NDP’s Miller says riding would benefit from party’s policy on housing

By William McGinn

Zac Miller. Photo: Zac Miller.

When it comes to the hot button issue of housing, Zac Miller of the NDP says his party is the best choice to make to see a positive difference.

Miller, who was also the NDP candidate for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock in the 2018 provincial election, says one obvious way to lower the cost of housing is to “increase the supply.”

The NDP government would immediately, in its first mandate, create 250,000 affordable units and in 10 years create 500,000 units.

“But I really think we need to rework the CMHC (Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation) so more money can be given to municipalities in order for them to build those affordable housing units,” says Miller.

The NDP candidate said his party’s plans are not limited to social housing, but also include middle class homes, smaller homes, safer communities, and places friendly to senior citizens to give them options other than retirement homes.

“We have to allow for a 30-year mortgage through the CMHC so monthly mortgage payments are dramatically lowered as well as helping out first-time home buyers with the down payment,” he said.  

As for mandatory vaccinations, Miller said he thinks “everyone should be vaccinated, and I support vaccine passports for sure.”

He emphasized his support for mandatory vaccinations for health care workers and pointed out that we have “all been immunized before and we have immunization cards.”

“For decades and decades, our students have had to get vaccinated in order to attend school, so I think it’s simple.”

When asked how his party is committed to fixing long-term care, Miller said it’s an issue close to his heart.

“We need to completely nationalize long-term care and remove profit” from being connected to care for seniors, he said.  

“Moving to a non-profit model, all money that’s invested goes to the workers. It goes to making sure PSWs (personal support workers) and RNs (registered nurses) get wage increases, that they have sick benefits, that they have job security, as well as hiring more of those support staff, so that making sure residents are getting the basic care that they need.”

Regarding climate change, Miller said “The NDP supports reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent in the next nine years, below 2005 levels,” although Miller personally hopes things go further.

“We need to end fossil fuel subsidies and we have to dramatically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by investing in renewable energies — solar, wind, and relying on hydroelectricity and the nuclear programs we have now to get us through a full transition in decades to come,” he says.

Miller says that involves making sure workers are protected, that they have the adequate incomes and supports that they need to cope with dramatic change and retraining.”

The NDP candidate says he does not believe this election was necessary, because the Trudeau Liberals could have gotten support for much of their agenda from the NDP. Now that it’s here, though, he says it’s a great opportunity for people in the riding to look at who’s proposing policies “that would fundamentally change their lives.”

Miller believes the NDP has contributed a lot to the successes that were seen during the pandemic, from wage subsidies to CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit).

“If the Liberals had a majority government, CERB certainly wouldn’t have existed. It was the NDP government that pushed them to implement a $2,000 livable wage for anyone who lost their job during COVID-19.”

When asked why he should be elected MP, Miller said it’s all about “what is possible.”

“Over the last four years I’ve been talking to a lot of people here about issues regarding our health care and how we can fundamentally change. I know what is possible and I want to run a campaign on telling people what is possible, not what is not.

The NDP, he says, instead says “life can be better, and we know how to make it happen.’”

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