOR DON VALLEY BEST AND I COULDN'T HEAR THE QUESTION. SO I'M GOING TO START THE CLOCK AGAIN AND ALLOW THE NOBODY RESTATE HER QUESTION IF SHE CHOSE TO DO SO.

Wynne says THE QUESTION WAS IN LIGHT OF THE FACT THAT STUDENTS ACROSS THE PROVINCE NEED SUPPORT, PARTICULARLY VULNERABLE KIDS LIKE KIDS WITH FASD, IS TO THE PLAN OF THE GOVERNMENT TO WAIT UNTIL THE EDUCATION RELATIONS COMMISSION DECLARES THAT STUDENTS' YEAR'S AT RISK AND LEGISLATES TEACHERS BACK TO WORK. SELF THAT THE PLAN THAT TO THE GOVERNMENT IS PUTTING IN PLACE?

The Speaker says THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

[INTERJECTIONS]

The Speaker says ORDER! MINISTER OF EDUCATION, REPLY.

Lecce says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. THERE IS A LITTLE BIT IRONY IN THE QUESTION FROM THE MEMBER OPPOSITE, HOWEVER...

[APPLAUSE]

Lecce says SPEAKER LET ME TELL YOU WHAT THE PLAN IS. IT'S TO GET A DEAL THAT KEEPS KIDS IN THIS PROVINCE IN CLASS. THAT'S WHAT WE'RE NEGOTIATING AT THE TABLE. AND WHAT WE SEEK TO DO, UNLIKE THE FORMER LIBERAL GOVERNMENT WHO CON SENTED TO PROVIDE 100 percent OF HIRING PREDICATED ON SENIORITY UNION, WE ARE FIGHTING TO ENSURE QUALIFICATION, MERIT AND DIVERSITY LEADS THE WAY. IN THIS NEXT, SPEAKER, WE'RE PROTECTING FULL DAY KINDERGARTEN. COMMITTED TO KEEPING CLASSROOM SIZES LOW. IN THIS NEXT, WE'RE ALSO ENSURING HISTORIC INVESTMENTS FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION. SPEAKER WE HAVE TO MAKE CHOICES AND THIS GOVERNMENT EVERY DAY WILL CHOOSE INVESTMENT IN STUDENTS OVER COMPENSATION, THAT'S THE MISSION OF THE GOVERNMENT, WE WANT A DEAL THAT KEEPS KIDS IN CLASS...

[APPLAUSE]

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says THANK YOU, THE NEXT question. The member for BARRIE INNISFIL.

The caption changes to "Andrea Khanjin. PC. Barrie-Innisfil."

Khanjin is in her early thirties, with long wavy brown hair. She wears a black dress.

She says THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MY QUESTION IS FOR THE MINISTER OF HEALTH. MINISTER, PEOPLE IN COMMUNITIES ALL ACROSS ONTARIO HAVE BEEN STRUGGLING TO NAVIGATE ONTARIO'S MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION SYSTEM FOR YEARS. PREVIOUS GOVERNMENTS HAVE SIMPLY FAILED TO ADDRESS THE LACK OF CONSIDER NATION AND BEST PRACTICES THAT HAVE LED TO COORDINATION AND AVAILABILITY OF SERVICES ACROSS THIS PROVINCE. BUT MR. SPEAKER, THERE IS HOPE. ONTARIANS ELECTED A GOVERNMENT THAT FULLY RECOGNIZES THAT MENTAL HEALTH IS HEALTH. WE HAVE MADE HISTORIC INVESTMENTS AND I WANTED TO ASK THE MINISTER IF SHE COULD UPDATE THIS HOUSE AND THE LEGISLATURE ON THE ACTIONS OUR GOVERNMENT HAS TAKEN TO HELP THOSE STRUGGLING WITH MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS.

The Speaker says DEPUTY PREMIER, MINISTER OF HEALTH.

The caption changes to "Honourable Christine Elliott. PC. Minister of Health."

Elliott is in her late fifties, with long blond hair. She wears a black leather jacket over a printed black and white dress.

She says THANK YOU, SPEAKER AND THANK YOU TO THE MEMBER FOR BARRIE-INNISFIL FOR HER QUESTION. LAST WEEK WE FORMALLY ESTABLISHED A NEW MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS SENT TEMP EXCELLENCE WITHIN ONTARIO HEALTH. THE CENTRE WILL PLAY A KEY ROLE IN SUPPORTING OUR EFFORTS TO BUILD A MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS SYSTEM THAT ALL ONTARIANS CAN BE PROUD OF AND CAN USE. WILL ACT AS A CENTRAL POINT MUCH OVERSIGHT FOR MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS CARE, MONITORING THE QUALITY AND DELIVERY OF EVIDENCE-BASED SERVICES. THE CENTRE WILL ALSO PROVIDE SUPPORT AND RESOURCES TO ONTARIO HEALTH TEAMS AS THEY FULFIL THEIR ROLE IN DELIVERING AIR AND HELPING PATIENTS NAVIGATE THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THAT ANY GOVERNMENT HAS UNDERTAKEN THE HARD WORK NECESSARY TO TRANSFORM ONTARIO'S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM SO THAT MENTAL HEALTH AM AND ADDICTION SERVICES ARE CONCERNEDDED BEING AS IMPORTANT AS PHYSICAL HEALTH SERVICES.

The Speaker says RESPOND.

Elliott says WORKING WITH A NEW CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE, WE WILL CONTINUE TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY AND DELIVERY OF MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS SERVICES ACROSS ONTARIO AS WE ROLE OUT OUR MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS PLAN.

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Khanjin says THANK YOU, MINISTER FOR YOUR RESPONSE, AND YOUR LEADERSHIP ON THE FILE. MR. SPEAKER, IT IS CLEAR THAT OUR GOVERNMENT HAS WORKED TO MAKE CLEAR, HISTORIC REAL ACTIONS ON MENTAL.HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS SERVICES ALL ACROSS OUR PROVINCE TO HELP THOSE WHO FACE CHALLENGES. FROM FRANCOPHONE COMMUNITIES TO THOSE LIVING IN RURAL AND REMOTE COMMUNITIES IN FIRST NATIONS TO INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES AND MANY COMMUNITIES THAT HAVE DIVERSE NEEDS WHEN IT COMES TO HEALTH CARE, OUR GOVERNMENT IS TAKING ACTION. I AM PROUD TO BE PART MUCH A GOVERNMENT OF THAT HAS A CLEAR COMMITMENT TO HELP THOSE IN CHALLENGED COMMUNITIES WHEN IT COMES TO INVESTMENT IN MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS SERVICES. I WANTED TO ASK THE MINISTER IF THEY CAN CONTINUOUSLY UPDATE IN HOUSE ON INVESTMENTS WE'VE AHEAD TO MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS AND HOW WE'RE CONSULTING WITH ALL KEY COMMUNITIES TO CONSULT ON THE NEXT STEPS IMPROVING OUR SERVICES IN MENTAL HEALTH.

The Speaker says THE ASSOCIATE MINISTER OF MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION.

The caption changes to "Honourable Michael A. Tibollo. Associate Minister of Mental Health and addictions."

Tibollo is in his late fifties, clean-shaven and balding. He wears a gray suit, white shirt, and striped blue tie.

