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By Jasen Obermeyer
Patrick Brown, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario (PC Party) was in Caledon last week, visiting the storeowner of Garden Foods, discussing the provincial government's minimum wage increase, and his plans for the future and upcoming provincial election.
Mr. Brown visited the store on Wednesday (Dec. 20), hearing Piero Carbone, Garden Foods store owner, concerns over the difficulties of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and the provincial government's quick minimum wage increase to $14 per hour come the new year.
“Everything (Wynne's) doing from hydro, to taxes, to rushed labour reforms, she's making the cost of operating a small business in Ontario very difficult,” said Mr. Brown.
He added small businesses need help, and would like to create an environment “where businesses can grow again, invest again, and hire again.”
Mr. Brown explained that now, it is not a debate about jobs being at risk, but rather “a debate about growing, and to do that, you have to an environment that is stable, and right now it's not.”
Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones was also on hand to meet with Mr. Brown.
She described to the Citizen how this year for Dufferin-Caledon has been “unsure,” in terms of dealing with issues and resolutions, and how the government's policies are “up in the clouds,” particularly the issue surrounding the GTA west corridor.
“Many of the issues that I was raising at Queen's Park in question period, still haven't been resolved.”
She said she is still hearing from families struggling with hydro bills. “It's not a fun situation when you have to choose between ‘do I buy groceries this month, or do I pay my hydro bill?' That's not sustainable.”
Ms. Jones explained how “everybody is talking to me about how their hydro increases are killing them,” regardless of age, business, or family.
She explained the changes being made from the Liberal government are not “sufficiently impacting and helping the average person.”
Ms. Jones added other issues such as families struggling to find long term care placements, and finding mental health services for their loved ones. “There are a lot of people who need some help.”
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