The Carlington Summit
by Richard Patten.
MPP, Ottawa Centre.

In last month's issue of the Queen's Park Report I addressed the topic of Graduated Licensing and the setbacks that many of you have been facing as a result of the poor planning and under staffing at Ministry of Transportation offices.

They have been unable to accommodate the thousands of people who have flocked to the Walkley Road office this past summer in the hopes of booking a G2 road test before their five-year time limit had expired.

Fortunately the Minister of Transportation, David Turnbull, has since pledged to hire an additional 184 driver examiners province-wide, and has suggested both weekend and evening road tests in an attempt to reduce the current backlog and waiting time from six months to six weeks by July of 2001. Hopefully these promises from the Minister will facilitate the Graduated Licensing process in the near future.

As a means of monitoring the success of this effort, I encourage you to share with me your experiences with the Graduated Licensing Program, either positive or negative, by contacting my office at 722-6414.

Now that the Ontario Legislature has resumed sitting I will be spending a large part of my time in Toronto at Queen's Park, where I will be representing you.

As opposition critic for Children's Issues, I will also be recognizing the children of our province and the promise they hold for the future on Nov. 20, National Child Day. This day is more than just an opportunity to acknowledge the importance of our children to society.

National Child Day was established in 1989 to commemorate the Declaration on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which were adopted by the United Nations on Nov. 20 1959 and 1989, respectively. As we celebrate the tenth anniversary of this day, we recognize:

On Nov. 20 I urge you to do something special in appreciation of the children in your home, community, and beyond.

Finally, I hope we can all take some time on Nov. 11 to remember the sacrifices made by the generations that have preceded us. It is to them that we owe the society we are blessed with having.

I am honoured to be attending the Remembrance Day ceremony at the National War Memorial again this year to lay a wreath on behalf of the province. It is a day when we reflect on our seniors, and the great wealth of wisdom they bring to our lives.