Written Responses Offered by to us by Ontario Party Candidate for Simcoe North Aaron MacDonald

7 Debate Questions

 

1) Rapid Fire General Yes/No/Unsure Questions 

(All candidates will be asked this together on screen. Respond with a thumbs up for yes, a thumbs down for no, and a sideways thumb for unsure).

 

  • Do you support reinstatement of the Environmental Commissioners Office of Ontario? Unsure, I would need to see what is being produced by the Auditor General of Ontario vs the Environmental Commissioners Office of Ontario.
  • Do you support municipal ranked ballots? Unsure, I am for electors being happy with their choices, I am not for additional costs that would otherwise be used for healthcare, environmental or infrastructure
  • Do you support implementing a wealth tax? Thumbs Down, people who make a lot of money already pay high amounts of tax, we need these people to continue to invest in new projects and research. By offering private options within different sectors such as healthcare, they could pay for their surgeries and such putting money back into the system and freeing up beds for those who need it the most
  • Do you support implementing a basic universal income? Thumbs Down, as technologies change, we need to support people as they change career paths. I don’t believe currently; we have a way to effectively pay for such a program. I also have a concern about government having this much control over the lively hoods of people. The individual has more power than they think 
  • Do you support raising the minimum wage? Unsure, I believe everyone deserves to be making a living wage, but should we be increasing the minimum wage for what has historically been an interim or PT job? If we truly invested in people in the markets where demand is greatest, we would set them up for success without a debt burden on their back, in careers that will provide them a future. Our people are and investment and should be treated as such
  • Will you raise supports for OW, ODSP above the poverty line and index to inflation? Thumbs Up, ODSP and OW should be looked at based on the necessities of today. Earning limits should also be looked at, why are we penalizing people for working? Let’s support those who need it the most
  • Will you support a moratorium on all new gravel mining approvals in Ontario? Thumbs Up, I have signed the petition to support this and will continue to advocate for it
  • Will you reinstate Ontario’s Child Advocate Office? Unsure, I would have to look at the reasoning for the repeal and the impact on the children of Ontario by doing so
  • Will you strengthen the funding and mandates of Conservation Authorities? Unsure
  • Will you strengthen protection for endangered species and wetlands? Thumbs Up
  • Will you strengthen the protection of the Lake Simcoe Act to discourage sprawl and ensure we have 40% high quality natural cover around the lake? Thumbs Up
  • Will you stop the construction of Bradford Bypass and other 400 series highways in the Greenbelt? Unsure, I would need to see the studies for and against

 The following questions will be individually asked, with order randomized as discussed 15 minutes before the debate. 

2) Water Protection

Our water health, from wetlands, to Lake Simcoe, to groundwater, is under increasing pressure from climate impacts as well as sprawl and aggregate. To protect it, it will require all levels of government to do more than it has historically done including intervening on projects that are a direct threat. What are you going to do to protect our water systems? As a Member of Provincial Parliament and a member of a party that allows me to cast my vote based on the will of the Simcoe North constituents, I would advocate to protect the environment any way I am able. I am against the aggregate mining; we need to protect the water eco system we have in this community. We also need more funding to upgrade our wastewater treatment plants so that municipalities are not dumping raw sewage into our waterways, this should be illegal. Lastly, we will reduce the regulations and red tape required to build multi-unit housing reducing the requirement of sprawl. This would include 2- and 4-unit housing as well and the conversion of abandoned buildings already in place.

 

3) Climate Emergency 

The International Panel on Climate Change has made it clear that swift and deep changes are needed to ensure a future liveable planet, specifically around reducing fossil fuel infrastructure, preserving nature, changing land use and transportation patterns. How will your government rise to the challenge to avert a climate crisis as much as possible? We need to take responsibility for the government’s actions up to this point, companies need to be held accountable for toxins being released into the air. Every sewage treatment plant in Ontario must be reviewed and updated to bring it up to date technologically as well as throughput based on the population being served, 10 years from now not currently. We need to ensure efficient public transport is available and inexpensive to promote usage. We need communities to be involved to consider all aspects or potential impacts to the environment when it comes to mining, new hiways, sprawl, etc. We will continue to stay in and support our communities as they grow, reducing the harmful impacts that corporations have in the name of profits.

