NDP leadership candidate stops in Kingston

Marit Stiles rallies progressive Kingstonians and members of Queen’s community

Marit Stiles made her case for NDP provincial party leadership.

Prospective leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP) Marit Stiles brought her campaign to Kingston on Nov. 12 at The Mansion.

Stiles is the MPP for Davenport, a position she’s held since 2018. Stiles is optimistic she will be able to instigate changes in affordability, mental health care, and for education workers in Ontario.

“Ontarians expectations are pretty darn low,” Stiles said in her speech at The Mansion. “They should expect more from their government.”

Stiles visited Kingston because she believes the NDP need to win constituencies like those in the Kingston area. She recognizes Kingstonians voted-in multiple “progressives” at the municipal level in the recent election.

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“I’m here in Kingston to think about what the challenges are and what we need to get right,” Stiles said.

In an interview with The Journal, Stiles suggested her ideas align with those of students, naming “real rent control” and increasing food bank supports as causes important to her.

“One of the things I'm very concerned about is the fact there are so many people in this province who have a full-time job or juggling multiple jobs and are still unable to afford a decent place to live, and an affordable place to live and are going to food banks. There's something really, deeply wrong with that situation,” Stiles said.

In the next three years leading up to the provincial election, Stiles plans to knock on doors, build her platform, and recruit NDP party members.

Stiles is working with legislators to pass a bill requiring all universities in Ontario to have a consent awareness week as part of their first-year student orientation.

Stiles serves as the Official Opposition Education Critic at Queen’s Park, a role which saw her rallying education workers and organizing a walk-out in recent weeks.

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“[Doug Ford’s government] underestimated working people in this province, they underestimated unions, and they underestimate the NDP,” Stiles said.

Attending the event was President of Queen’s NDP, Izzy Myers-Tung, ArtSci ’23. Myers-Tung is the Youth Chair for the Kingston NDP and is passionate about getting young people involved with the NDP.

“One thing I really like about the NDP—what has drawn me to become involved in the party—is that we stand for the most marginalized people,” Myers-Tung said in an interview with The Journal.

Myers-Tung is aware students have different priorities than other voters, such as rent affordability, tuition costs, and minimum wage.

“It's important that somebody actually stands up for students and that we're working for students to make sure they have a voice at the table,” she said.

Myers-Tung feels “very comfortable” personally endorsing Stiles for the Ontario NDP leadership.

“One issue I think is very important that we haven’t touched on is reconciliation, and true reconciliation, not just reconciliation as a buzz word,” Myers-Tung said. “I think [Stiles] is very committed to true reconciliation.”

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