Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock NDP candidate Barbara Doyle said her desire to run for office came out of personal experience with a system she believes is broken.
“We have programs that don’t work or don’t work well enough. We have justice issues. Going through it, the only way to effect change on a real level is to be on the inside,” Doyle said. “I realized I needed to step up and work towards becoming a member of Parliament.”
The treasurer for the Olde Gaol Museum in Lindsay has also spent time as a social advocate. She co-chaired a coalition against a local hospital merger and worked on a committee to improve domestic violence services.
As a survivor of domestic violence, Doyle said she has gone through the gaps in the justice system, particularly around family law.
“That’s one of the things that really brought me to wanting to be in government,” Doyle said. “The family law system is incredibly broken in this country. “This is my history. I’m not ashamed of it. I was a victim but I’m not a victim anymore. I’ve come through the other side.”
She added criticism for the Liberal government’s family law update getting stuck in the senate in the last months of its term.
Doyle has a college education in legal studies. She joined the NDP because it closely aligned with her values and belief in programs like national pharamacare, a guaranteed basic income and a plan to build 500,000 affordable housing units over the next decade.
“It’s not about the have or the have nots,” Doyle said. “Everybody should have.”
Doyle said health care, in particular, is very important to her and she believes public health care should extend to include dental, vision, hearing and mental.
“We know this works. We know when people get access to their medications, it actually saves money and health care costs,” Doyle said. “Health care should encompass the entire body, head to toe.”
Despite running in a longtime Conservative stronghold, Doyle said she is confident about her chances as she feels voters are disappointed in both their provincial and federal representatives.
“A lot of broken trust in this riding. A lot of things that have gone unanswered,” Doyle said. “I’m getting incredible feedback on the ground, at doors and events. People are really supporting us.”
You will not see any NDP lawn signs in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock. That’s because Doyle has decided not to use them, citing environmental concerns given signs are single-use and end up in landfills. Doyle said both her and her party are passionate about addressing climate change and she wanted to set a good example.
“I have to stand by what I’m talking about,” Doyle said. “It is advertising how I will be in government. I will do what I will say I do.”
The NDP has remained a distant third in polling so far but Doyle said she remains confident in her party’s chances. She added Canada has been stuck in a cycle between Liberal and Conservative governments.
“The NDP sometimes gets left out a little bit,” Doyle said. “But NDP is a viable choice. We have a platform that works … I’m actually very proud to stand with the NDP.”