He says THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER AND I WANT TO THANK THE MEMBER FOR THAT EXCELLENT QUESTION, AS WELL. AS WE DEVELOP OUR MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION PLAN, WE'RE CONSULTING WITH A WIDE VARIETY OF COMMUNITIES AND STAKEHOLDERS. NO GOVERNMENT HAS EVER ATTEMPTED THIS KIND OF COMPREHENSIVE REFORM BEFORE AND AS WE LISTEN THOSE STRUGGLING WITH MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION, WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE GET THIS RIGHT. WE'RE ALSO TAKING ACTION NOW TIME PROVE SERVICES FOR COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE PROVINCE. RECENTLY, I WAS PROUD TO STAND ALONGSIDE THE THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND THE MINISTER OF COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES TO ANNOUNCE AN INVEST OF 1.2 MILLION DOLLARS TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO CULTURALLY APPROPRIATE MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION SERVICES ACROSS SEVERAL INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES. OUR GOVERNMENT, MR. SPEAKER, IS COMMITTED TO IMPROVING SERVICES AND MAKING SURE THAT EVERY ONTARIAN GETS THE CARE THEY NEED WHERE AND WHEN THEY NEED IT. WE KNOW THAT MORE WORK NEEDS TO BE DONE, MR. SPEAKER, BUT IT'S ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL TO MAKE THESE INVESTMENTS AS WE CONTINUE WORKING TO NEEDFULLY IMPROVE THESE SERVICES AS WE FINALIZE OUR MENTALITY HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS STRATEGY. THANK YOU.

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says NEXT question. The member for Essex.

The caption changes to "Taras Natyshak. NDP. Essex."

Natyshak is in his late thirties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair. He wears a gray suit, white shirt, and checkered gray tie.

He says THANK YOU VERY MUCH, SPEAKER. MY QUESTION IS ABOUT FREEDOM OF THE PRESS AND THE ETHICAL AND DEMOCRATIC STANDARDS SET FORTH BY THE PREMIER. SPEAKER, PEOPLE FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY WERE APPALLED THIS WEEKEND AS THEY WATCHED SECURITY GUARDS LITERALLY BLOCK CBC'S MIKE CROWLEY WHILE HE WAS FILING A REPORT ABOUT THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE CONVENTION. THE PREMIER'S PARTY SCRAMBLED TO DISTANCE THEMSELVES FROM THE INCIDENT BUT SECURITY COMPANY WAS CLEAR. THEIR ORDERS CAME DIRECTLY FROM THE P.C. PARTY.

The Speaker says I INTERRUPT THE MEMBER. I'M GOING TO GIVE THE MEMBER AN OPPORTUNITY TO REPHRASE THE QUESTION. SO FAR I HAVEN'T HEARD A QUESTION ABOUT GOVERNMENT POLICY.

Natyshak says WHY EXACTLY IS THE PREMIER AND HIS PARTY SENDING SECURITY FORCES OUT TO HARASS REPORTERS WHEN THEY'RE TRYING TO FILE THEIR...

[INTERJECTIONS]

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says I APPRECIATE THAT, BUT THE QUESTION DOES NOT SATISFY THE TEST OF BEING QUESTION ABOUT GOVERNMENT POLICY. THERE'S NO POINT OF ORDER.

[INTERJECTIONS]

The Speaker says THE MEMBER WILL TAKE HIS SEAT. THE NEXT question. The member for Guelph.

The caption changes to "Mike Schreiner. Green. Guelph."

Schreiner is in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair. He wears glasses, a gray suit, white shirt, and striped green tie.

He says THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER, AND MY QUESTION IS FOR THE PREMIER. THE PREMIER LIKES TO CRITICIZE THE MATH OF OTHER OPPOSITION PARTIES SO I WANT TO TAKE A MOMENT TO LOOK AT THE PREMIER'S MATH. SPEAKER, THIS MIGHT BE THE FIRST GOVERNMENT IN ONTARIO HISTORY TO ACTUALLY SPEND MORE ON EDUCATION WHILE STUDENTS ACTUALLY GET LESS. THE PREMIER AND THE EDUCATION MINISTER TALK ABOUT A 11.2 BILLION DOLLAR INCREASE TO FUNDING FOR EDUCATION THAT THEY SAY IS GOING INTO CLASSROOMS BUT PUBLIC ESTIMATES CONFIRM THAT PER STUDENT BE FUNDING IS ACTUALLY GOING DOWN IN ONTARIO. SPEAKER, CAN THE PREMIER EXPLAIN HOW ON EARTH HIS GOVERNMENT CAN SPEND MORE MONEY ON EDUCATION WHILE STUDENTS ARE GETTING LESS?

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION.

Lecce says MR. SPEAKER WHAT THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS CONFIRMS IS THIS GOVERNMENT IS SPENDING MORE AND PROVIDING MORE FOR SCHOOL BOARDS IN THIS PROVINCE OVER 24 BILLION DOLLARS TO SCHOOL BOARDS IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO. WHAT THE RECORD WILL SHOW IS THAT WE MORE THAN DOUBLED MENTAL HEALTH FUNDING AND INCREASED TRANSPORTATION, SPECIAL EDUCATION, INDIGENOUS EDUCATION TO THE HIGHEST LEVELS EVER RECORDED IN ONTARIO HISTORY BUT SPEAKER IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT INVESTMENT. WE INVESTED... INCREASED INVESTMENT BY 60 percent SINCE 2004 AND YET WE STILL HAVE MORE THAN HALF OF OUR KIDS FAILING MATH IN THIS PROVINCE IN GRADE SIX. WE NOT ONLY HAVE TO INVEST MORE, SPEAKER, WE NEED A COMMITMENT TO IMPROVE THE SYSTEM, DELIVER ACCOUNTABLE AND ENSURE RESULTS FOR HARD EARNING TAXPAYERS IN THIS PROVINCE. THAT'S WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO ACHIEVE IN NEXT, A GOOD DEAL FOR KIDS THAT SEE MORE MONEY FLOWING INTO THEM, NOT THE 80 CENTS A DOLLAR COMPENSATION...

The Speaker says RESPONSE.

Lecce says AND IN THEIR FUTURE, SPEAKER.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTIONS.

Schreiner says SPEAKER NO ONE IS BUYING THE MINISTER'S SPIN ON THIS BECAUSE THERE'S CLEARLY A DISCONNECT BETWEEN WHAT THE MINISTER IS SAYING AND WHAT THE ESTIMATES SAY. AND PARENTS GET IT. ON FRIDAY A SPOKE WITH A NUMBER OF PARENTS WHO ARE HERE AT QUEENS PARK, SUPPORTING EDUCATORS. THEY TOLD ME THEY DO NOT WANT TO SEE CLASS SIZE INCREASES. THEY DO NOT WANT TO SEE MANDATORY E-LEARNING, AND THEY ESPECIALLY DO NOT WANT TO SEE PER STUDENT FUNDING GO DOWN. THEY OPPOSED THIS CUT. SO SPEAKER, WILL THE PREMIER, WILL THE EDUCATION MINISTER LISTEN TO PARENTS, LISTEN TO STUDENTS AND REVERSE THEIR CUTS COULD TO PER STUDENT FUNDING?

THE SPEAKER SAYS MINISTER.

