Greg Lenko, Candidate for Hamilton Mountain in Ontario Provincial Election 2014

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Candidate Details (top)

NameGreg Lenko
ElectionOntario Provincial Election 2014
AreaHamilton Mountain
PartyGreen Party of Ontario
Email greglenko@gpo.ca
Website http://greenpartyhamilton.ca/candidates/green-party-ontario-hamilton-provincial-candidates/greg-lenko/
BioGreg was born and raised on Hamilton mountain. He has a 20 year history in the broadcasting industry across Canada, as well as the health and fitness industry. He is already a trusted and valued member of his community as he works in the healthcare industry as a Registered Massage Therapist practicing in several health clinics and at McMaster hospital.

He takes a holistic approach to leading a healthy lifestyle and regularly holds seminars and workshops promoting health and healing.

In his community, Greg is actively engaged in the restoration and preservation of the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. He founded “The Escarpment Project,” Hamilton’s largest volunteer environmental cleanup and the largest of it’s kind in Canada. It is a not for profit organization which improves the health and biodiversity of the escarpment via environmental maintenance, awareness & education, as well as reporting and promotion.

He believes that people have to be the change they want to see in the world and speaks to students about how they can each empower themselves in life as an instrument for positive change.

Most recently he was awarded several environmental awards from the City of Hamilton and Hamilton Conservation Authority for his work along the Niagara escarpment.

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Responses to Questions (top)

QuestionBrief ResponseFull Response
Do you support regional GO transit expansion, including all-day two-way GO train service to Hamilton? Yes GO transit should be expanded to include all-day two-way GO train service to Hamilton and extend further East to include St Catharines and Niagara Falls during rush hour year round. At present there is only train service extending to Niagara Falls in the summer months. There should also be GO service that extends beyond the airport to Caledonia and Hagersville as there are many people that work in Hamilton and live in these areas. Extended GO service will only serve to make Hamilton that much more desirable for new residents and businesses. The average daily commute time in the GTHA is 80 minutes long. That's the equivalent of eight 40-hour work weeks annually or about seven years in a working lifetime. How great would it be to be able to do something you enjoy rather than commute to and from work for 7 years? Another concept I would like to mention is free rail transit. Studies from other countries indicate that a free rail transit system would decrease other costs such as health care and road maintenance sufficiently enough that money saved from these areas could be used to pay for transit to the point where it could be free. More study and research should be given to this concept.
Do you support maintaining or expanding the protection of farmland and rural natural land from urban boundary expansions? Yes I definitely support expanding the protection of farmland and rural natural land. Ontario is losing 365 acres of farmland a day, an area the size of Toronto every year. We can't afford to lose those farms. We can never replace them, and only 0.5% of Ontario's land is prime farmland in the first place. Protecting prime farmland from development doesn't cost Ontarians anything as taxpayers. The benefits, on the other hand, are priceless. Who wouldn't rather eat fresh picked produce rather than produce that was picked before it was ready then shipped thousands of km to a grocery store while it ripened on the way.
Do you support the proposal to build a new mid-Peninsula highway? No Studies suggest that building more highways just creates more grid lock and paving through valuable farmland does not make sense. As it is now we need more green space and farmland.
Should the province play a role in encouraging safer streets that promote more active transportation like walking and cycling? Yes Yes - The province should be providing funds for Ontario cities to develop a more effective infrastructure inclusive to everyone. Doing so will create stronger communities, reduce healthcare costs and increase the success of local businesses.
Do you support allowing Ontario residents to appeal to the Ontario Ombudsman with respect to municipalities, universities, school boards, hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities, police and children's aid societies (the MUSH sector)? Yes Bill 179 would not only have been historical but imperative to all living in Ontario. With this election being called unnecessarily I hope Bill 179 is not history. We need an Ombudsman to appeal to in order to ensure non-governmental institutions stay on track when delivering their programs. A new Patient Ombudsman is also integral to Ontario. Complaints about hospitals and long-term care homes have been the norm for far too long and need to be dealt with accordingly. Although they do a lot of positive work in the communities they serve, children's aid societies also need to be scrutinized to ensure they do not overstep their boundaries. Bill 179 was an assurance of greater transparency for all MPPs and the public. It would be good for living in a positive democracy altogether. I would expect that if it does not happen there will be many more years of public demonstrations, rallies and calls to expand Ombudsman oversight to all or part of the MUSH sector until it happens.
Do you support Hamilton's plan to build an east-west light rail transit line with full provincial capital funding? If so, how will you ensure the project is funded? Yes Hamilton is in need of LRT not just East and West but North and South also. It is my opinion that LRT should actually travel East to West then up and across the escarpment and back down. LRT will help ease congestion on the roads and allow for safe and easy travel from one place in the city to another. The benefits far outweigh the costs in the long term. There are many ways to pay for it: gas tax, parking fees, driving tolls as well as money reallocated from elsewhere.
The Ontario School Funding Formula currently incentivizes local school boards to neglect and close neighbourhood schools. Do you support keeping neighbourhood schools open? If so, how? Yes Keeping schools open is a must. Thus far the most reasonable method of keeping students in schools in their current neighbourhoods is one that would also increase enrolment, increase funding, build stronger communities where all kids, parents and families socialized together. It is a system that would truly reflect Canada being a multicultural society that would be inclusive to all students regardless of culture or religious denomination. Separate and public school boards should be merged. By merging, the schools would have greater attendance and the province would save between 1.2 and 1.6 billion dollars/year which could be used to improve schools and education. As it is anyone can go to a separate school and not take religion. That being the case it doesn't make sense to have two boards.
Do you accept the evidence of human-caused global warming? If so, what policy measures do you support to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? If not, why not? Yes Humans are definitely partially responsible for climate change. While there is evidence that suggests climate change is cyclical there is also evidence indicating that since the industrial revolution humans have sped up the cycle which we are experiencing the effects of now and will continue to experience and speed up if more isn't done to offset the effects we are having locally and globally. The Green Party seems to be the ONLY party addressing climate change even though in recent weeks the South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu came to Canada to speak about it and the US Environmental Protection Agency unveiled new plans in which the US will address climate change.