A question, powdered gravy, and an explosion

By MPP Bobbi Ann Brady

Queen’s Park is an incredible place. I particularly like the architecture and the moody atmosphere as you walk the old wood or marble floors, depending on which part of the building you are in. There’s no doubt the Pink Palace has character and personality, but it’s the people who steal the limelight most days.

Let me set the stage. Parliamentary privilege dictates that I receive a question in the Ontario Legislature every eight sessional days. The time and energy I put into researching and crafting my questions are titanic. I want to ensure that my questions are credible and bulletproof. Although 99 percent of the time, the government responds with messaging, I must be confident that I have all angles covered to anticipate any counterargument.

I work hard on these questions because you deserve honesty, integrity, and accountability from the government elected to serve you. There’s an unwritten rule: questions should not be personal, but at times, for whatever reason, emotion takes hold.

This past week, I questioned the Premier if he will not follow the lead of Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, who, on January 1, 2024, stopped collecting the carbon tax on home heating on behalf of the federal government. Premier Moe has taken a stance against the Prime Minister, and at the same time, he is saving families money. 

SaskEnergy is Saskatchewan’s natural gas distribution company and a Crown corporation, which is not the situation in Ontario. However, my research concludes the absence of a Crown corporation is not an impediment. The government could use its revenues to cancel the consumer carbon tax. During question period, I pointed out that the Ontario Government has tax revenue from industrial emitters. That revenue by 2030 is expected to reach around $446 million, but there’s been no indication of where that money will go. Perhaps these monies could be used to assist in neutralizing the federal carbon tax.

I don’t have all the answers, but I’m a firm believer that helping find a solution is imperative if you identify a problem. 

Carbon tax is the government’s response to almost every question asked, even if it isn’t relatable. I’ve watched this unfold for the past few months, and in politics, it is called a channel changer – a distraction. Your Ontario Government is capitalizing on the Federal Government’s out-of-touch reality with taxpayers to distract you from issues like the Greenbelt scandal, the $9.8 billion deficit, the healthcare crisis, and the fact the majority of Doug Ford’s 48 staffers make a single-income greater than most combined incomes here in Haldimand-Norfolk.

Earlier in the week, Queen’s Park shut down briefly due to a possibly incendiary package of powder delivered to the Premier’s Office – a package of gravy. However, the explosion occurred when I stood and called the government’s carbon tax referendum legislation a publicity stunt. I call them as I see them. Introducing legislation that might create a consultative process 5, 10, or 20 years down the road does nothing to help you pay the bills today! And I find it disheartening families tell me they are choosing between heating and eating.

In the end, the Premier lost his composure and bellowed, “By the way, you won’t have a job at the next election.”

This is an interesting statement, given you – the good people of Haldimand-Norfolk – determine who represents them at Queen’s Park. And by the way, the Premier did not indicate he cannot follow Scott Moe’s lead.

Bobbi Ann Brady is the MPP for Haldimand-Norfolk