Lecce says MR. SPEAKER, OUR GOVERNMENT IS INVESTING MORE IN PUBLIC EDUCATION, HEALTH CARE AND THE SOCIAL SERVICES THAT ARE CONSEQUENTIAL TO THE LIVES OF EVERYDAY WORKING PEOPLE IN THIS PROVINCE. THAT IS WHAT WE'RE DOING AND WE'RE DOING THAT, SPEAKER, WHILE KEEPING TAXES LOW. WE'RE DOING THAT WHILE ENSURING AFFORDABILITY IS THE CORNERSTONE OF THIS GOVERNMENT'S POLITICAL MANDATE. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY WHEN IT COMES TO OUR KIDS IS GIVING THEM THE SKILLS TO BE JOB READY TO UNLEASH THE FULL POTENTIAL OF THE INCREDIBLE INGENUITY OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE AND DIVERSITY IN THIS PROVINCE. IT'S ABOUT ENSURING A GREAT ESCHE RETURN ON INVESTMENTMENT WE'RE SPENDING MORE ON EDUCATION BUT NOT GETTING MORE IN EDUCATION AND I THINK PARENTS WANT THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DAY.

The Speaker says ORDER.

Lecce says TO STAND FIRM FOR A HIGHER RETURN ON INVESTMENT THAT SEES THEIR CHILD SUCCEEDING IN LIFE AND GETTING JOBS OF THE FUTURE, SPEAKER.

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says THE NEXT question. The member for Brantford-Brant.

The caption changes to "Will Bouma. PC. Brantford-Brant."

Bouma is in his early forties, clean-shaven, with short blond hair. He wears glasses, a gray suit, white shirt, and striped yellow tie.

He says THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. MR. SPEAKER, MY QUESTION IS FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. I HEAR FROM CONSTITUENT ALL THE TIME WHO HAVE INTERACTED WITH A SYSTEM AND ASKED WHY THEIR EXPERIENCE COULD NOT HAVE BEEN EASIER, FASTER, AND MORE AFFORDABLE. THEY OFTEN WONDER WHY THEY NEED TO HIRE SOMEONE JUST TO MANAGE MATTERS THAT SEEMS SIMPLE ONLY TO FIND OUT JUST HOW COMPLEXION AND OUTDATED OUR COURT SYSTEM. MR. SPEAKER, CAN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TELL US WHAT OUR GOVERNMENT IS DOING TO IMPROVE AND MODERNIZE THE WAY OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM OPERATES, TO MAKE IT SIMPLER, TO MAKE IT FASTER, AND TO MAKE IT MORE AFFORDABLE FOR PEOPLE TO ACCESS JUSTICE IN THIS PROVINCE. THANK YOU.

The Speaker says THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.

The caption changes to "Honourable Doug Downey. PC. Attorney General."

Downey is in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair. He wears a blue suit, white shirt, and spotted blue tie.

He says THANK YOU TO THE PHENOMENAL MEMBER FROM BRANTFORD BRANT, A MAN OF GREAT STATURE. THANK YOU FOR THE QUESTION. AND MR. SPEAKER, THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT WE HAVE INHERITED A BADLY NEGLECTED AND COMPLICATED JUSTICE SYSTEM. WE'VE HEARD LOUD AND CLEAR FROM PEOPLE ACROSS ONTARIO THAT THE JUSTICE SYSTEMS THAT GROWN TOO COMPLEX, IT'S OUTDATED AND NEEDS TO BETTER SUPPORT THE GROWTH OF OUR COMMUNITIES AND MAKE OUR COMMUNITIES SAFER WHILE STANDING UP FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME IS LAW ABIDING CITIZENS. THAT'S WHY I WAS PROUD TO TABLE A SMARTER AND STRONGER JUSTICE IN FACT THIS HOUSE, A BILL THAT PROPOSES 20 SMART AND SENSIBLE TREATMENT WILL MAKE ONTARIO'S JUSTICE SYSTEM MORE AVAILABLE, MORE AFFORDABLE, AND BETTER FOR CONSUMER, BUSINESSES, AND IT WILL MAKE OUR COMMUNITIES SAFER, MR. SPEAKER. ALL WHILE WE'RE GETTING TOUGHER ON CRIME TO ENSURE THAT CRIMINALS ARE NOT PROFITING FROM THEIR ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES.

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Bouma says MR. SPEAKER, I'D LIKE TO THANK THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THAT ANSWER AND I THINK THAT WE CAN ALL AGREE THAT CRIME SHOULD NOT PAY. WHEN THE CIVIL REMEDIES IT ACT WAS FIRST CREATEDDED IN 2001 BY THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT OF THE DAY IT WAS AN INNOVATIVE CRIME FIGHTING PIECE OF LEGISLATION CREATED TO AND SUCCESSFUL IN DETERRING UNLAWFUL ACTIVITY. THIS ACT ALLOWS POLICE TO SEIZE FUNDS USED FROM OR GAINED FROM ILLEGAL AND CRIMINAL ACTIVITY AND REDIRECT IT INTO THE HANDS OF VICTIMS AND POLICE PROGRAMMES THAT FIGHT CRIME. UNFORTUNATELY, MR. SPEAKER, WHILE ONTARIO WAS ONCE AT THE FOR FRONT OF CIVIL FORFEITURE RULES OUR PROVINCE NOW LAGS FAR BEHIND OTHER JURISDICTIONS THAT HAVE UPDATED THEIR FORFEITURE LAWS. CRIMINALS HAVE IT TAKEN NOTICE, MR. SPEAKER. CAN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TELL THIS HOUSE WHAT HE'S DOING ADDRESS THIS GROWING PROBLEM?

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.

Downey says THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. THE MEMBER'S ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. OUR PROVINCE'S CIVIL FORFEITURE LAWS, ALONG WITH OUR ENTIRE JUSTICE SYSTEM WERE NEGLECTED FOR 15 YEARS BY THE LIBERAL GOVERNMENT BEFORE US. THEY WERE MORE FOCUSED ON HELPING THEIR LIBERAL FRIENDS THAN THEY WERE IN FIXING THE SYSTEM, THEY LET IT DECAY AND ROT, MR. SPEAKER, AND WE'RE HERE TO FIX THIS. THIS IS THE FIRST GOVERNMENT, MR. SPEAKER TO TAKE ON THE IMPORTANT WORK OF MODERNIZING OUR LAWS AROUND CIVIL FORFEITURE SO ONTARIO CAN SUPPORT THE VICTIMS AND THE FRONT LINE POLICE OFFICERS WHO DO THE HARD WORK, MR. SPEAKER. WE'RE GOING TO MAKE IT HARDER FOR KANSAS CITY ROYALS HOLD ONTO THEIR PROCEEDS FOR CRIME, VICTIMIZING OUR YOUNG PEOPLE. THE SMARTER AND STRONGER JUSTICE ACT IF PASSED WILL SIMPLIFY THE PROCEDURE TO SEIZE THE PROCEEDS OF CRIME, ALLOW THE FUNDS TO BE REDIRECTED FASTER AND MORE EFFICIENTLY TO THE VICTIMS AND SUPPORT PROGRAMMES THAT THEY NEED, WHEN AND WHERE THEY NEED IT THE MOST. THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER.

The Speaker says says NEXT question. The member for Nickel Belt.

The caption changes to "France Gélinas. NDP. Nickel Belt."

Gélinas is in her forties, with short straight blond hair and bangs. She wears a striped black and gray dress, and a pearl necklace.

