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2018 Ontario Election

Credit: Elections Ontario


Emma Fairgrieve | Interrobang | News | June 1st, 2018




Thursday, June 7 is provincial Election day and with only few days to go, the Interrobang compiled some basic information about the four major parties running, as well as a list of the candidates running for those four parties in and around London. Our reporters asked different candidates and spokespersons different questions that they can answer on behalf of their party and/or what they personally plan to achieve if elected. There are a variety of topics each party spoke about, but making sure they covered student issues and London based issues was key for this article. For more information on each party and their platform, visit their websites.

NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY (NDP)

EMMA FAIRGRIEVE | INTERROBANG

This article is entirely based off of a conversation the Interrobang had with the current NDP MPP for London West, Peggy Sattler, on behalf of the party as a whole.

Issue of importance: Healthcare

How they will fix it

We have committed to a Pharmacare program that would cover the 25 most essential or most commonly prescribed medications for everyone in the province. We would, as the budget allows, build on a Pharmacare program from there. It’s a very practical and a reasonable way to begin the implementation of a Pharma care program of a universal Pharma care program that could be expanded as necessary. On the dental care, we have proposed a hybrid model right now. Two-thirds of working people in Ontario are covered by workplace benefit packages that include dental care. We would require employers to provide minimum standards of dental care in their workplace benefit packages. For people who don’t have employer plans, who don’t have benefits, they would be able to get dental care through their health card. We are going to be investing in clinics with health units and community health centres to provide dental care. We’re also going to be putting mobile dental buses on the road to get out to remote and rural communities that may not have a dentist or dental hygienists and these mobile buses would also provide those basic dental services that would be covered buyer program.

Education

In the K22 system public education, our first priority is to basically take apart the current funding formula and rebuild a funding formula that actually addresses the needs of students in our classrooms. We are going to eliminate standardized testing like Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) and instead, move to a random sample testing model that will serve as a check on the curriculum. It will enable us to measure how well the curriculum is doing rather than assess individual students. At the post-secondary level, we’ve committed to funding a faculty renewal strategy that would assist in converting more of these contract faculty positions to full time jobs because that benefits students and it ensures higher quality post-secondary education when there are these stable jobs that allow faculty to spend the time required to prepare for their classes and to be available to help support students and deliver high quality teaching in our post-secondary institutions. In addition, we want to ensure that as many young people as possible are able to go to post-secondary, and we have committed to converting all student loans into grants. Any student who qualifies for student financial assistance on the basis of income would now receive a non-repayable grant instead of a loan. Any students who currently are carrying student loans, we would immediately remove the interest he loans that they are repaying. We will remove the interest, and we all in fact rebate any interest that students have already paid on their student loan so that re payments go directly to pay down the principal instead of toward interest that the government is collecting is profiting.

Environment

We supported the government’s Cap and trade initiative. However, we believe that in order to be effective, a cap and trade system has to be fair and it has to be transparent. So we would include some offsetting measures for low income Ontarian’s who could be negatively affected by cap and trade, because we know that renters, for example, many of whom may be low income, they’re not able to retrofit their windows with new energy, efficient windows and doors, and they’re not able to. Sometimes they live in apartments where they’re not even able to control their heating or other things that would reduce their carbon footprint. So we need to include some offsetting measures to compensate low income Ontario’s for the cost of a cabin trade system. We also believe in a polluter pay principal. So those companies that are the biggest emitters of carbon should be paying their fair share to reduce our carbon footprint.

Why student should vote NDP

Another one of our commitments around post-secondary education is to invest in 27,000 new co-ops and internships, and field placements and similar programs in colleges and universities that would be paid. That would allow young people to get practical hands on experience that would help them when they graduate transition to the labor market our investment in the conversion of student loans into grants and removing in trust student loans would help young people who would no longer feel burdened by this huge debt(s) that they are carrying when they graduate from post-secondary. We’re not going to force young people to start out with this big debt and we’re going to make sure that every young person who wants to go to post-secondary has the means to do that and also is in a better position when they graduate, to move with their life goals.

For more information, visit ontariondp.ca.


ONTARIO LIBERAL PARTY

LLIAM BUCKLEY AND JOCELYN WONG | INTERROBANG

This article was based off an interview the Interrobang had with Liberal with Liberal MPP candidate for London North Centre, Kate Graham, on behalf of the party as a whole and her ideas for the future. Some information is also gathered from research about the Liberal Party.

