Now he has to de­liver

Seaway News - - Opinion - NICK SEE­BRUCH ni­cholas.see­

Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive in­cum­bent Jim Mcdonell was re-elected for a third time as MPP for Stor­mont, Dun­das and South Glen­garry last Thurs­day.

This is the first time that he will serve on the govern­ment’s side of the isle since he was first elected to the leg­is­la­ture in 2011 and now that he is shap­ing pol­icy, he must live up to the prom­ises he and his party have made to the peo­ple of On­tario.

I spoke with Jim on election night and I asked him, what will his rid­ing look like after four years of PC rule. What he told me was this: that Cornwall and the sur­round­ing area had lost a lot of busi­ness and in­dus­try over the years and we need to bring that back. He also said that the re­gion never re­ally re­cov­ered from 2006 and the loss of the Dom­tar plant.

So, we have our first prom­ise, bring back busi­ness and in­dus­try to Cornwall and SD&G. Dur­ing this tran­si­tion pe­riod, Mcdonell’s of­fice should reach out to the builders and de­vel­op­ers in our lo­cal econ­omy to find out what they plan for the fu­ture and what they need to bring more busi­ness and in­dus­try to the re­gion.

If Mcdonell is fo­cused on busi­ness and job cre­ation, he should be speak­ing with lo­cal Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Of­fi­cers like Bob Peters, Shawna Baggs, Tara Kirk­patrick and the rest. He should also reach out or­ga­ni­za­tions like the Cornwall In­no­va­tion Cen­tre, which are ded­i­cated to bring­ing to­mor­row’s jobs to our area.

This is some­thing that Mcdonell can do in­de­pen­dently to help co- or­di­nate and spur eco­nomic growth in Stor­mont, Dun­das and South Glen­garry. Other prom­ises that he’s made will de­pend on the pri­or­i­ties of his party.

Many of the prom­ises from Mcdonell and his party will live and die by their first bud­get. For in­stance, Mcdonell said that his party in­tends to shift some of the bur­den off of mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

Dur­ing Cornwall’s most re­cent bud­get bat­tle, one rea­son cited for the in­creas­ing bur­den on res­i­den­tial tax­pay­ers was be­cause of less fund­ing from se­nior lev­els of govern­ment. Ac­cord­ing to Mcdonell, his party will in­crease the fund­ing that the province gives to mu­nici- pal­i­ties by $70 mil­lion.

When the first PC bud­get is tabled, pre­sum­ably this fall, we will be able to see where this new govern­ment’s pri­or­i­ties are and if mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties are re­ally one of them.

Mcdonell’s suc­cess in this third term as MPP will be mea­sured by how many prom­ises he is able to de­liver on, ev­ery­thing else will be ic­ing on the cake.

What do you think read­ers? What po­lit­i­cal prom­ises do you want to see be­come re­al­ity? Email me a Let­ter to the Editor at ni­cholas.see­

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