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The debates – locally and provincially

The Algoma-Manitoulin Debate

Around 30 people took in the All-Candidates Debate for Algoma-Manitoulin in Espanola last night.

Conservative Cheryl Fort, NDPer Mike Mantha, and Liberal Tim Vine took part.

The Green and New Blue candidates did not attend.

Most of the discussion focused on health care with both Vine and Mantha saying they would remove the freeze on health care workers now in place.

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Fort says her party put the freeze in place as a temporary measure with a focus on long-term beds and mental health services.

Mantha’s call for a public inquiry into the pandemic and its effect on health care was greeted with applause.

Other issues included housing, the opioid epidemic, mental health care, job creation, and lower taxes, especially in the wake of recent inflation and gas prices rising across the province.


The Ontario Debate

Ontario’s four main party leaders squared off for a 90-minute debate last night, with just over two weeks left until the June 2nd provincial election.

The three opposition leaders were sharply critical of Doug Ford and the Conservatives over their handling of health care, with Green Party leader Mike Schreiner saying nurses had been “disrespected” by the government.

Schreiner, along with Liberal leader Stephen Del Duca and NDP leader Andrea Horwath has all pledged to cancel Bill 124, which limits pay increases to one percent a year for public servants, including nurses.

But Ford insisted his government has pumped billions of dollars into the health care system for new facilities and equipment, adding they’re helping pay the tuition of nurses who agree to work in an under-served region.

The opposition leaders also zeroed in on cuts to education, with Horwath telling Ford that a government can’t cut its way to a better system.

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