 

4) Indigenous Rights 

How will you implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the calls to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission? Representation from every community affected by this declaration must be at the table. I have heard too many times of people or communities not even being included at the table when they are directly impacted by decisions. This is where I would start, we should be ensuring that a detailed timeline is created and adhered to by everyone involved.

 

5) Housing as a Right

We continue to have too many citizens unhoused or with precarious housing. What measures would you take to ensure housing as a right? How would you pair this with efforts to make housing more affordable for all? We want to ensure every citizen of Ontario has the ability and opportunity to own a home for themselves and we plan on introducing sweeping urban-planning reform to adjust single-family zoning in Ontario’s most housing-deprived cities. In particular, property owners will be given more freedom to construct two- and four-unit residential buildings amidst neighborhoods traditionally reserved for single-family homes. We also want to revitalize current vacant buildings to prevent urban sprawl. We will push to secure the same right to set immigration policy as the Province of Quebec and use those powers to adjust immigration rates and settlement patterns with the ultimate outcome of reducing unsupportable housing demand in many of Ontario’s urban areas. We will establish an Ontario-focused foreign purchasing ban on private homes and commercial buildings. Create a money laundering task force charged with rooting out corruption and instituting needed regulatory changes related to real estate sales and purchases. I would also advocate to reduce if not remove the ability for corporations to continue to swallow up properties away from the hard-working people of Ontario.

 

6) Investments in Social Infrastructure

80% of our health outcomes are tied to the social determinants of health such as income, housing, transportation, health of environment, food security, racism and discrimination and access to education. What are your 3 main priorities to address the social determinants of health for everyone?  Education, Housing and Food. 

First and foremost, we need to ensure that our children are getting the education they need to be successful in life and our current school system is failing them. While other developed countries students are excelling, our test scores are declining. We will offer parents educational vouchers give them the ability to choose the best options for their children whether it be Charter, Private or Public education. We will target post-secondary funds to students wanting to enter market driven job fields so when they finish, not only will they have a career they can be proud of, but they also won’t have the financial burden so many these days do.

Second as mentioned above, we will implement sweeping changes to the urban planning to support the building of more affordable housing to get people into their own homes as quickly and efficiently as possible. This does not mean cutting corners in regard to safety or environmental concerns, it means removing the regulations and fees that impede this process today, too many bureaucrats and not enough front-line workers.

Lastly, we need to change the food we eat. We need to get back to growing without GMO and pesticide laced foods. Whether deemed safe to eat or not there are reason’s our society has the health issues we have today, and these toxins are part of the issue. I would advocate for the removal of all GMO based foods; I would advocate for the building of sustainable green houses in Northern Ontario to provide the fresh fruits and produce we require, independent of other nations, this would create jobs for the citizens of Northern Ontario and increase the food supply further reducing the cost to us the consumer throughout the year.

 

7) A Just Recovery 

The COVID-19 pandemic has further revealed the racial, economic, and social inequities in our society. How do you propose to address these inequities? The Ontario Party is a party that considers everyone equal and wants to allow everyone equal opportunity to succeed. We need to ensure everyone regardless of race, religion, or economic background all have the same opportunities in life. We will provide more affordable housing. We will direct educational funds to parents to help in the educational choices for their children to help them succeed, including home schooling. We will direct funding to in-demand job markets further supporting our children on the path with a future and hope. Lastly, I will advocate for more local farming to increase the food supply to make it more affordable to families to eat healthy. As a society we need to work for the betterment of everyone who share this amazing province called Ontario.