During the pandemic, the amount of time MPPs spend in the Legislature has been a lot less than normal to allow for social distancing. We are divided into groups, called cohorts, and each group attends the legislature for a number of days before passing the baton along to the next one.
So, like other MPPs, I’ve been spending a lot more time in the riding, talking to constituents, community groups and others who need some help or guidance from the provincial government.
But it’s also nice to get back to Toronto because a lot of good things can happen when you’re there.
A big part of the job is connecting good people with good ideas to each other.
Job creation is an example.
Our office will be approached by a company that wants to tap into provincial job creation programs to build a new plant, expand an existing one or development new products.
So, you start with the background work, helping the company get its documents in order, putting together the application and so on.
Then, when I’m in Toronto it’s pretty easy to have a conversation with a minister in the hallway or connect at a meeting to make the pitch on behalf of the company. It’s a great feeling when you can have the ear of a minister, or the Premier, or another colleague and make things happen for the people at home.
Earlier this year we announced several of these grants totalling $2.4 million. They supported investment of $25 million to create 38 new jobs and keep 95 existing jobs.
One of the companies was Rembos, a Cainsville company that makes high-grade wood products from lumber mill seconds. It’s the ultimate in recycling. We were able to get them connected through the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund and get that funding going.
Another grant went to Grisson Bon, a baked goods company. With the money they expanded their pretzel product lines.
To be able to help shepherd a project through from inception to completion is incredibly rewarding. It’s also a lot of fun.