The situation at Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre is absolutely unacceptable, full stop. I hope there will be remedies in action before the general election, but if not enough has been done, this will be a Day 1 job for me as an MPP. Citizens of this riding are at EMDC. Their safety and wellbeing needs to be protected. The province cannot neglect its duty to those in our care any longer.
We built our system for a world that has changed. It's time to change education, too. Recent additions like EQAO need an overhaul. And full-time kindergarten isn't working for parents and students. Let's integrate it with daycare offered on-site by qualified ECEs in appropriate group sizes. And my personal dream is to provide a full, nutritious lunch to every student, every day.
Better mental health care is an urgent need in our province. A standardized, connected system will be easier to navigate, a "no wrong door" policy will ensure nobody seeking help is simply turned away, and Nurse Practitioner-led clinics will improve early access to psychiatric care. Investing in fully-covered mental healthcare will take the strain off of hospitals, police, and other front-line workers currently filling this gaping hole in our healthcare.
We have a systemic problem. Ontario allows, and the government itself uses, policies that make it expensive to be poor. Things like insurance cancellation for late payments, refusal of OSAP to people who've been bankrupt, and exorbitant banking fees for declined automatic withdrawals are all things it's in our power to chance. We need to stop punishing people for being poor. Continue reading
The number one issue facing our region today is jobs. With the country's lowest workforce participation, compounded by a shortage of secure and stable work, the people of this area are hurting and our futures are in jeopardy. There is no silver bullet, and it will take systems change and coordinated efforts to fix this growing problem. Continue reading