Dr. Merrilee Fullerton’s
Kanata-Carleton Nomination Night Address
June 27, 2017
Thank you for taking the time to attend tonight.
I’ve met thousands of residents during this nomination campaign. Some of you I’ve known over the fifty years that I’ve lived in this riding and some of you I’ve had the privilege to meet more recently in the community or at your door.
And speaking with you has allowed me the opportunity to hear your concerns. I’ve heard your thoughts on many different issues including access to health care and long-term care, the cost of hydro, environmental issues, job opportunities in the hi-tech sector, and concerns regarding Ontario’s debt and deficit…and more.
Many residents I’ve spoken with had angry words and frustration for the Wynne government. The Wynne government’s policies and attempts at reactionary solutions have created even more problems that will need addressing now and in the future.
The Wynne Liberals have mismanaged our provincial affairs to a point that is critical now. They have mismanaged hydro. They have wasted many billions of hard earned tax dollars… And They have failed to address looming health care challenges. And They are damaging the ability of small business to thrive. Ontario is now a Have Not province with a credit rating lower than Quebec’s.
Kathleen Wynne’s legacy will be felt for decades – our children will be paying for it not only in tax dollars, but in potentially reduced quality of life.
We cannot let this continue. Ontario must do better.
When I was canvassing this year, I was frequently asked: “Why are you doing this? It’s going to be really rough. Why now?”
Well, we can either sit around and complain, or we can act. We can act to make things better in Ontario… to make a positive difference. It’s one thing to acknowledge problems. It’s quite another to work to find solutions.
I believe we can all make a difference. I believe we all have something to contribute to making our lives better and to making Ontario better.
We can acknowledge the mistakes that have been made, but we must move forward with solutions and prepare for the future.
It matters to me how we will prepare for the shift in demographics and provide the necessary care and supports for increasing numbers of seniors. As a family doctor for several decades, I had been aware of challenges of delivering care but experiences with my father’s situation gave me new insights into the struggles of care givers and families attempting to access care in the community. The Wynne government has had almost fifteen years to develop a strategy to deal with increasing numbers of people with dementia but never bothered to create a plan.
It matters to me what we leave behind for the next generation. My children are in their twenties. Will they be able to afford a home? Will they be able to afford a family? Will they be left carrying the growing debt burden after many billions of tax dollars have been wasted on cancelled gas plants, the ehealth scandal, and ORNGE, not to mention the rising cost of Hydro which will affect almost everything. Under the Wynne government there has been a doubling of the provincial debt in just over a decade that it took almost 150 years to accumulate before that. The needs of our younger generations must matter. We must not squander their future.
I grew up in a family with a “waste not, want not” approach where working hard was valued, and where resources managed respectfully and responsibly meant having an opportunity to create a good life. At the same time, demonstrating compassion and providing a helping hand up to those around us was part of what we did.
I believe Conservatism can be fiscally responsible and compassionate. It is good fiscal stewardship that allows government to provide for people in their time of need. And it is good fiscal policy that helps create opportunity and prosperity for us all.
Creating opportunity requires responsible spending and respect for people’s hard work with the belief that there can be a better tomorrow.
There are Big Challenges Ahead.
One of the greatest challenges Ontarians face today is to ensure we have a sustainable and responsive health care system. Health care is big and it’s complicated. But there is no problem so big that it cannot be solved.
Every problem has a solution.
I believe I can contribute to that solution – I want to contribute my experience, insights into our health system and my understanding of what is possible for Ontario. I’ve spent almost thirty years in health care and the past twelve studying health policy at national, provincial, municipal, and local levels here in Canada and I’ve studied health care systems from around the world. I understand the challenges ahead, but also see there are many solutions.
My priorities in health care are serious issues that need attention now.
The Ontario Government needs to do better. We cannot afford more of the same.
This next election we must defeat Kathleen Wynne so that we can begin the job of rebuilding Ontario.
We need new leadership with new ideas… new blood with a firm commitment to making our Province a better place to work, live and raise a family.
Our important social programs such as health care and education require steady and sustained government funding. In our own community, the government must better support the potential of our hi-tech industries – which are providing the jobs of tomorrow. Sadly, in Ontario, over the last decade, we have witnessed many billions of tax dollars wasted. Today, the Ontario government spends roughly one billion dollars every month on interest payments. These are tax dollars that could have gone to much better use. The wasteful spending of the Ontario Liberals damages our opportunity.
We must move forward in a more thoughtful way to avoid wasteful policies that damage the ability of a government to serve its people.
How we prepare for the future matters.
In the words of writer Joann Von Goethe:
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Wishing is not enough; we must do.”
Some people say that our Province is past the tipping point and that the mountain of debt is too high to recover from. But I say that with determination, hard work, and a sound fiscal approach, we will have a promising future in Ontario.
We must expect a responsible government and a caring government. We must expect elected representatives to be diligent, respectful, and trustworthy.
I hope today you will select me as your Ontario PC candidate for the next provincial election. And I will promise you that I will work hard each and every day to honour our faith, hope and trust for a better tomorrow.
I ask for your vote and the opportunity to serve the residents of Kanata-Carleton.
Dr. Merrilee Fullerton