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Meet your Provincial Election Candidates - Diane Ballantyne, ND

A Conversation with Wellington- Halton Hills NDP Candidate, Diane Ballantyne, on this Year’s Election.

Diane Ballantyne is a passionate individual who has lived in Center Wellington for the last twenty-five years and raised her three children. Ballantyne has been a high-school teacher for twenty-seven years and has taught at the Centre Wellington High-school since 2000. Ballantyne was the Department Head of History and Social Sciences for a decade and developed a unique Social Justice program that her an award from the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation.

Ballantyne was elected in 2018 as the Wellington County Councillor (Ward 6) and discusses her role as a Councillor.

“I have led and collaborated on numerous environmental initiatives including: banning single use plastic water bottles from the Council Chamber, introducing the green bin program, expanding the leaf and yard waste collections and introducing the shared ride program RideWell. These actions have reduced our greenhouse gas emissions in the face of a climate crisis, provided public transport in a rural community and extended the life of our dumps, saving money.”

Ballantyne was also the first cohort of elected councillors to graduate from the “Climate Leadership for Elected Officials” offered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Which encouraged Ballantyne to push the discussion forward on ensuring policy is developed through the “triple bottom line” lens.

Ballantyne is also very involved in Indigenous and LGBTQ+ committees and organizations that fight against inequality and prejudice,

“My voice was also consistent in trying to pass a motion to include an Indigenous Land Acknowledgement at County Council meetings. This motion was, disappointingly, defeated. It will only be done at the biannual Warden’s inaugural. However, partly as a result of these discussions a staff Indigenous Advisory Committee was created and that committee is doing exceptional educational work with the Wellington County staff. I also started Renegade Rainbows in 2021 as a joyful action to kick-off Pride month, creating chalk rainbows all around the community to celebrate the LGBTQ members of our community. I also was co-founder of the Hate Has No Home Here sign campaign that swept through Centre Wellington and beyond in the early summer of 2021. I facilitated the Indigenous memorial at the Wellington County Museum after the announcement of the unmarked graves on the site of the former residential school in Kamloops, BC.”

Currently Ballantyne is on a short-term leave for the election from the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph United Way Board as well as the Nominating Committee for the College of Nurses of Ontario. Ballantyne has been a longtime supporter of the NDP and was the NDP candidate in the last provincial election. In that election NDP secured 24% of the vote (more than 14,000 votes), increasing the NDP’s vote share by almost 10%.

Acton UP discussed the provincial election with Ballantyne and asked her a series of questions regarding her June campaign for the NDP. We asked Ballantyne was makes her different from her competitors, she responds:

“Two things are driving my commitment to winning this election: One, my experience as both an elected official and community leader. And two, all of my leadership and community service is guided by my values of creating a better world. My experience is expansive, professionally and politically. I see the challenges families are facing both through my work in the education sector as well as a County Councillor. I understand how important policy is in impacting and shaping lives and have first hand experience in this.”

Ballantyne believes when it comes to leading through values she has been given much privilege even though she has grown up with many family challenges. These challenges are said to be an asset for Ballantyne,

“ I know it was partly due to a strong education system, properly funded health care and wages that enabled me to pay my reasonable tuition without amassing debt, that helped get me to where I am today. My motivation is to protect the services that help Ontarions not just live, but thrive. I am running to be the MPP for Wellington-Halton Hills because I want to work to ensure we fix what has been broken so that other families have the opportunities to succeed and fulfil their potential.”

Acton UP also discussed with Ballantyne significant issues not only affecting Halton but all of Ontario, such as the housing crisis and the extreme price increase in gas and fuel. She comments,

“The NDP’s housing platform “homes you Can Afford” is a comprehensive plan to tackle the housing crisis from multiple angles grounded in the fundamental principle that housing is a human right. The NDP believes everyone deserves a good, stable place to call home, a place they can afford. For families in Ontario, getting a place of their own has been getting harder and harder for decades. We know that housing prices are out of control and the complete lack of rental stock creates stress for families as well as businesses, who cannot find employees due to a lack of affordable housing.”

Ballantyne does not believe the Conservative or Liberal government has done enough for the housing crisis but in fact has made it worse, “They keep cooking up rules and loopholes that benefit their buddies , that all make it harder and harder for everyday people to afford a place of their own. Ford cancelled rent control for renters and cut homelessness programs.” According to Ballantyne the NDP housing plan will, “reign in speculation and accelerate the construction of new homes that are affordable, while protecting farmland and the environment.” The NDP government plans to invest in the Home in Ontario Program (HOP) and give citizens 10% of the purchase price for their down payment. Alsos the NDP will build 69,000 affordable homes and 30,000 homes with supports and will increase the Non-Resident Speculation Tax to 20%, expand it and close the loophole.

Regarding the increase in gas prices, Ballantyne remarks,

“Ontario drivers are being gouged at the pumps. The cost to get around has been getting worse for years and it’s out of control now. High gas prices are driving up the cost of everything in our lives and these prices are also hurting families in rural areas. The NDP has repeatedly tabled the bill “Fairness in Petroleum Products Pricing Act.” We will give the Ontario Energy Board a mandate to monitor the price of gasoline across Ontario and advise on policies to reduce price volatility and unfair regional price difference. We will dedicate at least 25% of cap-and-trade revenues to support communities and individuals facing disproportionate burdens from increased fuel costs.”

Carbon tax is another significant issue that plagues the Wellington and Halton area, however good things appear to be in the works for Ontario. According to Ballantyne, in April 2021 the NDP released the “Green New Democratic Deal” which is believed to be the most effective and achievable climate plan Ontario’s ever had. Ballantyne also suggests,

“We will implement a new fair and equitable cap-and-trade program (and cancel the carbon tax). We will also mandate that all newly built public, residential and commercial buildings be net-zero emissions by 2030 along with a world-leading building retrofit program as well as establish Ontario’s first Youth Climate Corps.”

Lastly, we asked Diane Ballantyne what her ultimate goal was with her NDP Campaign, and how she plans to make a difference within the community.

“My ultimate goal is to be a strong and articulate voice to advocate for the people of Wellington-Halton Hills. From helping Georgetown get a new hospital, to Puslinch finally getting the Morriston bypass, I want to make an impact on providing more affordable housing, better funded health-care and schools as well as protecting our precious farmland from developers, unnecessary highways and sprawl.”

For further information regarding Diane Ballantyne’s campaign, please click the link here. Ballantyne is also on social media platforms such as Instagram and can be contacted, here for further information. Diane Ballantyne is looking forward to the election this June and hopes to make a difference within the Wellington and Halton area.


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