Windsor West candidates address your concerns on housing, climate change and jobs
CBC Windsor ran an informal online survey asking respondents about their priorities
With the Sept. 20 federal election just days away, CBC Windsor is checking in with those vying for your vote about the topics that matter to you.
We asked candidates from the main political parties running in Windsor West in southwestern Ontario about three hot-button issues: housing, climate change and employment.
These questions come from your concerns. In the lead-up to the federal vote, CBC Windsor ran an informal online survey asking respondents about their top priorities.
NOTE: For this project, CBC Windsor extended invites to candidates from parties that received five per cent of the vote or more in the last federal election. The Conservative candidate for Windsor West, Anthony Orlando, declined to participate.
Don't live in Windsor West? Stay tuned for interviews with candidates in Essex and Windsor-Tecumseh.
Here's what the participating candidates had to say in response to the questions:
Voter Lori says she is most concerned about economic stability for the riding.
If elected, what's one sector that hires local people you feel could benefit from federal support, and how?
NDP candidate Brian Masse identified two sectors.
"What we're calling for as New Democrats is a full national auto strategy with auto incentives that include up to $15,000 for the Chrysler Pacifica," he said.
Masse also referenced job creation as a result of the proposed national urban park at Ojibway Shores.
"It would be important for eco-tourism, it would be good for flood mitigation and it would also create new jobs for local Windsorites."
Liberal challenger Sandra Pupatello mentioned providing support for autoworkers so they can gain skills needed as the industry shifts to electric.
"We're delighted to see that in this very budget, we're actually focusing on that, transitioning our workers to new green-energy type jobs, and that also includes the new industry for [electric] vehicles, and we want those built right here in Windsor," she said.
Voter Tyler says his biggest concern is climate change and climate action.
What's one thing you're doing in your personal life to reduce your carbon footprint?
Masse said he and his family have taken to biking and walking to reduce their carbon footprint. He also purchases carbon offsets in relation to his travel to Ottawa.
"At my house in the inner city, I've planted over 26 trees ... and also put in biodiversity for the natural habitat in different areas including butterfly gardens."
Pupatello said her focus is on planting trees — she also washes her single-use plastics and reuses them. The Liberal campaign promises to ban single-use plastics, as well as to plant two billion trees across the country.
"Our Windsor-Essex community needs to get a whole bunch of them," she said in reference to deforestation in the region.
Voter Stephen says his biggest concern in this election is out-of-control housing costs.
What needs to change to allow first-time home buyers into the market?
Masse mentioned incentives to get into the market, such as allowing 30-year mortgages (which are available but can't be federally insured), and tackling student debt.
"Some of the housing stock that's being built is basically the $2-million homes," he said. "He have to actually use the [Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation] to build more affordable housing, and ensure that the affordable housing is going to be within the price range of young people."
Pupatello said the pandemic has only exacerbated widespread challenges in the housing market, and Windsor West is seeing these issues as well.
She referenced the Liberal platform's pitches on a homeowners' bill of rights and a new tax-free savings account for those putting away money for a downpayment.
"Moreover, we're going to build 1.4 million new homes, and that means pushing supply into the market which also helps the price," she said.
A look at Windsor West
The following candidates are running in Windsor West in the 2021 election:
- NDP: Brian Masse (incumbent).
- Liberal: Sandra Pupatello.
- Conservative: Anthony Orlando.
- People's Party of Canada: Matthew Giancola.
- Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada: Margaret Villamizar.
Windsor West has a population of 122,988 as of the 2016 census, and there are 94,944 registered voters.
This riding was Liberal — represented by MP Herb Gray — from its creation in 1968 until Gray's retirement in 2002. Masse has represented the area since then.
Pupatello also mounted a challenge to Masse in the previous federal vote. In the 2019 election, Masse won his seat with about 2,000 additional votes. The Conservatives received 19 per cent of the vote in 2019.
The Green Party did not name a candidate in this riding for the 2021 election.