She says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. TODAY WE LEARNED THAT THE HUMAN RIGHTS HUMAN RIGHTS TRIBUNAL HAS ISSUED AN HISTORIC WIN FOR THE MIDWIVES OF THE THEY HAVE ORDERED A CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT TO END ITS GENDER DISCRIMINATION POLICY AGAINST MIDWIVES. IT IS SHAMEFUL THAT MIDWIVES, A PROFESSION DOMINATED BY WOMEN, ARE NOT FAIRLY COMPENSATED DESPITE THE FACT THAT THEY ARE PRIMARY KERO AVOIDERS, THEY EXPERTLY GUIDE PEOPLE THROUGH THEIR PREGNANCY, LABOUR, DELIVERY IN THE FIRST SIX WEEKS OF A NEW BORN... IT IS THE 21ST CENTURY. WOMEN SHOULD NOT HAVE TO FIGHT TO PROVE THAT THEY DESERVE EQUAL PAY, BUT THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT THE MIDWIFE HAS HAD TO DO UNDER THE LIBERAL GOVERNMENT FOR CLOSE TO A DECADE. IT'S TIME CONTINUED TO GENDER DISCRIMINATION AND IT'S LONG OVERDUE. WILL THE PREMIER IMPLEMENT THE HUMAN RIGHTS TRIBUNAL ORDER TO FAIRLY COMPENSATE ALL OUR MIDWIVES?

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says THE ATTORNEY GENERAL?

Downey says THANK YOU MR. SPEAKER AND I THANK THE MEMBER FOR NICKEL BELT. OUR GOVERNMENT VALUES THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF ONTARIO'S MIDWIVES AND PROVIDE SAFE AND ACCESSIBLE 24-7 CARE FOR ALL ONTARIO FAMILIES. WE ARE REVIEWING THE DECISION ONTARIO HAS APPLIED FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW OF THE TRIBUNAL'S DECISION AND AS THE MATTER IS NOW BEFORE THE TRIBUNAL, IT WOULD BE INAPPROPRIATE FOR ME TO COMMENT FURTHER. THANK YOU MR. SPEAKER.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION. The member for London West.

The caption changes to "Peggy Sattler. NDP. London West."

Sattler is in her late fifties, with short wavy blond hair in a bob. She wears glasses, a gray plaid blazer over a black shirt, and a silver pendant necklace.

She says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. SPEAKER, FOR YEARS THE LIBERALS MADE A SHOW ABOUT CLOSING THE GENDER WAGE GAP WHILE AT THE SAME TIME SADDLING WITH MIDWIVES IN COURT SO THEY COULD ABE VOID PAYING THEM FAIRLY. MIDWIVES HAVE TO FIGHT THE LIBERAL GOVERNMENT TOOTH AND NAIL TO WIN THE RIGHT TO FAIR COMPENSATION. NOW RATHER THAN AWARDING THESE VITAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS THE COMPENSATION THEY DESERVE THIS CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT IS PLANNING MORE UNNECESSARY AND COSTLY LEGAL PROCEEDINGS AGAINST MIDWIVES. SPEAKER, INSTEAD OF COMPENSATING MIDWIVES FAIRLY BY IMMEDIATELY IMPLEMENTING THE PRESUME RIGHTS TRIBUNAL BORDER, WHY IS THIS CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT SO DETERMINED TO DO EXACTLY WHAT THE LIBERALS DID?

The Speaker says ATTORNEY GENERAL.

Downey says THANK YOU MR. SPEAKER. SINCE DAY ONE OUR GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN ABSOLUTELY CLEAR, AND WE WON'T APOLOGIZE FOR THIS, WE'RE DOING EVERYTHING WE CAN TO MAKE LIFE AFFORDABLE FOR ONTARIANS WHILE AT THE SAME TIME RESPECTING THE FANTASTIC WORK THAT MIDWIVES DO ACROSS ONTARIO TO PROTECT OUR FAMILIES AND PROMOTE GOOD HEALTH. BUT AS I MENTIONED, IT IS IN FRONT OF THE TRIBUNAL, MR. SPEAKER, AND WE'RE REVIEWING OUR DECISION I HOPE TO HAVE MORE TO SAY IN THE DAYS TO COME. THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER.

The Speaker says THE NEXT question. The member for Mississauga-Streetsville.

The caption changes to "Nina Tangri. PC. Mississauga-Streetsville."

Tangri is in her forties, with wavy dark hair. She wears a purple suit and a white shirt.

She says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. MY QUESTION IS TO THE MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE. LAST SUMMER THE HONOURABLE EILEEN E.GALESE, COMMISSIONER OF THE PUBLIC INQUIRY INTO THE SAFETY AND SECURITY OF RESIDENTS IN THE LONG-TERM CARE HOME SYSTEM, RELEASED HER FINAL REPORT. THE REPORT INCLUDED A NUMBER OF RECOMMENDATIONS ACROSS SEVERAL MINISTRIES TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF LONG-TERM HOME RESIDENTS. AT THE SAME TIME YOU COMMITTED TO REVIEWING THE RECOMMENDATIONS THOROUGHLY AND WORKING ACROSS MINISTRIES TO TAKE SWIFT ACTION. COULD THE MINISTER PLEASE SHARE THE ACTIONS OUR GOVERNMENT HAS TAKEN TO ADDRESS JUSTICE GALISE'S RECOMMENDATIONS TO STRENGTHEN LONG TERM CARE.

The Speaker says MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE.

The caption changes to "Honourable Merrilee Fullerton. PC. Minister of Long-Term Care."

Fullerton is in her forties, with long wavy blond hair and bangs. She wears a green blazer and a black shirt.

She says THANK YOU, SPEAKER, AND THANK YOU TO THE MEMBER FOR MISSISSAUGA MISSISSAUGA-STREETSVILLE FOR THAT IMPORTANT QUESTION AND FOR THEIR GREAT WORK ON BEHALF OF THE CONSTITUENT IN THE RIDING. I'M PLEASED TO REPORT THAT OUR GOVERNMENT HAS COMPLETED 18 OF JUSTICE SCALISE'S RECOMMENDATIONS WITH 40 OTHERS UNDERWAY, ACTING ON SEVERAL KEY RECOMMENDATIONS ON MEDICATION SAFETY I HAVE ISSUED A DIRECTIVE TO THE SECTOR ON GLUCOGON AND HYPOGLYCEMIA. IT PUTS IN PLACE BEST PRACTICES FOR SAFE INSULIN POLICY, INCLUDING CLEAR EXPECTATIONS FOR STAFF TRAINING AND THE REPORTING OF INSULIN-RELATED MEDICATION INCIDENTS. LONG-TERM CARE HOMES WILL BE REQUIRED TO FOLLOW CLEAR, PROACTIVE GUIDELINES FOR TRACKING MEDICATION INCIDENTS AND IDENTIFYING RECURRING STAFF COMPLIANCE ISSUES. ADDRESSING THE PUBLIC INQUIRY HAS GIVEN OUR GOVERNMENT AN OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE ACCOUNT OF ONTARIO'S LONG-TERM CARE SYSTEMS, SO THAT WEEKEND SURE IT MEETS THE STANDARD ONTARIANS DESERVE. THANK YOU, SPEAKER.

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION?

