Hospital a flashpoint in Beaches-East York campaigns

Green Party and Progressive Conservative candidates taking on Liberal Incumbent Potts in June

Beaches-East York has been represented by Liberal Party MPP Arthur Potts since he won election in 2014.  Two women are hoping to cut his career at Queen’s Park to four years with the provincial election in June.

At least one of the challengers is making an issue of problems at Michael Garron hospital  — the same hospital that Potts has helped support with major funding.

Debra Scott is running for the second time for the Green Party in the riding. She has been an environmental activist for the past 10 years. Her campaign claims she has a strong commitment to research and development on sustainable innovation and is currently completing her Masters degree at the University of Toronto.

DEBRA SCOTT, Green candidate (Courtesy Green Party)

Scott has the Science, Research and Innovation portfolio in the Green Party shadow cabinet and recently was also a provincial executive member for the Toronto region.

“Under-staffing of the Michael Garron hospital is not a new issue,” she says. “The contracting issue has been a situation that has been ongoing for sometime.  Putting the idea of preventative care into a society that is aging is the most effective way of eventually solving the under staffing of hospitals. Instead of full time people we have contracted many positions, which means people are constantly being trained. Work that isn’t secure makes for a precarious work environment, which people will eventually leave, which then leads to more retraining.”
A main theme of the Green health care initiative is to invest in front line services, decentralizing health monies so that we can have more home care, Scott says. “Diverting people away from critical care units like hospitals will ultimately help the under staffing in hospitals.”

Progressive Conservative candidate Sarah Mallo did not respond to request for comments. Her promotional literature shows her together with new PC leader Doug Ford.

ARTHUR POTTS, Liberal candidate (Courtesy Liberal Party))

Potts bills himself as a privileged member of Premier Kathleen Wynne’s team. His tipping legislation recently came into effect, protecting the incomes of Ontario servers and food service staff.

He also helped facilitate a $50-million donation to Toronto East General Hospital, now named for the donors’ late son, Michael Garron.

“Over the last four years as your representative at Queen’s Park I have been a proud champion for East York and have worked with our community to get results that will benefit people here,” he says. “Together we secured $411 million in funding for the redevelopment of Michael Garron Hospital, a true East York landmark, and I look forward to continuing our work to build a stronger community.”