Inequality the biggest issue for NDP’s David Tough

David Tough

Adam Prudhomme

Peterborough native David Tough will represent the New Democratic Party in the Hastings Lennox and Addington riding in the Oct. 21 federal election.

A contract instructor for Trent University and the University of Toronto, he holds a PhD in Canadian History, having done research on the welfare state and taxation in Canadian politics.

“It was a logical fit to go from that to running for the NDP,” Tough said of his teaching and research background.

“I feel like we are at a crossroads on a couple of issues that are maybe intertwined,” Tough says when asked about the biggest issues facing the riding. “A crossroads in terms of climate issues, in that we are about to see profound changes in our environment and we will need to make profound changes in our economy to mitigate those changes so that we don’t destroy any chance of having a livable environment for everyone. Related to that, I think we are seeing a crisis of inequality that there are people in our society who are benefitting from the economic system but they’re a very small minority and we need to develop an economic system in which everyone is able to benefit. We have an economic system that can work with the needs of the natural environment, rather than against it.”

“I think housing is a big issue in the riding,” Tough added. “Rent has been going up and house prices are becoming unaffordable to people. It’s partly an issue of people’s incomes not being high enough and also an issue of the housing speculation and housing being treated like a business investment rather than a basic human right and necessity. I think we need to have urgent action on having housing more available to people. Related to that we need to have urgent action on tackling income inequality by having a tax system that is fair.”

He adds that the environment is also a major issue.

“We’ve seen extreme weather, we’ve seen drought, we’ve seen flooding in the northern part of the riding,” said Tough. “Those kinds of things are just going to increase over the next few years. Having an agricultural economy that works predictably, that we can have good growing seasons, requires having a stable environment.”

He points to the party’s Green New Democratic Deal as to what would be one of his first priorities if elected.

“I’d like to see some action in this riding to deal with the Green New Deal that the NDP is championing,” said Tough. “I think if we form government, or if we form a part of the minority government, then I would like to see some investment in green jobs and green transition jobs in rural Ontario, in Hastings-Lennox and Addington specifically.”

He outlined why he feels his party is the right choice on Oct. 21.

“The thing that the NDP has that other parties don’t have is the focus on equality and the focus on making a green transition,” said Tough. “Something that will also address issues of inequality. Something that will benefit the people who have been short changed over the last couple of decades.”

As for his personal goal, he says long term he’d like to address the issues of taxation across the country.

“In the most ambitious sense what I’d like to see is a tax system that weighs less heavily on ordinary Canadians and weighs more heavily on the wealthy and on big corporations. That is a long term goal,” he said.

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