Do you feel as if the federal election campaign has been going on forever? By the time this issue of Leaside Life arrives at your home, the politicking will have been going on for almost two months. But here we are, with only three weeks to go until Election Day.
Before you vote, I urge you to attend the LPOA’s Candidates’ Debate on Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 7:30 p.m. in the William Lea Room at Leaside Gardens. Conservative John Carmichael, Liberal Rob Oliphant, and NDP Syeda Riaz have confirmed that they will participate.
Most people pay attention to the parties’ national platforms, but don’t realize that we in Leaside and Bennington Heights also have local concerns which need to be addressed. Quite a few federal policies (and actions) will have major local impacts.
For instance, Canada Post plans to eliminate direct mail deliveries to homes, instead erecting large community mailboxes throughout the neighbourhood. Do you have an opinion on that, pro or con, or alternatives to put forward?
What about train and rail safety? Major railways run through Leaside and Bennington Heights, often just a few metres from our houses. Are you satisfied that safety regulations are sufficient, and are sufficiently enforced?
Many Leasiders’ biggest investment is their home. Should we be encouraged, by federal programs and subsidies, to invest in ‘green energy’ such as solar panels to lessen our dependence on oil, gas and the power grid?
Are you a volunteer? Your hours of voluntary work help make it possible for charitable organizations and major institutions such as Sunnybrook Hospital to operate efficiently. Should there be more recognition from the federal level (perhaps with a charitable tax deduction receipt) for the important work done by volunteers?
Leaside has many residents who are retirees. Although Leaside has the reputation of being a prosperous community, many seniors are “house rich but cash poor”. What federal actions might improve their situation?
A lot of us depend on public transit to get around. Infrastructure needs, including public transit, are big issues throughout Toronto. What do you want to ask the federal candidates to work for on these, and in what time line?
There are lots of other big national issues which have local consequences. Have you noticed how many nannies are employed by Leaside families? Do you have suggestions on how (or whether) to change federal employment and immigration policies regarding temporary foreign workers here? If you are considering retirement, what about the age of eligibility to collect CPP: do you think it should return to 65, or remain at 67? What about our health system, and the cost of prescription drugs: should Canada consider a national pharmacare program?
These are only a few of the federal issues carrying a local impact which occur to me as I write this month’s column. I’m sure you have additional matters that you’d like to raise as well.
Ask the candidates at the LPOA’s Oct. 7 federal candidates’ debate to commit to consulting regularly with Don Valley West residents, and perhaps holding at least one Town Hall meeting annually where constituents can raise questions about any issues of importance to them.
Come armed with your questions and concerns. It’s a great opportunity to raise subjects which are important to you and your family, and to let the candidates know that you are listening to their replies.
IMPORTANT: Usually the LPOA board holds our public monthly meetings on the first Wednesday of each month. Because the federal candidates’ debate takes place on October’s first Wednesday, we have rescheduled the meeting to the previous evening, Tuesday, Oct. 6 (7:30 p.m., in the Trace Manes building). If you have questions or issues regarding development, traffic, transit, zoning, etc., or just want to observe, you are welcome.