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Leardi hosts “coffee house” events to meet with residents


Essex MPP Anthony Leardi is making his way around the riding and has been sharing coffee with residents.

Leardi has been conducting a series of “coffee house” events around the riding with events last week being in Amherstburg, Essex and Kingsville. Future events include LaSalle and Lakeshore.

The Amherstburg “coffee house” was last Friday evening at Downtown Espresso where the Member of Provincial Parliament chatted with constituents and supporters, fielded questions and met one-on-one with them.

“On the supportive side, people think the government is doing a great job of attracting investment to Ontario,” said Leardi. “People are very pleased with the government’s initiative to attract people into the skilled trades.”

According to Leardi, people are pleased with the widening of Highway 3.

On the “to do” list, this issue of creating enough housing remains a priority.

“People want the government to expand the housing supply because there is not enough housing,” said Leardi. “I got the same message in Essex. I got the same message in Kingsville.”

Measures are being taken to help resolve the housing crisis, the Essex MPP stated.

“One of the positive things is the provincial government and the federal government agreed to remove HST on new builds,” said Leardi.

The provincial government has now allowed residents to make a part of their homes an apartment, with Leardi using an example of people who wish to convert their basements into an apartment or a mother-in-law suite. He said municipalities used to have the authority to refuse such developments, but now they are not able to do that.

“Now, you can do it as a right, which means the municipality cannot stop you,” said Leardi. “Now, people can create homes for their kids. Before, the municipality could prevent you from doing that. Now you have the right to do this because the provincial government gave you the right to do it.”

Leardi said if a couple is downsizing and sells their house to move into such a unit, it could free up another home and allow it to go on the market.

“Is this going to solve everyone’s problem? No,” said Leardi. “But it will help a lot of people.”

Other accomplishments Leardi highlighted were the removal of license plate sticker fees, which he said will save people $240 per year. He added they have also lopped ten cents off of the price of gas. While there are no toll roads in this area, Leardi added there are now no tolls anywhere in Ontario.

“These are all measures to help people with affordability,” said Leardi. “We’re the only government that has reduced taxes. We believe in putting money in people’s pockets.”

There were over 25 people at Downtown Espresso, the highest number Leardi reported for any of the first three “coffee house” events. He said they had roughly half that number in Essex or Kingsville.

“Amherstburg is always the biggest turnout,” he said.

By Ron Giofu


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