As candidates wrap up campaigning for the June 2 provincial election, we invited all seven who are vying to represent Parry Sound-Muskoka to answer five questions of local importance.
Their answers have been posted in randomly generated order.
What separates your party’s platform from the rest?
Doug Maynard, New Blue Party
The biggest difference is that PC, NDP, and Green parties are all offering mostly similar platforms that call for increased spending with no plan on how to afford all of those increases. One can only assume that those spending increases will result in higher taxes. The PC party is making a major platform promise to waste money building a highway that has zero benefits for Parry Sound-Muskoka. They are also not answering why they have not followed through on most of their promises from 2018 election. Spend, spend and spend more is their only plan. The New Blue Party is offering realistic plans to reduce taxes and energy rates to help people afford the cost of living.
See the New Blue platform here.
Graydon Smith, PC Party
Our focus on affordability, jobs and the two new hospitals for Parry Sound-Muskoka. We’re the only party committed to making these things a reality – and we’re the only party that can get this done.
We’re building Ontario and strengthening our communities by making critical infrastructure investments all while keeping costs down. We’re going to fully redevelop both hospital sites in Muskoka and are the only party that has pledged to do so. We’re also implementing our Housing Affordability Strategy that will result in the building of 1.5 million new homes across Ontario. This will lower new home prices, especially for first-time buyers. Our Critical Minerals Strategy and investment in new electric vehicle manufacturing will greatly benefit our local economy and result in thousands of high-paying jobs across the near north.
The other parties all intend to hike taxes and impose new fees that will hurt families in Parry Sound-Muskoka, greatly impact our quality of life, and kill local jobs.
The Ontario PCs understand and appreciate what life is like in small town and rural Ontario. We know that driving isn’t a luxury, neither is heating your home with natural gas and propane. We know that residents of our communities don’t want multi-story condo towers and drastic densification.
The other parties are out-of-touch with the realities of life here in Parry Sound-Muskoka.
See the PC platform here.
Matt Richter, Green Party
We are the first party in Ontario history to release a stand-alone mental health policy platform. That matters: statistics show that people are struggling with depression and drug use, that teens are struggling with eating disorders, bullying, and low self-esteem, and we’re seeing a tragic rise in hospitalizations for suicide attempts, especially among young adults. It’s time to bring real care to our communities so people can get the support they need. That means expanding access to mental health and addiction care under OHIP and increasing mental health spending to 10 per cent of our health budget. We want to invest in Youth Wellness Hubs as a one-stop-shop for employment, health, and education. Let’s reduce waitlists to 30 days or less for children’s mental health services so those in crisis aren’t left in the lurch.
Our platform also has one of the most robust plans for supporting our seniors. We want to build nearly 60,000 long-term care beds by 2033 and nearly 100,000 by 2041. Let’s increase our base funding for long-term care by 10 per cent and increase the ability of our seniors to access health professionals like dieticians and occupational therapists.
We have created the most comprehensive climate action plan of any party, a plan that takes account of the unique economic and geographical needs in our riding. That means creating good green jobs in the North, offering cash incentives to make electric vehicles more affordable, and reducing sources of pollution which will clean up our air, land, and waters.
See the Green Party platform here.
Daniel Predie Jr, independent
As an Independent I will go after the corrupt and their corruption wherein I will fill the tax coffers seized from proceeds of corruption and those living off of the proceeds of corruption, mostly from your tax dollars already spent.
Erin Horvath, NDP
The NDP is a party that represents the interests of workers, families, and small business and is constantly advocating for the most vulnerable. Making life affordable is a top priority.
Our plan to address climate change meets Paris Accords targets while ensuring that life remains affordable for people in rural and northern Ontario. Unlike the Green Party, we will regulate gas prices while we invest in other energy sources. We will do so immediately rather than waiting until July 1 as the Conservatives are doing, and will offer more than a few cents discount over a matter of months. We also will not build a green economy on the backs of Indigenous peoples, which is particularly relevant as it relates to how we approach the mining of minerals for electric vehicles and obtaining cheap electrical power from flooded Indigenous lands.
The NDP would ensure that health care, education, water, seniors care, green energy projects, hydro, transit, road maintenance, and childcare remains public. No other party takes this stance even though privatization has been shown to cost us more as for-profit companies cut corners to maximize profits for shareholders. This doesn’t eliminate private investment but rather ensures that it is service focused, not profit focused.
See the NDP platform here.
Brad Waddell, Populist Party
Our Party’s platform is to SERVE the public. We are the only party made up of NON-Politicians. We have no connections to corporations or any groups that influence Government spending. We will use common sense and logic in deciding where your tax dollars go, so the people of Ontario get better service at lower costs.
See the PPO platform here.
Andrew John Cocks, Ontario Party
All citizens of Ontario, among other rights, are guaranteed freedom of expression and freedom of conscience under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Charter specifically protects individuals from acts by their governments that would violate those rights. However, as has become increasingly apparent, governments—both federal and provincial—can, and do, violate those rights with increasing regularity and ease.
For example, in Ontario, members of professional organizations and those seeking employment in certain fields, on pain of losing their right to work or advance in their career, are being compelled to complete ideological attestations that demand how they must think. These attestations are unrelated to their competency in the job and, for many, at odds with their beliefs and moral convictions.
In the fall of 2021, with the launch of vaccine passports, citizens who requested that their right to freedom of conscience, informed consent, medical privacy, and bodily autonomy be respected, had their request overruled. In the absence of sufficient cause, they were banned from public life, fired from their jobs, or removed from their college or university programs.
These few examples and an Ontario Party Government will do justice and reverse this trend.
See the Ontario Party platform here.
Election day in Ontario is June 2, 2022. Advance polls are open now. Find details on when and where to vote at elections.on.ca.
If you’re on the voters list, you should have received a voter information card in the mail. Bring your voter information card and one piece of ID showing your name when you go to vote.
If you did not receive a voter information card, you can still vote, but your name may not be on the voters list. Bring one piece of ID showing your name and current residential address when you go to vote.
Main image: Queen’s Park photo “June 2012 Ontario Legislature Toronto” by Priscilla Jordão, via Wikimedia Commons, is licensed under CC BY 2.0 / Cropped from original.
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