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LETTER: Jill Dunlop is 'indeed responsive, reasonably accessible'

'Jill Dunlop walked as close to breaking 'cabinet solidarity' around Bill 23 as one can as a minister in this government', writer says of Simcoe North MPP

MidlandToday welcomes letters to the editor at [email protected]. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). This letter is in response to a letter titled,'Issue with MPP Dunlop is leadership,' published Dec. 11.


Upon reflecting on some of the articles about our MPP Jill Dunlop's response to questions about Bill 23 as well as correspondence with Ms. Dunlop and both her constituency office and her ministerial office I have realized two things.

The first is that I think Jill Dunlop walked as close to breaking 'cabinet solidarity' around Bill 23 as one can as a minister in this government (specifically in saying that if it were up to her she would protect the Greenbelt and also saying that she thought it was okay for Premier Doug Ford to have changed his mind, she, in roundabout kind of way, said it was his decision, not hers).

The fact that she (and other cabinet and party members) are constrained from voting and speaking up (presumably according to how their constituents have indicated they would wish) is one of the systemic issues with the way our government functions at this time. It certainly makes it much harder to judge the true beliefs and character of those who are supposed to represent us rather than their party (and as we have seen many times, this is a cross-party issue, especially among those with an actual chance at governing, or that are in government).

The second thing I realized is that, at least on other matters, both Jill Dunlop and her staff are indeed responsive and do read one's emails. While there are constraints on what any of them can write, the biggest hint one has actually gotten a reply (or at least one dictated to staff by Ms. Dunlop) is when it takes a very long time for the response.

Ms. Dunlop is obviously has a lot to read, and people to communicate with, on a given day. Mr. Lewis is correct on that count.

I've been back and forth in my mind, and in conversations, about Ms. Dunlop's apparent lack of responsiveness, and at the present time I think she (with the help of her staff) is at least no worse than I've seen of those who actually in senior government positions, and am leaning more to that, with bit of a reality check, she's actually reasonably accessible.

Ultimately, I am reminded that if one doesn't at least try to write one's own emails (rather than form letter campaigns) to one's representatives, one has little chance of getting more than a canned response back. (Aside, I wonder how much political mail and commentary could be replicated by a 'ChatBot' war?)

This doesn't mean I'm happy about Bill 23, or other matters, but I've decided to try to focus my concern on these issues, rather than making hay over cross-party realities and those of occupying a only one body that has needs for rest, food, etc.

Daniel Dickinson