Tangri says THANK YOU, SPEAKER, AND THANK YOU TO THE MINISTER FOR THAT ENCOURAGING UPDATE. I THINK ALL OF US ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE CAN SEE THE BENEFIT OF THESE CHANGES FOR THE SAFETY AND WELL BEING OF LOVED ONES. PROPER LONG-TERM CARE STAFFING IS ALSO CRUCIAL FOR ENSURING THEIR SAFETY AND MEETING THEIR HEALTH CARE NEEDS, BUT THE SECTOR IS FACING REAL CHALLENGES WHEN IT COMES IT RECRUITING AND RETAINING PERSONAL SUPPORT WORKERS, NURSES AND OTHER CARE STAFF. IT WAS ACKNOWLEDGED IN THE PUBLIC INQUIRY THAT THERE WAS A SHORTAGE PROVINCE-WIDE OF PEOPLE TO FILL THESE REWARDING, IN DEMAND JOBS. COULD THE MINISTER PLEASE SPEAK TO THE STEPS SHE'S TAKING TO ADDRESS JUSTICE SCALISE'S RECOMMENDATIONS ON STAFFING?

[APPLAUSE]

Fullerton says THANK YOU, SPEAKER AND THANK YOU AGAIN TO THE MEMBER FOR THE QUESTION. AS A FAMILY DOCTOR FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS I KNOW FIRST HAND THAT PERSONAL SUPPORT WORKERS, REGISTERED NURSES AND OTHER FRONT LINE STAFF ARE THE BACKBONE OF LONG-TERM CARE. SO RECENTLY WAS HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE THE LAUNCH OF A LONG-TERM CARE STAFFING STUDY LED BY AN EXPERT EXTERNAL ADVISORY GROUP. IT WILL HELP INFORM A COMPREHENSIVE STAFFING STRATEGY THAT WE WILL BE DEVELOPING AND IMPLEMENTING BY THE END OF 2020. PART OF THE STUDY WILL FULFIL JUSTICE SCALIS'S RECOMMENDATION TO DETERMINE ADEQUATE LEVELS OF REGISTERED STAFF. THE STUDY WILL ALSO IDENTIFY HOW WE CAN HELP THE SECTOR TO IMPROVE STAFFING AND RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION. THIS IMPORTANT STEP WILL GIVE OUR GOVERNMENT THE INSITE THAT WE NEED TO EN SIR THE SUSTAINABILITY, SAFETY AND HIGH QUALITY CARE FOR OUR GROWING AND AGING POPULATION IN ONTARIO. THANK YOU, SPEAKER.

[APPLAUSE]

The caption changes to "Honourable Ted Arnott. Speaker."

The Speaker says THE NEXT question. The member for University-Rosedale.

The caption changes to "Jessica Bell. NDP. University-Rosedale."

Bell is in her late thirties, with shoulder-length wavy brown hair. She wears a gray blazer over a black shirt, and a silver necklace.

She says THANK YOU, SPEAKER, I WANT TO TALK TODAY ABOUT PARENTS IN MY RIDING LIKE NICOLES WHOING AC-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER MEDICALLY FRAGILE. NICOLE'S DAUGHTER ATTENDS THE BEVERLY SCHOOL AND MY RIDING WHERE CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL AND PHYSICAL DISABILITIES WORK WITH SKILLED EDUCATORS BUT NICOLE IS TERRIFIED IT THAT DUE TO THIS GOVERNMENT'S CUTS, CHILDREN LIKE HER DAUGHTER WON'T BE ABLE TO GET THE ATTENTION THEY NEED TO LEARN AND THRIVE. IN WE ARE WORDS, LEARNING IS DIFFICULT FOR EVERYONE. IF TEACHERS DON'T HAVE THE RESOURCES AND TRAINING THEY NEED TO SUPPORT CHILDREN LIKE MY DAUGHTER, KIDS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS WILL LOSE THEIR RIGHT TO EDUCATION. SPEAKER, HOW ACCOUNT PREMIER JUSTIFY HIS EDUCATION CUTS AND ITS IMPACT ON FAMILIES LIKE NICOLE?

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says MINISTER OF EDUCATION TO REPLY.

Lecce says THANK YOU, SPEAKER AND THANK YOU TO THE MEMBER OPPOSITE FOR THE QUESTION. OBVIOUSLY FOR NICOLE AND FOR ALL PARENTS AND CHILDREN IN THIS PROVINCE, WE ARE COMMITTED TO ENSURING INVESTMENTS CONTINUE TO FLOW IN THE FRONT OF CLASS WHEN IT COMES TO SPECIAL EDUCATION, TO SUPPORT THE MOST VULNERABLE KIDS IN OUR SCHOOLS, AND SPEAKER, HOW ARE WE DOING THAT? IN THE MOST RECENT NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT WITH CUPE WHERE WE NEGOTIATED A DEAL, A VOLUNTARY AGREEMENT RATIFIED BY THE UNION, HUNDREDS OF NEW AIDS ARE BEING HIRED IN CLASSROOMS RIGHT ACROSS ONTARIO THAT'S GOING TO HELP IMPROVE...

The Speaker says ORDER.

[CLAPPING]

Lecce says .3.1 IN SPECIAL EDUCATION, THE HIGHEST INVESTMENT EVER RECORDED IN THE HISTORY OF ONTARIO, AND MR. SPEAKER, WE HAVE DOUBLED IT THE MENTAL HEALTH PORTFOLIO, 180 PSYCHOLOGISTS AND PSYCHOTHERAPISTS IN HIGH SCHOOLS, MAKING MENTAL HEALTH AND SPECIAL EDUCATION...

The Speaker says RESPOND.

Lecce says MR. SPEAKER WE'RE ABSOLUTELY COMMITTED TO ENSURING THOSE KIDS HAVE DUGOUT, RESPECT AND THE RESOURCES THEY NEED TO SUCCEED.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Bell says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. I WANT TO ALSO SHARE COMMENTS FROM ANOTHER PARENTS. CARLEY HAS A DAUGHTER AT KENSINGTON COMMUNITY SCHOOL IN UNIVERSITY-ROSEDALE. BECAUSE OF THIS GOVERNMENT'S CUTS, THE SCHOOL HAS HAD TO LAYOFF SEVERAL EDUCATORS AND WAS FORCED TO CANCEL THEIR MANDARIN LANGUAGE PROGRAMME. CARLEY'S DAUGHTER LOVED LEARNING A LANGUAGE. WHEN IT COMES TO THIS GOVERNMENT'S CUTS TO EDUCATION CARLEY SAYS I'M HEART BROKEN AND FURIOUS. SPEAKER HOW CAN THE PREMIER DEFEND TAKING IT OPPORTUNITIES AWAY FROM CHILDREN WHO WANT TO LEARN?

The Speaker says MINISTER?

Lecce says WELL, MR. SPEAKER, IN FACT IN THE CONTEXT OF OUR OFFICIAL LANGUAGES IN THIS NATION IT'S THIS GOVERNMENT AND THE LEADERSHIP OF THIS PEOPLE ARE HERE IN IS INVEST ISING MORE IN FRENCH LANGUAGE EDUCATION AN ANY GOVERNMENT IN THE HISTORY OF ONTARIO AND WE'RE PROUD OF THAT.

[APPLAUSE]

Lecce says PROUD OF ENSURING YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE THE COMPETENCIES OF LANGUAGE TO APPLY IN THE MARKETPLACE, BUT MR. SPEAKER, MORE BROADLY.

