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Legislative Assembly of Ontario
May 16, 2006
[SISIS note: The following mainstream news article is provided for reference only, as an example of how mainstream media treats indigenous resistance to genocide. Mainstream media often presents biased and distorted information, lacking pertinent facts and/or context. Inclusion of this article on our site should not be considered an endorsement by SISIS.]
Mr. Toby Barrett (Haldimand-Norfolk-Brant): The McGuinty government's failures on tourism can be placed in two categories. First, we have failed policies that impact the entire province of Ontario: the health tax, the newly jacked up alcohol tax, the lack of leadership on border issues and the general lack of spending for the hospitality industry when money is allocated elsewhere; higher electricity bills and the price of gasoline come to mind. These are general policies that impact the province overall.
There is a second category, and this consists of the McGuinty government's failure to effectively react to immediate challenges that occur, developing events in specific areas; to wit, the McGuinty government's absolute failure to deal with the routing of tourist traffic around the Caledonia area. I'm referring to provincial Highway 6, the Highway 6 bypass, as well as Argyle Street. This is Caledonia's main street, and it has been blocked to tourists and other travellers for a number of weeks now. In fact, this whole incident will soon be approaching three months. We have heard rumours of progress on this file, but as of yet, tourists have been taking a lengthy, convoluted and quite confusing detour, quite confusing even for local residents, to get around the area of Caledonia, to attempt to continue on down provincial Highway 6 to Lake Erie. I've certainly received the calls of distress -- the e-mails, faxes, phone calls and messages of concern -- as I visit businesses in the area, not only in Caledonia but farther down Highway 6 in Jarvis and Hagersville, and concern that I hear from the tourist hotspots along Lake Erie -- Port Dover, of course. Port Dover's famous Lake Erie perch was mentioned earlier in the debate this afternoon.
Mr. Kormos: The Erie Beach Hotel.
Mr. Barrett: The Erie Beach Hotel. Communities like Turkey Point, a destination for not only day trippers but also cottagers and boaters.
The May 24 weekend is coming, and all of these communities need a big tourist weekend, especially given the dramatic loss of business sustained to date. For example, Mother's Day for many was a disaster from a business point of view. One letter my office received cites an 80% drop in business since the beginning of the dispute. I was in Caledonia last night. The pizza parlour is normally open quite late; it was closed. Other shops had closed early -- the video stores and some of the convenience stores. Local merchants need this tourist business. The business is required throughout Haldimand-Norfolk-Brant. It's required at New Credit and Six Nations, communities that have a lot to offer.
I appeal to the Minister of Transportation and the Minister of Tourism to come down to the area and step up to the plate. People cannot just put up cardboard signs to direct tourists. There is one sign; I guess I will thank the Ministry of Transportation for a very large, lit-up sign. However, they have spelled the word "Caledonia" wrong on that sign. So I invite Premier McGuinty, Minister Ramsay, Minister Kwinter, Takhar if he's allowed, to make the trip. Come down to Caledonia this Friday. Observe tourists trying to navigate the blockades while they attempt to reach Ontario's famous south coast of tourism.