Peggy Russell makes her case. “We believe in putting people first.”

By Peggy Russell, New Democratic Party candidate.

Our Burlington was created to reduce the information deficit that was described and defined in the Shape Burlington report.  As part of this initiative we asked the Progressive Conservative, the New Democratic and the Liberal party candidates to provide material on two features.  The first was an opinion piece on what each candidate thought was not in the best interests of Ontario and Burlington in the other  party’s platform.  The Liberals and the New Democrats participated in the editorial feature.  The Progressive Conservatives declined.

 The second editorial feature was an opportunity for each candidate to set out their political party’s platform.  Today our readers hear from NDP candidate Peggy Russell. Later this week you will hear from Liberal candidate Karmel Sakran and and Progressive Conservative candidate Jane McKenna.

BURLINGTON, ON  September 25, 2011  Burlington is my home.  It is where I raised my children and it is where I want a great future for my grandchildren.  It is the community where we have so much to be proud of, but also a community where there is still work to be done.  I am proud and honoured that this community chose me to represent them for the past 10 years as an elected school board trustee.

At the board of education and on Provincial committees I helped to deliver results for Burlington.  Working with other great people, we had 10 consecutive balanced budgets, we added resources for vulnerable children, I voted to end fees for basic school needs, and I worked hard to ensure that neighbourhood schools remained open.  I am now once again asking for the trust of Burlington residents to send me to Queen’s Park as your Member of Provincial Parliament so that I can continue to advocate and work hard on behalf of you and our community. Having been an elected official in Burlington where I met so many people and where I have listened to so many concerns and ideas I understand what still needs to be done to make our community even stronger.

The Russell family: With twin boys Russell was thought to have a bit of an advantage – they make a great election sign team.

As I write this, I know that there are many Burlington families that are concerned about the state of our economy as we continue to hear reports of a potential downturn given some of the problems around the globe.  There are young people and families that are concerned about jobs, seniors concerned about their pensions, and small businesses concerned about their future.

These are just some of the concerns and a strong reason why Burlington needs experienced leadership at this time.  As an elected official for the past 10 years I understand how to navigate through the complexities of government to get things done.  Governing can have a steep learning curve and we in Burlington and across Ontario don’t have the luxury to time if an economic downturn is at our doorstep.  We need experienced leadership now that can hit the ground running and get the right results for Burlington and Ontario.

I understand that there will be some of you that will be skeptical and I accept that.  Governments have not always made the best decisions regardless of the party they belong to.  The Ontario New Democratic Party has grown and evolved over the years into a strong, stable force at Queen’s Park and has been a leading advocate for families in Ontario.  The NDP understands that the old politics of the past don’t work anymore and that it is time for new ideas, and a new way of doing politics at Queen’s Park.  The NDP believes in politics that puts the partisan games aside and instead works in the best interests of those who elect us, the people of Ontario.

We believe in putting people first.  Jack Layton understood this and as a result many Canadians took notice and put their trust in the NDP.  It is that pragmatic leadership that drew me to the NDP and it is that style of leadership that I want to bring to Queen’s Park to act on your behalf.

Andrea Horwath, myself and our Ontario New Democratic Party Team have a plan to help youth, families, seniors, and businesses.  Our plan calls for,

 -Removing the Provincial portion of the HST off of hydro, home heating, and gas to make life more affordable for families,
-Freezing tuition for post-secondary education and removing the interest from student loans,
-Ending ambulance fees and other basic medical costs,
-Providing stable funding to municipalities for transit while freezing transit fares,
-Reducing the Ontario small business tax to 4% to ensure that small businesses have the resources to create jobs,
-Helping businesses by creating a tax credit up to $5000 for all new hires in Ontario that are sustained for at least one year,
-Expanding the home energy retrofit program and enhancing energy conservation in Ontario,
-Cutting emergency room wait times,

-Eliminating wait-lists for homecare with an addition of one million hours of home healthcare over 4 years and providing an additional 7.5 million hours of non-medical

Peggy Russell is a very forthright speaker, she makes her point and seldom backs down. Expect her to excel at the all candidate meetings

, home-making care for things such as preparing meals and shoveling snow,

-Capping out of control Public CEO Salaries and ending the million dollar/day payouts to consultants,

-Balancing the Ontario budget by the year 2017 in a responsible manner,

In Burlington there are two other big issues that have been on the minds of families in this community for many, many years; our hospital and preserving rural Burlington.

Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital is long overdue for an expansion and modernization.  That is why I have made this issue my number one priority.  A hospital is not a political pawn to play games with.  As your next MPP, I will fight to ensure that shovels are in the ground as soon as possible for our hospital expansion and modernization.


Burlington is extremely fortunate to be situated in a position where we have a beautiful lake to our south and a natural treasure to our North.  We need to preserve this.  Ever since discussions began under a previous PC government to build a highway through Rural Burlington, the Ontario NDP has held a strong position that we are opposed to a Mid-Peninsula Highway and any new highway through Rural Burlington.  No other major party has made such a commitment to Burlington.  As the next MPP for Burlington I will ensure that there is no new highway across our escarpment.

In this election you do have a choice.  You can choose the partisan games of the past or you can choose a new kind of politics at Queen’s Park.  I am asking the people of Burlington to once again put your trust in me so that I can continue to deliver for you.  It is about putting our community and people first.  I hope that I can count on your vote on October 6th.


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