The biggest loser in the Ontario provincial election

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By Paul Vicente

 

 

Elections used to be about issues. There are so many of them. Fiscal issues, family issues, transit, infrastructure, auto insurance, healthcare, et cetera.

In this provincial election, we don’t seem to be talking about issues. Much.

Instead, the media reports are filled daily with stories about scandals, candidates’ transgressions, sordid stories about familial disputes and even wardrobe choices.

Ontario holds the largest non-sovereign debt in the world. With a debt approaching $330 billion, the interest payment to service the debt exceeds $12B every year; that’s more than what we spend on colleges and universities.

Where do the parties stand on this? How do they plan to address it?

Here in Brampton, we are experiencing a crisis in healthcare. Last year, 4,352 patients were cared for in the hallways of Brampton Civic Hospital, an issue brought to light after Brampton resident Jamie-Lee Ball recounted her ordeal of spending five days on a stretcher in a hallway while bleeding internally and in severe pain.

A city of over six hundred thousand people is served by one emergency room and an urgent care centre that is open just fourteen hours a day. We have a single full service hospital equipped with six hundred beds, less than half the national average of 2.6 hospital beds per 1000 people.

What are the leaders of the parties prepared to do to fix healthcare?

For more than a decade, Brampton has been mandated by the Province to grow, a policy that has led to unprecedented growth in our city. Unfortunately, without the necessary funding to build infrastructure and to pay for social services, residents have been forced to pay more and more every year through their municipal property taxes.

How will the province help cash-strapped municipalities?

Auto insurance is a huge issue in Brampton. Compared to the provincial average, Bramptonians pay 44 per cent more for car insurance, with some folks paying substantially more than others who live on the opposite side of the street.

What can be done to help drivers in Brampton?

Are we even talking about these things? Where do the parties stand on these issues? What are the solutions to these problems?

On June 7th, Ontarians will go to the polls, and a new government will be chosen. There will be winners, and there will be losers.

The biggest losers are citizens, because in the era of super-short campaigns, scandalous headlines and ten-second soundbites, we have not heard the detailed positions of the political parties. Elections should be about issues.

Make sure you vote. Make an informed choice.

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