Chatham-Kent-Essex MPP Rick Nicholls. ( file photo by Dave Richie)

Rick Nicholls Looks Back At 2017

A local MPP says he has made great strides in the region over the past year and will continue striving to do “the right thing.”

Chatham-Kent-Essex MPP Rick Nicholls says one of his greatest accomplishments of the year was a bill he introduced in February to improve safety for children and school buses.

“Basically the bill was all about finding, first of all I guess, video evidence captured from a camera mounted on the side of a school bus. When the lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, that video evidence would hold up in a court of law so that anyone caught doing that would be fined,” says Nicholls.

Nicholls says he was pleased to hear that the bill recently passed third reading and became law. He says the exact regulations of the law are still to be determined.

The MPP adds that a big focus of the year was also the fight for barriers on Hwy. 401 between Tilbury and London.

“We’re still working hard with Build the Barrier. I’ve spoken with the Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca with regards to barriers. We’ve had meetings in Toronto and we held a town hall meeting here, which had over 120 people in attendance, creating tremendous awareness,” he says.

Nicholls says now that winter is here, we will see transports lose control and sometimes cross the median into oncoming traffic. He says he wants to continue pressing the government for a protective barrier, preferably concrete, in the new year.

Another project Nicholls is looking at right now is the arts and fitness tax credit that he brought forward. He says he is concerned about childhood obesity and wants to do everything he can to get families active.

“Any families who have children involved in whether it be in the arts, music, drama, sports–you name it, anything that falls into that category–if PC government is elected, we will in fact be giving each family a $500 tax credit per child,” says Nicholls.

Nicholls also plans to address overcrowding in the region’s jails, as well as getting hydro rates under control in the new year.

“I’ll continue to work hard for the people of Chatham-Kent and Essex. They’ve given me a responsibility to represent them and I’ll represent them to the best of my ability, always striving to do the right thing.”