Oshawa – Jennifer French, NDP MPP for Oshawa, hosted a community town hall meeting on Thursday at the South Oshawa Community Centre, an opportunity for constituents to share their priorities before she returns for the spring session in the legislature next week.
"I heard a wide range of issues and ideas," said French, “but after hearing from everybody, one thing was very clear to me: 14 years of the Liberals in government has made life less affordable for our neighbours in Oshawa.”
Community members raised concerns about the high cost of medication, the lack of safe affordable housing, equitable access to education and concerns about the Trans Pacific Partnership. Affordability in Oshawa, for middle class families and for those on social assistance, as well as access to improved public transit were both brought up repeatedly throughout the event.
Housing activist Christeen Thornton said “The huge increases to utilities coupled with the chronic underfunding of social assistance has created a powder keg situation when it comes to affordability in Oshawa.”
Town hall participants said the affordability crisis is worsened by their inability to get around.
Community members expressed complete frustration over having to walk long distances or wait for hours to get to other parts of the city.
“In Oshawa we have a history of Conservative and Liberal governments failing to deliver on transit and infrastructure commitments,” French said. “My office is tracking the commitments this government is making but I think that none of us in Oshawa will believe it until we see it.”
New Democrats believe the province has a role to play in funding transit and housing, an NDP government will provide a one-third split to municipal housing and will match municipal operations funding for public transit on a 50-50 basis and have committed to investing more than $800 million annually for transit.