Even Kitch­ener-Con­estoga show­ing signs of the NDP surge

The Woolwich Observer - - NEWS - FAISAL ALI

IF THERE IS ONE

theme that seems to have dom­i­nated the dis­course of this elec­tion, it is change. But a change to what, is the over­rid­ing ques­tion. Ev­ery can­di­date is seek­ing an an­swer, and for Kelly Dick, that an­swer is the On­tario NDP.

Run­ning as the New Demo­crat for Kitch­ener Con­estoga, Dick is a na­tive of the West­mount/Ot­tawa area of Kitch­ener with a back­ground in labour, re­tail and com­mu­nity ad­vo­cacy. She’s been po­lit­i­cally ac­tive for the past eight years, as­sist­ing on the cam­paign trails of fel­low NDP can­di­dates and mu­nic­i­pal politi­cians, and is now tak­ing the helm of her own cam­paign.

“I think the first thing I would say is that we are at a place right now in the po­lit­i­cal arena in this prov­ince where we don’t have to chose bad or worse any­more. There is an­other op­tion and that’s change for the bet­ter. That’s An­drea Hor­wath and the NDP,” says Dick of says her party’s ap­peal.

The sky­rock­et­ing price of hydro in the prov­ince and the sale of Hydro One is a sore point for many vot­ers, notes Dick, and is some­thing the party is look­ing to re­dress. The party is look­ing to re­verse the sell-off of the pub­lic as­set en­tirely, re­turn­ing the prov­ince to a ma­jor­ity own­er­ship of the util­ity; also on the plat­form is a prom­ise to drop hydro prices by 30 per cent.

Health­care is an­other ma­jor con­cern of vot­ers, Dick notes, and the NDP is cam­paign­ing on a prom­ise to end hall­way medicine and “fix” se­niors care.

“We are the only party that’s put a plat­form to­gether and pre­sented it to the peo­ple of On­tario. It’s fully costed, you can see ex­actly where the money’s com­ing from, you can see ex­actly where the money’s go­ing to go, and you can see ex­actly what pro­grams we are go­ing to be mov­ing on,” she says.

Be­tween the fi­nances of the Lib­eral party, which Dick de­scribes as “sketchy”, and the PC party which has yet to fi­nal­ize their own plat­form since Doug Ford took the party lead­er­ship, Dick says her party is rep­re­sents an al­ter­na­tive to the “be­tween bad and worse” of the other two ma­jor par­ties.

A po­ten­tial draw back to the fis­cally con­ser­va­tive is the suc­ces­sive deficits that the party plans to run, at on av­er­age $5 bil­lion a year for the next five years.

In the pre­vi­ous elec­tion in the Kitch­ener-Con­estoga rid­ing, the NDP claimed 21 per cent of the vote, com­pared with the Lib­eral’s 33 and PC party’s 37 per cent. In third place, the party has a fair amount of ground to cover if it hopes to take the long-time Con­ser­va­tive rid­ing.

But with the NDP now polling at 38 per cent sup­port provin­cially (ac­cord­ing to a CBC poll tracker), ahead of the PC’s 37 and Lib­eral’s much lower 20, a chang­ing of the guard might very well be pos­si­ble this June.

“Peo­ple are look­ing for change. They’re look­ing for an al­ter­na­tive, they’re look­ing for some­thing bet­ter. And we’re of­fer­ing a change for the bet­ter.”

Kelly Dick

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