Londoners voting Thursday say housing and health care among the issues impacting their decision

Voting sign outside Old North Secondary School in London, Ont., June 2, 2022. Sawyer Bogdan / Global News

Housing, the environment and health care were all top of mind for voters in London’s North Centre riding when polling stations opened on Thursday.

London North Centre has emerged as a battleground riding in the province and is expected to be a close race on Thursday. Ontario’s four main political parties have all made the riding a major stop during the election campaign.

It’s expected to be a tight race between NDP incumbent Terence Kernaghan, Liberal candidate Kate Graham, and Progressive Conservative candidate Jerry Pribil.

When asked about what issues were driving their decision, voters Global News spoke with in the London North Centre riding gave various answers, with the most common being affordable housing and homelessness.

“I’ve had a lot to do with homeless people in, not in London so much, but where I used to live in Barrie and I volunteered with the homeless group, and so housing is a great concern for me,” said Paul Miller.

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“I’ve been really concerned about the Indigenous issues that have been coming up and some of the other things like the economy and the things that people are normally worried about, and the fact that we don’t have the housing available to people who are really desperately in need,” said Margaret Martin Gardiner.

Read more: Green Party leader makes last-ditch appeal to London North Centre voters on final campaign day

Joseph Avery-North was not optimistic about casting his ballot, saying despite affordable housing and the city’s homelessness being one of his main concerns, he was not confident in any of the options.

“We have yet to come up with a party or a politician serving any party that actually cares. I have invited every single candidate in this riding to walk along the river in their riding and see all the homeless people and tell me what they’re going to do about it. Not one single one accepted that offer,” Avery-North said.

For voter Danielle Cram, it was health care guiding her decision.

“The privatization of health care, the handling of COVID and that sort of thing as well. Quite a few different things coming into play for sure, but those were some of the big ones,” she said.

Read more: Ontario election 2022 results: London North Centre

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For those like Lisa Holly, the pandemic’s impacts on her small business were top of mind when she cast her ballot.

“I own a small business that’s in peril, and so I don’t have any faith in the existing people that were in place to guide us through what happened in the last couple of years,” Holly said. “I was definitely looking for some new fresh blood, somebody that can actually represent people like me.”

Londoners can cast their ballots at their local polling stations until 9 p.m. Thursday, June 2.

With files from Matthew Trevithick

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