Oxford MPP candidates approach to inflation and affordability

  • News   Thu, May 19th, 2022   Lee Griffi

By Lee Griffi
The Wilmot-Tavistock Gazette has posed three questions to the candidates in Oxford County. In this week’s edition, they are answering this one:
Inflation is out of control; the price of gas is through the roof, and everything costs more. What can you and your party do to improve the cost of living and affordability for residents of Oxford County?
Ernie Hardeman – Conservative Candidate
The Ontario PC Party knows that the price at the gas pumps, buying a home or renting, buying groceries or basic necessities, this inflation affects everyone. We were elected on a promise to keep costs down for the people of this province and we are the only party that has a track record of success. We’ve scrapped licence plates stickers; we’re lowering gas taxes; and we brought in $10 a day childcare by 2025. We increased the minimum wage; expanded broadband; and extended the 10 per cent tuition cut into the 2022-23 school year. We’re freezing driver, vehicle, and hunting fees; and implementing the CARE, LIFT and Staycation Tax Credits. We froze rent in 2021 for most residential units and held electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 8.5 cents/kwh during 2020. We also continue to support households with the Ontario Electricity Rebate for residential customers, small businesses, and farms.
Mary Holmes – Liberal Candidate
To start off, the Ontario Liberals plan to replace the minimum wage with a livable wage. This will break down the cost of living in areas of the province and calculate the amount at which wages should be set. This is designed to provide Economic Dignity to Ontarians while addressing many communities’ dynamic needs across the province. Second, we’ll save Ontarians money on meals. Ontario Liberals will remove the provincial HST on prepared foods less than $20. This plan will be fully funded by a 1 percent surtax on companies operating in Ontario whose profits exceed $1 billion a year, and a 2 percent income tax increase for individuals on income earned over $500,000 annually. Third, by building 1.5 million homes in the next 10 years because demand for homes is far higher than supply. Ontario Liberals will work to build these homes and demonstrate how removing red tape and slowdowns will increase availability. Additionally, there will be province-wide rent control that will prevent sudden rent hikes which contribute to many Ontarians’ high cost of living. All that, and a buck-ride-transportation should really help!
Lindsay Wilson – New Democratic Party
Affordability has become a daily challenge for families. I often drive to the grocery store to grab a few things for my kids’ lunches and have a hard time leaving without spending $100 on just the essentials. I have to fill up the gas tank to get around our community, and the cost of gas is completely out of control. Ontario drivers pay high gasoline prices even when the price of oil drops, and in rural communities, we don’t have the luxury of using less gas by jumping on a city bus. Ford has proven that he will always put his big oil and gas buddies first, no matter what it costs you and your family. New Democrats will ensure that gas prices are fair and competitive regardless of where you live and will protect consumers from gas gouging. An NDP government will mandate the Ontario Energy Board to regulate retail price and wholesale mark up of petroleum products in Ontario. Together with Andrea, we can ban gas gouging and make life more affordable for our community.
Connie Oldenberger – New Blue Party Candidate
Prosperity happens by giving people the power to improve their own situation, working and enjoying the fruit of your labour. We should not be told by the government what is and isn’t essential, whether it is our jobs, businesses, or commodities. We must have equal opportunity to participate in competitive markets that reward innovation, initiative, and value ethical transactions. New Blue plans to “axe the carbon tax,” which was originally Jim Karahalios’ (our party leader) line from five years ago. A fraction of our paycheques are our own anymore. Lowering the HST from 13 to 10 percent will make a difference. A government cannot tax its way into prosperity. We plan on growing Ontario’s economy starting with taking down wind turbines to reduce electricity prices and improving productivity.
Karl Toews – Ontario Party Candidate
The dramatic increase in the cost of living is due, in large part, to decades of government deficits and poor fiscal policy. When governments print money to pay their bills, every dollar in your pocket becomes less valuable and inflation results. An Ontario Party government will work to bring fiscal responsibility and balanced budgets back to Ontario.
Canada produces vast amounts of energy but remains very vulnerable to volatile foreign markets and disruptions in global supply. An Ontario Party government will work to create an energy corridor from Alberta to Ontario to drive down energy costs.
Land prices and housing prices have gone through the roof due to foreign billionaires dominating the markets. An Ontario Party government will ban the sale of farmland, houses, and strategic resources to billionaire foreign buyers.
The economic damage due to the lockdowns was severe. Thousands of Ontario small businesses and thousands of jobs are now gone forever. An Ontario Party government will not lock down the Ontario economy again, especially since studies are showing that the lockdowns had almost zero effect on Covid mortality.
Finally, an Ontario Party government will offer the tax relief to Ontarians that Ford promised but never delivered.
Cheryle Baker – Green Party Candidate
The Gazette has attempted to contact the candidate several times via the email address listed on the official Green Party website. Baker did respond, but not before press time, therefore no answer to this question has been submitted.