Schreiner supports transparency in public appointments process

Orangeville, ON — Green Party of Ontario Leader, Mike Schreiner, released the following statement in response to former OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair’s request for a public inquiry:

“I support the call for a public inquiry into the public appointments process.

Brad Blair’s abrupt dismissal earlier this year was deeply concerning. Even the appearance of improper interference by the Premier’s office in firing a whistleblower undermines public trust.

And we know that the existing appointment process is flawed beyond just this one instance.

The Ford government has only committed to reviewing the appointments process internally, behind closed doors, away from the public eye.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant. A public inquiry would shed light on what happened, and enable the government to move forward with changes to improve the appointments system to ensure fairness and accountability.”

Schreiner responds to updated deficit numbers

Orangeville, ON — Green Party of Ontario Leader, Mike Schreiner, released the following statement in response to updated deficit numbers released today:

“The Premier has overstated the deficit over the last year in order to pursue an ideological agenda of government cuts.

Municipalities, children with autism, school programs, the arts, and community groups are all feeling the sting of Ford’s cuts, even while the government delivered tax breaks to the wealthy last year.

Ontario needs a balanced fiscal plan. I call on the Ford government to stop with the partisan spin and have an honest conversation about a sustainable approach to investing in public services.”

Schreiner responds to Ford’s Supreme Court appeal

QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement in response to the provincial government’s carbon tax appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada:

“I, like many Ontarians, am frustrated that the Premier continues to waste our tax dollars on his politically motivated legal challenge to undermine climate solutions.

We are facing a climate crisis that is costing us more each day.

Instead of working on solutions, the Premier continues to use our children’s future as a political wedge issue to attack the federal government. This is wrong and reckless.

I urge the Premier to put his time and our money towards delivering climate solutions, not wasting his time fighting a hopeless legal battle.

Our children and grandchildren deserve a Premier that is focused on embracing the clean and caring economy, so they have a livable planet and prosperous future.”

Ford government continues to politicize math scores

QUEEN’S PARK — Green Party of Ontario Leader, Mike Schreiner, released the following statement after recent PC government announcements about math scores:

“The Ford government is creating alarm over math to distract from the harm they are doing in other areas of education.

After upending the sex-ed curriculum and flip-flopping on classroom sizes after courses had already been cancelled, they are clearly using math scores as a distraction tactic.

This politicization of math was on full display yesterday when the Minister made a sensational statement implying that all students are failing at basic math.

This hyperbole doesn’t help.

If the Conservatives were truly concerned about giving students the fundamentals, they would not have replaced in-class instruction with online learning or threatened to raise class sizes.

Further, we should not be scapegoating teachers with a new entry exam that experts say will have no impact on student math scores.

The idea that a kindergarten teacher should excel at calculus is absurd, and I am worried about highly qualified teachers in non-math disciplines being lost from the system.”

Schreiner responds to Ford’s comments on carbon tax lawsuit

QUEEN’S PARK — Green Party of Ontario Leader, Mike Schreiner, released the following statement after the Premier suggested he might walk back his carbon tax lawsuit:

“This lawsuit was political theatre from the get-go, with the vast majority of legal experts predicting it to fail.

But what’s really causing the Premier to consider backing down is people’s overwhelming desire for climate leadership.

No one wants a Premier who will waste tax dollars sabotaging solutions when the local and global impacts of climate change are becoming more and more dire.

Putting himself on the side of polluters and climate denial was a losing strategy from the outset and I’m not surprised the Premier is already eyeing up an exit plan.”

Schreiner responds to wage cap for public sector workers

QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement in response to Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act:

“This surprise announcement calls into question the legitimacy of negotiations between the government and public sector unions.

The government is trying to change the channel on their budget cuts and beer debacle by attacking labour and bargaining rights. This is completely unfair and disrespects the relationship with workers.

No matter the fiscal challenges our province faces, revoking workers’ collective bargaining rights cannot be taken lightly and will certainly create more chaos in the public sector.

But since taking power, Ford has repeatedly taken aim at public services, whether he is disparaging public health inspectors or vilifying teachers.

I am particularly worried that a blanket cap on wage increases will hurt vulnerable workers the most, those who make low and modest incomes.

And by including provisions in the bill that would shield the government from charter and human rights challenges, it seems like the government is in fact admitting that its actions cross a line.

The government is setting the stage for instability that Ontario doesn’t need.”

Flawed process for OPP Commissioner appointment must be fixed

QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement following the release of Integrity Commissioner J. David Wake’s report regarding Premier Doug Ford:

“I want to thank the Integrity Commissioner for conducting a thorough investigation; an investigation that validates my position that the hiring process for the OPP Commissioner was deeply flawed.

The separation of political interference from the police is a fundamental principle of our democracy. It separates us from countries where corrupt leaders use the police to do their dirty work.

Just today, the Premier threatened to go to the OPP against the opposition. How would it look if the Premier’s close family friend had to make the call on whether to answer the Premier’s request for an investigation?

It’s obvious to everyone but the Premier that it is wrong for him to hire a family friend to lead the OPP.

It is wrong for the Premier to pick and choose which parts of this report he likes.

We need MPPs from all parties to work on legislation to implement the Commissioner’s recommendations to fix the flawed process that led to this scandal in the first place.”

Bigger classrooms won’t benefit students

QUEEN’S PARK — Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner released this statement following Minister Thompson’s appearance on CBC’s Metro Morning today:

“Increasing class sizes will lead to job cuts and fewer teachers to educate students.

It’s absurd for the Minister of Education to claim that increasing class sizes for high school students will be to their benefit.

The reality of a dramatic 27% increase in class sizes will mean less individual attention. It will mean fewer teachers to support more students.

I’m worried that the government is selling an illusion of ‘modernizing’ our school system, while making cuts that will only worsen the classroom experience and lessen the quality of public education.”

Long term solutions needed for autism services

GPO leader and Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner made the following statement regarding changes to autism services in Ontario:

“23,000 kids on waitlist for autism services is unacceptable and a clear sign that the system is broken. System change and additional investments are needed to get kids the autism therapy they need.

Although it is good to hear that the government will provide new funding for diagnostic centres to address the initial diagnostic wait list challenge, I’m worried that today’s announcement will not be a permanent solution to the waitlist challenges families face.

Clearing the waitlist backlog will require investments to ensure service providers are available for parents to access. A lack of service providers and options is a concern with our existing system. It’s unclear how the government is proposing to address this.

We need a balanced approach with parent choice and investments in the infrastructure and service providers that families rely on for care.

We also need to recognize that the $140,000 per child could run out as quickly as within two years, for children undergoing intensive treatment, leaving families in a very tough place.

Today’s announcement is a start, but I encourage the government to work with families, service providers, experts and opposition parties to develop a comprehensive reform plan.”