ON Election 2018

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- by Karen Gventer

When asked what I will do for the people of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, my answer is simple: whatever I can to ensure you and your families enjoy the best possible healthcare, educational and employment opportunities, in a clean, safe environment. I'll do whatever I can to make sure the government services you need are provided equitably and in a timely manner.

I am saddened to hear that people in this riding face long wait times for surgery and other healthcare. In fact, I'm told it's the most important issue in this election for many of you. My background is in healthcare. I've worked as a program assistant at the Grey Bruce Health Unit and I've been a first aid and CPR instructor for many years. I know what is needed. I also know many of the problems in Ontario's healthcare system are the result of inadequate funding and poor planning. I am proud to say the NDP has an excellent plan to get healthcare back on track, without breaking the bank. This is something that matters to me personally.

We have had too many years of seeing the rich get richer, while everyone else is struggling. Income inequality is at an all time high. It's not fair. Everyone who knows me understands I'm all about fairness. I coach professionals on harassment and discrimination, and organize community events to promote tolerance and respect. The people of this riding deserve respect. They haven't seen much of that under previous governments. An NDP government can do better, and we have a plan ready to be implemented to make this province a good place for everyone.

This province – this riding – have so much to offer the people who live here. We have wonderful recreational opportunities every season of the year. My family and I enjoy hiking, swimming and fishing in clear lakes and fresh air, and we want to make sure future generations can do the same. I know what's needed to protect our environment and have been working on it for a long time. I'm a member of the Bruce Peninsula Environmental Group, and was involved with the Owen Sound People's Climate March. An NDP government would allow us allthe opportunity to do more, for more people, in environmental protection. Again, we have a plan that's affordable and sustainable.

The people of this riding know what they need to do to prevent more cuts to public services, and that is vote for real change, not more of the same, or even worse.

A Liberal government is promising positive change after 15 years of failing to make promised changes. What makes this time different? The answer is: Nothing. A Conservative government stating there will be no jobs lost, while cutting $6 billion in spending? We remember what happened the last time the Conservatives were in power; we lost 6,000 nursing jobs and 30 hospitals. You don't get more for less, you get less for less. We can do the math.

I'm no different from you. I don't want a loved one waiting 24 hours in an emergency room until a bed can be found. I don't want people getting sick because they can't afford to get their teeth fixed or because the medication they need isn't covered. I don't want friends and neighbours suffering from addictions and mental illnesses to go untreated. I don't want anyone to be forced onto the streets because they can't afford decent housing.

The NDP has a plan that makes sense – asking the wealthy to pay a little more. Think of what we could accomplish by increasing taxes by only one per cent on people earning more than $220,000 and two per cent for people earning more than $300,000, and reversing some of the tax cuts enjoyed by major corporations. Ontario has the lowest corporate taxes in Canada, and it hasn't kept industries from leaving. We can increase corporate taxes a bit to a reasonable rate.

Yes, I want to see Hydro One back in the hands of the province. We can't afford a utility operated for the purpose of making as high a profit for the shareholders as possible.

Yes, I want to see hospitals, long term care and mental health treatment receive the funding they need. The concept of universal pharmacare and dental care is one that appeals strongly to me, especially because it's achievable and affordable.

Yes, I truly believe every new large housing development should have some affordable units.

The NDP's plan is doable, compassionate and fair, and make no mistake, we need it. I am proud to be part of the team that will make it happen, that will bring real, positive change to this province.

Why am I running for office? Because I have a history of working hard for the things I believe in and care about. I know the hard work isn't over come election day, it's only beginning. But I'm not in this alone; I'm part of a great team. Together we can have change for the better.

Karen Gventer is the ONDP candidate for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound

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