[INTERJECTIONS]

The Speaker says ORDER.

Lecce says MAINTAINING HISTORIC INVESTMENTS WITH SPEC ED, KEEPING CLASS SIZES LOW AND ENSURING THE HIRING IS PREMISED ON MERIT. THOSE ARE OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES IN THIS NEXT, AND IT STARTS, SPEAKER WITH ENSURING THE KIDS REMAIN IN A POSITIVE AND SAFE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT.

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says NEXT question. The member for Parry SOUND MUSKOKA.

The caption changes to "Norman Miller. PC. Parry-Sound-Muskoka."

Miller is in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair. He wears a gray suit, white shirt, and striped tie.

He says THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. MY QUESTION TODAY IS FOR THE MINISTER OF HEALTH. IPSOS RECENTLY CONDUCTED A POLE IN THE IMPORTANCE OF MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH. NOT SURPRISINGLY, ONTARIANS FIRMLY BELIEVE, AS DOES THIS GOVERNMENT THAT MORE SHOULD BE DONE TO IMPROVE THE ACCESS THAT CHILDREN AND YOUTH HAVE TO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES. THIS INCLUDES REDUCING WAIT TIMES ACROSS THE PROVINCE. MINISTER, WE'VE ACTED TO ESTABLISH THE MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE WITHIN ONTARIO HEALTH AND A MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS PLAN IS ALSO ON THE WAY. COULD YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN TO THE MEMBERS OF THIS LEGISLATURE HOW THE CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE CAN ADDRESS THE BARRIERS THAT YOUTH FACE WHEN TRYING TO ACCESS MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES?

The Speaker says DEPUTY PREMIER AND MINISTER OF HEALTH.

Elliott says THANK YOU, SPEAKER AND I'D LIKE TO THANK THE MEMBER FOR PARRY SOUND-MUSKOKA FOR HIS QUESTION. THROUGH OUR NEW MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS PLAN SUPPORTED BY THE CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE WE WILL MAKE SURE THAT THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO CAN GET THE MENTAL HEALTH CARE AND SERVICES THAT THEY NEED, INCLUDING OUR CHILDREN IN YOUTH... AND YOUTH. THE MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE WILL BREAK DOWN BARRIERS IN ACCESSING CASE, ENSURING A MORE CONSISTENT PATIENT EXPERIENCE ACROSS THE PROVINCE. THE CENTRE WILL WORK WITH EXPERTS, PROVIDERS IN TO THE COMMUNITY, PEOPLE WITH LIVED EXPERIENCE, RESEARCHERS AND FAMILIES TO CREATE A CONSISTENT SET OF SERVICES AND STANDARDS FOR CARE. THIS WILL ENSURE THAT CHILDREN AND YOUTH WILL NOT ONLY BE ABLE TO ACCESS MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES, BUT ALSO ENSURE THAT THE CARE THIS THEY RECEIVE IS HIGH QUALITY AND BASED ON BEST PRACTICES. THERE IS A CLEAR NEED TO EXPAND AND IMPROVE EXISTING PROGRAMMES AND INVEST IN INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS TO TACKLE THE GAPS HAVE PERSISTED FOR SO LONG. OUR MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS PLAN WILL BE ANOTHER VERY IMPORTANT STEP. THANK YOU, SPEAKER.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

[APPLAUSE]

Miller says THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. I WANT TO THANK THE MINISTER FOR HER LEADERSHIP ON THIS IMPORTANT ISSUE. SPEAK, ONTARIO GOVERNMENTS HAVE KNOWN FOR MANY YEARS THAT OUR MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM WAS INSUFFICIENT. THE SELECT COMMITTEE MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS OF WHICH THE MINISTER OF A MEMBER WAS SET UP IN 200 AND THE MADE ITS RECOMMENDATIONS IN SEPTEMBER 010, ALMOST TEN YEARS AGO BUT UNTIL NOW LITTLE HAS BEEN DONE TO IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES. FINALLY THROUGH OUR CONTINUED INVESTMENT IN MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION SERVICES, IT IS CLEAR THAT OUR GOVERNMENT IS ON THE RIGHT TRACK TO DELIVER MEANINGFUL CHANGE TO MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS SYSTEMS. MINISTER, CAN YOU PLEASE UPDATE THE MEMBERS OF THIS LEGISLATURE ON THE INVESTMENTS WE HAVE MADE IN CHILD AND YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES.

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says THE ASSOCIATE MINISTER OF MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS.

Tibollo says THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER AND I WANT TO THANK THE MEMBER FOR THAT EXCELLENT QUESTION. THIS YEAR OUR GOVERNMENT UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF PREMIER FORD INVESTED 174 MILLION DOLLARS MORE IN COMMUNITY-BASED MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTS SERVICES ACROSS THE PROVINCE. INCLUDED IN THIS INVESTMENT IS NEARLY 30 MILLION DOLLARS FOR CHILD AND YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES AND PROGRAMMES ACROSS THE PROVINCE, AS WELL AS MORE THAN 27 MILLION DOLLARS TO FUNDAMENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS IN ONTARIO'S EDUCATION SYSTEM WHICH WILL DIRECTLY BENEFIT SCHOOLS, TEACHERS AND MOST IMPORTANTLY OUR STUDENTS AND THEIR PARENTS. WE WILL FOLLOW THROUGH ON THESE INVESTMENTS, MR. SPEAKER, WITH 3.8 BILLION DOLLARS IN TOTAL FUNDING OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS THROUGH OUR COMPREHENSIVE MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS PLAN THAT IMPROVES OUR SYSTEM AND HELPS TO BUILD HEALTHIER COMMUNITIES AND WE LOOK FORWARD, MR. SPEAKER, TO SHARING MORE ABOUT OUR PLAN IN THE COMING WEEKS. TOGETHER QUEBEC AND WE WILL CREATE A CONNECTED, INTEGRATED MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM THAT WORKS FOR ONTARIANS OF ALL AGES...

The Speaker says THANK YOU VERY MUCH. NEXT question. The member for YORK SOUTH-WESTON.

The caption changes to "Faisal Hassan. NDP. York South-Weston."

Hassan is in his early forties, clean-shaven and bald. He wears a light gray suit, white shirt, and gray tie.

He says THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER, MY QUESTION IS TO THE PREMIER. OVER THE PAST WEEKS AND MONTHS, I HAVE GOTTEN SO MANY LETTERS AND MESSAGES FROM PARENTS CONCERNED ABOUT CUTS TO EDUCATION. LIKE ANN, WHO WROTE TO ME AND SAID THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT HAVE A MANDATE TO CUT FUNDING TO OUR SCHOOLS, ESPECIALLY LEAN THEY ARE USING THOSE CUTS TO FUND CORPORATE TAX BREAKS. THEY NEVER CAMPAIGNED ON REMOVING ADULTS FROM OUR SCHOOLS, ON INCREASING CLASS SIZES, ON CUTTING SUPPORTS FOR STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS. WHEN IS THIS GOVERNMENT GOING TO START LISTENING TO PARENTS? DO THE RIGHT THING AND REVERSE THESE HEARTLESS CUTS?

