Provincial Green Party leader visits Kingston

·2 min read

Mike Schreiner paid a visit to Kingston on Sunday morning, speaking to a small crowd at Confederation Basin.

The Guelph MPP has been the leader of the Ontario Green Party since 2009, he stopped in Kingston to speak to residents with a focus on affordability.

Schreiner spoke to supporters about the Green Party's priorities heading into June's elections, saying the party has been leading the charge against expensive highways that will ramp up urban sprawl.

He says the money planned for those highways should be going to healthcare, education and housing affordability.

The Green Party is putting a particular focus on reducing urban sprawl, saying doing such will have a positive, lasting impact on the climate crisis and overall affordability.

Schreiner said the Green Party's platform is the only one that puts forward a housing plan with as of right zoning across the province, saying that is the key to the "missing middle" discussed by several parties.

"That is the easiest policy tool to actually start implementing missing middle solutions," Schreiner said.

"A lot of other parties don't like to talk about it because they're worried about push back from existing homeowners but I think COVID has really shown people want to live in livable, connected communities with gentle density that provides a lot of housing choices for residents."

Schreiner also pointed out a universal basic income as a top priority for the Green Party, saying it allows people the stability to become entrepreneurs or improve their standing through college or university.

He added that the Green Party promises to double social assistance support as a first step to basic income.

The local candidate for the Greens is Zachary Typhair.

For the young MPP candidate, the Green Party's commitment to mental health is what drew him to the party.

He said the Greens will follow through on mental health priorities unlike some other parties, and initiatives like the Integrated Care Hub would see continued support.

Typhair said the Green Party would look to improve education around addiction and mental health in a way other parties have failed.

"I think we need to educate people and the stigma of it," Typhair said.

"It's a mental health issue not a criminal issue."

Schreiner moved on to Ottawa for a pep talk with Green Party volunteers following activities in Kingston.

Owen Fullerton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, YGK News

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