Liberal Party’s General Platform

In a statement with Interrobang, Liberal MPP candidate for London North Centre, Kate Graham stated, “This is a time for strong leadership - for a government with a reasoned plan to bring fairness and opportunity for everyone.”

What are some of the issues that you find are most important to tackle and how does the party plan to fix this?

“There are a number of issues that are so important that they come up every day…At the end of the day, this election will come down to a stark choice: do we want to take care of people, or risk cuts to the services we rely on? If we care about these things, we need to fight for them,” Graham said.

The party’s stance on helping post-secondary students through OSAP and other means Graham shared that the Liberal government has “implemented the most ambitious reform of student assistance in North America, making post-secondary education a possibility for hundreds of thousands of students. This year, more than 235,000 students are receiving free tuition – that’s one-third of all college and university students. [Roughly] 8,431 students from London alone are going to university and college this year with their tuition completely paid through OSAP”.

Stance on minimum wage

According to the Liberal’s 2018 Ontario Budget, “as part of our plan for fair workplaces and better jobs, we increased the minimum wage to $14 per hour on January 1, 2018, ensuring that hundreds of thousands of workers receive a much needed raise. And on January 1, 2019, the minimum wage will increase further to $15 per hour”.

Stance on health care

The 2018 Ontario Budget touches on this saying, “in January 2018, the government undertook the largest expansion of Medicare in a generation with the introduction of OHIP+, providing free prescription medicine for young people under the age of 25…We are investing an additional $822 million in 2018–19 in hospitals to improve wait times and increase the number of critical services and procedures…and other life “saving supports”.

Stance on the Environment

The 2018 Ontario Budget also reads “the government is taking this action by transitioning to a competitive and low” carbon economy through investments in the development and adoption of green technologies that will create new opportunities for economic growth and jobs, while protecting the environment from further consequences of climate change”.

Stance on hydro and gas prices

The 2018 Ontario Budget states that “nearly $70 billion has been invested in the electricity system since 2003…portion of these costs is being refinanced, and recovery of these costs from ratepayers is being spread out over a longer period of time to better align with the timeframe of the benefits of these investments to Ontario electricity consumers…Through this plan, as of July 1, 2017, Ontario has lowered electricity bills by 25 per cent on average for residential customers”.

Thoughts on the unemployment rate

Graham agreed that this is an issue in the current environment of London sharing that “investing in things that make the lives of Londoners more affordable, things like minimum wage, child care and tuition are so important. We need to invest in London…We need to support small businesses, and develop the workforce to meet the demands of today and tomorrow. We need to ensure our strongest sectors like health care, manufacturing, digital creative and agri-business remain strong. We also need to address underlying issues that prevent people from working, by investing in mental health and other supports”. What the Liberal Part has to offer a city like London in particular

“I care about our community and our province. I want to ensure Londoners know they have a champion to represent our community and its needs at Queen’s Park,” Graham shared in her statement to the Interrobang.

Why students should vote Liberal

“I would encourage anyone who cares about the outcome of the election (especially young people and students) to get out there and have their voices heard. I know every single campaign being run in London right now - regardless of party stripe - would love to have young people out volunteering and knocking on doors. So, get out there and get involved,” Graham said.

For more information, visit ontarioliberal.ca.


PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE (PC) PARTY ONTARIO

LAUREN DIETRICH | INTERROBANG

Quotes were taken from press conferences and campaign stops by Doug Ford. The PC party did not provide a statement and could not be reached for comment for this article.

Minimum Wage

Ford plans to freeze minimum wage at $14 an hour opposed to the Liberal plan of raising it to $15 an hour in January. Ford has also previously discussed that people earning less than $28,000 a year would not have to pay income tax.

“Our plan is to put money back into your pocket instead of the government’s, put money back into the businesses’ pockets, so they can thrive and get ahead and hire people,” Ford said at a campaign stop in Ottawa on April 16.

Education

If elected, Ford plans to replace the sex-education and Discovery Math programs in elementary schools. The Liberal government updated the sex-education curriculum in 2015 to include topics such as same-sex marriage, masturbation, and gender identity. Ford plans to revamp the curriculum by speaking with parents to decide what should be included. “For too long the Liberals have ignored Ontario parents. They have introduced the sex curriculum based on ideology - a curriculum that teaches sensitives topics starting at an early age,” Ford said at a Toronto rally on May 8. The discovery math initiative was a $60 million plan created by the Liberal government in 2016 to deal with the decline in Ontario math test scores in elementary schools. After a year of the program, test scores continued to decrease while provinces using other techniques saw their math scores increase. Ford plans to go back to the basics and replace discovery math with proven methods of teaching.  

