Seaway News reached out to the candidates running in this week’s Provincial election.
We asked them what their top three priorities were. Here are their answers.
**Candidates are listed in alphabetical order**
Over the next 4 years, there will be many issues and concerns that will require strong advocacy for this riding. During the campaign, regardless of the issue raised, I heard directly from the people in this riding that there needed to be a strong voice that put people first, before politics. At all 3 debates there were many concerns raised and these issues have also resonated during one-on-one conversations.
Healthcare in this riding needs to be championed. With the closure of another walk-in clinic in Cornwall and the ongoing issues of doctor recruitment throughout the riding, this will be a priority. We need to be allowed the option of opening more nurse practitioner clinics. The medical clinics that we do have need to be fully supported and funded, this includes proactive programs. Access to mental health and addiction recovery supports needs to be funded properly and increased for our riding. We also need to have new options for addressing all mental health concerns, but especially the mental health of our children and youth and access needs to be right in our riding.
Housing while a complicated issue, we are fortunate to have several organizations that have been working on what we need. The data has been collected but the provincial government now needs to support the plan. Municipal partners need to be empowered so that the issues can be addressed in a timelier manner. Waiting should not be an option. We need housing that is safe and secure and addresses affordability levels and different family dynamics.
There are so many issues that need to be championed but my main priority is to ensure that this riding is no longer forgotten. The fact that this riding has been left out of an Eastern Ontario Transportation plan is unacceptable. Addressing the issues of the 138 and other transportation arteries in this riding is necessary, but first we have to be included in the eastern Ontario plan. Many of our municipal partners will require funding for large infrastructure projects, long term care projects and items that support growth, we need to be included and considered in the funding envelopes fairly. We need to be considered for pilot projects. We need to stop having our concerns dismissed or ignored. We need strong experienced representation, that will be my priority.
Candidate for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry
*My top 3 priorities as MPP are: *
– *To listen, represent, and advocate for the people in Stormont, Dundas, & South Glengarry. *Because each person deserves to be acknowledged and represented by our riding’s MPP. Should our riding bestow upon me the privilege to do that, it will be my first priority to do so, with respect and care.
– *Increase and sustain housing inventory within SDSG* with a view forward to support renters with rent controls. A housing first approach is absolutely necessary to ensure the health and wellbeing of those in need with stable, permanent housing solutions within walkable communities where the needs of people (schools, healthcare, food, green space) are within a 15-minute boundary. Within the next few years about 20% of our population will be over 65. It is vital that we assist the seniors who built this province with programs that allow them to age in place within their own homes, in the communities that they know and love, should they wish to do so. When a Long-Term Care home is needed, the Green Party and I would like to ensure there are non-profit, loving and caring environments, and full-time well-paid health care workers and staff in place to ensure all who enter the home are supported with locally grown healthy food, mental health supports within a family first environment.
– *Bolster our public Healthcare supports.* The past couple of years have put an excessive amount of stress on our healthcare organizations and workers. Many of our health care workers have left the profession as a result and we have a backlog of surgeries, imaging, and other services due to the pandemic. The GPO of Ontario will address our shortfalls as follows:
-The Greens will ensure publicly funded mental health care supports are in place to help our people, professionals, and students when and where they need them in a timely manner.
-We will Work with the federal government to provide surge funding to reduce this backlog.
-My party will rebalance the healthcare funding formula to ensure better access in rural and remote areas.
-Expand the roles and scope of nurse practitioners as primary health care providers, especially in areas that lack primary care options.
-Use incentives to bring physicians and allied health professionals to Northern and rural communities.
-Provide cultural responsiveness training for all healthcare professionals across our system that is trauma-informed and rooted in equity and anti-racism.
Kindly visit gpo.ca/platform to view the complete, costed Green Party Platform.
Stormont – Dundas – South Glengarry
Candidate Green Party of Ontario / Parti Vert de l’Ontario
Candidate for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry
Ontario’s PC Party
As the NDP candidate, my top priorities all come down to respecting and investing in people.
We must fix our broken healthcare system, a system already weakened by Liberals and broken by Doug Ford. We will start by taking the profits out of long-term care and treating healthcare workers with respect. It is the height of hypocrisy how healthcare workers were called “heroes” throughout the pandemic, only to have their wages capped by the PC’s Bill 124, a bill that Jim McDonell voted for. The staffing crisis in healthcare is due in large part to unbearable working conditions wherein caring professionals are set up to fail their patients. We must ensure properly funded, strong public healthcare to ensure fair and timely access, high quality care, and equitable treatment of all people.
