The MyNorthBayNow.com newsroom reached out to all of the candidates that will be on the ballot for the June 2 provincial election in Nipissing District to get their thoughts on the issues that matter 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: “Gas prices have been hovering around or close to $2.00 a litre in North Bay and the riding. Affordable housing and the cost of rent have also been issues. How will your party lead the economic recovery process in Nipissing? 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?”
Vic Fedeli – PC Party of Ontario
Incumbent Progressive Conservative candidate Vic Fedeli says his party has done everything it can to put money back into the pockets of constituents. He says some examples include lowering the gas tax, removing license plate sticker fees, implementing a $10 a day child care deal as well as implementing a low-income family tax credit. Fedeli says they’ve also put a stop to the increase in driver, vehicle and hunting license fee increases, and more. He says he is proud of his party’s record and says they put in a tremendous amount of programs in place to bring relief to families and seniors, adding the list goes on and on.
Joe Jobin – Ontario Party
Ontario Party candidate Joe Jobin says they have a number of initiatives aimed at reducing costs. He says they’ll push for an energy corridor between Ontario and Alberta and will remove provincial sales tax from gasoline and diesel, while the price is at elevated levels. They’ll also eliminate the provincial and industrial carbon tax. With housing, Jobin says they’ll introduce urban planning reforms and a foreign purchasing ban, among other things. On the employment front, he says they’ll reduce paperwork and cut all fees associated with starting a business, spearhead the revitalization of the domestic automotive industry in Ontario and more.
Erika Lougheed – Ontario NDP
NDP candidate Erika Lougheed says affordability is one of her party’s main concerns and it’s an issue she is hearing about at the doors of constituents across Nipissing. She says up until now there’s only been bandaid solutions to a variety of complex issues, like healthcare, housing and affordability. Lougheed says regulating gas prices is one of their number one concerns. With housing, she says they will address speculators, provide relief for renters and also provide a grant for first-time homebuyers. Lougheed says other pledges include bringing mental health care and dental care under OHIP, and providing a stable and slow increase to minimum wages so small businesses and owners can prepare.
Sean McClocklin – Green Party of Ontario
Green Party candidate Sean McClocklin says they have a number of initiatives aimed at affordability. McClocklin says housing affordability is one area, with a plan to build 182,000 affordable community rental homes. He says they will phase in a basic income, with the first step being the doubling of ODSP rates, and they will look to repeal Bill 124, which caps public sector wages. McClocklin says with rising gas prices they want to make transit another option and more affordable. He says the Green Party will look to invest in incentives for electrifying transit and other vehicles on the road and cut transit fares.
Tanya Vrebosch – Ontario Liberal Party
Liberal candidate Tanya Vrebosch says her party has a whole suite of planks on affordability. She says they will raise minimum wage and introduce a dynamic living wage, provide retroactive childcare rebates to parents and top up 18 months of parental leave. Housing is another area she says the party is focused on as they plan to build 1.5 million more home homes in the next ten years and empower municipalities to accelerate housing projects. With transit, Vrebosch says they’re promising buck-a-ride for transit across the province, including Ontario Northland. She also says on day one the Liberals will repeal Bill 124, which caps public sector wages. Overall, Vrebosch says their plan is fully costed and ready to go.
MyNorthBayNow.com was unable to reach the other party candidates prior to publishing but will update this list when we do.