John Rapin: Ontario’s health care ‘under siege’

Introducing the candidates for Kingston and the Islands

Rapin says he wants to revive the agricultural industry.
Rapin says he wants to revive the agricultural industry.

More than 20,000 residents in Kingston don’t have a family doctor. For Progressive Conservative candidate Dr. John Rapin, this news is motivation to run for a seat in provincial legislature, representing Kingston and the Islands.

“We’re suffering in several areas and I’m running to be an advocate, a stronger advocate, for this area,” he said.

Rapin, who received his medical licence from Queen’s in 1970, works in the emergency wards of Kingston General Hospital and Hotel Dieu Hospital. He said he has seen first-hand how inadequate funding has led to problems for both hospitals.

“[They’re] under-funded compared to the Ontario average for teaching hospitals,” he said.

“[KGH is] turning away more than 65 per cent of the patients,” he said. “This is an unprecedented problem.”

Rapin served as the president of the Ontario Medical Association two years ago.

He teaches in the University’s School of Medicine in the emergency medicine program.

Rapin said he would push for a $20-million investment in health care.

“All three hospitals in Kingston are operating on a deficit,” he said.

He would also advocate tuition fee help for medical students to train more doctors in Kingston.

“Health care services are one of our assets and that’s under siege right now,” he said.

Rapin said another big issue is increasing air and water pollution in Kingston.

“I see the effects of bad air in my work,” he said, adding that Kingston has had more smog days this year than ever before.

“We have to deal with that; it’s been neglected for many years,” he said.

The PCs would try to reduce fossil fuel use, he said.

“It’s going to take some time,” Rapin said. “We need to find a replacement [energy source] or it’ll hurt our economy.”

Kingston also needs more high-end job opportunities and industrial development, Rapin said.

“We’re facing a very immediate challenge in terms of skills training,” he said. “[Ontario] has always lagged behind in training skilled workers.”

He said his party would provide funding for St. Lawrence College to encourage more skilled workers to be trained in Kingston.

Rapin would also introduce income stabilization for farmers to revive the agricultural industry.

“We have to rescue our farming community, who are rapidly getting out of the business.”

He would push for lowering property tax rates in Kingston, which are among the highest in the province.

“They reflect the fact there’s so little industrial development [in Kingston],” he said.

At the end of the day, Rapin’s reason for running is simple.

“Why am I running? Well, I think I can do a better job than the incumbent,” he said. “Isn’t that why everybody runs?”

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