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We have compiled a list of 16 questions for our 2018 Provincial candidates from our editorial staff as well as you, our readers. Here’s how they responded.

Links to the other candidates’ responses can be found at the bottom.

Nicholas Wendler, Green candidate, Huron-Bruce

Question: What do you think is the most important issue facing Huron-Bruce residents today and how will it be addressed?

Answer: Being able to make ends meet is important. I feel that the safety net of a universal basic income will ensure that the citizens of Huron-Bruce have a good foundation in order to meet their needs and be freer to do as they want or need to do in the world.

Q: How will you protect the interest of the Huron-Bruce constituents and rural Ontarians?

A: I will always consider citizens of Huron-Bruce first. Everything else comes afterward.

Q: What is your role in ensuring your party will deliver on its promises to Ontarians.

A: My votes on policy need to reflect the promises made to Ontarians. I would also hold my party to account on its promises, fighting to ensure that we keep honest and operate with the integrity Ontarians deserve from their members of provincial parliament.

Q: How will you invest in public health care to ensure that Ontarians receive a high quality of service now and into the future?

A: Prevention is key. Treating illness just keeps putting strain on the system. We would invest in mental health in order to reduce the strain on the health care system, making mental health a part of OHIP+

Q: How will you invest in education to ensure that Ontarians receive quality education now and into the future?

A: Rural schools are important, and we would ensure that we keep more open by allowing the funding formulas to reflect the importance of these schools. As a party, we would also ensure that class sizes are manageable for the benefit of all involved. Kindergarten classes would be decreased in size as well as capping grades 4-8 at 22 students per class which is the average size of secondary school classes. Supports such as school counsellors, speech pathologists, and psychologists would be increased as well. We would eliminate standardized testing as it is not effective. The integration of separate school and public school systems would reduce duplication and save money.

Q: How will you protect the interest of farmers and agriculture in Huron-Bruce?

A: Wetlands and farmland will be protected by the Greens through expansion of the Green belt in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. We would provide incentives for farmers who reduce fertilizer use and help with farm field run off.

Q: What can be done to help families with special needs children?

A: Support for caregivers in families with special needs is valuable. Family members caring for those with special needs are so important to ensure that those with special needs are well cared for in my own experience. When a person with a special need is old enough and can direct their own care services, they might end up using Ontario’s Direct Funding program which enables them to run their care on their own including hiring, training, and where necessary terminating their staff. Currently there seems to be little way to compensate a family member who provides care in cases where there might be limited alternatives such as lack of Personal Support workers. I understand that the function of having the alternative care is to normalize the adult parent-child relationship, but the family is always a valuable back up option and deserves to be recognized as such.

Q: Are there plans to increase the availability of skill labourers in Huron-Bruce, eg: bringing in post-secondary education?

A: We would create jobs in the Cleantech industry which is booming. Jobs would be created with our plan to push for energy efficiency in businesses and homes, so skilled labourers would have a place in these plans for Huron-Bruce.

Q: What will be done to address the family doctor shortage in Huron-Bruce?

A: An increase in local health teams to be available for citizens to meet their health needs in the plans.

Q: How will you address climate change and ensure that the water and environment will be protected for future generations?

A: Keeping nuclear waste away from our water supply is one way to protect the water. We would also work to ensure farmers use best practices to protect our water and environment. Things such as using permeable pavement would prevent issues of flooding as excess water would have somewhere else to go.

Q: What is your stand on nuclear energy and nuclear waste management?

A: I oppose the deep repository method of storing nuclear waste near our water sources such as the Great Lakes. Nuclear energy would be phased out as the licenses come up for renewal, starting with the Pickering Plant where thousands of jobs would be created to decommission the plant. In terms of storing waste, exploration of other alternatives (which to my knowledge has not extensively been done at this point) to find the most effective option with the least damage to our environment is what I would propose.

Q: What is your stand on carbon tax?

A: A carbon fee and dividend plan would give payments back to citizens. It ensures that higher carbon levels used are given a greater fee and that those who reduce carbon use are rewarded.

Q: What are the plans to address hydro rates for Ontarians?

A: We would transition toward 100% renewable energy, finding lower cost options like buying hydroelectric power from Quebec, and negotiating with Manitoba to gain renewable sources of hydro.

Q: Are there plans to increase old age security for seniors?

A: We plan to transition to a Basic income for all that is at the low income cut off level of $22,000/year as quickly as possible as the pilot being done within the province comes to completion.

Q: Are there plans to address mental health and drug issues in Huron-Bruce?

A: Definitely. Addressing mental health and drug issues would be tackled. Mental health needs to be a greater part of our health care system.

Q: Is there anything else you wish to share with our readers about yours or your party’s platform?

A: I have a physical disability requiring me to be in a wheelchair for mobility as I am unable to walk. As such, it is important to me to note that the Green Party of Ontario was rated highest in terms of commitments to ensure we reach the goals set out by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) of 2007 by the AODA Alliance. I feel that accessibility needs to make sense. I have seen one accessibility feature canceled out by another, and things like this should not happen.

See Saugeen Shores Hub for other Huron-Bruce candidates (in alphabetical order):

Jan Johnstone - NDP
Don Matheson - Liberal
Lisa Thompson - PC

At the time of publishing, we hadn’t received a response from Alliance Ontario’s Gerry Huenemoerder and Libertarian Ron Stephens. If we get a response from either of these candidates, we will publish and update accordingly.

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