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Simcoe, ON N3Y 3N6
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Here’s some summer events well worth attending

By MPP Toby Barrett

If the recent Dunnville Mudcat Parade was any indication, the coming summer and fall will be great for festivals. A record crowd lined the streets for over two hours of floats and bands. The honorary parade marshal was local boy and captain of industry Vic Powell.

We in Haldimand or Norfolk can attend a festival or two almost every weekend - common to many is a parade, kids’ activities, a car show and, of course, food.

June is busy in the Delhi area. Delhi Strawberry Festival includes a Mustang show. ‘A Day in La Salette’ is my kind of event with antique tractors, another car show and the work of artisans on display.

The official start of summer , especially in Caledonia and Port Dover, is the First of July. Thousands line the streets for these first-rate parades.

Bonnieheath’s Lavenderfest on July 18 – south of Waterford - is a truly colourful event of the summer. Watch for one of my antique vehicles at this fragrant festival July 4 and 5. Le Tour de Norfolk brings hundreds of cyclists to the riding on July 18 for a huge bike tour.

It might only be one day, but Fisherville Lions Fun Day on July 11 is packed full of events, such as a fastball tournament and attractions for young people.

For the second year, Hagersville Rocks takes place on July 25. Country sensation Tim Hicks and Alan Doyle, of Great Big Sea fame, are amongst the great artists in the line-up. While on the topic of music, the Lynn River Music and Arts Festival will take place in Simcoe, Aug 2-4 - as well as some country tunes and lots of agricultural iron at the Walpole Antique Farm Machinery Heritage Days in Jarvis.

With Lake Erie being the southern border of both Norfolk and Haldimand, festivals along the lake are part of the summer. Turkey Point’s Summerfest is on Aug. 8. Port Dover Summerfest will be Aug. 15 and 16. Port Rowan’s Bayfest on the Labour Day weekend brings mixed feelings – a sense of melancholy that summer is coming to an end, but also excitement.

Although not on the lake, the Grand River is the backdrop for another terrific event. In spite of road construction and lack of construction on the bridge, CayugaFest promises to be a great day on July 18. Invasion of the Dragons will bring dragon boats to Waterford on July 25. This is a fundraiser for CIBC Run for the Cure and local cancer programs.

Our area’s history and rural roots are kept alive through many other festivals and fairs.

Selkirk’s Gasfest is on Aug. 8. Backus Heritage Conservation Area has events most weekends throughout the summer with an historic backdrop. Highlights include Pioneer Life Day on July 11, the Heritage Hoedown Barn Dance on Aug. 1 and the War of 1812 re-enactment on Sept. 12 and 13.

Farm fairs have long been an important venue to promote our rural heritage. This is true of the Dunnville Agriculture Fair, at its new airport location, on Aug. 22 and 23, and the Tillsonburg Tri-County Fair, Aug. 13-16.

The second annual Delhi Fall Festival will be held Sept. 18 to 20. On tap are a parade, car show, midway and talent show.

Be sure to get out this summer to enjoy what’s offered.


Cayuga bridge requires urgent action: Barrett

QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett rose in the House Thursday during Question Period and demanded urgent action on completion of the Cayuga bridge.
[Read More]


Public hearings moved up to June 1 on vector-borne and zoonotic diseases bill
QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett’s infectious diseases bill was passed today in the Ontario Legislature with unanimous consent from all parties.
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Public hearings moved up to June 1 on vector-borne and zoonotic diseases bill

QUEEN'S PARK– Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett was successful in securing one day of legislative assembly committee hearings for his private member’s bill – Bill 27 -- that would better enable Ontario to deal with emerging infectious diseases. The bill addresses diseases such as Lyme, West Nile and Ebola.
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LaSalette kickboxers headed to world championships
QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett gave kudos to a local kickboxing group which came home with gold, silver and bronze in national championships.
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Barrett renews push for action on Lyme
QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett renewed the push for answers on Lyme disease in front of a Queen’s Park gallery crowded with those afflicted by the disease.
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Barrett concerned electricity prices driving out industry
QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett took the government to task during Question Period for its energy policies that could be scaring business away from the area.
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Electricity rates up 14 per cent, May 1
QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario’s electricity rates are skyrocketing again.
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No help for agriculture in budget: Barrett
SIMCOE – Farmers shouldn’t look for help from yesterday’s budget, according to Toby Barrett, Opposition Critic for the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
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Budget misses the mark

QUEEN’S PARK – The Liberal government budget that was just released is not a substantive plan to get Ontario back on a firm economic footing and eliminate the deficit by 2017-18. recruitment team.
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Barrett/Hoskins discuss Norfolk doctor shortage
QUEEN'S PARK – Over the years, Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett has met with the committee trying to build a new health centre in Port Dover, as well as with Norfolk General Hospital’s recruitment team.
[Read More]

Barrett has mixed emotion with Invasive Species Act
QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett rose again in the Legislature to speak on the province’s Invasive Species Act.
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Liberals increase deficit for third straight year
QUEEN’S PARK – It might have been April Fool’s Day when Opposition Finance Critic Vic Fedeli asked some hard questions of the finance minister about the province’s books, but it was anything but a joke.
[Read More]

