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Provincial candidates sound off: affordability

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The MyWestNipissingNow.com newsroom reached out to all the candidates that will be on the ballot for the June 2 provincial election to get their thoughts on the issue that matters in the riding.

Each week leading up to election day, we will publish a story with each candidate answering a question that residents have as they head to the polls.

This week, we asked them about affordability: as gas prices approach $2.00 a litre across the riding and with affordable housing and the cost of rent being issues as well –  how will your party lead the economic recovery process in the riding? How can your party help constituents afford everyday items and housing?  What relief is in store for low and middle-income workers if your party wins the election?

Kris Rivard – Green Party of Ontario
Green Candidate Kris Rivard says the cost of living has skyrocketed in the past few years, and he doesn’t think there’s an end in sight. He says people need support and a government to find ways to lower the cost of living and keep money in their pockets, adding the dream of owning a home, especially for younger people, is getting further and further out of reach. Rivard says the Green’s solution to the housing crisis starts with what works for the people, not speculators. He says the Green Party’s good planning is key, adding it will allow for triplexes and duplexes to be done in a safe way, allowing neighbours to also enjoy their properties. Rivard says it’s also time to start thinking differently when it comes to electrifying the transportation systems – and the Green’s have what it takes to do just that. He also says to help people afford and enjoy everyday life in the North, new jobs are needed. He says the Greens will invest in the workforce – including new sustainable mining technologies and education as well as sustainable wood manufacturing to build carbon-efficient homes.

 

John Vanthof – Ontario New Democratic Party
Incumbent New Democrat John Vanthof says affordability is likely the number one issue he is hearing, with gas prices leading the conversation. He says the NDP would regulate gas prices in areas where competition isn’t working, which includes most of northern Ontario. He says they can’t control the world price of oil, but when there’s 30 or 40 cents difference in prices in the province, there’s something else going on.
For housing, Vanthof says there’s a serious lack of it in the low income and the starter bracket. He says the NDP is committed to build more low-income housing, and put in an equity share for first-time homebuyers, which would see a 10% equity interest-free for first-time buyers, which wouldn’t have to be repaid until the home is sold. Another issue Vanthof says is the price of groceries. He says big chains need to be regulated as a 40% increase in profit, as many are struggling for food, is unacceptable.

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Gary Andrade – New Blue Party of Ontario
New Blue’s Gary Andrade says if they win the election, the HST will be cut to 10%. He says that will help everyone across the riding and the province. Andrade says the next cut would be the windmill contract – which he says has raised hydro bills by 25% despite only being responsible for 5% of the power. He adds those two cuts will encourage businesses to come back to Ontario and the riding, and when businesses come back, more jobs become available, wages increase, and a larger tax base means services don’t need to be cut. In terms of housing, Andrade says his party is committed to cutting red tape to make it easier and faster for builders to build subdivisions and homes.

 

Eric Cummings – Ontario Libertarian Party
Libertarian candidate Eric Cummings says we need to focus on the high level of taxation and overregulation, as he says it’s raising the cost of living. He says if elected, he would advocate for the HST tax to be reduced to 10%, giving relief to many. He says in a riding as large as ours, we need to act now when it comes to prices at the pumps. He says we’re being taxed on the carbon tax, which is then rebated to us. He says we need to keep the money where it belongs, in the hands of Ontarians and not the government.

 

MyWestNipissingNow.com was unable to reach other party candidates prior to publishing but will update this list when we do.

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