| Apr 10, 2008

Feature Article - April 10, 2008

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Feature Article -April 10, 2008 Local Liberals looking forward to a federal electionby Jeff Green

At the Annual General Meeting of the Provincial Liberal Riding Association of Lanark Frontenac Lennox and Addington, which was held in Sharbot Lake on March 29, there was a fair amount of talk about federal politics.

Federal Liberal candidate Dave Remington spoke enthusiastically about Liberal prospects in the upcoming federal election, even though the timing of the election is unknown and the sitting Conservative MP, Scott Reid, received over 50% of the vote the last time around.

“We will be taking a team approach to the election,” Remington said, “It is the perfect approach, the only approach. I want to work with municipalities, and with the province to see what the programs are that we can bring to bear on municipalities.

“Our leadership has the same approach, Stephane Dion is leading a team, with people like Bob Rae and Martha Hall Findlay. It isn’t about one guy, unless you are talking about the Conservatives. Stephane Dion takes the approach that we are a Liberal team, the approach will bear us fruit in the next election.”

A certain amount of time was set aside to celebrate the re-election of the McGuinty Liberals in Ontario, who were represented by Kingston and the Islands MPP and Environment Minister John Gerretson(at left).

Gerretson pointed to some of the initiatives in the recent budget, including property tax provisions for seniors and infrastructure money for rural Ontario.

He also mentioned that the government will be “coming out with a very aggressive plan to deal with electronic waste” in the next few months.

This point was not lost on the audience, which included Jim Macpherson, who was instrumental in setting up a pilot project for e-waste diversion and recycling in Sharbot Lake a few years ago. Leona Dombrowsky, one of Gerretson’s predecessors as Minister of the Environment, was on hand at the opening of the Frontenac E-Waste Recycling Centre in 2004, and although the project garnered several awards from different levels of government, it died late in 2005 when it did not receive sufficient funding to compete its one-year pilot study.

Gerretson said that manufacturers will be responsible for the cost of recycling their products once the new regulations are in place.

MacPherson met briefly with Minister Gerretson at the end of the meeting to talk about his experiences with E-waste recycling.

John Gerretson introduced Ian Wilson, who carried the Liberal banner into last fall’s provincial election, and fell short by 900 votes to Conservative Randy Hillier.

“I actually lost by 898 votes,” Wilson said, “and we know we have a winnable riding. We now have an MPP who has no interest in any part of the riding south of Highway 7, but luckily as Liberals we have resources to help people.”

Wilson also reiterated the position that he took during the provincial election campaign regarding mining, a position that differs from the current policy of the provincial government.

“We must speak out in favour of a moratorium on uranium mining in Eastern Ontario,” he said. “As the representatives in this riding, we must speak out.”

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