PROVINCIAL ELECTION 2018—The closing arguments

From left, Curtis Fric, NDP; Jessica Tillmanns, Greens; Sam Oosterhoff, PC. SUPPLIED PHOTO



The Voice reached out to the three major party candidates, and the Green candidate, in Niagara West, offering them an opportunity to tell the voters in their own words why they and their party were the best choice to form the next Ontario government. The PCs’ Sam Oosterhoff, the NDP’s Curtis Fric, and the Green’s Jessica Tillmanns responded. The Liberal’s Joe Kanee did not.


Jessica Tillmanns
Green Party

Jessica Tillmanns. SUPPLIED PHOTO

It is a privilege to speak to Niagara’s citizens again before the June 7 election. I would like to acknowledge the loyal support of Niagara West Greens — who for years before me, have worked to get us (me) here today! Also, to all the young people that I have talked to and met — YOU can and will make a difference in the Niagara West election in ways one we cannot yet imagine. You will tell Ontario that #YoungPeopleShowUp! It is very exciting to see the number of new voters in Niagara West and I hope you will prove me right by voting for the party that deserves the most consideration.

Eleven reasons I will vote Green:

1. I am a post-secondary student. Greens will work to ensure that tuition rates be reduced to the national average and more support for low-income students will be available.

2. If I were a recent graduate or new to the job market. Greens will embrace the clean economy and redirect the money in existing programs in the right direction. We will target cleantech innovation, advanced manufacturing and bio-product development. We will provide incentive to work towards clean, low carbon products and services.

3. I am concerned about how to afford the day to day cost of living. Greens will provide all Ontarians with a Basic Income Guarantee. This is important as a bridge when trying to make ends meet and waiting for wages to begin. Whether working in the service industry or as a new entrepreneur, a guaranteed income will make getting started and maintaining my job or retraining easier. This will cut red tape in a variety of areas and actually reduce government costs in administration.

4. If I were looking for a place to live. Greens have creative ways to unlock new housing options. We will require new developments to have a minimum 20% affordable homes and will push for innovative answers like “tiny homes,” laneway housing, co-housing opportunities and secondary suites. We all deserve an affordable roof over our heads and these policies will make it easier for that to happen.

5. I am concerned about keeping healthy long into my lifetime. Greens will transform our health care system and spend more of our healthcare dollars on prevention. We will work to help people stay out of hospitals and long care homes longer by providing additional health care money in these areas.

6. If I were waiting for services to treat mental health issues. Greens will invest in primary care, community health care and home care to ensure those, such as children, do not have to wait 18 months or more for help.

7. If I were a lifelong farmer or a new farmer. We are losing farmland at an alarming rate, the equivalent of 365 acres per day! Greens will introduce legislation to permanently protect Ontario’s prime farmland and source water regions. We will invest over $200 million over four years to protect water and store carbon. We will help farmers transition to organic markets.

8. If I were a small business owner. Small businesses employ over 3 million people and need help to be profitable. Greens will lower payroll taxes — and immediately improve your cash flow! And we will also do this for non-profits, so they can focus more of their services for the communities they support. This will be done by increasing the exemption level for the Employer Health Tax.

9. I am concerned about energy consumption. Greens will provide grants to help homeowners, renters and businesses invest in energy conservation. This saves money for citizens and reduces carbon use. A better insulated and energy efficient home is warmer, cozier and easier to heat and cool. This saves money. We will also save over $1 billion per year by closing the Pickering Nuclear station and replacing energy needs with lower cost clean Quebec power. We would push for low cost energy solutions that meet our greenhouse targets.

10. I want a more open and honest democracy. People want the truth about the challenges we face. Greens have a new way of “doing” government—one that involves more cooperation. We would “Change the Climate in Parliament.” Greens would introduce a form of Proportional Representation, a system used by more democracies than any other form of government. Greens would institute such a system to ensure effectiveness, fairness and equality for all voters.

11. I am concerned about the future of the planet. We have no Planet B. Greens have always had the protection of the environment a priority. We must ensure the one we have now is livable for our children and their children — long into the future. Greens will address the issues of climate change head-on by developing a long-term energy plan powered by 100% renewable energy. We will provide increases for public transit infrastructure with dedicated walking and cycling paths.

Did you know that every vote for Greens helps build the Party? Each vote has real dollar value — over $2.50. Therefore every GREEN vote will help fund future Green work in our community and in Queens Park.

In Niagara West is it vitally important to vote for what and who you believe in—how many of us want a GREENER future! Our platform costs and revenue are all available. Be informed by going to our Vision policy at gpo.ca.

I believe, “Ontario Greens will restore your faith in government by delivering solutions that help ALL people, regardless of economic or social class, belief and background.”

Thank you for the opportunity to again address the voters of Niagara West. Please consider the Greens as a real option and remember to VOTE!



Sam Oosterhoff
Progressive Conservative


The Ontario PCs will make life more affordable for the people of Niagara West

As the MPP for Niagara West – Glanbrook, families, job creators, seniors, and students came to me every day to tell me about their growing struggles to make ends meet.

From skyrocketing hydro rates, to healthcare cuts, to increased taxes and red tape, life has become harder after 15 long years of Liberal government.

While Premier Wynne’s insider friends get fat government contracts, and her Hydro One CEO makes $6 million dollars, seniors worry about being cut off from hydro, and young families are discouraged because they cannot afford to buy their first home.