In terms of post-secondary education, Ford plans to provide funding to the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario to implement a process for complaints and investigations in terms of violations of free speech. There have been a number of situations on Canadian campuses where speakers or professors have been attacked for their views.  

Health Care

In order to deal with the issue of hospital waiting times Ford plans to provide dental care to low income seniors, add 30,000 long term care beds over the next 10 years, and investing $1.9 billion in mental health, addiction, and housing supports.

“For those who are frustrated, whether you are a patient or a doctor or a nurse, please hear me when I say change is coming. For our health care providers, for doctors, for nurses, and especially for patients and their families, help is on the way,” Ford said at a press conference at the Advanced Care Medical Centre in London on May 18.

Unemployment Rate, Debt, Taxes

Ford has vowed to reduce government spending by $6 billion and decrease income taxes by $2.3 billion. “We are going to wipe out the deficit the first year, maybe the second… We will balance the budget in our term,” Ford said in Niagara Falls on May 16.

Hydro and Gas Prices

Ford promises to help people save an average of 12 per cent on their hydro bills. This will be achieved by returning Hydro One dividends to hydro customers, putting a stop to burying the cost of conservation programs on hydro bills and moving towards a tax based program, and placing a moratorium on new energy contracts and renegotiating the terms on existing contracts.

“It’s a very simple saying, I always say, it’s about choosing between heating and eating. We’re here in Ontario, no one should be choosing between heating and eating” Ford said at a campaign stop in Peterborough.

Ford also plans to decrease gas prices by 10 cents a litre by cutting carbon tax and ending the cap-and-trade program. The current tax rate is 14.7 cents for gas and 14.3 cents for diesel. Ford plans to reduce the taxes to 9 cents per litre by taking off carbon tax. Ending the cap-and trade program will result in a further reduction of 4.3 cents per litre for a total of 10 cents per litre.

Senior Care

At an April 6 campaign stop in Peterborough, Ford said, “We are going to take care of dental care for seniors that is an absolutely critical issue.” He plans to allocate $98 million per year to help low-income seniors get dental care.

Plans for Legalization of Marijuana

Upon the legalization of marijuana, Ford is open to a fair market and will take a hands off approach. “I don’t believe in the government sticking their hands in our lives all the time. I believe in letting the market dictate,” Ford said on CBC Radio’s Ottawa Morning on March 13.

The PC party did upload bits of their platform online, which includes topics such as:

- More access to beer and wine

- Cut the price of gas

- Cut hospital wait times

- Restore responsibility, accountability and trust

- Create good jobs

- Clean up the hydro mess

- Put more money in your pocket

- Audit Kathleen Wynne

- No taxes for minimum wage earners

- Stop the carbon tax

- Balance the budget

- Make Ontario open for business

For more information, visit ontariopc.ca.


GREEN PARTY OF ONTARIO (GPO)

SAMANTHA KACZALA  | INTERROBANG

The article is based off of an interview the Interrobang had with MPP candidate for London-Fanshawe, Lisa Carriere, on behalf of the party as a whole and her thoughts for the future of London.

Issue of importance

According to Carriere, climate change would be the issue of importance.

“Nobody really talks about the planet, which in all my conversations now seems to be the elephant-in-the-room that nobody brings up. If we don’t address the climate change we won’t have a planet. We won’t be able to breathe the air or drink the water and nothing else really matters. Nobody really talks about it at all, which is very frustrating,” Carriere said.

How does the party plan to fix it?

Some commitments to helping climate change that is listed in the GPO’s platform are:

Putting air, water and farmland as our priorities so that we can ensure future generations will have them.

Stopping companies from destroying farmland and lessening the effect of pollution on air and water.

To protect our farmland, air and water, Carriere explained that the GPO would change legislations to include:

Introducing a legislations to permanently protect Ontario’s farmland and source water regions.

A $2 million investment in paying farmers to protect water, their land and store carbon.

As far as cost goes, Carriere had some words to share. “Cost would be on the companies who are emitting air or taking on water to fund their expenditures to a good standard of health for the environment or to push companies on not stealing land and water,” Carriere said.

