With the 2018 Ontario general election coming up on June 7, Beach Metro News reached out to the candidates from the four top parties vying to win the Beaches—East York riding this year. We asked them to outline what the biggest issues facing the riding and province are and what they would do to solve them.
Rima Berns-McGown, Ontario NDP candidate
Hi neighbours. I’ve lived in the Beach with my husband, David, for 25 years. We raised our four kids here and walk our dogs along the boardwalk every day.
I’m an educator, researcher, and writer. Born in South Africa of a mixed background, my life’s passion has been to think about how we can create a socially just and diverse Canada that leaves no one on the sidelines. I taught diaspora studies at the University of Toronto at Mississauga until a couple of years ago, when I took the Institute of Corporate Directors’ Director Education Program for the purpose of working with boards of directors and senior management to help them rid organizations of systemic racism and oppression and to help the private sector drive this critical change.
I decided to run for the NDP in this election because I saw that our community and province are hungry for change. I’ve been knocking on doors and speaking with many of you since I was nominated in February, and people have been sharing their frustrations with me. It is so clear that people in the neighbourhood are ready for change: This province isn’t working for people any more.
I’m proud to run with Andrea Horwath and the NDP team. Our equity-based platform offers a bold vision of change for the better. Our fully costed, fiscally responsible plan takes a thoughtful, broad approach to ensuring that we have the housing, health care, education, childcare, eldercare, energy, and transportation we need.
Our platform provides an innovative universal dental care program, an end to hallway medicine, and pharmacare for everyone.
Our platform makes a meaningful commitment to Indigenous reconciliation and to fighting systemic racism, starting with a complete ban on police carding.
I absolutely love how the platform is responsive to issues that we face in Beaches–East York: the East End Community Health Centre is finally going to get funding for the dental clinic our community desperately needs. The East York General Hospital is going to thrive when it has funding that allows it to serve its patients with dignity — and not languishing in hallways. We are all going to benefit from the restored provincial contribution to the TTC and better subway and streetcar service.
Most importantly, we are going to benefit from a government that has integrity: one that doesn’t lie to Ontarians and one that doesn’t cut the services we all need. Change that benefits everyone is change for the better.
I’m so excited about our wonderful team and the growing army of volunteers helping out, as well as the buzz in the neighbourhood that change is afoot. Come and join us at our office at 2763 Danforth Ave. or give us a call at (647) 479-9885. Take a sign or come knock on doors with us! Let me know if you want me to come speak to a group of your neighbours or friends.
I’d love to meet you in person and I look forward to serving you as your MPP!
Sarah Mallo, Ontario PC Party candidate
The Ontario Liberal government was first elected some 15 years ago. That’s the legacy they must be held accountable for.
Growing up, I saw my family struggling with rising costs and higher taxes. As small business owners, my parents continue to face skyrocketing hydro rates, mounting taxes, government inefficiencies and bureaucratic red tape. For people across Ontario, it’s harder to make ends meet.
But not everyone has been struggling over the last 15 years. While people are being forced to choose between paying their hydro bill and putting food on their table, the CEO and Board of Hydro One gave themselves millions of dollars in raises. While small business owners are being crushed by higher taxes and more regulations, Liberal-friendly donor companies have been awarded millions of dollars’ worth of lucrative contracts.
Equally concerning is the state of our healthcare. Premier Wynne’s government is responsible for the crisis of hallway medicine and long-term care bed shortages. Sick people are being treated in hallways and storage rooms of overcrowded hospitals. Our valued seniors sit for years on waitlists for long-term care. That’s hard to swallow when we know $8 billion dollars was wasted on eHealth—money that could have gone to front-line health care; or the $1.1 billion sunk into the gas plants scandal, which resulted in a jail sentence for Premier McGuinty’s former chief of staff. Countless times the aAuditor gGeneral has flagged Premier Wynne’s government on inappropriate spending and hiding the real numbers on the cost of their poor decisions.
As a member of the Ontario PC team, I am excited to bring our message of change to the people of Beaches–-East York. I’ve knocked on hundreds of doors and heard about the issues that matter to our community. People have consistently told me that life is getting more unaffordable and that the current approach clearly isn’t working. They want a government that respects their tax dollars and trusts them to make the best decisions for their families.
A PC government will bring the change that’s needed in Beaches–East York and across our province. We will:
· Clean up the Liberal legacy of waste and mismanagement and restore trust and accountability
· Put money back into your pocket and bring good-paying jobs back to Ontario
· Bring an end to hallway health care
· Expand mental health and addiction supports
· Invest an additional $5 billion in new transit projects in Toronto
Though the election may get tense at times, there is only one thing that should be the focus. After 15 years, it is time for this tired, expired government to be replaced. It’s time for change, with a new voice for Beaches–East York.
I respectfully ask for your support. Thank you.
