David Tough has been selected as the NDP’s candidate in Hastings-Lennox and Addington.
The Peterborough native is a historian and educator at Trent University and the University of Toronto. “I have been concerned about growing inequality and climate change in Canada for a long time,” Tough says when speaking about his background in history. He says he knows the most about welfare state and taxation in Canadian politics. He also spent time as a journalist in Peterborough and wrote about those issues.
Tough says the NDP has been having a tough time finding candidates for some areas, which is why he was asked to run.
“We’ve always been the party of conscious for people to voice their disagreements with the major parties,” Tough says of the NDP. He says that mentality has started to change since former party leader Jack Layton led the NDP to become official opposition after the 2011 election. Tough says that opened up a lot of people’s minds in thinking that the NDP could be the party in power. “I think now you’re seeing an NDP that’s more focused on gaining power,” he says.
“We want to transform the economy so there’s more opportunities at home for people,” Tough says. He explains that in rural Ontario young people often leave home to start their career because of the lack of opportunities. “It’s hard to establish your career,” he says. Tough says they want to protect the younger generation while helping the local economy.
The NDP has also committed to building half a million affordable housing units within their first five years in power if elected. Tough says the focus needs to be on poverty and how they can better provide for rural Ontarians that need it. He says if he’s elected, whether the NDP get voted into power or not, he will push for that. “House and rent prices have gone up significantly and it’s become a problem,” he says.
The federal election is October 21st. Tough will be up against incumbent Liberal MP Mike Bossio, Conservative Derek Sloan, Green Party candidate Sari Watson and the People’s Party of Canada candidate Adam Gray.