Tess Prendergast (she/her)
New Democratic Party
Twitter – @tessp_ndp
I am a mother, an educator, a hard worker, a proud Ontarian, and a voice for social and environmental justice. My name is Tess Prendergast. Born and raised in Scarborough – the daughter of a nurse and an elementary school custodian.
My husband Ryan and I married and moved to Orangeville in 2011. I am a French teacher and librarian at an Orangeville elementary school. As an elementary school teacher, I have witnessed firsthand the harmful effects of this government’s cuts. Schools are overcrowded, underfunded, understaffed, and falling apart. The pandemic has exposed the dire need for meaningful investments in education, healthcare, long term care, home care, mental health, and affordability of everyday life.
I believe all Ontarians should have access to strong public services like education and health care and affordable housing. The NDP will bring mental health services into OHIP, hire nurses, repeal bill 124, help close the learning gaps and address the mental health crisis affecting youth. We will reduce class sizes. We will raise the ODSP rate. We will increase the minimum wage and offer paid sick days. We want to build an Ontario that works for everyone. We will invest in our future.
In recent years I have been able to reprise my role as a leader with Scouts Canada, a lifelong passion of mine. Scouting has had a substantial impact on who I am today, my values and attitudes towards the environment, outdoor exploration, sustainability, and community service. I am proud to support my community as a Beaver leader with the 4th Orangeville Beaver Colony.
I am running for my family, and families like mine. I often think about my children’s future, and what Ontario could look like in 20 years’ time. I think about my aging parents and finding them safe, affordable care when they will need it. I worry that the current government is setting Ontario up for failure. Our natural environment, farmland, wetlands, and green belt are all under threat. We will end exclusionary zoning – increasing the supply of affordable housing. We will allow for more medium density homes like duplexes. The NDP will encourage development to happen within existing urban boundaries, closer to existing services like public transit, social services and existing infrastructure. We have a New Green Democratic Deal that will create over 100,000 full time jobs in the trades retrofitting Ontario’s public buildings with the goal of becoming net- zero by 2030.
Education, healthcare, social services and the environment all play a role in nurturing healthy communities. I believe in a government that works for and listens to its constituents. I believe in an Ontario that supports workers and families. As Ontarians, we have a duty to protect the Greenbelt, safeguard our rich farmland and to develop sustainably with economic growth in mind. The middle-class families of Dufferin-Caledon deserve representation, a real voice at Queen’s Park.
I have been teaching, living, exploring, and growing my family proudly here, in Dufferin County. I’m ready to stand up and speak up for you. Will you join me?