Well, we didn’t win the election – and in that regard, I must congratulate Eleanor McMahon.
With the Stop Hudak movement across the province, a great many votes were targeted to oppose a PC candidate, rather than to vote FOR anyone else. Hudak and his goal of getting rid of 100,000 jobs was a real threat at every level.
Now that the Liberals are in with a majority, my fear is that, after 11 years of seeing poverty grow under the Liberals, the fabric of the social safety nets will unravel even further.
For every dollar invested in poverty and affordable housing infrastructure, $1.50 is returned. I don’t see any real investments in affordable housing anywhere in the Liberal platform. They say they will work with municipalities to provide options. We cannot let municipalities take on the cost of providing affordable housing.
You can say it’s all the same tax payer but the more things that are included in property taxes, the more unaffordable owning one’s own home will become. Burlington is home to more seniors than the rest of Halton. A great number of those seniors are on fixed incomes and facing very serious economic challenges. Property taxes therefor are a huge concern. In order to pay their taxes, many will go without proper food or other essentials in order to meet the tax payment, in order to hang on to their homes. Let’s be aware: anything that is being passed off/downloaded to the municipality will marginalize the already marginalized, even further. Speak up. Don’t let home ownership be something only the well-off can afford.
Having spoken with thousands of people across Burlington, I know first hand about the facts of poverty. And the faces of poverty. They could be your mother, father, sister or brother, aunt or uncle. Many of them are trapped in accommodation with bullying landlords, substandard living conditions – there are no options, no choices – years’ long waiting lists for what affordable housing there is.
My challenge to the Liberals: For every action, there is a reaction – don’t take an action that marginalizes any sector, especially those already marginalized.
I’m not going away, I will continue to fight for a decent living wage, fight for a Poverty Free Halton, fight for a more equitable Burlington. My sincere thanks to all who voted for me, who showed their faith in me and the New Democratic Party in the June 11 election.