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Welcome to “Beyond the Backbench”

Treat Hull

Now that the provincial election is over and Todd Smith has been elected as our MPP, I have some time on my hands. (As an aside for anyone who didn’t follow the election, I ran as the Green Party’s candidate. I wouldn’t say I ran an unsuccessful campaign, just that I wasn’t elected.)

The issues which concerned me as a candidate are still there and still unresolved, but now I will be addressing them as a commentator from “beyond the backbench” of provincial parliament through what I hope will be a weekly blog on political issues which affect life in the County.

Rather than to advance a partisan political agenda, my intent will be to raise issues and share information that might otherwise escape attention. I will leave it to readers to judge how well I succeed.

In this first blog, I want to share an insight which became clear to me during the course of the recent campaign.

Our riding, Prince Edward-Hastings, is an extremely diverse one and, as a result, it is a challenging riding to represent.

Here in the far south of the riding, the County has a distinct agricultural-tourist-creative economy. Belleville has its own issues and probably has more in common with the manufacturing communities of south-western Ontario than it does with the County. Bancroft is the largest community in the north of the riding where, I learned, forestry is the largest industry and the biggest employer by far.

While farmers in the south are concerned with coyotes, their counterparts in the north of the riding have a major concern with the uncontrolled growth of the elk herd.

Who knew?

Even with the best of intentions, this diversity makes it very challenging for an elected representative to keep informed about the wide-ranging issues which affect the riding. What are we to do? Don’t wait on our MPP to uncover issues. Instead, count on citizen activism and advocacy to make sure our MPP is fully informed of our specific concerns here in the County.

Upcoming blogs will tackle some of the specific questions I heard on the campaign trail, though I will omit further discussion of the elk herd unless someone tells me they’ve come across the bridge.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Alex says:


  2. Carolyn Barnes says:

    You ran a great campaign, Treat, and offered voters something thoroughly positive: reasonable, workable, well-researched responses to the most important issues we face. Thanks so much for continuing the good work with “Beyond the Backbench”.

  3. Penny Morris says:

    Thanks for continuing to work for everyone in this area Treat, to write about issues and encourage all of us to think, talk and move forward on keeping this county vibrant, making it better.

  4. Ernest Horvath says:

    It was very important to split to votes as little as possible to ensure the Ontario Liberals did not get a majority or better yet not be in office.
    I wanted to say how sorry I am that due to the system we now have that a good man did not get elected.
    Far too many political parties have forgotten who they should serve until the elections.
    Obviously major changes need to take place to ensure a true democracy.
    Keep at it .

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