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April

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    Scott congratulates local Ontario Arts Council recipients (Lindsay) – Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, congratulated local organizations which received a total of $29,500 in grants over the past year from the Ontario Arts Council. “This is recognition of some of the great work being done in our community. These organizations are to be congratulated and their successes celebrated,” said Scott. Over 250,000 Ontarians work in the culture sector, generating almost $20 billion annually to Ontario's economy. Scott added, “In addition to the economic impact, a healthy arts and culture sector contributes to the quality of life in our communities”. Organizations recognized this year are: Arts Council – Haliburton Highlands, for the provision of four in-class arts education experiences/workshops for Grade 4 and Grade 7 students in Haliburton County elementary schools. Lindsay Concert Foundation for Kawartha Concerts – Artists Connections create Community Connections, providing pre-concert chats, hands-on workshops and school concerts for learners of all ages. Haliburton County Community Co-operative for a Dusk Dances Festival in the Village of Haliburton, a family-friendly outdoor dance performance incorporating both local and visiting artists. Over the past year, the Ontario Arts Council has recognized 1,681 individual artists and 1,125 organizations in 216 communities across Ontario for a total of $52.8 million.
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    Scott: Last Minute deal at Kawartha Downs is a Desperate attempt at Damage Control Fraserville – On Saturday evening, Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, attended what was to be the final race night at Kawartha Downs. On Saturday morning it was announced that a last minute deal had been signed to keep the racetrack open on a limited basis. Scott said “This deal provides enough funding to have 20 to 25 racing dates this year, which is about 25% of a normal year. This is not economically viable. The McGuinty/Wynne government has already decimated the horseracing industry by its misguided decision to end the slots-at-racetracks program, costing thousands of jobs and the loss of countless horses.” Scott pointed out that the deal which was literally signed at midnight on Friday is a desperate attempt at damage control. “The government knows it messed up. The deals which have been announced over the last couple of weeks will not even come close to ensuring a sustainable industry in Ontario. It is a classic case of too little, too late.” Scott and her colleague Rob Milligan, the MPP for Northumberland-Quinte West, thanked supporters of Kawartha Downs and the horseracing industry along with their colleagues in the PC caucus for all the work they have done to try and protect the horseracing industry in Ontario and specifically at Kawartha Downs. “Horseracing needs to be an integral part of Ontario’s gaming strategy, something which this government has not accepted. It has been too intent on building 29 new casinos in communities across Ontario, whether they were wanted or not,” added Scott. Scott and her PC colleagues are committed to working with the horseracing industry to ensure that it returns to being vibrant and sustainable.

