As we look back on 2022, many negative headlines come to mind: the barbaric Russian aggression in Ukraine, the lingering impacts of COVID-19, the rising cost of living caused by inflation, higher interest rates slowing economic growth, and concerns about climate change have all had impacts on our local communities. Taken together, they made 2022 a year that many would wish to forget.
Even democracy itself seemed threatened around the world, as was pointed out by Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, when she addressed the Legislature in December.
But as we begin a new year, there is renewed hope and optimism about the future.
In 2023, all orders of government will be tackling big issues, in consultation with citizens. Opposition parties will continue to offer alternative ideas, and hold governments to account. Whenever possible, collaboration and cooperation across party lines will lead to better outcomes for our Province, and will inspire greater public confidence in our governing institutions.
Currently on the agenda at Queen’s Park, the Ministry of Finance is engaged in pre-Budget consultations. It is anticipated that the 2023 Budget will be presented near the end of March, and will contain new initiatives and renewed funding commitments for how we will work together to continue building a strong and healthy Province.
The Legislature’s all-party Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs is also conducting parallel public consultations on the upcoming budget. The Committee is scheduled to travel the Province in January and February for in-person meetings, and will be accepting written submissions as well from citizens and organizations so that everyone has an opportunity to have their voices heard and ideas considered. For more information about the committee’s work, you can visit www.ola.org.
As your Member of Provincial Parliament, I continue to work with my staff to ensure that every constituent’s voice is heard at Queen’s Park. We receive countless emails and messages every week, and we appreciate hearing from everyone who has a constructive idea or observation. We look for ways to help anyway we can.
Together, we seek to make 2023 a year of progress and achievement.