Six questions with Sebastian Vaillancourt, candidate for Portsmouth District

Sebastian Vaillancourt, candidate for Portsmouth District in the 2022 City of Kingston municipal election. Submitted photo.

Editorial note:

Across the province, Ontarians are getting ready to cast their ballots in every city, town, and county as the 2022 Municipal Election is fast approaching. With election day on Monday, Oct. 24, 2022, Kingstonist has reached out to all candidates within the City of Kingston to create profiles allowing voters to find a brief overview of each candidate in one place. As response comes in, more and more candidate profiles will be added here, which you can access through our Municipal Election 2022 section (with the tab on the homepage), or through our ‘Candidate overview landing page.’

With 45 candidates in total for Kingston City Council alone – and with only one district acclaimed (Countryside District will once again be represented by Gary Oosterhof) and six districts without an incumbent – our goal is to provide as much information as possible leading up to the elections. Thus, we will endeavour to collect response from as many Kingston candidates as possible, with the hope of providing similar coverage for Loyalist Township, Frontenac County, and the Town of Greater Napanee moving forward. All relevant links will be available under the Municipal Election 2022 tab.

For more general information on election process in Kingston, including details on electing Board of Education Trustees, ensuring you are registered to vote, etc., visit the City of Kingston Municipal Elections webpage.

Candidate profiles are being published on our website in no particular order.

Sebastian Vaillancourt moved to Kingston to attend Queen’s University in 2017. No stranger to the election race, Vaillancourt ran for the Communist Party of Ontario in the recent provincial election. In this municipal election, he is part of the People’s Platform for Kingston.

At 23 years of age, Vaillancourt works in the theatre industry as a lighting, sound and video technician. He also spends his time working and volunteering with the Katarokwi Union of Tenants to provide food and essential supplies to Kingston’s homeless community, as well as engaging in local politics through his involvement in the Kingston Peace Council. 

Vaillancourt has produced and directed several video and audio documentaries discussing the Housing Crisis and how it has affected the lives of people in Kingston. They, along with some of his other work can be found on his YouTube page.

How would you describe your personal political ideology and/or affiliation?

While I don’t believe it is fair to ask municipal candidates about party affiliations as all municipal candidates run as independents, my party affiliations as a candidate in past provincial elections can easily be found online. That being said, I am proud to call myself a Socialist and an all-around anti-capitalist.

What made you want to run in this municipal election?

The many crises facing our city have become too serious to simply wait until the next election or hope that someone else will address them — we must take immediate action to address the housing crisis, opioid epidemic, and, of course, the climate emergency.

What are the three most common issues voters are bringing up to you as you campaign?

The main thing I always hear from voters in Kingston is that life has simply become far too unaffordable, and there are way more than just three issues contributing to this. Rent is too high, food and gas prices have sky rocketed, and alongside this all, wages have stagnated instead of rising to meet inflation. Not only do people have more bills to pay than ever before, they have less money in their pockets to pay them with. 

What three issues are most pressing/important to address locally in your opinion?

  1. First and foremost, the next City Council must take immediate action to house each and every person living on the streets of Kingston.
  2. Second, the time has come to slash the City’s policing budget and use those 40 million dollars to fund rent-geared-to-income housing initiatives and expand other essential City services.
  3. Third, not only must our public transit network be expanded, it must be made free and accessible to any and all who wish to use it. 

What is the most pressing issue in your district?

The most pressing issue in Portsmouth is the same as it is in most of Kingston’s districts: Housing. Housing, housing, housing. I cannot stress enough how much housing is the main issue of this municipal election. 

What do you feel sets you apart from other candidates?

I am not afraid to stand up to Kingston’s wealthy developers and business elites. If elected, I promise to fight them head-on and put an end to their exploitation of Kingston’s people for their own personal gains.

For more information on Sebastian Vaillancourt, candidate for Portsmouth District in the 2022 municipal election, visit the People’s Platform for Kingston website or email him at [email protected].

With files from Cris Vilela.

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