Special To SaultOnline By Winona Hutchinson
We all read what attending members of the media said the convention was about, but as a person who actually attended and participated, there was much more you need to know.
As a delegate of our Riding I along with Ross Romano MPP, was able to participate in many positive discussions over the weekend, advocating for Sault Ste Marie on a variety of topics.
This was a forum that allowed us delegates an opportunity to have a voice along with our Elected MPPs about the needs of our ridings.
For example, I was able to speak directly to Minister Elliott and Minister MacLeod and advocate about the PSW crisis in our Long Term Care Facilities across Ontario.
I had the opportunity to suggest that perhaps the previous regulations of only being able to hire PSW’s to be looked at in an effort to allow other qualified workers to be hired.
For example those that work with special needs or Developmental Services Workers, who have transferable skills, could work in long term care facilities to help alleviate the pressure and growing concern over the care of our loved ones, and I can honestly say I felt warmly received by my fellow delegates and my government.
I also had the opportunity to ask Minister Phillips and the assistant of Minister Rickford if he could possibly look at how our Northern Communities can be reconnected since the loss of the train and the GreyHound Bus.
I explained that these losses have left many in our city of Sault Ste Marie, and our surrounding First Nations and Amish Communities who depended on those services, be left with little affordable options to visit family in neighboring communities or Southern Ontario. I feel it is necessary for all members of our communities be able to socialize with outside communities for economic and social growth.
There was also many discussions with various members seeking election to the new Party Executive and how we were going to move the party forward and work towards providing a voice for all Ontarians.
Whether or not these ideas will come to pass we will have to wait and see but the immediate result of these conversations was that I felt empowered, engaged, informed and most importantly, I felt HEARD!