Episode 11: Queer Issues (DYQWIQ Crossover)

Listen to episode 11 here.

Kate and Tara sit down with the hosts of ‘Do You Queer What I Queer?,’ a Toronto-based podcast which serves as a platform for diverse voices of politics and human interest in the LGBTQ community to educate, entertain, and expand world-views of listeners. In this crossover episode, Tara, Kate, Elliott, and Thom talk about queer issues in Ontario and what the three Ontario parties have to offer the community and its allies in the upcoming provincial election.

PARTY PLATFORM BREAKDOWN

PCs:

  • stated will roll back inclusive sex ed curriculum
  • historic connections with anti-queer advocates

Liberals:

  • maintain 2015 sex ed curriculum
  • symbolism of Kathleen Wynne as party leader and Premier of Ontario
  • pledged to establish a new Local Service Priority Fund to strengthen mental health supports for LGBTQ+ individuals
  • pledged an additional $2.1 billion more over the next four years to increase the level of care and access for mental health and addictions services with a special focus on queer individuals
  • committed to piloting Canada’s first dedicated LGBTQI2S Community Legal Clinic

NDP:

  • maintain 2015 sex ed curriculum
  • fully cover the cost of transition medicine for trans individuals
  • improve access to primary and secondary procedures

Episode 9: Public Transit

Listen to episode 9 here.

Tara and Kate chat about why public transit is a social justice and a climate justice issue and what the three provincial parties are offering in terms of investment in transit. Tara and Kate also talk with people waiting for public transit at Kipling station in Toronto about what’s lacking in public transit in Toronto.

Watch the livestream of the three debates from this week:

Laidlaw Youth Town Hall: twitter.com/laidlawfdn/status/993545797848346625

CityTV Debate:
toronto.citynews.ca/cityvote-the-debate/

Northern Debate:
globalnews.ca/news/4202000/north…-ontario-election/

PARTY PLATFORM BREAKDOWN

PCs:

  • endorses all-day GO transit service to the Niagara region
  • pledged $5 billion for Toronto subway in addition to the billions already committed for public transit by the federal and provincial Liberal governments
  • stated that PCs would upload responsibility to the province for the Toronto Transit Commission’s subway infrastructure, but the city would still be responsible for day-to-day operations, as well as bus and streetcar lines, and would keep the revenue
  • supportive of  Phase Two of LiteRail in Ottawa
  • in the past, Ford voted to reduce the TTC’s funding by 10% which led to higher wait times and poorer user experiences

Liberals:

  • pledged $9 billion for TO subways
    • Downtown Relief Line, the Yonge North subway extension and the Waterfront light rail transit service.
    • SmartTrack has already passed a few key votes at Toronto city council and is expected to be completed by 2025. The project would see increased service on the GO line, with trains running every 5.5 to 10 minutes during peak periods.
  • stated that fares within the city will match that of the TTC, at $3 for PRESTO users
    • The cost for GO Transit trips will also be reduced to the same price for PRESTO card users who are travelling under 10 kilometres anywhere on the GO network, starting in 2019
  • committed $79 billion for public transit province-wide over 10 years
  • introduced the Ontario Seniors’ Public Transit Tax Credit, giving seniors a 15 per cent  ax credit on their public transit expenses

NDP:

  • pledged to extend GO transit service to Niagara
  • committed to introducing two-way all-day service between Kitchener/Waterloo and Toronto
  • dedicated $800 million annually for transit with $330 million for the Toronto region
  • committed to restoring service on the Ontario Northlander to bring service to northern communities/inter-regionally (Toronto to Cochrane)
  • stated will cover 50% of municipal transit operating costs
  • pledged to build Hamilton’s LRT immediately
  • pledged to build Toronto’s Downtown Relief Line immediately

Episode 8: Education

Listen to episode 8 here.

 

Kate interviews two teachers to get a sense of the strengths and limitations of our education system and what the three provincial parties are offering in terms of education policy in the upcoming election.

PARTY PLATFORM BREAKDOWN

PCs:

  • promised to reshape 2015 sex ed reforms with greater parental input
  • pledged reshape Ontario’s math curriculum
  • stated their government would tie university funding to free speech

Liberals:

  • OSAP reforms have given 225,000 students free post-secondary tuition in 2018
  • pledged $16 billion in capital grants over 10 years to fund schools
  • promised $250 million in new funding over three years to eliminate waitlists for special education
  • committed to hire 450 new guidance counsellors for grade 7 and 8 students
  • dedicated $170 million over three years in Ontario Apprenticeship Strategy

NDPs:

  • committed to capping Kindergarten class sizes at 26 students
  • pledged to invest $16 billion to repair existing schools
  • pledged to ensure schools teach inclusive history
  • promised a moratorium on school closures
  • promised to end EQAO testing
  • pledged to turn post-secondary OSAP loans into non-repayable grants
  • pledged to foster 27,000 paid work-integrated co-ops and internship placements
  • committed creating a Franco-Ontarian University

Episode 7: Feminist Policy in Ontario

Listen to episode 7 here.

Tara speaks with Toronto creative Franceta Johnson about some of what the three parties have to offer in terms of policy that helps to combat the inequality between men and women in Ontario.