March

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    Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock will be at Kawartha Downs on Saturday evening to show her support to the dedicated men and women in our community who have made Ontario’s horseracing industry a world class model. Scott said that what Kawartha Downs, the community and the horseracing industry built up over 40 years, the Government of Ontario and its local MPP from Peterborough and Minister of Rural Affairs, destroyed in less than a year. With the cancellation of the Slots-at-Racetracks program, Saturday will see the final night of racing at the track. Details as follows: DATE: Saturday, March 30, 2013 TIME: 6:30 PM LOCATION: Kawartha Downs 1382 County Rd. #28 Fraserville, Ontario K0L 1V0
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    Scott says Jeff Leal has failed Constituents over Kawartha Downs QUEEN’S PARK – During this morning’s Question Period in the Ontario Legislature, Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock attacked the MPP for Peterborough and Minister of Rural Affairs Jeff Leal for his failure to do more to keep horseracing at Kawartha Downs. Due to the policies of the Liberal government, horseracing will end at Kawartha Downs on March 30th. During a heated exchange, Scott demanded that Leal provide the details of the allegedly “substantive” financial package that was rejected by Kawartha Downs. In his response, Leal deflected the question and refused to provide any specifics. “Everything this government does is shrouded in secrecy,” said Scott. “The closing of Kawartha Downs could cost the community as many as 800 local jobs. We have a right to know just what the government has done to try to save these jobs.” Scott went on to point out the inconsistencies in Leal’s position with regard to the Slots at Racetracks program. “Last August Leal said that he had a plan to save horseracing and maintain a share of slot revenues to support the industry. He made a point of saying that this was an investment that created local jobs in the community, in contrast to the position taken by his government.” Scott pointed out that Leal also said that, before casinos were put into communities, there needed to be a referendum to ensure local acceptance - a position which he now doesn’t believe is necessary. Scott also said “Being appointed to cabinet seems to be a sufficient price for Leal to betray his constituents. He is now toeing the party line, despite the impact that his government’s policies are having on the horseracing industry and rural ridings across Ontario, including his own.” “I have great concerns that a minister from a rural riding who also happens to be the Minister of Rural Affairs seems to be so ineffective for us within a Toronto-centric government,” emphasized Scott. Scott concluded by saying that she trusts the voters of Peterborough will remember Jeff Leal’s failure to save Kawartha Downs when the next election is called. JEFF LEAL THEN AND NOW SAID THEN SAYS NOW •Announces a plan that would save the slots at racetracks (Aug 16/12) •No plan - Kawartha Downs closing March 30, 2013 •Slots at tracks program creates local jobs (Aug 16/12) •Up to 800 local jobs to be eliminated in Peterborough area •Slots at tracks program is an investment, not a subsidy (Aug 16/12) •Program was not transparent or accountable •Supports private member’s bill to ensure a local referendum before a casino could be built (May 3, 2012) • Referendum no longer necessary To view the exchange between MPP’s Scott and Leal go to the following link: http://192.75.173.26/imageFolio.cgi?action=view&link=VIDEOS/PC_Members/Scott_Laurie&image=130320_LS-Question.wmv&img=&tt=mpg
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    MPP’s Scott and Bailey tour Central East Correctional Centre On Friday, March 15, Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock and her colleague, Bob Bailey, MPP for Sarnia-Lambton and the PC Critic for Correctional Services toured the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay. During the course of the visit, the two MPP’s met with management of the facility, correctional officers and representatives of the union. Scott said, “I have received a number of complaints about the physical deterioration of the jail. I asked my colleague Bob Bailey, who has toured many correctional centres across Ontario, to join me so that we could view the situation first hand.” “What we saw should not be happening in a ten year old facility. Throughout the units we toured, there was clear evidence of severe, floor to ceiling cracking in the concrete block walls. Some had been patched, but others were still in disrepair. We also saw where some pieces of masonry had fallen and where steel support beams had needed to be installed to support an upper level.” According to officials, since 2011, there has been constant repair work underway to correct deficiencies in the construction. This has led to closures of entire units to inmates in order for the work to be carried out. “Ontario’s correctional officers protect the people of Ontario by serving in some of the most dangerous environments in our province,” said Bob Bailey. “I have visited provincial detention centres across Ontario and time and time again, I see deteriorating infrastructure which is compounded by this government’s record of prison overcrowding which often leads to violence and unsanitary conditions. This government needs to fulfill its core responsibility and ensure basic safety and security within Ontario’s correctional facilities.” Scott and Bailey advised that they would be pursuing these issues with Infrastructure Ontario, which owns and oversees all Government of Ontario properties
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    MPP Laurie Scott & MPP Bob Bailey outside the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay
