Representatives from three levels of government tried to get members of the local business community to look at the bigger picture at the chamber’s breakfast event on September 15.

Jane Philpott, MP and Minister of Indigenous Services; Helena Jaczek, MPP and Ontario Minister of Community and Social Services; and Mayor Justin Altman tackled lots of hot topics at the Power Hour event. Hosted by the Stouffville Chamber of Commerce, the breakfast took place at Meadowbrook Golf Club and provided a platform for local professionals and business owners to ask about taxes, healthcare in schools, and the newly proposed minimum wage.

Philpott and Jaczek met each question head-on and offered (more than once) to continue the discussion in greater detail with attendees in their offices afterwards. In their closing remarks, Altmann reminded the community to connect with him at a BBQ on his family farm this weekend.

Jaczek ended her update by saying, “I was really impressed by hearing from you what was top of mind this morning – it wasn’t exactly what I expected so this is really important for us as a provincial government. As you all know, next June there will be a day of reckoning but we will continue to believe that government is a source for good. It is an agency of us all that collects our tax money and puts it for support and services for all of us so that we can all grow. We can raise the bar for everybody that no one’s left behind, everyone has a place, everyone feels that they belong to their community -they have a part to play.”

Philpott wrapped things up by recounting a debate with a Bay Street lawyer who was for taxes benefiting the middle class and a local car dealership owner who was against it saying, “that’s what we do in Canada, we take care of one another. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out how to do that in a fair way. I want you to have assurance that even though not everything we do is going to make you entirely happy, we are really determined to try to do the best thing, the wise thing and I’m always happy to hear from you.”

Photo: MC Graydon Card with Power Hour guests MP Jane Philpott, MPP Helena Jaczek and Mayor Justin Altmann