Milton Kandias, New Blue Party candidate for Toronto-Danforth, answers three questions from Beach Metro Community News regarding the June 2 provincial election.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Candidates were instructed to keep their answers to approximately 200 words, and some of the responses have been edited to keep them as close as possible to the agreed word count.)
QUESTION 1: Please tell our readers a little bit about yourself and why you are running in this election?
I’m a 15-year veteran ICU Critical Care nursing specialist dedicated to the care of others. I spent the last eight years on our local hospital’s Rapid Response Team. Often the first one called when a patient deteriorated in hospital with the responsibility to act immediately, as needed, to save lives and the training to do so.
During the last two years I saw our system deteriorate from within, as it was unable to properly cope with the crisis we faced. In 2021, healthcare spending comprised 37.5 per cent of Ontario’s budget. Despite this, all sectors including home-care and long term care are plagued with inadequacies that still need to be addressed.
Innovation is needed, money alone won’t fix this. The New Blue party of Ontario’s commitment to early treatment and focused care represents precisely the type of innovation we need.
In addition, their platform seems geared to promote decreases in living costs, particularly related to energy, and helping people become more self sufficient by stimulating jobs and economic growth. Both income and health services are acknowledged as key population health indicators, and only the New Blue party is committed to addressing both through measures that include innovation and regulatory reform.
QUESTION 2: What do you think is the issue in your riding that you can have the most impact on if you are elected MPP?
Living through the COVID years, working in a hospital, really opened my eyes to the deficits of a system operating under a stress it was unprepared to cope with. And at this point I think that we all have COVID fatigue.
People just want a chance to go back to normal life, before COVID changed everything.
The time has come for meaningful innovation and reform, meant to rebuild healthcare using a much more responsive and focused approach in terms of dealing with emerging issues, that will also allow us to better focus on treating the vulnerable among us. This is something I understand well. Innovation can also be leveraged to improve education, improving results without exploding costs. Resulting in healthier children and families.
And it can help fuel economic growth that will improve the lives of many and allow for reinvestment in our communities that have suffered so much, thus revitalizing our neighborhoods. I can help work with our local communities to help reclaim their lives, their dignity and their health as we work to rebuild a system that will let us all get back to living life the way we remember it.
QUESTION 3: Given the concerns raised by a number of East Toronto residents, do you think changes need to be made to the way the provincial transit agency Metrolinx is run and if so, what are those changes?
Metrolinx seeks to install needed rail-infrastructure in the Don Valley floodplain. Despite the fact that it floods regularly after heavy rains, sometimes submerging the DVP.
The concrete they will pour will make the flooding worse, as well as devastating the local ecology. And then there is the added cost to maintaining infrastructure under such unfavourable conditions.
Until the late 20th century, we still had massive rail infrastructure available, adjacent to Union Station, the hub of all these future developments. The decision to dispose of this infrastructure was ill-advised, and showed a lack of any meaningful planning. As a result we are no longer able to operate our railways at previous levels of capacity.
Even back then, our deteriorating capacity to cope with growing vehicular traffic, made preserving our rail assets imperative to protecting the economic viability of our city and the mobility of our citizens.
Metrolinx must be completely reformed. It must be forced to work with the local community groups that clearly know the local needs and environment best. Making decisions openly, through a consensus of the communities that it serves, to enable it to actually plan for the future, rather than merely reacting to it afterwards.