By Lindsey Enns
Sarah Campbell, MPP for Kenora-Rainy River wants you to know that the fight for the Ontario budget isn’t over just yet.
“I am not giving up on the fight for our tourist information centres, HST and the key investments of infrastructure that will lead to jobs in our region through the Ring of Fire,” Campbell said.
Even though she did not vote in favour of the current Ontario budget plan, Campbell is still working to address it’s effects on the riding.
“There is still an opportunity to raise some issues and make things better to reflect where Ontarians are at,” Campbell said. “We had to keep in mind that this is a Liberal budget so we had to give up some things.”
But with every budget plan Campbell says there is always a level of compromise that needs to be met.
“I would be lying if I said we received everything we wanted, but that is the nature of compromise you have to give in order to receive.”
Although Campbell tried to fast track taking the HST off of home heating costs by including it in the current budget plan, the bill was taken off and is currently working its way through the political process.
“We were told to take certain things off of the table that the Liberals weren’t willing to entertain, HST was one of them.”
But that doesn’t mean that Campbell didn’t succeed in other areas.
“We were able to negotiate bringing in more money through increasing taxes by 2 per cent for people that make over $500,000 annually as well as an increased one per cent for the Ontario Works department and Ontario Disability Support Program.”
Securing funding for northern and rural health centres was another goal for Campbell’s team.
“We won some serious and important concessions including $20 million for northern and rural healthcare.”
Keeping Ontario tourism centres open is another area of concern for Campbell. On Friday morning, Campbell launched her “not for sale” campaign at the recently closed Ontario Information Centre at the Manitoba border in hopes of reversing the governments decision to keep it closed.
“This government cited declining numbers as the reason for the decision to close tourist information centres in Kenora, Fort Frances and Rainy River, but the governments own numbers show that the traffic in Pigeon River is lower, yet it remains open,” Campbell said in a media release Friday morning