TORONTO – “When you elect me, I will go to Ottawa as the country’s only independent, progressive federal party leader, ready to offer you real representation,” said Green Party Leader Annamie Paul. “When I think about the chance of a lifetime we have to complete our social net, I am thinking about you. We can’t let this moment slip through our fingers with the wrong leadership.
“When you vote for a Green MP, what you get is someone committed to putting you first all of the time. Can we say that about the Liberal candidates that have represented this riding in the past?
‘Toronto Centre is struggling with an opioid epidemic, where 32% of emergency overdose calls originate. Do you really believe that a Liberal MP will call for decriminalisation and a safe supply considering that the Prime Minister has already rejected this?
“Toronto Centre is one of the least affordable ridings in the country, where 25 per cent of people pay more than 50 per cent of their monthly income in rent. Do we really think a Liberal MP will call for an affordable housing strategy that actually helps our residents? Because the current plan sure doesn’t.
“40 per cent of kids in Toronto Centre live in poverty. Can any of us imagine a Liberal MP demanding the Prime Minister immediately start negotiations for a Guaranteed Liveable Income and a national public childcare plan?
“Crime rates in Toronto Centre have soared year-on-year under the Trudeau government. Would a Liberal MP finally join the calls for a reallocation of resources to fund the critical community services that help reduce crime?
“After so many years of neglect under successive Liberal MPs, I think we all know the answers to these questions. The first test of leadership and real representation has come and gone, and the other candidates have failed.
Ms. Paul noted that there were 700+ daily new COVID cases in Ontario this week. “We are back in Stage II. Many Toronto Centre voters are the essential workers that kept our economy running all these months, and have been infected with COVID at higher rates as a result. Yet the Liberal government insisted Toronto Centre residents risk their health to vote.
“This is not the first time that low-income and racialised people have had to face barriers to their democratic participation, but any candidate that puts Toronto Centre residents first would have supported my call for a suspension.
“I am the leader of the Green Party of Canada, and in electing me, you can be sure that you will be my first priority and I will never put my party ahead of you. That is what real representation looks like.”
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