Liberal candidate pushes affordability, economic recovery

By Kirk Winter

Don McBey, Liberal Party of Ontario.

Don McBey, a retired United Church minister, lawyer and former vice-chair of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal of Ontario, says the Liberal Party of Ontario has the answers to the problems Ontario is facing.

McBey, the Liberal candidate for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, will be campaigning on a platform that focuses on Ontario making a transition from pandemic to endemic, ideas on how to deal with health-care shortages, an educational recovery plan that will benefit publicly funded schools, a program that will allow for economic dignity for Ontario workers and a focus on responsible development that will protect the environment.

The Liberals accept that COVID-19 is here to stay and plans need to be put into place that will prevent future closures.

“That plan would include mandatory vaccinations for front line health care workers, improved ventilation in indoor public settings, better access to rapid testing, 10 days of paid sick leave, immediate action to stop the disturbing rise of harassment against our health-care workers and financial support for small businesses who may be adversely impacted by any new restrictions,” the Brock Township resident wrote in an email to the Advocate.

McBey added that the Liberals plan to repeal Bill 124, which limits health-care workers’ pay raises to one per cent, and to begin rebuilding health-care capacity using all available resources to deal with staffing shortages.

“We have an extensive and robust Emergency Long Term Care plan,” McBey said, “that includes recruiting retired professionals, providing incentives to retain critical health-care workers, ensuring that all long-term care homes have access to necessary supplies and PPE, while leaving room for improved access to personal in-home care.”

On the education front the Liberals promise to lower class sizes in both elementary and secondary schools by hiring almost 4,000 teachers.

“We will (also) add COVID-19 vaccine to the list of universal vaccinations for students,” McBey writes. “We will implement a vaccine mandate for educational and child-care workers, prioritizing them for boosters, and make PCR testing free for families with children in school.”

The Liberals have rolled out several new ideas not typically associated with their party when it comes to individuals’ economic dignity.

“We will replace minimum wage with a regional living wage, reintroduce the Universal Basic Income project, provide workers with drug, dental and mental health services, allow Ontario businesses the flexibility to adopt the four-day work week and provide 10 paid sick days for all Ontarians.”

McBey and the Liberals also promise support for small business by removing corporate taxes for businesses hit hard by the pandemic, eliminating incorporation fees for startups and capping credit card fees.

Finally, the Liberals will end the issuing of Ministerial Zoning Orders, a process that fast-tracks building projects, often to avoid full environmental reviews.

According to McBey, it’s time for residents to reconsider voting for the well-entrenched incumbent.

“I am confident the residents of HKLB have come to realize the lack of real significant support they have received during Ms. Scott’s tenure, and this Tory government’s dismal record on small business support, the environment, senior care, education funding, health care and of course their response to COVID-19.”

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