Election Profile: Parry-Sound Muskoka riding
For the first time in two decades, Parry Sound-Muskoka is going to have a new MPP after the June 2 election.
Veteran Parry-Sound Muskoka Progressive Conservative MPP Norm Miller is calling it quits after more than 20 years. Miller has been in office since a byelection in March 2001.
Running to replace Miller are NDP candidate Erin Horvath and Green candidate Matt Richter. Horvath is a social entrepreneur and community development innovator.
She told CTV News what she is hearing most from voters are concerns affordability and housing.
“What I’m hearing from businesses is that they can not grow their businesses or even staff their businesses because they don’t have enough workers," said Horvath.
"You ask the workers what’s going on there and they say we don’t have the housing we need ... We don’t have the childcare we need to get into the workforce. In some cases, it's transportation that’s the issue and then always it’s the cost of living. (Wages) do not add up to what we need to make a living here and the results have been pretty catastrophic."
She said her party will create 250,000 affordable rental units in the next 10 years. The NDP also plans to cool the housing market by implementing a non-resident speculation tax, raise minimum wage by $1 each year for the next five years until it reaches $20 in 2026.
For his part, Richter is a father of three, a teacher with Trillium Lakelands District School Board and small business owner.
He agrees the lack of affordable housing is the main issue in the riding and said the Greens would also commit to building affordable housing units: 100,000 units in the next decade, including 60,000 permanent supportive housing units with wraparound mental health services.
“This election is about priorities," Richter said.
"The funding has to come from somewhere and when we have a government currently that’s wanting to build $10 billion highways south of us near the GTA, we think that that’s not the priority the people here in Parry-Sound Muskoka want or deserve.”
Replacing Miller on the ballot for the Tories is Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith. As has been the case in many ridings in the north, when CTV reached out for an interview with the PC candidate, we were told the request could not be accommodated.
CTV News also didn't interview a Liberal candidate because there isn't one. The party dropped former candidate Barry Stanley because of a book he published that details scientifically baseless views on homosexuality.
Other names on the ballot include New Blue candidate Doug Maynard, Ontario Party candidate Andrew John Cocks, Populist Party Ontario candidate Brad Waddell and Daniel Predie Jr., who is running as an independent.
The electoral district covers more than 19,000 kilometres with a population of almost 95,000 people.
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