The first leaders debate for the Ontario provincial election kicked off at the Jamaican Canadian Association Centre last night in Toronto.
Moderated by Toronto Star columnist Royson James, a crowd of 300 people packed the hall, with lots of boos for Doug Ford’s absence and occasional shouts at Kathleen Wynne. However, her rivals, the Green Party and the NDP, were for the most part, well received and applauded. Both NDP leader Andrea Horwath and Green Party leader Mike Schreiner vowed to end carding while Wynne said it's not so easy. “There is a culture shift that has not yet been completed” within police forces. “I’d love to say we have a magic wand,” said Wynne.
Tanya Hayles was live on the ground for ByBlacks.com following and reporting on each significant moment via Twitter. You can find all her updates on our Twitter page and video posts on our Instagram page.
She says, “The Green Party was the clear, but surprise winner of this debate. They have a clear platform that skews towards social good but also realistic economics on a micro level. They also took definitive stances on many of the issues that the community sees as imperative.”
Here’s Tanya’s break down of who came out on top of each issue.
WINNER: Green Party
Ban carding AND destroy data.
ISSUE: Policing (in schools)
Restore the imbalance between police and community.
ISSUE: Arts + Culture
WINNER: Tie between Liberals and NDP
Liberals want an increase in funding. NDP acknowledges that councils and boards are still overwhelmingly white.
ISSUE: Mental Health
Funding and increased access within schools and direct to community organizations.
ISSUE: Medical Care
Free drugs and dental care for all with no age restrictions.
Read: Black Community Tough On Provincial Leaders At First Debate
ISSUE: Legalization of marijuana
WINNER: None since it is not a provincial issue. But bonus point to Green Party for pointing out that government should not have a monopoly on sales or licensing to dispensaries and small businesses.
ISSUE: Child welfare
WINNER: Green Party
Leader acknowledged that it didn’t occur to him that it should be “a thing.” (Creation of Black Children's Aid Society)
WINNER: Liberal Party
Inclusionary zoning, letting cities have power to mandate rentals/social housing capacities, recent changes to cool down market (in GTA).