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Ontario’s security measures updated…somewhat

By MPP Toby Barrett

If it’s…possible to start a war in a computer room or a stock exchange that will send an enemy country to its doom, then is there non-battlespace anywhere? If [a] young lad setting out with his orders should ask today, “Where is the battlefield?” the answer would be “Everywhere.”
~ Colonel Qiao Liang and Colonel Wang Xiangsui, People’s Liberation Army, China 1999

Nearly three years after the G20 fiasco in Toronto, the Ontario Government has finally passed legislation meant to replace the archaic powers of the Public Works Protection Act.

You may recall the McGuinty/Wynne government was heavily criticized for its secrecy in applying the draconian Public Works Protection Act — enacted in 1939 to protect infrastructure from Nazi sabateurs -- just prior to the G20 Summit. As I rose to debate its replacement -- Security for Courts, Electricity Generating Facilities and Nuclear Facilities -- the government enacted closure.

The new law may come as comfort in Haldimand where there are many security shortcomings at the historical courthouse. A report from 2000 by the Law Society of Upper Canada identified the then 150-year-old building in need of a desperate overhaul. Problems sited include shared space, lack of private entrances for judges and no witness room. Fourteen years after the publication of the report not much has changed – in fact, there have been few changes to the Cayuga courthouse since 1850.

Schedule 2 of the bill amends the Police Services Act and will ensure court security guards have the powers to require all those entering a courthouse to show identification, provide a reason for being there, subject them to a search and, if necessary, allow officers to search the vehicle they arrived in without a warrant.

Schedule 3 of the bill provides for the appointment of security personnel as peace officers and sets out security regulations for electricity generating facilities, the way it was done in 1939. This won’t help Caledonia where the transformer station was torched a few years back, causing $1 million in damage. There’s also the never used, white elephant power towers that march into Caledonia, unfinished, worthless and wireless except to fly warrior flags and blockade roads.

The new bill does not go beyond 1939, and manate security for steel mills, refineries, oil pipelines, natural gas pipelines and water works -- and last but certainly not least, our banking/and computer systems, where electronic sabotage could wreak havoc and cause national and perhaps global devastation.

And while the measures in the new bill will protect some public infrastructure from saboteurs, it now does nothing to protect people during events that can get out of control. For example, I recall attending, as a young and naïve country boy, the Rochester race riot site in 1964 with my buddies. I would have been much safer had we been detained by police.

The same could be said of those who were downtown Toronto during the G20. We all saw the breaking of windows, the lighting of fires and then heard the outcry from the 1,000 plus people who were detained over the course of the weekend. However, what were those people doing there? Should they have been there? Were they putting themselves at risk?

I still feel a more encompassing bill would have better advanced this legislation beyond its 1939 roots.

Newsroom

 

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..

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Barrett praises federal invasive species regulations

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Farmers, food banks and the needy will now benefit from Local Food Act

QUEEN'S PARK – Good news today for farmers, food banks and the needy as one of the most important aspects of the Local Food Act is proclaimed.

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Ontario’s finances continue in wrong direction

SIMCOE – Ontario’s deficit continues to go up and up and up, according to the Ontario Government’s Public Accounts Office.

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Let’s work through U.S. Steel creditor protection one step at a time: Barrett
SIMCOE – “Our Opposition Caucus is concerned about the significant news that U.S. Steel Canada has applied for creditor protection,” said Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett. “I have been in touch with the union, the company and the Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Employment, and Infrastructure. It is important all concerned work together for common cause.”

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Why isn’t the champion of local food serving up good news?

SIMCOE – Why are people so confused with the status of the Local Food Act?

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Uncertainty swirls with regard to Local Food Act
OUTDOOR FARM SHOW, WOODSTOCK -- Where does the Local Food Act stand?

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Barrett calls for action on poverty
SIMCOE – In the wake of the government releasing its second five-year anti-poverty strategy, Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett questioned what will truly be done to assist the less fortunate in society.

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Ontario loses almost 30,000 full time jobs in July

SIMCOE – Statistics Canada’s July jobs report shows Ontario lost 29,300 full time jobs last month.

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Hydro customers heavily subsidizing energy pensions

SIMCOE – Every day taxpayers are finding it increasingly difficult to save and invest, largely because they are paying for unaffordable energy costs and bloated energy agency pensions.

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New tax driving Ontario airline tickets sky high

QUEEN’S PARK –Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett believes the government’s new aviation tax could have a direct impact on the riding.

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New tax driving Ontario airline tickets sky high

QUEEN’S PARK –Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett believes the government’s new aviation tax could have a direct impact on the riding.

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Carr lauded in Ontario Legislature

QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett paid tribute to Annaleise Carr’s Radical Crossing 2.0 in the Ontario Legislature earlier today.

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Barrett echoes concerns about hunting and fishing license money

QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP wants to see more accountability from the Ministry of Natural Resources Special Purpose Account (SPA), especially in light of proposals to increase fees.

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Barrett renews call for gutting Asian carp imported into Ontario
QUEEN’S PARK – During Question Period, Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett renewed his call for the province to require Asian carp entering Ontario first be gutted.

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Budget leading Ontario down an expensive garden path

QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett believes the Ontario budget is not only leading the province down the wrong path, it’s taking it down the garden path.

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