This federal election is shaping up to be a tight local race between NDP candidate Maria Augimeri and Liberal candidate Judy Sgro.
A Federal NDP election win in our community would be historic and a major wakeup call to politicians across this country.
I will be voting for change, and will be supporting Maria Augimeri. As a former City Councillor and Chair of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Maria Augimeri has a strong history of delivering wins in Downsview including new libraries, parks and playgrounds for families.
She has also taken on big developers, protected important greenspace throughout the city, kept the new state-of-the-art TRCA headquarters in our community, and has created a bold plan for a local seniors’ campus in the William Baker Neighbourhood at Downsview Park.
One of her wins led to my interest in community advocacy. This happened many years ago when Maria led the community in what is now University Heights in defeating a big developer at the Ontario Municipal Board. That was an astounding victory because the OMB usually favours developers over the wishes of the community.
I took part in that fight as a teenager and that win gave me hope that remains to this very day.
In speaking to community members during this election campaign, I continue to hear great disappointment with the federal Liberal government who were voted in so enthusiastically four years ago.
Many people tell me that they do not have prescription medical coverage and struggle to pay out of pocket for rising medicine costs.
The Liberal government promised to lower the costs of prescription medication, something that is within their power, but instead, they sided with big pharmaceutical companies more interested in protecting their profit margins than the health of Canadians.
In fact, the Liberal government met with big pharmaceutical and insurance companies an astounding 874 times since they have been in office. That averages four days a week for the last four years!
The NDP, who are responsible for public health care in this country, are pushing for universal pharmacare and dental care, so that a person’s health is not dependent on their income. This makes solid economic sense, since untreated medical conditions often lead to hospital visits and chronic health issues which ends up costing the government much more later.
While the rising cost of rent is increasingly becoming unaffordable for many and the hope of homeownership and a good career for the next generation is becoming a distant dream, this Liberal government gave away over 14 billion dollars to the richest corporations.
This government is so much on the side of big corporations that the Prime Minister fired his Attorney General because she refused to block criminal charges of a corporation with strong ties to the Liberal party.
And that, as they say, is just the tip of the iceberg.
A vote for NDP here in Humber River – Black Creek will elect a strong and experienced voice to fight for our community in Ottawa and is a clear message to politicians everywhere that action is more important than a name or a brand.