Abhijeet Manay, Green Party candidate for Beaches-East York, 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?
My name is Abhijeet Manay. I’m the Deputy Leader of the Ontario Green Party and I am running to be the first Green MPP of Beaches-East York.
I also have a 9-5 job where I work as an instructional designer and educator at a non-profit in North York (called Reena) that works for people with developmental disabilities (i.e autism, down syndrome, etc).
The reason I got involved in politics is because of my grandfather who was a Member of Parliament (MP) in Mumbai, India where I too was born and raised until I came to Canada at the age of 14. He was a fierce advocate for the urban poor as well as the so-called ‘low castes’ and the positive effect his work had on people inspired me to really consider public service as a way to affect change.
Later on, when I was disappointed by my experience of working for the status quo parties, I joined the Ontario Greens led by Mike Schreiner, because Mike too thinks that politics is about public service, rather than public glory. That’s why I’m running to be your MPP-it’s time we work together to create the Ontario we want, with the leadership we need.
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?
The one issue that I’ve heard so often at the doors is the Ford government’s attack on our healthcare system. The Ontario Greens have always advocated for a robust public healthcare system that serves all and for stopping the privatization that the Ford government is trying to bring in.
We also need a more prevention-oriented model of healthcare-unlike what other parties are advocating for-which means more investments in community healthcare options like community clinics, nurse-practitioner clinics and home care so that the burden currently placed on hospitals is reduced. This approach to healthcare leads to better healthcare outcomes and saves the healthcare system a lot of money that can be used to invest back in the system and pay our healthcare workers a just compensation for their sacrifices. We also need mental healthcare, pharmacare, visioncare, dentalcare and more to be included within OHIP.
The Ontario Greens have released a fully costed plan for how we’re going to expand mental healthcare services across the province. A healthy Ontario is crucial for a green and caring tomorrow and we have a plan to make it happen.
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?
We need more funding and a massive expansion of Ontario’s public transit systems. However, this does not need to come at the expense of natural infrastructure.
Metrolinx needs to consider the alternate solutions provided by local residents for their projects, especially when they harm local ravines, water systems and other ecosystems.
Provincial governments also need to be considerate of the requests of local municipal councils that are advocating for local residents.
Greens have a long history of working with all parties to find solutions, including our leader Mike Schreiner who passed his bill with all party support.
As your MPP, I too would work with all parties to come up with a solution that works for everyone and that includes local concerns and alternative solutions. Collaborative politics is not only expedient but a necessity.