A relatively calm week for local federal MP Jamie Schmale, especially considering the House was in session this week. Conservatives this week, on mass, decided to focus primarily on Mark Norman who is alleged to have leaked government secrets to Quebec-based Davie Shipbuilding. Schmale included some focus as well on the Trans Mountain Pipeline during an appearance on CPAC.
Schmale did his usual public appearances and meetings throughout the week. On social media he showed off appearances at the 33rd AGM for Haliburton County Development Corp (Oct 12), the 10th annual banquet and charity auction for the Coboconk chapter of Ducks Unlimited (Oct 13), and a visit to MilCun Training Centre in Minden (Oct 14).
Back in Ottawa he attended a celebration marking the four month mark until the Canada Winter Games, which included photographs and conversations with Ron and Cari MacLean, Catriona Le May Doan and Chris Phillips (Oct 15). Oct 17 was ‘Arts Day on the Hill’ and MP Schmale met with the president of the Canadian Crafts Federation, Sandra Dupret from Haliburton. Schmale indicates they had a “great discussion on the positive impact the arts has in our community.”
Most of the posts Schmale shared this week on Twitter were from colleagues in the Conservative party. The focus was primarily on the price of oil (as an argument for the building of pipelines), Mark Norman, and focus on an ISIS video from 2014 that included a Canadian.
On October 17, Schmale did make an original post on Facebook sharing an article from weforum.org (World Economic Forum) called “These are the world’s most competitive economies.” Schamle wrote “The Liberal Government’s path of higher taxes, increased administrative red tape and out of control regulations leaves Canada out of the top 10 of the world’s most competitive economies.”
The competitive rankings were compiled since 2008/2009 by the WEF. A handy guide to the WEF competitive rankings is here. It should be noted that in the past 8 years Canada has placed no higher than 12th in these rankings and this year (2018/2019) Canada ranks 12th, it’s highest in those 8 years.
On Oct. 18 Schmale appeared on CPAC with Richard Cannings (NDP) and Paul Lefebvre (Liberal) to discuss the Trans Mountain Pipeline. Schmale, while linking people to the wrong Twitter accounts for his colleagues indicated he was “pleased to share (his) thoughts on the Trans Mountain Pipeline with (his) colleagues”. Schmale quoted himself from the interview repeating his lines on Trans Mountain for the past few weeks in the house saying, “More failures and more delays means more people are left wondering when they’re going to have a pay cheque again”.
The house sat for all five days this week but Schmale does not appear in any of the Hansards for those five days. Open Parliament records only one major vote this week on Bill C-79 to implement the Trans Pacific Partnership, and records Schmale as “Didn’t Vote”.
Local MPP and Minister of Labour Laurie Scott’s public appearances this week started at the Beer Store in Lindsay, (Oct 13), then to the annual Machik dinner raising funds for rural education in Tibet (Oct 13). Scott also indicated she made a public appearance at the Restaurants Canada Membership Forum Event, speaking there and repeating that ‘Ontario is Open For Business’ (Oct 17). Scott finished the week at the Kawartha Lakes CF Innovation Day Luncheon. At this event, in which the Advocate took third place, Minister Scott spoke about the importance of small business.
On October 15 Scott posted a full letter to her social media accounts providing a statement “regarding Kawartha Downs.” The letter, after claiming the previous Liberal government ignored the horse racing industry, re-emphasizes what we reported last week about a deal being reached to operate 150 slot machines.
It was Small Business Week across Ontario and as the Minister of Labour, Scott repeated the slogan “Ontario is Open for Business” at least six different times. On Facebook, Minister Scott issues a fairly length statement saying “we recognize the contributions made by the hundreds of small businesses in our riding.” Scott also posted a video of Premier Ford speaking at the LiUNA Canada rally at Queen’s Park.
Although there is no public record from Scott, the Ontario Federation of Labour planned to meet with Scott on Oct. 15 in support of “decent work laws and a $15 minimum wage.” President Chris Buckley put out a statement in advance of the meeting saying, “The government has a chance to do the right thing and leave decent work laws in place, and even enhance them”
Relevant to the riding, on Oct. 18 100 Canadian CEOs released an open letter to MPs at Queen’s Park urging them to keep the Basic Income Project. Floyd Marinescu, the CEO of C4media is quoted as saying “We could learn from this data. We could finally put to rest some of the arguments either for or against basic income and see what’s really going on.”
In the Legislative Assembly, Scott is not recorded as making any statements or answering any questions on Oct 15, but she was asked a question by Faisal Hassan (NDP- York South) about Youth Employment on Oct. 16. Repeating the PC slogan, Scott said “We have said time and time again that Ontario is open for business. We’re creating a climate where businesses can expand and new businesses can come, and so we’re making life more affordable for young people.”
Member Hassan asked the government to commit to creating 27,000 paid co-op and internship placements. Scott did not directly answer and focused on the PC talking points around lower taxes and decreasing the cost of living. She ended her answer by saying, “This is just the first 100 days. There’s more to come.”
On Oct. 18 she answered a question from NDP leader Andrea Horwath on Bill 148 who asked, “Can the acting premier explain how a woman taking time off work to protect her family is bad for our economy?” Scott responded in both the original answer and supplementary by focusing on the fact that consultation is still ongoing on Bill 148 and ending by saying “We will have more to say on that in the days to come.”