Kitchener Conestoga May 28 2018


(video coming soon)

May 28, 2018, Wilmot Recreation Complex 
These notes are transcribed from notes taken at the meeting on flip charts,
curtesy of Nith Valley Ecooboosters

Democratic reform

Strategic voting – No…

My vote doesn’t count

Gender equality

Lying media re: proportional representation

Equal representation a human right?

How to implement PR when governments don’t like it

Participatory democracy – so far governments aren’t interested


Health care

Joe Gowing, Liberal

Efficiencies. Weekends; outpatient services

Invest in homecare

Shortage of PSWs; Long term care pays better than homecare

Homecare often private corporations, using different pay scale than public

Balance needs; technology available, costs

Fiscal responsibilities

Failures of care and oversight in long term care

We need dental care. Share the cost; role of government here

Pharmacare universal

Currently some drugs are excluded

Kelly Dick, NDP

Universal pharmacare = bulk buying, better pricing, not age limit, exclusion

Now Trillium Fund (funded by ON Lottery) will pay a large portion. Will these funds still be available, where are the funds coming from?

Mental health is not covered

More mental health beds, staff

Long term care: long waiting lists, no choice of facilities

Retirement (private) homes are excluding people without the funds to pay $1000’s per month

Privatization by stealth (P3)

We need reform of health care

Hospitals may lack access to beds, due to cuts in funding for staff

P3 hospitals private / public more expensive, taking funding

Stop P3 partnerships, stop 2 tier health care

How much will that cost?

Bob Jonkman, Green

Against privatization of health care, electricity, water

Cost of OHIP is greater than is necessary because of private diagnostic clinics

Expand OHIP to cover mental health, pharmacare

Concerns about the management of front line staff; takes away initiative. Cut backs to staffing = staff burnout of nurses, PSWs



High cost of FIT (Feed in Tariff)

Needed reserve for nuclear power (not flexible)

Giving away power for free

Add storage for excess??

Don’t refurbish Darlington / Pickering

Water energy systems = hydro

Connect to Quebec hydro and Manitoba

NDP platform: wind, solar, water

Expand smaller hydro projects

Need increased price on carbon

Controversy of FIT: initially price set when the price of oil was higher, also a shortage of supply. Now less electricity used. Price paid has to be scaled back. No new contracts for FIT

What price do we want to pay for reliable energy?

Who do we want managing power: are politicians the most knowledgeable?

Balance needed

What do rebates mean to different income levels?

What is PC environmental policy? “Let people decide” – from meeting last week

What about landfills – what happens in 15 years?

Protection of wetlands, greenbelt, farm lands

True cost of hybrid/electric vehicles?

More public transit needed esp. between cities

Liberals: Goal to link rural areas and cities; investments in high speed rail (HSR), 2 way GO

Concerns about HSR cutting off roads and farms. Community consultations coming after terms of reference set; options for routes

Communication is lacking in communities

Cap and trade: green energy initiatives and infrastructure. List on ON government website. $1.9 billion collected and allocated

What does 10 cent reduction in gas tax mean

Commitment to cooperation?

Pick the right people to control leaders

Can MPPs vote for their constituents rather than along party lines?

Packaging – need legislation to control – no Liberal policy at this point

Joe Gowing, Liberal: 

Need to copy existing programs in other countries

Environment #2 on Liberal priorities, #1 is health care, #3 is education

Cut packaging – helps with recycling and landfills

Water taking and plastic water bottles

Need leadership – no water bottles in government buildings; education; legislation

What are Liberals doing to help agricultural sector? – investing in relief funds; helping farmers sequester carbon

Food security and climate change impact fund – no details as yet, Joe will check

Kelly Dick, NDP:

Protecting water; Nestle pumping ++ water, contracts expired. NDP will stop this. Dealing with corporations – fines, laws

Agriculture – great growing area; strict rules re: building, protecting farm lands

Work with local politicians and farmers

Indigenous consultations

High Speed Rail (HSR) – handled poorly; not a done deal; effects on land, water; stake holders not consulted

Believe transit is a no brainer – needed for economy; looking at all kinds; listen to the people

2 Way GO transit

Freedom for politicians to vote their conscience

How can we incentivize more work from home? – helps with transportation

Cap & trade? 25% to lower income communities, or carbon tax refunds to lower income

Gas, broadband to rural areas

Everybody in the province to pay the same delivery fee for hydro


Other topics:

How long will all parties be running a deficit – when will there be a balanced budget?

Budget – balanced budget by 2024; fiscally responsible

Is “taxation” a bad word? Too high? It is necessary in civilized society. Needs to be done in the right way. 

Bob Jonkman, Green:

Alternative sources of money eg. Companies pay royalties for certain benefits

Housing Strategy – tiny homes, infill; affordable housing, housing strategy

Monopoly” items should not be privatized: water, transport, health care, energy

Lack of compassion in servies

Would spend less “repairing” health conditions if the issues were taken care of earlier

Support for families / individuals – child care, education, health and mental health; ability to make ends meet

Accountability – ministries need to communicate with each other

Health care, long term care

Transportation planning – affecting rural areas; HSR, GO Train

Pharmacare- include dental, vision, mental health support

Child care – hard to participate fully when not supported; who gets it? How much?

Are we willing to pay more taxes for services?

“Upstream” thinking – invest early for future change

We need to ask more of our representatives

Joe Gowing, Liberal: 

Education  - smaller class sizes, educational assistance, balancing the needs in the classroom, investing in “therapeutic” help

Better control of funds

Hydro One partially privatized, borrowed against equity; not selling more (not allowed to) and is majority shareholder; used funds to pay down hydro debt 

Is standardized testing worthwhile? – funds used, etc.

Effective teaching – review annually

Funding of schools – Catholic, private

Curriculum questions – go back to basics, vs recognizing that today is a different world eg. cyberbullying.

Kitchener Conestoga Collage