QUEEN’S PARK – Norm Miller, MPP for Parry Sound-Muskoka, and Jim Wilson, MPP for Simcoe-Grey, joined forces in demanding the government cut red tape for service clubs.
“The Rotary Club of Bracebridge has run into issues because they have introduced a new fundraiser, a duck race to take place on July 1,” explained Miller. “Unfortunately because of government rules the Rotary Club will be unable to sell tickets to their main fundraiser, a raffle for a car, until the duck race is over.”
Bracebridge Rotary fundraises for local parks, minor sports, events like Canada Day fireworks, the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital, Hospice Muskoka and to support local families in need.
“As life gets harder in Ontario under this government, communities and families rely more and more on service clubs and non-profit organizations for help,” Miller told the Legislature.
In February 2015, Wilson introduced private members resolution calling on the government to strike an all-party committee to investigate the legislative and regulatory barriers and burdens facing clubs. While the resolution passed with all party support, the government has not acted on it except to hold one day of hearings before the Standing Committee on Social Policy last fall.
Miller reminded the Minister of Government and Consumer Services that it has been more than six months since that committee hearing and demanded to know why she has done nothing to help local volunteers who are trying to raise money for worthy causes.
Both the Minister of Government and Consumer Services and the Minister of Finance responded that this was important but neither could point to any concrete actions they have taken to make fundraising easier for service clubs.
“They said the right things but actions speak louder than words,” said Miller.