Arthur Potts, Ontario Liberal Party, Beaches—East York MPP
It’s been an honour serving the people of Beaches–East York as your MPP. I’m running for re-election on my record of local and legislative successes, and our platform for moving forward and growing our province.
Going door to door I am asking a simple question: “Have I worked hard enough over the past four years to earn your support on June 7th?” I believe I have and want to share a few of my accomplishments.
I passed more private member bills than any other MPP this session. These included the “Tipping Bill”, which made it illegal for restaurant owners to take a share of workers’ gratuities; the “Protecting Loyalty Reward Points Bill”, which stopped AirMiles and other reward points from being “expired” unfairly; the “Banning Daycare Wait List Fees Bill”, which led the Ministry of Education to ban the charging of non-refundable and non-transparent waitlist fees; and the “Fairness in Consumer Reporting Bill”, which requires credit agencies to provide free electronic copies of your credit report and put a freeze on your credit score, if requested, to protect against identity theft.
I’ve held parliamentary assistant roles in the Ministries of Agriculture, Transportation and Environment. In Agriculture I worked with stakeholders to change taxation rules on craft cider and craft alcohol producers, so they could better compete, hire more staff and grow the industry. More recently I helped implement the Climate Change Action Plan, a Cap and Trade program that generates nearly $2 billion a year to be used on carbon reduction initiatives like subsidizing electric vehicles, home renovations, and energy efficiencies for businesses. We’ve made our electricity system 95 per cent carbon-free, fighting climate change while creating opportunities for economic growth in the CleanTech sector.
In the environment ministry I also helped ensure that two ferries being built in Kingston to service Wolfe and Amherst Islands will be run on electricity, rather than carbon-spewing diesel engines; and made sure that our Long Term Energy Plan had a Power2Fuel program to use surplus clean electricity to create carbon-free fuel, like hydrogen, to displace carbon fuels like natural gas. My track record of environmental advocacy has resulted in my endorsement by GreenPAC, a Canadian environmental advocacy group.
Locally I helped several daycares create over 100 new spaces in the community and fought to protect Centre 55’s summer day camp –- and the counselor jobs that are such an important part of it. I helped local not-for-profits acquire new provincial funding and worked to secure a generous $50 million private donation from the Garron family, which was leveraged into $430 million to redevelop Michael Garron Hospital.
I’ve supported the local economy by helping secure a $22.6 million investment in the Mondelez plant on O’Connor Drive, which generated $130 million in private funding to preserve and up-skill 450 local jobs, and I have been proud to promote our local BIA’s and community events.
It’s been an exciting and rewarding four years and I hope to continue this work on behalf of Beaches–-East York. With unemployment is at a historic low of 5.5 per cent% and our economic growth higher than most countries with which we compete, we need to ensure that this progress continues. There is a lot at stake in this election, and I hope you’ll consider the work I’ve done when you cast your ballot on June 7.
Thank you again for the privilege of being your MPP. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch at votearthur.ca!
Debra Scott, Green Party of Ontario candidate
The riding of Beaches–East York is a wonderful dichotomy. North of Danforth, there is a nice mix of residential, industrial and beautiful parks. South of Danforth you have the lake, amazing local shopping along Queen Street East and a residential area that is the envy of Toronto. These two distinct areas in one riding share a common concern, and that is they are downwind of the Pickering Nuclear plant.
Granting the Pickering plant another six years and spending billions (we’ve heard $3.8 billion as an estimate) to refurbish Darlington is short-sighted. Not only is there a chance of nuclear contamination, but putting those billions into antiquated technology is not the best use of your money.
The Green Party’s Vision is to take those billions of dollars and invest them in a green energy future that includes energy co-operatives, retrofitting incentives and alternative energy sources. We should be leaders in creating good paying, clean-tech jobs that put people and planet first.
Being connected to the downtown core is vital. We are the only party to receive straight A’s from TTC riders. We are committed to providing high- quality, sustainable and affordable transit.
Entrepreneurs as well as small and medium-sized businesses are the engine that drives a resilient and thriving economy. To this end we would cut payroll taxes and cut down on red tape.
We support the minimum wage increase (it hadn’t been raised in seven years!) as people need to have a living wage to contribute fully in their communities. We will also increase the personal taxation level to keep more money in the pockets of the lowest wage earners.
Now, to answer the question about the “wasted vote.”
I often hear, “I would vote Green, but I don’t want to waste my vote,” to which I reply, “the only wasted vote is a vote you do not believe in.” Every single green vote gives the Green Party a louder voice at Queen’s Park, where we have already led change on election financing reform.
I invite you to explore our entire vision filled with common sense ideas by going visiting www.gpo.ca/vision.
I hope to see you at one of the many debates being held in the riding, or at one of my meet-and -greets (our Facebook page has a list). Let’s have a conversation about the issues that matter to you and where the Green Party stands on it.
Even if you think you would never vote Green, I’d still love to hear from you because the people furthest from your point of view often have the advantage of perspective.