Demonstrations across the province are set for December 1 to protest the Ontario government's cuts to French-language services.
Hawkesbury is among the communities where rallies are to be organized by L'Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario.
More details can be found at https://monassemblee.ca/
“Definitely upset,” Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MPP Amanda Simard is urging the Ontario government to reverse its decisions to eliminate the French Language Services Commissioner’s post and to cancel a proposed French-language university.
Responding to criticism on Facebook last night, the rookie MPP said, “You have an ally in me, and I'm never going to let you down.”
She said the decisions “disappoint me immensely, and I share this disappointment and frustration today, having at first worked internally as much as possible to have these decisions overturned. I have asked the Premier to reconsider these measures.”
Her initial reaction to the moves was to use “diplomatic channels.” She said she “became aware of these decisions just a few minutes before the official announcements.” She observed that she had read that she “might be upset.” That is false, Ms. Simard insisted. “I am definitely upset.”
“To my friends, to my community, to my constituency, you know me – my Francophonie is dear to my heart. To my more than 600,000 Franco-Ontarians and Franco-Ontarians, you may not know me but know that I'm with you. I was born, I grew up, and I still live in my francophone community of Prescott-Russell.”
“Now we have to assess where we are, and what we can and should do. I'm with you. I hope you will support me,” she concluded.
Here is her Facebook post.
Vous avez une alliée en moi, et je ne vais jamais vous laisser tomber.
Les décisions prises la semaine dernière relatives au Commissariat et à l’Université franco-ontarienne me déçoivent énormément, et je partage cette déception et frustration aujourd’hui, ayant dans un premier temps œuvré à l’interne autant que possible pour faire renverser ces décisions. J’ai demandé au premier ministre de reconsidérer ces mesures.
J’ai toujours le réflexe d’utiliser les voies diplomatiques pour régler les situations, et c’est ce que j’ai fait, avant de réagir publiquement, dès que j’ai pris connaissance de ces décisions (ce qui fut qu’à peine quelques minutes avant les annonces officielles). En passant, j’ai lu quelque part que la députée Simard « might be upset ». Faux. Je suis « definitely upset ».
À mes amis, à ma communauté, à ma circonscription, vous me connaissez – ma francophonie me tient à coeur. À mes plus de 600 000 Franco-ontariens et Franco-ontariennes, vous ne me connaissez peut-être pas encore, mais sachez que je suis avec vous. Je suis née, j’ai grandi, et je vis toujours dans ma communauté francophone de Prescott-Russell. J’ai complété toute ma scolarité en français, de l’école élémentaire (école St-Jean, Pavillon La Croisée), au secondaire (Embrun), au collège (La Cité), ainsi qu’à l’université (uOttawa), où j’ai choisi d’étudier le droit, la common law, en français ! Il n’y a, et n’a jamais eu, question pour moi d’appuyer ces mesures.
Maintenant, nous devons évaluer où nous en sommes, et ce que nous pouvons et devons faire. Je suis avec vous. J’espère que vous allez m’appuyer.
- Amanda Simard, PC, 19,958 40.96% margin of 4,523
- Pierre Leroux, Liberal 15,435 31.68%
- Bonnie Jean-Louis, NDP 10,612 21.78%
- Daniel Bruce Reid, Green 1,429 2.93%
- Joël Charebonneau, Ontario 757 1.55%
- Darcy Neil Donnelly, Libertarian 538 1.10%
- Registered Electors on List 85,576
- Voter Turnout 56.94%
- Jim McDonell, PC 26,780 61.51% margin of 17,364
- Marc Benoit, NDP 9,416 21.63%
- Heather Megill, Liberal 5,386 12.37%
- Elaine Kennedy, Green 1,596 3.67%
- Sabile Trimm, Libertarian 360 0.83%
- Registered Electors on List 78,642
- Voter Turnout 55.36%
Amanda Simard ended the Tories' drought in Glengarry-Prescott-Russell while Jim McDonell ran up another landslide win as area voters followed the trend Thursday in an election that saw Doug Ford's Conservatives form a majority government.
Ms. Simard, a Russell Township councillor, got 19,958 votes compared to 15,435 for Liberal Pierre Leroux and 10,612 for New Democrat Bonnie Jean-Louis to replace Grant Crack, who stepped down after serving two terms at Queen's Park.
Meanwhile, in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, incumbent Jim McDonell polled 26,780 compared to his closest rival, Marc Benoit, of the NDP, who got 9,417. Liberal Heather Megill received 5,386.
Some 67 firearms have been surrendered to the Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry Ontario Provincial Police detachment during a gun amnesty that ends at the end of April.
The gun amnesty is for any Ontario resident who wishes to voluntarily surrender unwanted or illegally-owned firearms, weapons, accessories or ammunition.
Interested gun owners are strongly urged to call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 to arrange for officers to attend and safely retrieve the weapons. Gun owners can also use the OPP website button -- www.opp.ca/gunamnesty -- or the Citizen Self Reporting tool to notify police.
Under no circumstances should anyone deliver guns or ammunition directly to police facilities.
Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MPP Grant Crack will not seek re-election in June.
The announcement comes only two months after he was nominated January 28 as the Liberals' standard bearer in the riding he has held since 2011.
In an April 5 statement, the former North Glengarry mayor said, "Earlier this year I advised Premier Wynne that I would not be a candidate in the upcoming election.After careful consideration and heartfelt discussions with my family, I concluded that the time is right to seek out other career opportunities. This was a very difficult decision.I have had the privilege of serving my community and the Province of Ontario as a political leader for over 17 years. During this time I have developed numerous relationships with political colleagues, community stakeholders and established friendships of which I am grateful and will miss on a day to day basis.I want to thank the great people of Glengarry Prescott Russell for giving me the opportunity to represent them in the riding locally and also as their voice at Queen's Park. I look forward to assisting the next Liberal candidate in the upcoming campaign and I am confident that GPR will remain red. I am also confident that my Liberal colleagues under the forward-thinking leadership of Premier Kathleen Wynne will form a majority government on June 7."
Eight of 12 area broomball teams of young athletes garnered Ontario provincial medals, recently, and we have the story in The Glengarry News this week. To see photos of the medal-winning squads, please follow this link.