There has to be quality and affordable childcare says Papuckoski

Article by Valerie Macdonald, image submitted

NORTHUMBERLAND — Local riding NDP candidate Jana Papuckoski was already a busy woman travelling with her union work and pregnant with a second child when she was acclaimed to run in the June 7 provincial election.

And Papuckoski says she is already looking forward to upping her campaigning activities when she takes her pregnancy leave next month.

During a recent interview with the News Now Network, Papuckoski described her self as a “life-long supporter” of the NDP going back to her childhood when her parent’s backed the NDP and her father was a “union person”.

She said she has volunteered on both federal and provincial campaigns since 2003 (including working with former candidate Russ Christianson). After locating to Port Hope four years ago, she became local riding association president last fall. And Papuckoski was acclaimed the NDP candidate for the riding of Northumberland-Peterborough South this past January.

The local race includes incumbent Liberal MPP Lou Rinaldi, Progressive Conservative candidate David Piccini, Green Party candidate Jeff Wheeldon and Trillium Party candidate Derek Sharp.

When asked about the NDP platform and her objectives, Papuckoski said the “overarching” theme is to “make working people’s lives better.”

That includes improvements in health care, particularly reducing waits for elder care and increasing hospital beds, she said.

“I’ll be having another child…and obviously, know how important it is for women to be able to return to work,” she said. That is important so women can both contribute to the economy and to CPP for their retirement.

To make that possible, there has to be quality and affordable child care, and that is what families are now “scrambling” to find, she said. There need to be improvements in childcare and more access to it.

A cost-benefit analysis supports women returning to the workforce, she added.

The unveiling of Pharma Care in the latest Liberal budget has long been an NDP goal and Papuckoski said she believes universal assistance is important for people like her own elderly parents and her father, who has been disabled for the past decade.

The Ontario Liberals brought in OHIP Plus stopping at age 24 but they are not the high users of prescription drugs, it is the older generation that is, she continued

The way it is now “it’s not fair,” the 33-year-old Papuckoski stressed.

A graduate of Toronto University with a double major in political science and philosophy, she most recently worked as a security guard in the Toronto area and is currently the local rep for United Steel Workers Local 5296 representing security guards in an area from Oshawa to Oakville.

Her youngest child is 2.5 years and her husband is Travis Dares.

Papuckoski lives in the rural area of Port Hope.