Clement-Miller levee brings supportive crowd
By Jennifer Bowman
MP Tony Clement spends time with Muskoka residents Jo and Ray Bamford at the combined levee he and MPP Norm Miller host each year.
Photo by Jennifer Bowman
January 16, 2013
MUSKOKA - Well-wishers and supporters gathered at the annual Clement-Miller levee in Bracebridge on Sunday, Jan. 13.
Despite a silent vigil in support of the Idle No More movement outside the Rotary Centre for Youth, about 150 people from throughout Muskoka gathered inside for a pleasant afternoon of conversation and refreshments at the joint New Year’s levee for MP Tony Clement and MPP Norm Miller.
Both Clement and Miller said they heard mostly praise. Miller said he scheduled several appointments to deal with other issues that were raised since time at the levee was limited.
Jo and Ray Bamford attended the event to have an opportunity to meet Clement personally.
“We wanted to just chat with Tony and get a chance to meet him,” Jo said.
This is their first year at the event and they commented on the community spirit and the number of friends they saw there.
Margaret Pickell came to meet Clement and “thank him again for McVittie Place,” where she has been living since it opened.
Clement said he looks back on 2012 as a year with positive developments in local businesses.
“We’ve seen some great traction in 2012 locally with new businesses or businesses expanding, I want to see that continue. I will continue to be helpful in that regard,” he said.
He’s also planning to tackle the water level issues in Georgian Bay.
“The water levels are about four to five feet down in some areas and that affects the entire ecosystem in Muskoka as well as Georgian Bay,” he said. “I’ve been at the forefront of making the environment minister, the foreign affairs minister aware of this challenge and now we’re waiting for the international joint commission.”
Once a report is delivered, Clement said he will be ready to spring into action to do whatever he can.
Miller said he’s not sure what he sees in 2013.
Being in opposition at Queen’s Park with the legislature suspended means there is a lot of uncertainty in the coming year, he said.
“There’s so many variables about what might happen going forward,” he said. “We might have an election - we’re a minority parliament, we might not have an election. I don’t know when the legislature is going to be recalled, so we keep working around the riding.”
They have been having weekly caucus meetings, he said, “and almost on a weekly basis rolling out white papers that are meant to put policies forward and also to get discussion and input towards a possible platform.”
One of the biggest things he is looking forward to this year is being a grandpa for the first time.
His daughter and son-in-law, Abigale and Mike Paduada, will be returning to Muskoka on Jan. 16 from China where Abigale has a three-year contract with a British company. With only three months of maternity leave, they will be flying back to China after a two and a half month visit.
“She’s going to be home for a few months and the baby is going to be born in Muskoka,” he said.
They don’t know whether the baby will be a boy or girl.
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