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    Scott: Time to end the Urban/Rural Divide Queen’s Park – Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock said, “Agriculture is a vital component of Ontario’s economy, which has been ignored for far too long by the McGuinty/Wynne Liberals”. Scott made the comments following the launch of the latest PC Paths to Prosperity discussion paper, Respect for Rural Ontario – the 12th discussion paper on strengthening our economy. “Agriculture supports our province’s overall economy,” Scott said. “It’s an engine that creates jobs in every corner of the province, from our farms in rural communities to our processing plants in big cities. “Over the past ten years under the McGuinty/Wynne government the needs of rural Ontario have been systematically ignored. The agricultural industry has been saddled with ever more onerous bureaucracy and regulations,” Scott added. “Every day we see farmers and agribusinesses struggle because of high taxes, skyrocketing energy rates and a thicket of red tape.” Respect for Rural Ontario offers bold, confident ideas to repair the damage and make the province’s agriculture industry world leaders again in innovation and production. An Ontario PC government would attract good jobs and investments to the province by: •Growing the market for biodiesel by requiring all diesel fuel sold in Ontario to have two per cent biodiesel. •Reducing the regulatory burden by a minimum of 33 per cent over three years and creating one-window access to government for farmers. •Reducing the risk for farmers by putting all Risk Management Program premiums – farmers’ and government’s – into a dedicated fund to even out good and bad years. “A thriving agricultural industry does not just mean jobs for rural Ontario. It would also generate thousands of jobs in the cities for food processing and packaging,” continued Scott. Scott concluded by saying “What the Liberals have failed to understand is that modern, sophisticated farming drives job creation in every corner of Ontario”. The Respect for Rural Ontario discussion paper may be viewed in full at www.ontariopc.com.
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    Scott: Loss of horseracing at Kawartha Downs a sad day for Community (QUEEN’S PARK) Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, expressed disappointment that horseracing will end at Kawartha Downs on March 30. It was announced yesterday that no arrangement could be reached between Kawartha Downs and the Wynne government and no transition funding would be forthcoming, thereby ending horseracing in the community after 40 years. “This is a devastating blow to the community. It is going to cost about 800 local jobs in the Peterborough area. Another blow to rural Ontario at the hands of the McGuinty/Wynne government’” said Scott. “This has been mishandled by the government since day one. They announced an end to the slots at racetracks program with no warning or consultation and certainly with no thought or analysis of what it would mean for the horseracing industry in Ontario”. Scott said that if the government had discussed things in advance with the industry, arrangements could have been worked out which would have avoided this and kept the horseracing industry viable. Even the government’s handling of the final report of the Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel and the subject of transition funding to keep the industry going, was shrouded in secrecy and a failure to include all of the parties in the discussions. “The McGuinty/Wynne government knew, or should have known, what their decision would do to rural Ontario. They knew that when they decided to walk away from the successful slots at race track agreement it would kill the industry. Today we are seeing that result in Peterborough”. “The impact on breeders, grooms, trainers, vets, feed and equipment suppliers, racetrack employees, and so on is devastating. And let’s not forget the lives of thousands of horses which will be sacrificed because of this.” “I’m disappointed that as the new Minister for Rural Affairs, Jeff Leal wasn’t able to persuade his government to work out a solution for Kawartha Downs, the one track that most impacts his community”. In addition to Kawartha Downs, the government does not have agreements to run horse racing in 2013 at an additional 8 tracks including: Windsor, Hiawatha, Fort Erie, Sudbury, Rideau, Ajax, Dresden and Woodstock and has not scheduled any races for the 2013 Ontario horse racing season. Scott confirmed that the Ontario PC Party believes that horse racing should play an integral part in Ontario’s gaming strategy and that she and her colleagues will continue to fight for these jobs and for this industry.
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    Laurie Scott Statement for International Women’s Day – March 6, 2013 Mr. Speaker, today I’m pleased to have the opportunity to speak on behalf of Tim Hudak and the PC caucus in recognizing the 102nd anniversary of International Women’s Day. This day provides us with an opportunity to recognize and applaud women’s achievements as well as identify the challenges that still confront many women around the world. In Ontario, the gains which women have made are notable. Take, for example, the continuing gains women are making in education. Colleges and universities used to be a male-dominated world, with a smaller percentage of women than men pursuing post-secondary education. Today, the situation is completely different. Women now outperform men in many measures of education achievement. Girls are more likely to earn their high school diploma on time and are less likely to drop out. More women than men enroll in college and university programs after high school. Women are more likely to finish these programs with a diploma or degree. In Ontario today, many women occupy positions of authority, demonstrating incredible talent and energy. My female colleagues in this chamber serve as just one shining example. Across the province women can go to university. Women can work and have a family. Women have real choices and real opportunities. Despite all these successes, women still face significant challenges. In Canada, women still, on average, earn less than men, even with the same education level. Women are less likely to be employed, and those with jobs are more likely to be working part-time. The majority of minimum wage earners are women. For immigrant and aboriginal women, the numbers are even worse. In the corporate world, some women have broken through the glass ceiling, which has historically blocked access