The GPO’s platform as a whole described in a couple of sentences

“Jobs, people, planet. Politics in Ontario is broken. Somewhere along the line it stopped being about people and that’s the difference we want to make,” Carriere said.

The party’s thoughts on education

Carriere explained that education has changed from how it used to be, especially post-secondary.

“One thing that we have to realize is that education doesn’t stop at 18 or 25. We should support students that are getting into school for the first time, but we also have to look at education as a life long process. Students today can be expected to have four to six different careers up towards 20 different jobs. We have to take that into consideration,” Carriere said

The Green Party’s vision for helping post-secondary education includes:

Fund higher education with public subsidies, eventually guaranteeing full public education for all Ontario residents attending post-secondary.

Freeze tuition to be the same across all years.

Provide interest-free student loans for those in financial need.

Want to support post-secondary staff by working to a standard contract of a minimum of three courses per semester for causal contract professors.

The party’s thoughts on health care

“Out of all the people who come out to invite us (GPO) and talk and everything else, it’s always about health care,” Carriere said.

One of the Green Party’s movements in the health care system is wanting to create a program in OHIP+ for mental health, which would provide access to one-on-one counseling support to where a person lives without going broke. The party’s platforms state that this is the first step they want to take to “making mental health services part of OHIP+.”

This addition to OHIP+ would come in the form of an umbrella organization called Mental Health and Addictions Ontario, which will help consolidate mental health and addiction problems with featured strategies to do so.

More health care issues GPO wish to address are:

- Develop more clinical standards and impact assessments to cover a wide array of mental health and addiction issues.

- Increase the amount of Nurse Practitioner led clinics to improve patient care and outcomes.

- Create a 24/7 mobile crisis prevention team.

- Carriere stated that they also want to confront the opioid crisis that is sweeping across the nation.

- GPO’s thoughts on the unemployment rate in Ontario

- One of the strategies to fight against unemployment is the party’s Basic Income Guarantee plan.

- Carriere explained that every person would receive a certain amount of money, free of charge. This income would be meant to keep more people from falling through the cracks into poverty.

- “Our current social safety nets were not designed for an economy with so many contracts, freelance, and precarious temporary jobs,” Carriere said. The Greens say they want to rectify this with their fail safe.

Plans to make the city better if voted in to represent London-Fanshawe  

“The big issues that face the citizens of my community are precarious work, health care and housing affordability. I think that the programs the Green Party has to offer like the Basic Income Guarantee and our plans for affordable housing, where we would mandate all construction to have at least 20 per cent affordable housing units, both into and within the community, not segregated into a ghetto. Those are things that I would fight for with all my being with Queen’s Park that would have an immediate positive effect on the citizens of my community,” Carriere said.

For more information, visit gpo.ca.
Candidates by Riding

LONDON-FANSHAWE

Green Party-Lisa Carriere

Liberal Party- Lawvin Hadisi

New Democratic Party- Teresa Armstrong

Progressive Conservative Party- Eric Weniger

LONDON WEST

Green Party- Pamela Reid

Liberal Party- Jonathan Hughes

New Democratic Party-Peggy Sattler

Progressive Conservative Party- Andrew Lawton

LONDON NORTH CENTRE

Green Party- Carol Dyck

Liberal Party- Kate Graham

New Democratic Party-Terence Kernaghan

Progressive Conservative Party- Susan Truppe

ELGIN-MIDDLESEX-LONDON

Green Party- Bronagh Morgan

Liberal Party- Carlie Forsythe

New Democratic Party-Amanda Stratton

Progressive Conservative Party- Jeff Yurek

HALDIMAND-NORFOLK

Green Party-Anne Faulkner

Liberal Party- Dan Matten

New Democratic Party-Danielle Du Sablon

Progressive Conservative Party- Toby Barrett

OXFORD

Green Party- Al De Jong

Liberal Party- James Howard

New Democratic Party-Tara King

Progressive Conservative Party- Ernie Hardeman

Provincial Party Leaders

Green Party of Ontario

Mike Schreiner

Liberal Party

Kathleen Wynne, Premier

New Democratic Party

Andrea Horwath, MPP

Progressive Conservative Party

Doug Ford

For more information on other parties running in the election, visit elections.on.ca.

The Interrobang also included a 2018 Elections Ontario/Ontario General Election (Q&A) basic voting guide for students. Visit fsu.ca/vote for more information.


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