Liberal MPP Profile: Cristina Martins
– By Gurpreet Ghag
On July 5, Liberal Tony Ruprecht, Davenport’s MPP since 1999, announced that he would be leaving politics. A few months after this announcement, Cristina Martins went through a series of interviews and became his replacement.
Born in Portugal, Martins moved to Davenport in 1970 and attended St. Rita Catholic Elementary School (178 Edwin Ave.). She went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in applied chemistry and biology and then worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 15 years in Canada, the U.S., and Europe. Her website reveals she is currently the president of the Federation of Portuguese-Canadian Business and Professionals as well as the director of the Greater Toronto Business Association and the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Toronto.
Martins said that the riding holds a place close to her heart for a number of reasons.
“It is a riding that has a lot of meaning to me, as a mother of two young children I care about their future, I care about their well-being, I care about the society that they’re going to be growing up in, and I care about my own well-being and that of my parents,” Martins said.
Ultimately, Martins said that she would like to continue the work that the Liberal party has done and believes she will do a good job because of her conviction, her voice and because she cares.
Starting with education, Martins said that the recently announced Liberal platform will continue full day kindergarten, introduce more before and after school programming for younger children, and said that they will be giving post-secondary students from middle-class families a 30 percent tax credit for tuition. Martins added that voters should note that under the Liberal reign, Ontario has not had a teacher’s strike and that the number of teachers has grown.
As for health care, Martins said the Liberals are on track and she wants to continue their progress. She said that 1.3 million more families in the province now have a family doctor and the number of nurses has increased by 11,500. As part of the new platform, the Liberals plan to bring back house calls.
“I think it is very important to the residents and the constituents of Davenport where we still have a lot of people who are of a cultural background where putting your parent or your grandparent into a long-term care facility or into a nursing home is not culturally accepted,” she said.
On the topic of transit, Martins said that her party would continue to invest in the Eglinton Crosstown LRT and continue to provide two cents of the gasoline tax towards transit.
As for the diesel trains coming to Southern Ontario,, Martins believes that they have been receiving a bad rap.
“These are not huge trains, they aren’t cargo trains,” Martins said. “I think it’s important that we implement them this way so that we can actually make the commitment to the Pan-American games, which will bring many, many jobs to Ontario, it will bring a lot of money to Ontario, about 250,000 tourists are expected.”
Martins said that these trains, which can be electrified, are the cleanest available, and if elected she will ensure that there will be no delay in converting them to electric.
The last point in her platform is for small businesses. The Liberals plan to give a tax credit of $10,000 to businesses that want to hire and train foreign workers.
She said that this would help make Ontario an appealing destination for immigrants.
“I think that we need to ensure that we remain an attractive and viable option for people coming to Ontario.”