to the highest levels of achievement. However, the fact remains that 41 per cent of companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange still have no women on their boards. This figure has not improved appreciatively for the better part of a decade. The UN has declared that this year’s Women's Day theme is “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women”. This is a poignant reminder that, around Canada and the world, far too many women remain at risk of violence. In the global context, many of the gains made by women in Ontario have not been shared by women in other countries. Even in Canada, we know that many instances of sexual or domestic violence are simply not reported to the authorities. I want to conclude by congratulating all the female trailblazers for their dedication and commitment to advancing women’s rights and equality. International Women's Day provides an opportunity to commemorate these efforts, celebrate progress and call for commitment to continue the push for women’s equality.
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    QUEEN’S PARK – Yesterday, Laurie Scott, the MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, supported her PC colleague, John Yakabuski, the MPP for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, on his private member’s bill, The Gasoline Tax Fairness for All Act. The Bill amends the Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Act to permit the Minister to enter into an agreement with a municipality to provide a gasoline tax rebate for the purpose of constructing, maintaining or operating a rapid transit or public transportation. Scott said, “The current legislation only allows for this type of gasoline tax sharing with municipalities which are large enough to already have public transportation systems. It clearly discriminates against rural communities”. Scott went on to say, “The federal government has been sharing gasoline tax revenue with all municipalities for several years now. The Government of Ontario has taken the position that it is ok for rural Ontarians to pay the same gas taxes as their urban neighbours, but their communities do not have the same right to share in the benefits. Despite opposition from the Liberals, when the bill came up for a second reading vote late this afternoon, several NDP members voted with the PC Caucus and it passed. “The majority of the members supported this bill. I can only hope that the Liberal Government will recognize that and permit the bill to go to Committee for further discussion and eventually back to the House for final passage”. “This legislation would correct a longstanding inequity in how this government treats rural Ontario. I am pleased that it has passed a major hurdle in the Legislature”. For a transcript of MPP Yakabuski’s speech of March 7, 2013 in support of this legislation, see attached file.
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    Petition Submitted by Laurie Scott to the Ontario Legislature on Monday, March 4, 2013 Ms. Laurie Scott: “To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario: “Whereas Sprott Power, also known as Zero Emission People, Energy Farming Ontario Inc., and Wind Works, are proposing to construct 10 wind turbines, known as Settler’s Landing and/or Snowy Ridge Wind Parks within the city of Kawartha Lakes in order t...o produce up to 20 megawatts of power; and “Whereas the proposed wind parks are to be located, in whole or in part, on the Oak Ridges moraine; and “Whereas the location of the proposed wind parks will adversely affect wildlife populations, wildlife migration patterns, human health, and the natural environment; and “Whereas the proposed wind parks will also reduce property values and the quality of life in the surrounding communities; “Now therefore we, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows: “The government of Ontario live up to its throne speech commitment, and deny these applications in recognition of this not being a willing community for industrial wind turbines; and “That the government announce an immediate moratorium on the further development of industrial wind turbines until complete studies have been completed into all direct and indirect health impacts associated with these projects.” I have hundreds of signatures of the 1,000 I received on Saturday at the Rolling Hills Public School in Bethany.See More
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    Statement made by Laurie Scott in the Ontario Legislature on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 Ms. Laurie Scott: Last Saturday I had the privilege of attending a rally of about 200 local residents in Bethany in my riding of Haliburton–Kawartha Lakes–Brock. They came out in sub-zero temperatures for one reason: They were there to present me with the latest three boxes filled with petitions, letters and emai...ls in opposition to the proposed industrial wind turbines at Sumac Ridge, Settler’s Landing and Snowy Ridge. They were joined by MP Barry Devolin and broadcaster Dale Goldhawk, both of whom spoke against these projects. For four years the community has been fighting these proposals. Much of the credit for mobilizing the members should go to Councilor Heather Stauble of the city of Kawartha Lakes and Paul Reid of Manvers Wind Concerns, two tireless crusaders. They have been supported throughout by their local municipal councils. Citizens have turned up en masse at public meetings, rallies and open houses, making it very clear to the proponents and this government that these wind turbines are not wanted in their community. As I said in my remarks on Saturday, the Premier made it clear in her throne speech that these projects should go to willing communities. This is clearly not a willing community, and the government should abide by its commitments in the throne speech and deny the applications as soon as possible.See More

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April

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    I hope to see you all at the annual spring dinner next Thursday, April 14th at the Dunsford Community Centre!

March

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Laurie Scott

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