It’s crunch time for federal election candidates with less than two weeks left before Canadians go to the polls on Sept. 20.
Elizabeth Quinto, federal Liberal candidate in Oxford County, has been busy sharing “an exciting platform and policy” with voters, identifying some of the most important items on their platform as affordable housing, affordable child care, climate change, mental health and protecting seniors.
You can read more about the Liberal platform at liberal.ca/our-plan/
“The most important part I believe, for our community, would be affordable housing,” said Quinto.
“The Prime Minister announced an affordable housing plan, and that’s basically what I’ve been hearing at the doors is that the housing prices have skyrocketed. We’re a growing city and we need to secure proper housing so that people can stay and live in Oxford as opposed to moving out to other areas where it’s cheaper.”
Quinto said affordable child care is also an important piece of the Liberal platform.
“$10 a day child care is a very important one, especially with young families moving here. You’ve got to get women back to work so that they can contribute to their families and to their economy.
“Another big one is, of course, climate change. It’s always pretty big, but recently the Green Party leader, Annamie Paul, supported the Liberal climate change plan so that’s exciting. So we’re on the right path.
“Mental health, especially dealing with a lot of the homeless population here. You’ve got to hit it at the root and that’s providing more money, more funding through the provinces – work with them so that we can provide mental health services to the people of Oxford.
“And lastly, most importantly, we have to help protect our seniors.”
That would include hiring long-term care staff and increasing the PSW minimum wage to $25/hour.
Campaigning during the pandemic, Quinto said the Liberal Party makes sure everyone is safe and following protocols while going door-to-door, including wearing masks and hand sanitizing between visits.
Last week she visited Innerkip, Tillsonburg and Ingersoll, and during the campaign plans to visit every area of the county ‘just to knock on doors and say hi.’
“I’ve been getting a lot of good reception at the door. It’s really heartwarming to see people are just ‘surprised’ that a Liberal candidate is knocking on doors and engaging with the community.”
There has also been some resistance, she said, and that was expected.
“I guess the biggest resistance I would say is my signs are being stolen, being thrown around or defaced. So I have to replace them, and I think that’s been going around all country-wide with Liberal candidates. It’s just my signs (in Oxford) being targeted unfortunately because a lot of the NDP and Conservative signs are still up.”
Quinto said she was looking forward to the Oxford candidates debate on Sept. 7 hosted by Unifor Local 636 in Woodstock to be shown Sept. 11 (8 p.m.) on Rogers.
“I will be participating in it. It’s going to be an exciting time to be able to inform everybody and talk to people and get the questions that need to be answered because Oxford deserves better representation and we’re there to answer the community’s questions.”
As a lawyer, Quinto believes that gives her an advantage in politics and parliament in general.
“It’s a pretty scrappy arena and you need tough skin, and you need someone who has a voice and who can advocate for the community – and I’ve been doing it my entire career so it’s kind of second nature to me to be able to argue for the community, argue for what’s best. It’s kind of something I’ve been doing all my life, and all my career, so it does give me an advantage. So I’m looking forward to seeing what the other candidates have to offer.”
There will also be a Meet the Candidates event in Tillsonburg, 1-3 p.m. at The Carriage Hall, hosted by Tillsonburg District Chamber of Commerce. It is open to the community to meet and talk with candidates in an informal setting.
If elected as a member of parliament for Oxford, Quinto noted it would be a huge thing for the Filipino community in Canada.
“We haven’t had representation since 2004 and we’ve only had one Filipino candidate in history. So I would be the first woman Filipina to ever be elected and I represent about 900,000 to a million Filipino Canadians that live here. So it’s pretty exciting for the Filipino community all over Canada. We are the fourth largest immigrant population in Canada, so it’s not only big for Oxford County, of which obviously I am going to be promoting and advocating for, but it’s also big for the Filipino community to see someone represent them in parliament. Diversity is really important, representation is really important, and I’m looking forward to being able to meet more people in this community so I could be their strong voice.”