Liberal incumbent Laurel Broten says that while she’s proud of her accomplishments as MPP, there’s still much work to be done in Etobicoke–Lakeshore.
“I can tell you that we’ve made a lot of progress and we’ve seen significant investments come into the community, but there is still work to do,” said Broten who has represented the riding since 2003. “I look forward to keeping my sleeves rolled up and continuing to build on the progress that’s been made over eight years.”
She pointed to the investment for two new elementary schools in the riding, almost $30 million to Humber College and the establishment of the Mimico Waterfront Linear Park as proof of how the Ontario government has worked to improve the lives of residents.
“It’s important to complete initiatives that have been undertaken and make sure that we continue to build a province and a community that is the place that I want to raise my kids,” Broten said.
She also cited investments in the green energy and entertainment sectors as a positive development and credited the Harmonized Sales Tax as a catalyst for job creation.
“Those jobs are important jobs of the future, and they’re in large measure a result of some of the targeted tax incentives that our government has put in place.”
In defence of the Harmonized Sales Tax, Broten said she believes its implementation was a good approach to modernize the province’s tax system.
“The vast majority of Ontario families are doing better by way of the HST and income tax relief that has been put in place,” she said. “None of us love paying more taxes, but what all of us want to see is improved services and investment in those services.”
During her time at Queen’s Park, Broten has served in a number of high profile cabinet positions including Minister of the Environment, and currently as Minister of Children and Youth Services and Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues.
She said she’s been privileged to work on files such as the province’s Domestic Violence Action Plan, but said the accomplishment that she’s most proud of is a piece of adoption legislation passed last spring.
“That piece of legislation makes it possible for 7,500 children and youth in the province who are crown wards to be eligible for adoption,” she said. “For me that’s one that certainly touches my heart as a mom.”
Broten said if re-elected, she would continue to encourage investment from the provincial government and work on issues such as the environment, how to care for seniors and children and how to get newcomers integrated into the workforce.
She also expressed concern about Tim Hudak’s changebook plan, saying it had a $14 billion gap.
“I can tell you that when you hear Tim Hudak say they’ll be able to find from within and there won’t be cut to services, that rings very hollow to me,” she said. “There is no doubt in my mind that a $14 billion dollar hole in Tim Hudak’s plan will be felt by way of frontline cuts.”
The Ontario PC party disputes the number on their website, saying Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan got his math wrong.
Broten said she is confident the Ontario Liberal’s party track record will appeal to Ontarians. For example, she cited the party’s implementation of all-day kindergarten as a resounding success. Eight schools in Etobicoke-Lakeshore currently offer the service.
“I’ll knock on a door in a community where it’s not yet there, and they’ll ask when is it coming,” Broten said.
Broten will be facing off against Progressive Conservative candidate Simon Nyilassy and NDP candidate Dionne Coley in Oct. 6’s provincial election.