[APPLAUSE]

Lecce says THANK YOU, SPEAKER AND THANK YOU TO THE MEMBER OPPOSITE FOR THE QUESTION. MR. SPEAKER, WE ARE LISTENING TO PARENTS AND TAXPAYERS WHO WANT ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THEIR INVESTMENT. IT'S WHY WE ARE ASKING OUR UNION PARTNERS WHO WE ARE NEGOTIATING WITH TODAY TO ACCEPT THE PREMISE THAT HIRING IN THIS PROVINCE MUST BE BASED ABOUT ON QUALIFICATION. IF YOU WANT TO IMPROVE THE OUTCOMES OF OUR CHILDREN, THEN EVERY MEMBER OF THIS LEGISLATURE WILL ACCEPT THE QUALIFICATION, MERIT AND DIVERSITY MUST BE THE CORNERSTONE OF HIRING NEW EDUCATORS IN THIS PROVINCE. THAT REQUIRES POLITICAL COURAGE TO STAY AND NEGOTIATE AT THE TAKE. MR. SPEAKER, IT ALSO REQUIRES A RESOLVE TO SAY THAT IF WE'RE GOING TO BE PUTTING MORE MONEY IN THOSE CHILDREN'S SCHOOLS AND THEIR POCKETS...

The Speaker says ORDER.

Lecce says IT AUGHT TO GO IN SCHOOLS NOT IN THE COMPENSATION REGIME OF THE SECOND HIGHEST PAID EDUCATOR IN CANADA. SPEAKER THAT IS OUR GOAL. STARTS WITH KEEPING KIDS IN CLASS...

The Speaker says RESPONSE.

Lecce says KEEPS CLASSROOM SIZES LOW, PROTECTS FULL DAY KINDERGARTEN AND MOST IMPORTANTLY CONTINUES TO INVEST IN OUR MOST VULNERABLE KIDS IN OUR SCHOOLS.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Hassan says MR. SPEAKER, AGAIN MY QUESTION IS TO THE PREMIER. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT WE HAVE DOM EXPECT FROM THE MINISTER AND HIS COLLEAGUES. PLAIN T-SHIRTS DEFLECT RESPONSIBILITY. ON THIS SIDE OF THE HOUSE, WE ARE BOUND TO LISTEN TO THE PARENTS AND STAND WITH KIDS. I'VE GOTTEN NOTES OF ENCOURAGEMENT FROM PARENTS, THANKING ME FOR STANDING UP FOR THEIR KIDS. THESE PARENTS, THEY KNOW TEACHERS ARE ON THE SIDE OF THEIR KIDS, TOO, LIKE VANIA FROM HERE IN TORONTO WHO TOLD ME THERE IS TOO MUCH AT STAKE FOR FAMILIES TO SIT BACK AND ACCEPT THE UNPRECEDENTED AND UNNECESSARY CHANGES IN CUTS THAT CONSERVATIVES ARE POSING. AGAIN TO THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION, IF PARENTS ARE THANKING ME FOR BEING ON THEIR KIDS' SIDE,S WHO SIDE ARE THE CONSERVATIVES ON?

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says MINISTER?

Lecce says MR. SPEAKER, THIS CONSERVATIVE CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT SQUARELY ON THE SIDE OF STUDENTS FIGHTING TO ENSURE THAT TO THE BEST TEACHER IS IN THE FRONT OF CLASS. WE ARE ON THE SIDE, TOO, ENSURING MORE MONEY FLOWS IN CLASSROOMS NOT IN COMPENSATION. WE'RE ON THE SIDE OF OUR YOUNGEST KIDS IN CLASS BY PROTECTING IN WRITING FULL DAY KINDERGARTEN, ON THE SIDE OF THE MOST VULNERABLE BY CONTINUING TO INVEST MORE IN SPECIAL EDUCATION THAN ANY GOVERNMENT IN ONTARIO AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO AS WE'VE DEMONSTRATED. MONTHS AGO, WHERE HUNDREDS OF NEW E.A.S ARE BEING HIRED TO HELP THOSE VERY CHILDREN IN OUR SCHOOLS, SPEAKER IN THIS NEXT, WE WANT A DEAL, OUR KIDS DESERVE, LET'S GET IT DONE.

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says NEXT question. The member for BRANTFORD BRANT.

Bouma says THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. AFTER 15 YEARS OF SUCCESSIVE LIBERAL GOVERNMENTS WE SAW ONTARIO'S JUSTICE SYSTEM BECOME OUTDATED AND OVERGROWN WITH UNNECESSARY COMPLEXITIES. AND WITH THIS CONTINUED NEGLECT THE NEEDS OF ONTARIO'S LAW ABIDING CITIZENS, AND VICTIMS IN CRIME ALSO FELL TO THE WAYSIDE AND THEY'VE HAD TO ENDURE A SYSTEM THAT IS UNRESPONSIVE TO THEIR NEEDS AND DIFFICULT TO ACCESS. MR. SPEAKER, BACK TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. CAN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TELL US WHAT HE'S DOING TO WRITE THESE WRONGS AND ENSURE OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM IS WORKING EVERYDAY FOR LAW ABIDING CITIZENS AND VICTIMS MUCH CRIME.

[APPLAUSE]

Downey says THANK YOU TO THE MEMBER FROM BRANTFORD BRANT FOR THE QUESTION AND MR. SPEAKER THE MEMBER IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT AGAIN. OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM HAS GROWN COMPLEX IN AND IS OUTDATED AND WE'RE THE FIRST GOVERNMENT 15 YEARS TO TAKE ON THE ROLE HE HAVE FIXING IT, THAT'S WHY WE'RE POP PROPOSING CHANGES THAT WOULD UPDATE SO MANY IMPORTANT AREAS OF ONTARIO'S OUTDATED JUSTICE SYSTEM. THIS BILL LOOKS TO MANY, THE CHANGES WILL STAND UP FOR LAW ABIDING CITIZENS, STANDS UP FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME, FOR THE FRONT LINE POLICE OFFICER, MR. E REGULATORY CHANGE WEAVER ANNOUNCED IT WILL MAKE IT EASIER FOR VICTIMS TO SUE OFFENDERS WHO HAVE BEEN CONVICTED OF DISTRIBUTING AN INTIMATE IMAGE AGAINST THEIR WILL. IT SHOULD NOT BE DIFFICULT FOR ANYONE TON UNDERSTAND THIS CRIME CAN AND HAS SHATTERED LIVES, WHETHER IT BE YOUTH, PEOPLE GOING THROUGH DIFFICULT DIVORCES, MR. SPEAKER, ANYBODY WHO HAS HAD AN INTIMATE IMAGE SENT...

The Speaker says RESPONSE.

Downey says WE RESPONDED TO PROVIDE VICTIMS WITH MORE TOOLS TO ACCESS JUSTICE AND SEND A STRONG MESSAGE CYBER BULLYING WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. I'LL HAVE MORE TO SAY IN MY SUPPLEMENTARY, MR. SPEAKER.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

[APPLAUSE]

Bouma says THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER AND THANK YOU TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR HIS ANSWER. MR. SPEAKER, STANDING UP FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME IS A DRIVING FORCE.

[INTERJECTIONS]

Bouma says ACROSS ONTARIO. WE KNOW THAT MANY VICTIMS OF CYBER BULLYING, INCLUDING THOSE WHO HAVE HAD THEIR INTIMATE IMAGES SHARED WITHOUT CONSENT CAN SUFFER EMOTIONAL, MENTAL AND PHYSICAL SPAIN AND FEEL POWERLESS.

