Lindo steps down as MPP, citing cost of childcare
Posted Jul 11, 2023 03:47:35 PM.
Laura Mae Lindo has left the building.
The former NDP MPP for Kitchener Centre officially left office at the end of June, citing the cost of childcare when travelling to Queens Park and staying overnight between Mondays and Thursdays.
“What we found out was that the Legislative Assembly Act doesn’t actually provide for that as an eligible expense,” Lindo remarked. “It’s not paying all of your childcare, it’s just for the time when you’re a member who lives outside of Toronto. When you’re actually at Queens Park and working in Toronto, it doesn’t provide you with anything to cover those additional expenses, which are really, really costly.”
Despite this, Lindo does not want her own experience to deter other single mothers from running for office.
“The reality is that the fix would be fairly easy,” Lindo explained. “I’ve drafted the legislation. It would be an amendment to the Legislative Assembly Act, that would literally just say if you lived outside of Toronto and are eligible for a housing allowance, that would be considered an eligible expense.”
Lindo added that childcare was never thought of as an expense that Members of Parliament would need to be able to do the job.
The former MPP explained that one of her proudest accomplishments since taking office in 2018 is helping to pass the Emancipation Month Act. The legislation recognizes the elimination of slavery in 1833 throughout the entire month of August.
“Not only was it the first time in Ontario’s history that these four recognized parties worked together to get the bill passed, it passed in one day,” Lindo stated. “This idea that government must be slow and legislation takes forever was actually shattered with that one moment.”
Lindo has taken a position as a faculty member with the Department of Philosophy for the University of Waterloo, where she started on July 1st.
While the former MPP stressed that the community office in Kitchener Centre remains open with staff for public assistance, the riding remains vacant until Premier Doug Ford calls a byelection.
Candidates for three major parties have announced their intentions to fill the vacancy, including Debbie Chapman for the Ontario NDP, Kelly Steiss for the Ontario Liberal Party and Aislinn Clancy for the Ontario Green Party.