TORONTO, ON – At the Green Party of Ontario’s first virtual party convention held last week, the Ontario Greens led by Party Leader Mike Schreiner made public a roadmap for a green and caring recovery to Build Back Smarter from Covid-19.

The provincial party’s call to #BuildBackSmarter from Covid-19 comes after weeks of repeated attempts on the part of Schreiner’s party to hold Ontario’s premier Doug Ford and his government accountable to the conservatives’ political promises.

Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner pointed to safe and decent housing as being a crucial area of improvement for the province, while shining light on the government’s failed promise to fix long-term care by hiring more staff and guaranteeing more hours of direct care for elders in long-term care facilities across Ontario.

Schreiner has called on Ford’s government to “come clean” about just how ready long-term care homes in Ontario are for a second wave of coronavirus infections, alleging that the government ignored the staffing shortage in long-term care facilities “all summer” before a last minute rush to hire more nurses and PSWs a few weeks ago.

“How we treat elders in their final years should be a source of pride, not shame”

Mike Schreiner, Leader of the Green Party of Ontario.

The Green leader urged the Ontario premier to adopt bold ideas as part of the Covid-19 recovery plan for the province, such as a universal school lunch program sourced from Ontario farms and a Made-in-Ontario supply chain for electric vehicles.

Schreiner also urged Ontarians to harness the resilience that has been characteristic of the province throughout the pandemic to build a greener and more caring Ontario, reminding them that the province’s current path does not do justice to workers, elders, or the planet. The Green leader asserted that the only thing holding us back from leaping into the green economy is political will.

Aside from condemning the Ford government’s actions, Schreiner also took the virtual party convention as an opportunity to briefly bring attention to some of his own accomplishments since being elected to the Green Party of Ontario’s highest office. Among these accomplishments stand proposed legislation to help EV drivers, and his advocacy for small businesses, community gardens and mental health during the pandemic.

Other Issues of Concern to the Ontario Greens

Over the past few weeks, Schreiner’s party has been unapologetically vocal about different issues affecting the province, speaking out repeatedly against the conservative government’s apparent mishandling of various matters. The most recent issue appears to be the government’s dismissal of provincial protections “for our air, our water, our land, and our climate”.

Schreiner’s party has also previously accused the Ontario Conservative government of mishandling the coronavirus pandemic in the province, arguing that “it is time Ford takes the politics out of his pandemic response”.

As Ontarians deal with record high case numbers, the Premier’s Fall budget has been slammed by the provincial Green Party as inadequate considering the alarming priorities it fails to address. According to Schreiner, “the budget does not contain funds that housing, mental health advocates, and non-profits need to care for vulnerable people in our communities”.

Upon the conservative government’s release of its Fall budget a few weeks ago, Schreiner released a statement condemning the Ford government over “greasing the wheels for more highways, quarries and casinos ” and undermining the advice of scientists and financial experts “urging governments to go green with their recovery”.

In a statement released two days ago following a press conference given by the Ontario Premier, Schreiner urged Ford “to restore trust with the people of Ontario” in a bid to encourage the provincial leader to #BuildBackSmarter.

Sources : https://gpo.ca/2020/10/14/ford-must-come-clean-about-situation-in-long-term-care/; https://gpo.ca/2020/11/07/build-back-smarter-schreiner-outlines-roadmap-for-green-and-caring-recovery-at-gpo-convention/; https://gpo.ca/2020/11/12/dougford-refuses-to-come-clean-about-suspicious-covid-plan/; https://gpo.ca/2020/11/05/conservative-budget-holds-the-line-on-inadequate-covid-relief/.

Natalia Ortiz Peñate

Born and raised in Madrid, Spain, Natalia moved to Canada as a teenager to pursue a more diverse education and a brighter future. Based in Montréal since the fall of 2016, today she is a proud McGill University graduate with a BA in Political Science and International Development Studies. Over the course of her undergraduate studies at McGill, she developed a passion for human rights advocacy and sustainable development. Owing to her political science background, she is equally interested in notions of global governance and diplomacy, and has developed a particular interest in the fields of human rights protection, poverty alleviation, and international development, all within the framework of sustainability. In the near future, she aspires to continue her education and become professionally involved in global politics and international affairs in order to help bring the change she wants to see in the world.

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