ith the provincial election season in full swing The Hoser is embarking on a provincial election coverage project. We've contacted candidates across the Greater Toronto Area from the four sitting parties in the legislature: the Green Party, the Liberal Party, the NDP, and the Progressive Conservatives. We’re asking five questions on issues that affect our readers most, like housing, wages, defunding the police, inflation and the pandemic.
Several candidates have already responded and we will be publishing their answers early next week.
The provincial government’s policies have direct effects in local communities across Ontario. As such, we are publishing this series using the provincial electoral districts as the frame. For example, we will be publishing the responses from the four candidates in Parkdale-High Park together, allowing you to compare their responses to the issues you care about.
We are following up regularly with incumbent MPPs and their challengers. The election in Ontario will be held on June 2. Under the Elections Act all eligible voters are entitled to three consecutive hours off from work to vote. Your employer must pay you for the three hours you use to go vote if you are scheduled to work these hours.
Here are The Hoser's five questions for MPPs in the GTA:
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
If you would like to contribute The Hoser's election coverage you can donate to our Spring/Summer Gofundme here.