ALISON KELLY-NEW DEMOCRAT PARTY OF ONTARIO
Let’s start with a brief bio-where are you from, what is your educational background and professional background prior to getting into politics?
I was born in Toronto and moved to Belleville when my father transferred for work at the local Sears Distribution Centre. I attended Harry J Clarke, and Nicholson Catholic College, and then moved to Toronto to pursue post-secondary education. I have worked in IT and project management with clients in finance, telecommunications, and government.
In 2013 my husband, Jeremy, and I moved back here to raise our growing family in the community where we were raised. I went back to school in 2018 to study Community Engagement, Leadership and Development, which opened my eyes to social injustice and how bad policies have negatively impacted people in our community.
In 2018, I was elected to the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board as the Trustee for South Prince Edward.
What made you decide to enter the race to be MPP of Bay of Quinte?
I’m running because things have become really challenging for so many over the past four years. We have a housing crisis. Education has suffered from years of budget cuts and a not-so-hidden interest in privatizing what should have been our best hope for a new beginning. We have a health-care system and a seniors’-care system on its knees and a climate crisis being ignored. For me, this election is about showing people in the Bay of Quinte that you can have a government that focuses on the things that matter most to you and that we can actually start fixing things.
Why is your party the right choice for Bay of Quinte?
Doug Ford and his bad policies only benefit his rich buddies. Doug Ford cares more about increasing subsidies for private LTC companies than providing care for the people living there by investing in PSWs and nurses. He refused to properly invest in education, healthcare and people. And our local Conservative candidate was there for all of it – at the cabinet table, helping Ford make these cuts. The NDP puts people first. Our vision for Ontario is rooted in affordability, equity, justice, and commitment to a just transition that leaves nobody and no community behind.
What would you say are the top three issues facing Bay of Quinte right now?
Affordability- Gas gouging is driving up the cost of everything.
Finding a place to live has gotten harder and harder. We’re watching loved ones get thrown out of their homes, forced to leave the communities they love. The NDP will fix this. We will reintroduce rent control, regulate short-term rentals, and bring in a speculation and vacancy tax. We will ensure gas prices are fair. We will ensure Ontarians pay for their dental care, mental healthcare, and medications with their OHIP card, not their credit card. And we’ll immediately increase ODSP and OW by 20 per cent and double the current rate by the end of our second year in government.
Health Care & Senior Care- Decades of critical services were cut before the pandemic and then, when it hit, the Conservatives (including our local candidate) refused to invest in hospitals and health care when they needed it most. Locally we’re facing a doctor shortage and nurses are walking away from the profession after years of disrespect. The NDP will fix this. We will add 10,000 PSWs and 30,000 nurses and help nurse practitioners lead their own clinics. We will Repeal Bill 124. We will establish provincial standards for home and community care services. We will introduce a Caregiver Benefit Program that provides direct support to family caregivers who do not qualify for the existing federal programs. Only the NDP can be trusted to protect our public healthcare system.
We will invest in robust, publicly funded and delivered healthcare.
Education- In 2018, Prince Edward County reported a 76 per cent high school graduation rate, 10 per cent lower than the Ontario average. This is happening because education has suffered from budget cuts and a not-so-hidden interest in privatization. We saw attacks on our educators with years of salary freezes. The NDP will lower class sizes, hire thousands of teachers and education workers, give kids the special education and emotional support they need and scrap Doug Ford’s low-wage policy, Bill 124.
If elected, what would be your biggest priority?
The NDP will immediately stop the attack on renters, reintroducing rent control and putting an end to evictions during a health emergency. We will phase out for-profit interests in long-term, home and community care and address the shortage of healthcare workers. We will reverse Bill 124 and increase pay to PSWs by an additional $5/hr. We will scrap the Bradford Bypass and 413 highway projects, saving our green belt and farmland from unnecessary destruction. Last, I will address the lack of communication that we have seen over the last four years. I will actively engage with our community so your voices are heard.
Why are you the right candidate for this riding?
For far too long, many members of our community have been intentionally ignored in favour of corporations and the wealthy and I will not sit silently and let that keep happening. Todd Smith has been an accomplice to the most damaging Premier in Ontario’s history. We needed him to fight for us during a global pandemic, and we were left to fend for ourselves while our schools and healthcare were under attack. We have an opportunity to make a difference for people that won’t just help now but will put fundamental pieces in place to help for generations to come. We all deserve better than what we’ve been getting.
So, to my neighbours in beautiful Prince Edward County, let’s come together now to defeat Doug Ford and start fixing the things that matter. I care about this community. I’ll go to bat for you every single day.