MPP was part of gov't that cut MNR offices and staff
Brockville Recorder and Times
Tue 18 Dec 2007
Our MPP Bob Runciman's attempt to appear as a defender of
the residents of Leeds-Grenville rings so hollow it strikes a resounding
gong. It was MPP Runciman who was one of the prime architects of the local
evisceration of the Ministry of Natural Resources. It was with his full
agreement that three of the four MNR offices in eastern Ontario were closed
and the number of staff, including enforcement officers, was cut from 50 to
14. Those 36 jobs were just a small portion of the over 800 Ontario public
service jobs which Bob successfully worked to cut from his constituency.
Back in April the environmental commissioner released a
report entitled, "Doing Less with Less." The conclusion of that report was
that the MNR does not have the resources it needs to meet its mandate. Just
this past Tuesday the provincial auditor echoed that finding, saying hiring
more enforcement officers will have a calming effect on the situation. The
OPP can protect the safety of people, but it too is overstretched. Replacing
the conservation officers MPP Runciman cut would help to not only protect
our resources but protect our people.
Now this crisis has created another instance of downloading.
The United Counties of Leeds and Grenville has been forced to address the
MNR manpower shortage by adding the duty of fishing enforcement to our
property tax. Municipalities are already stretched to the limit trying to
maintain our basic infrastructure. Our roads and sewer treatment facilities
are falling apart, while the federal Tories give billions in tax cuts to
Most troubling though is Opposition House Leader Runciman's'
statement "If people are poaching or overfishing and they happen to be from
one segment of the population is that racial profiling or stereotyping." All
Asian-Ontarians are not poachers. What about the thousands of law-abiding
Asian anglers? Vigilante justice is not the answer and targeting any racial
group is wrong. Ask a conservation officer, poachers come from all walks of
life. It wasn't too long ago that Bob called MP Belinda Stronach "a
dipstick, albeit an attractive one." Our MP Gord Brown is on tape linking
immigration with crime. Our representatives elected here in Leeds-Grenville
are providing Canada with one new stereotype, that is eastern Ontario as the
home of Canada's rednecks and hillbillies and we all know that that is
simply not true.