[INTERJECTIONS]

Bouma says CAN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TELL US MORE ABOUT HOW OUR GOVERNMENT IS MAKING IT EASIER FOR VICTIMS OF THIS REDEEM GET THE JUSTICE THEY DESERVE?

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says ATTORNEY GENERAL.

Downey says THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. MANY OF ONTARIO'S LAWS AND RULES WERE ESTABLISHED BEFORE THE INTERNET AND MOBILE DEVICES BECAME STAPLES IN THE LIVES OF ONTARIANS. GOOGLE REGISTERED AS A COMPANY ONLY 0 YEARS AGO MR. SPEAKER AND MAN THINGS HAVE CHANGED. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THE ENTER ET IN'S A SAFE ACCESSIBLE PLACE FOR EVERYONE TO LEARN TO CONNECT AND GROW. THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO USE INDIGENOUS TAM TECHNOLOGY TO EXPLOIT VICTIMS OR REPEATEDLY HARM SOMEONE OR GROUP THEY NEED TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR SERIOUS ACTION, MR. SPEAKER. THAT'S WHY WE TAKE AN ACTION TO AMEND REGULATION 456.967 UNDER THE VICTIM'S BILL RIGHTS THAT WOULD MAKE IT EASIER FOR VICTIMS TO DAMAGE OFFENDERS CONVICTED OF THESE CRIMES. THIS IS PEACE MIND THAT IN TODAY'S WORLD, MR. SPEAKER IS NECESSARY, AN IMPORTANT PART OF COACHING EVERYONE, INCLUDING OUR CHILDREN, SAFE ONLINE.

The Speaker says NEXT question. The member for Algoma-Manitoulin.

The caption changes to "Michael Mantha. NDP. Algoma-Manitoulin."

Mantha is in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair. He wears glasses, a gray suit, white shirt, and patterned gray tie.

He says THANK YOU, SPEAKER, MY QUESTION IS TO THE PREMIER. THANKS TO YEARS UNDER FUNDING AND NEGLECT FROM THE LIBERALS, RURAL COMMUNITIES AND ACROSS THE PROVINCE WERE ALREADY STRUGGLING WITH DISCLOSURE, DILAPIDATING SCHOOL BUILDINGS AND TEACHER SHORTAGES. THE CONSERVATIVE CUTS TO EDUCATION ARE ONLY MAKING LIFE WORSE. ON FRIDAY, TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PARENTS, STUDENTS AND TEACHERS RAISED THEIR VOICES AGAINST THIS GOVERNMENT'S CUTS TO EDUCATION. SPEAKER, UNLIKE THE LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES, NEW DEMOCRATS FIGHTING FOR WHAT MATTERS. FOR SCHOOLS, FOR OUR KIDS AND STRONG PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEM SO NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE IN THIS PROVINCE, AND SO ARE THOUSANDS OF FAMILIES ACROSS MY RIDING. WHY ISN'T THIS GOVERNMENT DOING THE SAME?

[APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION.

Lecce says THANK YOU, SPEAK, I THANK THE MEMBER OPPOSITE FOR THE QUESTION. I WOULD AGREE UNDER THE FORMER LIBERAL GOVERNMENT THERE WAS A DECADE OF STAGNATION IN SCHOOL AND PERFORMANCE. MORE MONIES BEING SPENT IN EDUCATION THAN EVER BEFORE. 60 percent NET INCREASE SINCE 2004. 12 percent MORE TEACHERS, LESS THAN 1 percent MORE STUDENTS AND YET EVEN STILL, WE SAW LITERACY TESTS STAGNATE, WE SAW MATH NUMBERS, MATH PERFORMANCE DECLINE, AND THE QUESTION IS WHAT WAS THE RESULT FOR THAT DRAMATIC EXPENDITURE IN EDUCATION? AND WE EXPECT BETTER. WE WANT TO SEE OUR STUDENTS SUCCEED. WE WANT TO SEE GRAD WEIGHTS RATES RISE. WE WANT TO SEE MORE STUDENTS ENTERING THE SKILLED TRADES AND STEM EDUCATION. WE ARE GOING TO DO THAT, SPEAKER BY GETTING A GOOD DEAL THAT PROTECTS THE INTERESTS OF RURAL EDUCATION AFTER THE LARGEST SCHOOL CLOSURE PROGRAMME THAT DEVASTATED RURAL ONTARIO UNDER THE FORMER LIBERAL GOVERNMENT. RURAL ONTARIO HAS AN AL I IN THIS GOVERNMENT. WE WILL MAINTAIN THE MORATORIUM UNTIL WEEKEND SURE THE ECONOMIC IMPACTS ARE TOTALLY CONSIDERED AND PAR TO GUIDELINES UNDER OUR REVIEW.

Mantha says THANK YOU, SPEAKER, ONCE AGAIN TO THE PREMIER, SCHOOL AND MY RIDING IN RURAL AND NORTHERN COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE PROVINCE WERE CLOSED DOWN UNDER THE LIBERALS. STUDENTS ARE BEING BUSSED LONG DISTANCE TO GET TO AND FROM SCHOOL, PREVENTING THEM FROM JOINING AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES AND GETTING THE FULL SCHOOL EXPERIENCE. STUDENTS, PARENTS AND TEACHERS HOPED THAT THIS CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE DIFFERENT AND WOULD ACTUALLY RECOGNIZE THE UNIQUE SITUATION IN RURAL REMOTE NORTHERN PLACES BUT THESE CUTS TO EDUCATION ARE HURTING KIDS. WILL THIS GOVERNMENT LISTEN TO STUDENTS AND STOP THESE CUTS?

[APPLAUSE]

Lecce says WELL, SPEAKER, THANK YOU AGAIN TO THE MEMBER OPPOSITE FOR THE QUESTION. YOU KNOW, I JUST WANT TO DRAW A CONTRAST OF WHAT THE FORMER GOVERNMENT DID AND THEIR IMPACTS ON SCHOOLS AND WHAT THIS GOVERNMENT IS COULD GO. THE FORMER GOVERNMENT, THEY MADE A DECISION TO CLOSE MORE IT SCHOOLS UNDER ONE POLITICAL PARTY THAN EVERY SINGLE GOVERNMENT COMBINED. NO IF GOVERNMENT CLOSED MORE SCHOOLS THAN THE FORMER LIBERAL GOVERNMENT. THAT IS THEIR LEGACY OF RURAL ONTARIO. OUR LEGGY IS A 550 MILLION DOLLAR ANNUAL CAPITAL COMMITMENT TO BUILD NEW SCHOOLS IN RURAL REMOTE AND NORTHERN ONTARIO TO RENEW THE SPIRIT OF NORTHERN COMMUNITIES, OF RURAL COMMUNITIES WHO FELT ABANDONED BY THE FORMER GOVERNMENT. WE ARE LISTENING TO THEM. WE ARE WORKING WITH THEM TO ENSURE THAT THOSE KIDS FEEL EQUAL, THAT THEY'RE NOT SECOND-CLASS CITIZENS WHEN IT COMES EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION. WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO INVEST IN NEW SCHOOLS, SUPPORT RURAL ONTARIO, AND ENSURE EVERY STUDENT IRRESPECTIVE OF the locality, succeeds in this province.

Watch: Question Period: Monday, February 24, 2020