I hear the pain in the voices of students, families, and job creators alike that have been ignored by a Liberal government more concerned with looking after their own interests than caring for the needs of Ontarians.

Although they talk about change, we need to remember that the NDP have voted for practically every one of the Kathleen Wynne Liberal policies.

The NDP even supported the Liberal Green Energy Act —the cause of our outrageous hydro rates. The NDP voted for the Liberal legislation that killed our West Lincoln Memorial Hospital.

While the Liberals have made it increasingly difficult to make ends meet, the Ontario PCs will put money back into your pocket.

The Ontario Progressive Conservative Party understands that it is harder to get ahead in Kathleen Wynne’s Ontario. Meanwhile, the NDP and Andrea Horwath make unrealistic promises financed by six more years of deficits and higher taxes. They do this as our provincial debt inches closer to $400 billion dollars— the largest subnational debt in North America!

Only the Ontario PC government is promising change that works for the people of Ontario.

An Ontario PC government will fight for the taxpayers of Niagara West, and all the people of our province.

We will:

• Clean up the hydro mess and cut hydro rates by 12% by rebating Hydro One dividends back to ratepayers;

• Put money back in your pocket by removing all income tax on minimum wage earners, and cutting income taxes by 20% on the middle class;

• Make life more affordable by scrapping the carbon tax and a portion of the gas tax, saving you 10 cents per litre of gas;

• Invest $3.8 billion dollars into much needed mental health services, easing up our emergency room wait times;

• Help families by refunding 75% of childcare expenses;

• Restore accountability in government by stopping partisan government advertising, and restoring the Auditor General’s powers;

• Improve education by getting back to the basics, and by listening to parents and front-line teachers;

• Bring well-paying jobs back to Ontario by tackling industrial hydro rates and cutting red-tape to encourage job creators to set up shop; and

• End hallway medicine and cut wait-times by building 30,000 Long Term Care beds.

The Ontario PCs believe in a province where everyone can get ahead. This election will come down to an important choice between the vague, irresponsible promises of the NDP and Liberals, and those of the PC Party, that puts the people front and centre with policies that will work.

Vote for change. Vote for a party that will work for the people, not the insiders. Vote for the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party.


Curtis Fric
New Democratic Party


Election day is fast approaching and the choice that Ontarians will make at the ballot box will be one that sets the course for our province for the next few years.

My name is Curtis Fric, and I am one of the multiple young people seeking to represent the people of Niagara West at Queen’s Park. I have lived all of my life right here in Niagara. I went to elementary school in Jordan, then high school in St. Catharines. Presently, I’ve just finished the second year of my four-year undergraduate degree at Brock University.

I work in a long-term care home as a dietary aide, and I understand the state of care going on in our retirement homes. When the NDP says that they will bring in 15,000 new long-term beds, legislate a minimum standard of care of four hours a day per resident, and launch a public inquiry into how we can improve the care in our homes, I understand why.

I can tell you, from first hand experience, the NDP has a solid plan when it comes to tackling the problems in long term care.

When I hear from close friends that they can’t continue to run their stables because they are being charged $2500 a month for hydro, with $600 being the delivery charge alone, it kills me to know that this is an entirely preventable situation.

I know that we can make life much more affordable for our small businesses in Ontario. Andrea Horwath has a plan that will make life so much better for all Ontarians.

Then there’s the father of two I met in Smithville that had to quit his job as a truck driver because gas prices became all too expensive. He has had to pick up work at four different jobs to make ends meet and give his family the comfortable life they deserve. I know that we can do so much better for the people of Niagara West. The New Democratic Party of Ontario knows how we can do better.

I am proud to help champion the platform that Andrea Horwath and the NDP released more than a month ago.

Our platform is one that addresses the level of care problems that I see firsthand in our retirement homes. Our platform is a platform that will tackle sky-high hydro rates by addressing the core problem of privatization and bringing hydro rates down by 30%. And our platform is a platform that will help that father of two be able to give his children a good life by making it much more affordable through new programs such as childcare, dentalcare and pharmacare.

When it comes to our fiscal plans, the NDP will run the lowest projected deficits of the three major parties.

We need a government in power that will tell the people what we want to do and how we will pay for our commitments, unlike the Progressive Conservatives.

We need a government in power that will be open and honest with our finances, unlike the Liberals, who repeatedly ignore the auditor general’s reports.

The Ontario NDP is the only fiscally responsible party, the only socially responsible party, and the only party that puts the focus on you, the people!

While Kathleen Wynne and Doug Ford continue to throw mud at Andrea Horwath and the NDP, Andrea continues to keep her eyes focused on the people of Ontario. We know that the cynicism in politics has turned many people away from the political process, but this is why we are running on the platform that we are.

We want to remove cynicism from our politics and bring back the idea that you can vote for a party of positive ideas instead of simply voting against one.

We’re getting close to the end of this election season, and personally I’m going to miss it. I’ve been out on the streets pounding the pavement meeting as many of the good people of Niagara West as possible since the election writ dropped on May 9. People have been overwhelmingly positive when I arrive at their doors.

I know that a change for the better is on the way when long-time Conservatives and long-time Liberals say to me, “Andrea Horwath and the NDP have my vote this election.”

Regardless of what the results may be on June 7, it has been a pleasure speaking to you, the people of Niagara West and listening to what concerns you most. Together, let’s make history and turn Niagara West Orange!

About the Author

The Voice of Pelham
Pelham's independent news source from the heart of Niagara.