elow are the responses we have received from provincial election candidates from the four major parties represented in Queen's Park running in Etobicoke-Lakeshore. We will update this page as more answers come in.
Thomas Yanuziello - Green Party of Ontario
The Hoser: The federal government divested from a responsibility to build public housing in the early 1990s, downloading the responsibility to provinces and municipalities. If your party forms government, how many units of public housing can you commit to building in your first term?
Thomas Yanuziello: We will commit to building 12,200 new affordable rental homes each year for 10 years. Nearly half of these will be supportive homes, with wrap-around supportive mental health and addiction services to keep everyone housed, safe, and lift everyone out of poverty.
[Editor's note: the candidate amended his answer after publication.
Thomas Yanuziello: Correction: 182,000 affordable homes over 10 years. 60,000 supportive homes.]
The Hoser: Bill 124 has frozen public sector wage increases at 1 percent since 2019. Inflation has climbed upwards of six percent in 2022. Will your government keep Bill 124 as provincial law? If not, will you legislate any limitations to public sector workers’ collective bargaining rights?
Thomas Yanuziello: We will repeal Bill 124, give our heroes the wage increases they deserve, and NOT restrict their collective bargaining rights.
The Hoser: Communities and advocates concerned with police violence have for years been demanding a defunding of police services, rerouting that money to public social services. Is this a policy your government would pursue? If so, how much money would you reallocate from current provincial policing budgets?
Thomas Yanuziello: The Green Party will create a new 3-digit emergency line alternative to 9-1-1 which will connect people with emergency mental health and other supports, diverting calls away from our police services. Mobile response units will be made available 24-7 province-wide to help those in need. I do not have specific figures on how much would be reallocated.
The Hoser: Considering that COVID is airborne and cases are once again quite high, will your government make any investments in retrofits or building new hospitals, schools, public transit vehicles, or any other large-scale investments related to public health, indoor crowding and ventilation?
Thomas Yanuziello: We will provide funding for schools, hospitals, long term care facilities, and all critical indoor spaces to upgrade their filtration and ventilation systems to keep our most vulnerable safe. We recognize that COVID-19 is not over and we are prepared to learn from the mistakes of the past. We will depoliticize public health decisions and move forward through this pandemic better prepared to face future waves.
The Hoser: As of 2021, the living wage in Toronto was over $22 an hour. In all major cities and towns in the province, the $15/hr minimum wage is below a living wage. Inflation is now upwards of six percent, and scheduled wage increases and cost of living adjustments are not keeping up. Is your government committed to getting minimum wage levels to a living wage? If not, why?
Thomas Yanuziello: We are not only going to raise the minimum wage to $20 per hour, but also lower the cost of living to make life more affordable. Our Grocery Code of conduct will keep retailers from gouging customers while recording record profits, and our Green Retrofit Program will reduce our energy costs. Nothing can be done about the cost of gas, don't let anyone fool you. Our only path forward is to transition away from it quickly and permanently.