By Angelica Ingram
As Ontario MPPs head back to the provincial legislature this week Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock representative Laurie Scott will be wearing a new hat.
Following a shuffle by PC party leader Patrick Brown last week Scott was assigned deputy house leader by the new party leader.
The position will bring about a big learning curve for the MPP who will working alongside house leader Jim Wilson who was recently interim leader of the PC party.
“It’s a lot of rules and regulations and I oversee committees” said Scott. “I’m on a couple committees myself but then I oversee if the committees are moving along and [look at] pieces of legislation to be discussed … and what topics we tackle in the legislature for questions. It’s like a strategy position.”
This is the first time Scott has held this position having been the deputy whip in the past.
Scott will continue to fill her role as critic for women’s issues and will add critic for citizenship immigration and international trade to her portfolio as well.
She already has some ideas for improving this area of the government.
“I think some of the immigration programs that we run provincially can be updated” she said. “There might be more ability to respond to certain needs that we have such as skilled trades or economic or investments … anything that leads to job creation we want to encourage.”
Scott also points to foreign credentialing as something that could be streamlined through cooperation between regulatory bodies such as the Ministry of Education.
“I ran into a dentist in our riding [from out of country] … who had to retrain just as a dental hygienist themselves and that’s all they can work at for the moment” she said.
The MPP will also continue her work on the select committee on sexual violence and harassment an effort she spearheaded following the Jian Ghomeshi scandal.
Scott is looking forward to the challenges ahead and returning to the legislature following a year of upheaval for the PC party with the recent party leader election in the spring and Brown’s bi-election this summer.
“Now that we all have our new roles and portfolios we know what to focus on” she said. “We’re excited to get on with it.”