Ted Arnott, MPP
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 27, 2014
Liberals condemned for politicizing infrastructure announcements
(Queen’s Park) – It is not for Liberal insiders or defeated Liberal candidates to make public infrastructure
funding announcements, say Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott and Perth-Wellington MPP Randy
The MPPs took that message to Premier Kathleen Wynne yesterday in the Ontario Legislature.
“Does the Premier think it’s appropriate for [defeated Liberal candidates] to be making public
announcements of new funding for area municipalities when the elected MPPs haven’t even been
officially notified?” asked Mr. Arnott.
On November 17, the former Liberal candidate in Perth-Wellington issued a press release, acting as a
spokesperson for Perth-Wellington Liberals, touting infrastructure funding to area municipalities.
The Liberal candidate would likely have had access to that information as a “non-partisan” staff member
in the office of the Minister of Agriculture prior to its public release.
Mr. Pettapiece followed up with the Premier in the Legislature: “It was a Liberal press release, from the
former Liberal candidate, announcing public money,” he said. “Is that part of the job description for
staffers working on the public dime in the office of the Minister of Agriculture?”
Mr. Pettapiece and Mr. Arnott were not satisfied with the Premier’s response.
“The Liberals are trying to bypass the people’s elected representatives,” Mr. Pettapiece stated after their
Mr. Arnott agreed: “The Government needs to respect the democratic will of the people,” he said.
“Defeated Liberal candidates should not be in the business of announcing who will get taxpayer dollars
and who will not.”
The MPPs also said they would take no lessons from the Liberals on infrastructure funding.
“We have always stood up for the municipalities we represent,” said Mr. Pettapiece. “We have always
supported their infrastructure priorities—including the Connecting Link program, which the Liberals cut.”
After expressing their dissatisfaction with the Premier’s answers, Mr. Arnott and Mr. Pettapiece agreed to
pursue the matter further by initiating a “Late Show,” which allows the issue to be debated further. It is
scheduled for next Tuesday night at 6:00pm.
Video of the exchange in Question Period can be found at: http://pettapiece.ca/?p=2903
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Ontario Hansard – 26-November2014
Mr. Ted Arnott: My question is for the Premier. What role does the defeated Liberal candidate in Perth-
Wellington have in the government? Does the Premier think it’s appropriate for that individual to be
making public announcements of new funding for municipalities when the area’s elected MPPs have yet
to be officially notified?
Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: I can tell you that there are many people across this province who have run in
elections, have been defeated and then go on to do other things. Sometimes they go on to work with
government, sometimes they go on to work in municipal governments, sometimes they go on to other
business. But I can tell you that the former candidate in Perth-Wellington has been very much a supporter
of the policies of this government, and he is a very strong community advocate for that part of the
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary? The member from Perth-Wellington.
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: To the Premier: Last week, in a press release from the Perth-Wellington
Provincial Liberal Association, the former candidate announced infrastructure money for local
municipalities. The press release was misleading and inaccurate. It was a Liberal press release from the
former Liberal candidate announcing public money. Is that part of the job description for staffers working
on the public dime in the office of the Minister of Agriculture? If not, what are you or the minister going
to do about it?
Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: Again, I will say-
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Stop the clock. Be seated, please. Thank you.
Interjection: Totally inappropriate.
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): There are some things that happen in here that are totally
inappropriate. Thank you.
Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: I don’t have any information on the specifics of a particular press release.
But what I can say is that I am quite sure that if there was information about money flowing to a
municipality, the municipality had that information, and that anyone who wanted to talk about it could
talk about it, including the member for Perth-Wellington. Had he wanted to talk about infrastructure
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Order, please. Stop the clock.
Wrap up, please.
Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: Mr. Speaker, I’ve just been handed a copy of the press release, which says,
“Ontario Government Invests Over $1.3 Million Across Perth-Wellington.” This isn’t an announcement;
this is a statement of something that is happening.
As I said, if the member opposite wanted to talk about what investments were being made in his riding, I
would think that would be a very good thing, to inform his riding about the benefits of-
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Thank you. New question.