PARTY PLATFORM BREAKDOWN

PCs:

  • promised they will cover up to $6,750 in childcare costs per child under the age of 15 (the average cost of childcare in Toronto is $3000/month)
  • stated would ensure individuals under the age of 18 obtain parental permission before receiving an abortion
  • promised to roll back health and sex ed curriculum reforms with greater parental input

Liberals:

  • pledged free childcare for children over the age of two and full day kindergarten
  • reformed Ontario’s sex ed curriculum in 2015 and plan on maintaining it
  • maintains a pro-choice position for all

NDP:

  • promised to maintain Liberal’s sex ed curriculum
  • pledged free childcare for all households who earn under $40,000 annually and childcare for $12/day for households earning over $40,000
  • maintains a pro-choice position for all

Episode 6: The NDP Platform

Listen to episode 6 here.

Kate and Tara discuss the highlights of the Ontario NDP platform, including the large social spending commitments like universal dental care and pharmacare and revenue-creating measures like tax hikes for the wealthiest Ontarians and a yearly tax on foreign home owners in the GTA.

Resources:

NDP Platform PDF – www.ontariondp.ca/platform

Highlights:

  • universal dental care
  • universal pharmacare
  • free childcare for households earning under $40,000 annually and an average of $12/day for households earning over $40,000
  • free transition drugs for trans individuals
  • $16 billion in school repairs
  • index the minimum wage to inflation and extend parameters to include all workers, including students and servers
  • turn OSAP loans into non-repayable grants
  • buy back Hydro One and reduce Hydro bills by 30% immediately
  • establish a Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions
    • cut children’s mental health waits to a 30-day max with a $590 million investment
    • hire 400 more mental health care workers to provide mental health supports in every high school
  • raise taxes by 1% on $220,000 incomes
  • raise taxes by 2% on over $300,000 incomes
  • corporate tax rate raised from 11.5% to 13%
  • GTA: annual property tax on foreign owners at 0.5% per year in 2018 and 2% in 2019
  • increase taxes on cars more than 90,000

Episode 5: Healthcare

Listen to episode 5 here.

Kate and Tara chat with two nurses who help explain the benefits & limitations of our healthcare system and what they will be looking for in election platforms in June.

Resources:

News from this week – “Teacher’s Unions File Complaint Against the Ontario Government” (www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2…rd-complaint.html) and “March Home Sales Plunge” (business.financialpost.com/real-estate…ast-march-2)

PARTY PLATFORM BREAKDOWN

PCs:

  • Doug Ford publicly stated that no nurses would lose their jobs under his government
  • committed to creating 15,000 new hospital beds within five years, and 30,000 over the next 10 years to end hallway medecine
  • committed $1.9 billion over ten years for mental health

Liberals:

  • free pharmacare and dental care for individuals under the age of 25 and over the age of 65
  • increasing spending by $5 billion over three years
  • will cover pharmacare (covers a list of 4,400 drugs) and dental care for individuals in between the ages of 25 and 65 who are not covered through their work
  • $822 million in hospital funding
  • $17.1 billion for mental health care over four years

NDP:

  • immediately increase hospital funding by 5.3% ($30 million) and introduce 2,000 new hospital beds
  • create 35 new Community Health Centres by 2025
  • fully cover the costs of transition drugs for trans individuals
  • universal pharmacare (covers a list of 125 essential drugs) and dental care

 

Episode 2: Housing

Listen to episode 2 here

Tara and Kate talk to Toronto Housing Matters founder Chris Spoke about the price of housing in the province of Ontario and what we are seeing so far policy-wise from the three parties

PARTY PLATFORM BREAKDOWN

PCs:

  • eliminate rent controls
  • eliminate foreign buyers tax

Liberals:

  • maintain foreign buyers tax as a one time payment in Greater Golden Horseshoe Region
  • create more than 2,000 new housing units with a mix of market-based and affordable units

NDP:

  • build 30,000 new supportive housing units over 10 years
  • 65,000 new affordable homes over 10 years
  • introduce legislation requiring developers to include affordable homes in new projects
  • introduce yearly Housing Speculation Tax on foreign buyers who own homes in Ontario
    • $5 for assessed $1000 value in 2018, rising to $20 for assessed $1000 value in 2019

Episode 1: The Minimum Wage

 

Listen to Episode 1 here

In this introductory episode, Tara and Kate talk about the new minimum wage legislation that came into effect in Ontario in January. In addition to explaining what the legislation does and how it affects Ontarians, they also describe some common criticisms of minimum wage increases. In an effort to show the way the minimum wage has changed things for Ontarians, they also speak to a few minimum wage earners and a small business owners.

PARTY PLATFORM BREAKDOWN

PC
  • hold the minimum wage at $14/hour
  • eliminate income tax on minimum wage earners
LPC
  • increased the minimum wage to $14/hour on January 1st of 2018 (up from $11.60/hour)
  • server’s minimum wage was increased to $12.20/hour (up from $9.90)
  • the minimum wage will increase the minimum wage to $15/hour
  • server’s minimum wage will increase the minimum wage to $13.05/hour
NDP
  • have been supportive of an increase on minimum wage for a long time
  • will increase the minimum wage to $15/hour for all workers (including servers) – their platform does not say when

 

Resources –

Data on the 2015 election youth turnout: abacusdata.ca/the-next-canada-po…e-young-canadians/

Minimum wage legislation rundown: www.ontario.ca/page/minimum-wage-increase

NDP Platform: https://www.ontariondp.ca/sites/default/files/Change-for-the-better.pdf