FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Re: December 9, 2022 visit to your Bracebridge constituency office
Hon. Graydon Smith,
Sir, do constituents have a legal right to congregate in front of and to visit your office, you being their elected MPP? Do they have the right to hand-deliver letters to you at your office? Is your current Bracebridge location an appropriate place for an office paid for by taxpayers?
Climate Action Muskoka (CAM), Almaguin Climate Action (ACA) and Climate Action Pary Sound (CAPS) are asking these questions of you our Parry Sound Muskoka MPP and Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry after being barred from your Bracebridge constituency office Friday, December 9 at 1:30pm. You knew we were coming because we had asked for a meeting with you at that time. You knew we wanted to express our opposition to Bill 23 and our deep concerns for its erosion of protected spaces, its attack on climate mitigation and its undemocratic provisions overstepping local governance.
When we arrived, your office was closed. Another building tenant physically blocked the stairway to your office. The building owner barred entry to the building telling your constituents to “get the hell out…get the hell off my property” and told us we were trespassing on private property and called the police.
As an elected official, it is incumbent upon you to locate your office in a place where you are accessible to your constituents.
Your constituents are upset and frustrated after this unsettling experience, especially in light of having received no responses to their many phone calls, emails, and letters to you. Your constituents travelled from the far reaches of the riding to deliver their messages. This is their democratic right. To be stonewalled and treated like a criminal is unacceptable in a democratic society. They deserve an apology.
As our elected representative you are obligated to be accessible to all your constituents, including those whose opinions you do not agree with. Please respond to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Sue McKenzie, Gravenhurst
Len Ring, Gravenhurst
Linda Mathers, Port Carling
Christine Lauffer, Burk’s Falls
Al Bottomley, Sundridge
Tamsen Tillson, Bracebridge
Judy and Ken Christenson, Parry Sound
Merry Bridges, Parry Sound
On behalf of Climate Action Muskoka (CAM), Almaguin Climate Action (ACA), Climate Action Parry Sound (CAPS)
and the 100 constituents who visited your office on Friday, December 9, 2022