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Barrett hosted New Year’s levee

Siobhan Lawrie, The Sachem

Published on Jan 16, 2009

On Sunday, January 11 MPP Toby Barrett held his annual New Years Levee at St. George Arms in Caledonia.

This was a time for local politicians to meet and talk with the local voters and discuss ideas and planning for the coming year.

Barrett held the levee this year in Caledonia and Delhi; Barrett said, "These two locations were picked for a reason. They have both been kicked in the stomach.”

He added, “This event is a chance for people to talk about ideas for the upcoming year, reflect on the past year as a community, and to get a direction for the year ahead and plan to improve.”

Although the levee is a time for Barrett to meet and talk with the community, it was a little overshadowed by the petition that was on hand to sign, calling for an inquiry into the actions and decisions of commissioner of the OPP, Juilian Fantino.

Barrett said, "As opposition, we began calling for an inquiry into Caledonia two and a half years ago; as such, I welcome this petition as another step in establishing an inquiry into the McGuinty approach to land disputes. It is time we have all sides get off this three-year hamster wheel.”

Barrett continued, "I am heartened by the number of signatures coming in, this will hopefully help determine what the truth is and it is an important mechanism for what to do in the future. It is a good chance for people to have their thoughts be known to the government.”

There was another petition available to sign, which was also supported by Barrett, calling for provincial, federal and state governments to implement a sales tax holiday on the purchase of new and used cars and trucks.

Barrett said, "People are concerned about the auto sector, and this petition will help people buy a car who have trouble getting credit and loans and at the same time help the automotive industry sell vehicles.

"People have come here today because they are worried about the assessment increase and how it is going to affect their taxes. They have come because they are worried about the economy.”

Merlyn Kinrade, supporter of Barrett said, "I am delighted to see MPP Toby Barrett endorsing this petition made by Ken Hewitt. People should be alarmed and outraged at what Fantino has allowed to happen to this province. I have come today to support Barrett, and seeing MP Diane Finley come to sign the petition is a very positive thing.”

Doug Fleming commented, "I have come here to get a feel of things, but nothing has changed.”

Bev Cowell has supported Barrett since he started as MPP. “I think the levee is a very good idea and we have come today to show our support to Barrett.”

Sam Gualtieri said, "I have come to show support to Barrett and to listen to what he has to say and to help keep things in the front lines.”

The response this year is good. We have had a good turnout and many people have come from all over the area,” stated Barrett.