Six Questions with Ted Darby of the Ontario Liberal Party
Editorial note: As Ontarians head to the polls for the Thursday, Jun. 2, 2022 provincial election, we want to be your one-stop home base for everything you need to know in the Kingston area ridings. As part of this coverage, we’ve created profiles for each candidate (pending candidate availability) in Kingston and the Islands, Hastings—Lennox and Addington, and Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston. For these profiles, each candidate was asked the same list of questions, the responses to which we’ve compiled into an easy-to-read Q&A format, with additional links for more information. To view all of the profiles and additional election coverage, visit Kingstonist’s Provincial Election 2022 page.
Ted Darby is the Ontario Liberal Party candidate for Hastings—Lennox and Addington (H—L&A). The son and grandson of physicians, Darby jokes that he couldn’t bear to dissect a frog, let alone a human, so he took his enthusiasm for public health into environmental science and health care administration. He has a Master of Health Science degree from the University of Toronto and has held executive leadership positions at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, North York General, Mattawa General Hospital, and most recently, joint Vice-president for Providence Care and Kingston Health Sciences Centre. Meanwhile, he has served as a volunteer firefighter for the Townships of King and Stone Mills, but as he approached 65, it was time to resign from active duty. He continues to serve as a municipal consultant, devising fire master plan/service delivery reviews for seven municipalities. Darby currently teaches graduate courses in health care leadership, operations, and quality at St. Lawrence College. Darby has been a proud resident of Stone Mills for 14 years, living on a lovely rural property near Yarker with his wife, Shari, two horses, one cat, and three dogs. They have a blended family with six adult children.
What made you decide to run in the provincial election?
Well, as I see it, we are at a crossroads where our public education and our public health care system, and to some extent our very democracy, is at risk. So I decided to jump in, because these are critical issues. And I just can’t sit back and just let it happen.
In your opinion, what is the most important issue being discussed this election?
Health and education. We need to turn the page and build a brighter future for Ontario. We need to fight to strengthen our health care system, fix long-term care, deliver quality education, grow our economy, and protect our environment for generations to come.
What is the single most common thing constituents bring up to you when you’re going door to door?
People want better access to health care, and they worry about the privatization of our education and health care systems.
Shortly after the 2018 election, the Ford Government dissolved the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) and created a massive bureaucracy called Ontario Health that centralized authority over much of our health care system and is answerable to an independent Board. Effectively, this corporation duplicates the role of the Ministry of Health and dilutes accountability. Many see it as a step towards further privatization of our health care system.
Is there one particular issue you would like to champion if you’re elected to represent Hastings-Lennox and Addington?
In addition to investment in our public education and healthcare systems is an investment in rural Ontario. I believe that our small towns in rural Ontario are important, and we need to invest in them accordingly. This is where we can create affordable housing – we’ve got vibrant communities that can be more part of the solution, and continued investment in the GTA is just going to lead to higher house prices and more congestion. The time has come to invest in the province, not just the GTA.
What do you think is the most overlooked issue for your riding?
Municipal infrastructure funding. Rural municipalities such as Hastings–Lennox and Addington do not have the industrial or commercial tax base for major infrastructure investments. Further, our rural municipalities have extensive road networks to maintain. Basic infrastructure investments, such as fire stations, and water and sewage treatment facilities, are often simply not possible. We need to invest in our rural municipalities!
If you could share one message with voters in HLA so Hastings-Lennox and Addington, what would it be?
I would encourage Ontarians to think very carefully and vote for someone that you truly believe can be your advocate for a compassionate, caring society where everyone can prosper, regardless of their background, race, or ethnicity – everyone can benefit from our great province.
You can find out more about Ted Darby, including how to contact him, on his website.