This article discusses an all-candidates debate hosted by Toronto Taxpayers Coalition.
Candidates vying to win the Etobicoke-Lakeshore byelection talked fiscal responsibility, accountability, employment and local transit in a cool and cordial debate Thursday night.
It’s the first time two Toronto councillors who are the front-runners in the race, Liberal Peter Milczyn and Progressive Conservative candidate Doug Holyday, have met in the campaign leading up to the byelection that is now less than three weeks away.
They were joined at the front of the room by Green Party hopeful Angela Salewsky, PC Choo for the NDP and Libertarian candidate Hans Kunov.
“I’ve seen the financial situation go from bad, to worse, to desperate,” said Holyday, stressing that spending must be reined in on items such as the cancellation of gas plants, one in nearby Mississauga. “Somebody has to get the house in order, and it’s not going to be (the governing Liberals).”
Milczyn argued the key to successful government was good planning, butacknowledged that “without a doubt, the power plants were not well planned out, and we’ve apologized for that.”
On more employment for out of work youth, Holyday said the economy needs to be “straightened out” to keep skill and talent in the province.
In terms of sustainable health care, Milczyn, touted the Liberals’ investments in home care for seniors and increased ambulatory care.
Holyday said that the health care system has grown over the last 30 years, and that it has become “impossible to keep up … We have to find a better way.”
Recent polls indicate a tight race between Holyday and Milczyn.
According to one survey conducted in the riding, Milczyn is leading by 45% and Holyday at 39%, with Choo at 11%, Salewsky at 6%.
The byelection in Etobicoke-Lakeshore became necessary when long-time MPP and former Dalton McGuinty cabinet minister Laurel Broten resinged last month. It is one of five byelections taking place Aug. 1.
The Tories are trying to gain a foothold in the GTA and win their first seat in Toronto under the leadership of Tim Hudak.