Barrett to Ag Minister on neonics: “Why won’t you speak up for farmers?”
QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario’s agriculture minister was short on answers when pressed on the 80 per cent neonic ban on corn and soybean acreage that was recently announced.
[Read More]


Barrett pays tribute to farmers during Farm Safety Week
QUEEN’S PARK – Toby Barrett, Haldimand-Norfolk MPP and Opposition Critic for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, paid tribute to volunteers in the Norfolk Farm Safety Association in the Ontario Legislature on Tuesday.
[Read More]


Adding livestock to crop insurance is good news: Barrett
QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP and Opposition Critic for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Toby Barrett supports government legislation to allow crop insurance to be expanded to cover livestock.
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Despite impressive gains, agricultural literacy remains a struggle
QUEEN’S PARK – “We have to train people not only to be able to walk into a combine and know how to turn a wrench, but they also need to know how to calibrate that computer.”
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Sudbury scandal: Premier asked to step aside if charges laid
QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett has asked Premier Wynne to step aside if charges are laid in connection with the Sudbury by-election scandal.
[Read More]


Moody’s sounds another warning about Ontario finances
QUEEN’S PARK – Another voice has been added to the chorus calling on the Wynne government to change its financial direction.
[Read More]


Barrett calls for re-striking the gas plant committee
QUEEN’S PARK – Re-strike the gas plant committee! That was the call from MPP Toby Barrett, fellow Opposition caucus members and members of the Third Party.
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Barrett fears consequences of policy on rural school closings
SIMCOE – In the wake of a new policy that will fast track the process of closing schools, Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett is asking the government to slow down and reevaluate the process.
[Read More]


Dental benefits for low-income Ontarians needed sooner rather than later
Simcoe – Access to proper dental and oral health care improves lives and reduces costs on our health care system.
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Petition: Say no to new gas taxes
SIMCOE – In the wake of news regarding a new carbon tax, Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett has launched a petition calling on the government to ditch its idea of a new carbon tax or any other kind of gas tax.
[Read More]


Comment period on bee health coming to a close
SIMCOE – Local MPP and Critic for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Toby Barrett is reminding interested parties that the comment period regarding neonicotinoid insecticide is coming to a close January 25th.
[Read More]


Cayuga bridge is about safety

Queen’s Park – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett advocates the Ontario Minister of Community Safety and Corrections to step in on the native-shutdown of the Cayuga bridge reconstruction..

[Read More}


Barrett praises federal invasive species regulations

QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett welcomed the new federal aquatic invasive species regulations.

[Read More}


Auditor General takes government to task on spending, electricity

QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario’s Auditor General confirmed Tuesday what Opposition MPPs have been saying about the province’s electricity pricing.

[Read More}


PC Critics call for a rigorous scientific and consultative approach to neonics

LONDON – This morning, PC Critic for the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Toby Barrett and PC Critic for the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Lisa Thompson held a news conference outside the Pollinator Health meeting in London.

[Read More}

Will government provide mortality insurance to assist beekeepers?

QUEEN'S PARK – MPP Toby Barrett, Opposition Critic for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, questioned the Premier today regarding bee mortality insurance, and asked why Ontario has yet to implement a Manitoba style insurance program to help Ontario beekeepers.

[Read More}


Two area companies honoured for ag innovation

SIMCOE – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett was beaming with pride when he heard two local companies were amongst those who received the Premier’s Award for Agri-Innovation Excellence.

[Read More}


New production insurance changes needed and must address farmers’ concerns

QUEEN'S PARK– An expansion of production insurance to cover more agricultural commodities is long overdue.

[Read More}


Barrett’s infectious disease bill receives all-party support
QUEEN’S PARK – Legislation designed to better enable Ontario to deal with emerging infectious diseases has passed second reading with all-party support. The bill has been referred to the Legislative Assembly Committee.

[Read More}


Liberals’ unrealistic and unaffordable path continues
QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett is suggesting Ontario residents strap themselves in order to prepare for the next round of rocketing taxes.

[Read More}


Burning Kiln again chosen by Legislature

QUEEN’S PARK – Dignitaries, politicians and perhaps royalty will be enjoying a glass of Burning Kiln 2013 Strip Room after the Norfolk red wine was chosen as the Ontario Legislature’s official red wine for 2015.

[Read More}

Barrett bill to address infectious diseases

SIMCOE – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett has introduced a bill that will address infectious diseases such as Lyme, West Nile and Ebola.

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When will we see local food in hospitals and schools?

QUEEN'S PARK – Ontario’s Agriculture Minister refuses to answer when the entire Local Food Act will be proclaimed.

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Barrett urges people to testify on insurance bill

QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett agrees with committee hearings to allow more input on Bill 15, Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act, 2014 in the wake of second reading debate on the legislation Monday.

[Read More}

Unemployment trend continues
SIMCOE - For 93 consecutive months Ontario’s unemployment has stood higher than the national average.

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Who’s looking out for us when it comes to infectious disease?

Simcoe – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett is questioning how well Ontario is prepared to deal with emerging infectious disease.

[Read More}