Over the past two years, I have truly come to appreciate Peter Kormos, Ontario MPP for Niagara Centre.
As a senior member of the New Democratic Party of Ontario, Peter holds the posts of Justic Critic, Labour Critic, Consumer Protection Critic, and Community Safety Critic.
During the House debates and Committee hearings on the Ontario Liberal Party’s Bill 132 amendments to the Dog Owners’ Liability Act, Peter was one of the most vocal critics of the legislation.
Outspoken and direct, he outlined clearly the absurdities, inconsistencies, and contradictions in the law, as well as its constitutional problems.
Don’t get me wrong. I recognize that it’s the duty and responsibility of the Third Party critic to do everything within his power to hold the government accountable and to test the mettle of every new bill. I did feel, however, that Peter truly believed that Bill 132 was bad law.
Now, he’s at it again over the government’s recent introduction of a 31% salary increase for MPP’s. From being kicked out of the legislature last week for refusing to back down, to making a promise that his own salary increase will be donated to charity, to insisting on house debate and committee hearings about the pay hike, Peter is not making a lot of friends in that House.
Note in the following Toronto Star article that Liberal House Leader Jim Bradley is expected to make a motion limiting debate on the subject. This tactic has been used multiple times by the current government in order to ram through controversial legislation.
Ironically, Jim Bradley is Minister of Tourism. As such, he is one of the most frequent recipients of angry letters from potential visitors to Ontario who now refuse to enter the province because of this government’s discriminatory dog legislation. If anyone is aware of public sentiment against laws that are hastily contrived and speedily passed, it should be Mr. Bradley.
The MPP’s are “mad as hell” that they have to work this week and possibly the next. Hmmm, I’ll be working then. So will everyone I know, and not for as much money as these guys. I also don’t get writeoffs and perks, nor do I work for only six months of the year. Unlike the MPP’s, I’m also expected to show up for work every day.