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Welcome back to Vote of Confidence, The Globe’s Ontario election newsletter.

Today, we’re turning the newsletter over to you. Over the course of this election, we’ve asked Globe readers their thoughts on the campaign and which issues matter most to them.

Nearly 1,700 readers from across the province responded, and we’re sharing their responses here ahead of election day on Thursday.

Open this photo in gallery:

Illustration by Min Gyo Chung

The issues

The number-one issue on the campaign trail for Globe readers was health care, with the majority of survey respondents saying it’s an issue that mattered to them. It was followed by climate policy, affordable housing, long-term care, economy and jobs, and fiscal policy.

Health care

On health care, readers said in their own words that Ontario should do better by:

  • “Recruiting nurses, paying them well and increasing the number of nurses per patient in hospitals”
  • “Having more doctors and nurses, more hospital beds, shorten surgery wait time. If there’s one thing we should have learned during COVID, it’s that Ontario health care needs to be drastically improved”
  • “Allow more private delivery of publicly funded health care … we need radical innovation”
  • “Making it much more effective, efficient and cost effective. Our health care system is crucial to our well being and prosperity but it is expensive and inefficient. It is the number 1 expense”
  • “Adapting our health care system to an aging population and adopting cutting-edge treatments and attracting specialists to address the most prevalent diseases and health conditions”

Read more about each party’s platform on health care.

Climate policy

Globe and Mail readers who answered the survey said climate policy was the second-most important issue in the Ontario election. After a deadly storm swept the province, party leaders made a point of highlighting their climate plans.

One reader said if a candidate came to their door, they would ask them, “How are we going to produce enough electricity for electric cars, while reducing greenhouse gases?”

On what Ontario could do better, readers said in their own words:

  • “Focusing on the environment and thereby creating jobs that support better climate policy”
  • “Protecting nature and species at risk”
  • “Investing in nuclear power”

Read more about the parties’ stances on climate.

Affordable housing

The cost of housing has risen for prospective home buyers and renters during the pandemic. Globe readers want to know how Ontario’s government plans to address the increased costs. This is what they had to say:

  • “There needs to be a clear path for kids to buy houses”
  • “Literally anything meaningful to help the housing crisis – such as a tax on owners of 3 or more homes”
  • “Housing should primarily be about housing people and not investment return”
  • “Eliminate policies that exclude all but single family homes; build more mid-rise multi-unit housing along transit corridors instead of monster condo towers only at the nodes”
  • “Managing housing through a combination of more development, and policies which reduce speculation, such as limits on corporations owning property, restrict the financialization of housing, restrict foreign ownership, owning multiple properties and deducting expenses, and increase capital requirements on investor-owned properties”
  • “Apply rent control, make real estate transactions transparent by ending blind bids”

One reader said if a candidate came to their door, they would ask them if they own a rental property. Another said they would ask what the candidate would do to increase residential spaces for persons with severe disabilities.

Read more about the parties’ platforms on housing.

Economy and jobs

One reader said, “I have emphasized the economy because I feel it is what supports all the other issue areas such as health care, education, infrastructure. … If Ontario is not generating revenue from a strong economy, then programs in other areas can’t be delivered.”

Other respondents said Ontario could do better on:

  • “R&D and high tech jobs”
  • “Creating a more sustainable economy by adding more jobs and lowering financial assistance”
  • “Repatriation of jobs lost to offshore countries and supply chain security”
  • “Encouraging new Canadians with jobs that fit the skills they brought to Canada”
  • “Innovative economic solutions for people who make less than 100K”

One reader said they’d ask a candidate at their door, “What are you doing to ensure Ontario attracts the jobs of the future?” Another would ask, “How are you helping the Ontario economy grow and manage the transition out of high spending from the pandemic?”

Read more about the parties’ platforms on the economy.

The Globe also asked readers what they don’t want to hear about on the campaign trail. With two days left in the campaign, some of them have unfortunately been disappointed. Readers said they didn’t want to hear anything about buck-a-beer promises, removing the monarchy, blaming issues specific to Ontario on the federal government, building more highways, taxing the rich as a solution to fiscal problems or urban sprawl, among other topics.

But for some, everything was on the table: “I do not have any issues that need to be ignored. They are all valid,” said one reader.

Some other questions respondents said they’d ask candidates at their door:

  • “How are you going to combat Islamophobia?”
  • “What is your party’s position on services to francophone communities across the province?”
  • “Do you know the profits auto insurers make and why does the Ontario government allow them to make profits in excess of the allowable amount?”
  • “Do you support additional arts funding?”
Open this photo in gallery:

From top left clockwise, Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford and Green Leader Mike Schreiner.The Canadian Press/Reuters

What’s happening on the campaign trail?

It’s day 28 of the Ontario election and all of the party leaders are making last-ditch appeals to voters. The Globe’s guide to the leaders and party platforms breaks down what you need to know about the PCs, NDP, Liberals and Greens before casting your vote on Thursday.

Today, Doug Ford has campaign stops in St. Catharines and Niagara, Andrea Horwath startes the day in Ottawa to talk about her plan to “stop the cuts and fix health care,” Steven Del Duca is in Oakville and then Mississauga, and Mike Schreiner is making an announcement in Port Sydney.

Elections Ontario says more than one million people voted in advance polls and it has sent voting kits to 126,135 eligible residents, a sharp increase from 2018, when only 15,202 ballots were doled out that way. Voting kits must be received by 6 p.m. on Thursday and can be mailed or dropped off at a returning office.

More reading

The Globe and Mail’s science writer Ivan Semeiuk writes about the battle over Highway 413 and flawed species-protection rules. While Jeff Gray and Jill Mahoney spoke with a farmer in Caledon about the proposed highway.

Important upcoming dates

June 2 – election day

Looking for more information on how and where to vote, as well as who is running in your riding? The Globe’s Ontario election page has all the answers.

Vote of Confidence is The Globe and Mail’s newsletter focused on the 2022 Ontario election. Write to us about which issues you want to hear about and express your opinion on the policies and people we’ve examined. If you’re reading this through a browser, you can subscribe to the newsletter.

Follow Caora McKenna on Twitter: @caora_mckOpens in a new window
Follow Rebecca Zamon on Twitter: @rebzamOpens in a new window

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