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.
Dr. Thomas Mulder is the Ontario Party candidate for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston (L-F-K). A retired veterinarian and “man of science,” according to his Ontario Party profile, Mulder moved to the riding as the COVID-19 pandemic ramped up. Residing in South Frontenac, Mulder said he has encountered many people who are “discouraged by the whole political process,” and he would like to inspire hope in those voters that “there is a new and better way of governing.”
Content warning: The following article contains reference to sexual assault, sex crimes against children, and sex crimes within the church, and may therefore be disturbing for some readers.
What made you decide to run in this provincial election?
I recently retired and now have the time and energy to stop complaining and run in this election to ensure that these concerns are discussed openly and freely. I have been disappointed with the lack of free and open discussion, as I have been prevented from joining an “all” candidates’ meeting in the riding even as my leader Derek Sloan has been denied participation in the leaders’ debates. He also has been shut down on Twitter… for questioning Dr. [Teresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada]. We need a free and open discussion of ALL viewpoints to ensure that the voting public has options in this election. Without open discussion and debate, our voters cannot make good choices.
In your opinion, what is the most important issue being discussed during this election?
I see this election as a referendum on Doug Ford’s handling of Ontario during the COVID pandemic. There have been long-lasting effects in the economy and significant damage to our society due to his divisive vaccine mandates and harsh lockdown policies. If re-elected, he will see that the public is willing to surrender a wide range of personal freedoms, as long as they can be convinced it was worthwhile. Do we want an ever-increasing socialist style of government, or do we truly value our personal freedoms? If the government could dictate mandatory medical procedures, shut down businesses and churches, and break employment contracts, what will they do in the future with digital ID, discriminatory practices in the name of ‘equity,’ and fuel shortages due to poorly thought out energy policies? We need to ensure that our freedoms and rights are protected with stronger legislation in the future.
What is the single most common thing constituents bring up when you’re going door-to-door?
The most common concern is inflation that has occurred as a result of the mishandling of the economy. Gas and housing prices are the biggest areas of concern. Many families have concerns for their children ever owning a home. Inflation pressures are even more extreme for the elderly and those on fixed incomes. There has not been an increase in support payments in a very long time, while living costs have increased dramatically. Virtually every resident in this riding is dependent on private transportation and, given our cold climate, that requires a heavy dependency on gasoline. There just isn’t a viable alternative. Farmers in our area are experiencing severe increases in input costs for fuel and fertilizers. The impact of policies that tax our carbon usage are multiplied in rural areas. If inflation and fuel prices are not controlled, we will see significant shortfalls in people’s budgets. Those that are borderline already will find themselves in desperate straits very soon if nothing is done.
Is there one particular issue you would like to champion if elected to represent L-F-K?
I am deeply concerned about the level of indoctrination of gender fluidity in our elementary school system. I have heard sobering stories as I have interacted with the people of this riding. Many parents were surprised to know what was being done, thinking that the radical sex ed program had been dropped. In one of the schools in this riding, some classes have levels of “transitioning” that are 600 per cent higher than the national average — and this without the parents’ knowledge or consent! This should be a warning to parents that something is happening that needs attention. Whether this is driven from promotion of these ideologies in the school or due to the kids’ online culture, there ought to be discussion between the parents and the school staff. If elected, I will advocate for an end to the promotion of gender fluidity in schools to protect our most vulnerable children. What adults do is their concern, but minors, who are too young to drive, too young to vote, and too young to live on their own… are certainly too young to make life-altering decisions about gender without their parents’ knowledge or consent.
In your opinion, what is the biggest issue with the current makeup of the provincial government?
The biggest issue with the provincial and federal governments is lack of free representation of the electorate. Once elected, ‘representatives’ listen more to the directives from their parties than concerns of the public. When there is a conflict between the public concern and the pressure from the party whip, sadly, most representatives choose their political future over the good of their constituents. The Ontario Party’s ‘Recall and Free Votes Platform’ is the solution to this problem. Once elected, I pledge to actually represent my riding! If I do not, the public has a method of holding me accountable.
For more information on Thomas Mulder and the Ontario Party, visit their website.