Liberal MPP candidate sits down with ‘The Journal’

Ted Hsu points to housing and affordability as the most pressing election issues 

Provincial election to take place in June.
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Liberal Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) candidate for Kingston and the Islands Ted Hsu, ArtSci ’94, is prepared to combat affordability issues as well as the climate crisis and advocate for economic recovery.
 
Through a platform that emphasizes the need to address the Kingston housing crisis and the climate crisis locally, Hsu hopes to tackle larger issues that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
 
“Not being able to find housing just makes people’s lives unstable,” Tsu said in an interview with The Journal. “I think one of the things that will make everybody’s life stable is to deal with this housing affordability crisis that we have right now.”
 
To Hsu, the housing crisis in Kingston is a “multi-faceted problem” that can be addressed by the province alongside municipal and private bodies.
 
“The province can do some very Kingston particular things. There is some provincial Crown land out west King Street that is already zoned for medium density residential and mixed use,” he said. 
 
Hsu also noted he hoped to have the province work more closely with Queen’s and St. Lawrence College to coordinate more affordable housing for post-secondary students.   
 
To address the climate crisis, Hsu hopes to urge the development of electric transportation in Kingston to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 
 
“I’m glad that the City of Kingston is trying out electric buses. There are some start-up costs you have to have charging infrastructure, for example, but that is one direction for the city to take,” he said. 
 
Hsu also intends to push for heating homes with electric heat rather than natural gases and hopes to develop the means for better electrical storage and improved reliance on renewable energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 
 
“We should do whatever we can to try to avoid relying on natural gas for our baseload electricity generation,” he said.
 
Hsu moved to Kingston in 1964 with his family as an infant. He attended Queen’s from 1980 through 1984, where he studied physics. Although he left Kingston to pursue graduate studies at Princeton University, he returned to the Kingston area in 2006. 
 
After returning to Kingston, he worked as the executive director of the Switch to Sustainable Energy Association, has been involved in working in start-up companies, and has worked with robotics. 
 
Hsu also served as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Kingston from 2011 to 2015. In his return to the political arena, he hopes to help Ontario recover from the pandemic and “lead to a brighter future.” 
 
When asked about his professional background, Hsu noted his prior experience in government and his background working in the sciences would benefit his work in the provincial legislature.
 
“About my STEM background, it’s important to have a legislature that has people from all different backgrounds,” he said. 
 
“When I first got elected in the House of Commons, that is still the case now that people with a STEM background are not that common. It provides a different perspective.”
 
As a long-time Kingston resident with multiple connections to the city, Hsu said his experience seeing the city through the last few decades gives him a unique ability to represent the people.
 
“I’ve seen the city change; I’ve seen how decisions have made lasting effects today. I think that historical perspective of having seen one community for a long time is very useful.”

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