March 30, 2004:
After two VOCO trips to Queen's Park this past week, both Dalton McGuinty and the local press now must know that the de-amalgamation movement is alive and well and spreading across Ontario.
On Wednesday, March 24, we travelled to Queen's Park for a funeral for democracy. After assembling to sing "O Canada", the funeral procession of more than 100 "mourners" followed the pallbearers and casket around Queen's Park Circle. Eulogies were given by people from VOCO, Friends of Democracy, Glanbrook, Flamborough and Chatham-Kent, as well as former Toronto mayor John Sewell, and MPP Michael Prue. The funeral was filmed by several news media and aired that evening on CHCH Hamilton and CHEX in Peterborough.
Because they adjourned unexpectedly that day, Mr. Prue did not have the chance to present our petition to the Legislature. More than half the people who had made the trip volunteered to come back on Monday.
So, on Monday, March 29, another VOCO busload made the trip to Toronto. This time, Mr. Prue asked Mr. McGuinty in the Legislature why he had broken his promise to the people of Victoria County. Mr. McGuinty declined to answer, but instead passed the question to Mr. Gerretsen, who re-iterated the lame excuses from his letter to Council. In fact, Gerretsen's excuses, based on the cost of water upgrades, had just been completely nullified by the previous question, in which the Environment Minister announced that the government was committed to "working with [municipalities] so that we can arrive at a solution".
Later that afternoon, MPP Peter Kormos presented the first signatures on the new petition to the Legislature.
Laurie Scott, our MPP, was "unavailable" to meet us last Wednesday. On Monday, although she was in the Legislature (where she accidentally ran into several constituents in the cafeteria), she declined to meet with us, or to acknowledge that dozens of her constituents were sitting in the public gallery. We thank Michael Prue for having the courtesy to do so.
Monday's exchange from Hansard can be found here