It is essential that we address the underlying issue at the root of our social problems: poverty. Nobody chooses poverty – it is caused by policies that protect the wealthy while doing very little to lift up and dignify those less fortunate. Propping up this unfair system is what we call charity, which is designed to fill the gap between the rich and the poor.
Many of the most vulnerable people in Cornwall and the surrounding counties are struggling to pay for basic necessities like rent and food. They don´t need charity. They need basic income and compassion. The PCs froze the minimum wage for three years while inflation got worse year after year, costing Ontarians on minimum wage about $6,000 in lost wages.
Many of the people I´ve met who are struggling to afford life these days are also people with disabilities. Disability is not a choice and we need to stop treating it like it is one.
Finally, I think it is of the utmost importance that, if elected, I use my position as MPP to help amplify the voices of those who have traditionally been underserved in our communities. This includes 2SLBGTQIA+ people, immigrants, Indigenous peoples, racialized people, those with disabilities, seniors, and women.
As your MPP, I will listen and will speak out when issues affecting us are being debated at Queen´s Park. I am committed to the people of SDSG.
Wendy Stephen Pronouns: she/her
Candidate for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry
Ontario’s New Democratic Party
As a New Blue SDSG MPP my 3 top priorities will be:
My priority number one will be to fight to end all COVID-19 mandates by repealing Bill 195. This would include a ban on COVID-19 Passports and restitution for those harmed by emergency measures applied by the government of Justin Trudeau or Doug Ford. By doing so we would restore dignity and transparency in our health care system by expending early treatments for covid-19 and clearing the backlog of procedures by rehiring healthcare workers. We would also work on increasing the mental health portfolio to deal with all the damages like depressions and addictions done by the lock downs.
My priority number two will be to grow the economy by 5% annually. How do we do that you may ask? We achieve that by stopping wind turbines to reduce electricity rates leaving more money in your pockets. We would also provide tax relief by cancelling the industrial carbon tax levied by Doug Ford and finally lower the HST by 3%. These actions would leave money where it counts, in your pocket. This would have for effect to stimulate the economy from the bottom up by helping small and medium size business in the local economy creating employment. By growing the local economy, we would also be in a much better place to continue adding new Long-Term Care (LTC) beds to existing facilities or to build new LTC close to existing ones in the riding and my preference is that they be managed by non-profit or municipality. This growth in the economy would also give us the opportunity to increase ODPS benefit to living wage and increase the availability of affordable housing.
My priority number three will be to use the growing economy to finance a strong and healthy education system with all the appropriate tools required in this new technology intense education. This requires a substantial investment in internet infrastructure (fiber optic) to every home in SDSG, and laptop/tablets so that our children stay up to speed on education. Schoolboards in Cornwall have done a great job negotiating with each other for the wellbeing of their students and I am sure this example can be used in the rest of the Ontario on how to do business. I support the four schoolboards of the riding and will help in any way I can to ensure that SDSG get the province’s support in order to obtain top notch education in order to retain and attract new young families in SDSG.
Candidate for New Blue SDSG
My first priority will housing affordability in SDSG. As you know, prices have skyrocketed which is detrimental to first time buyers and young families. I would therefore engage all stakeholders in SDSG so to assess the possibility to offer tax credits and other incentives to attract developers and contractors who are prepared to increase the supply for affordable houses. I would further discuss the possibility to remove the Ontario Land Transfer Tax for first time buyers and young families.
My second priority will be to attract more health professionals to SDSG. One possibility would be to attract new immigrants to our area by offering to support their work permits and transition assistance to become permanent residents. We would look at the possibility to cover all associated costs in exchange for a mandatory period of service in our area. Moreover, I would review the possibility to cover relocation costs for health professionals coming from other provinces who are interested to relocate to SDSG.
My third priority will be to improve the quality of services provided to our senior citizens This means improving home care services so that seniors can stay at home for the longest possible period, as well as supporting financially natural caregivers. I would also work hard to secure additional funding so that we can make major improvements to our existing infrastructures, add more beds and personnel.
Candidate for Ontario Party