For Doyle Vermette, this year has brought much struggles for his constituents. The MLA for Cumberland and the lone northern opposition NDP member of the Legislature said people are finding it difficult to make ends meet.
“If you look at the list of affordability, whether it’s seniors, whether it’s families, single family struggling, just with making ends meet, and the stress that so many families are put under,” Vermette said in his year-end interview.
He has long advocated for greater mental health, suicide prevention and addictions support for northerners. “For me, it is raising the concerns for families who have lost loved ones when it comes to the mental health, the addictions the suicides, just looking at, for me, try to get the message across,” he explained.
2022 saw great change for Vermette, his party lost a by-election in the only other northern riding, a seat the NDP held since the 1990’s. Also, Party leader Ryan Meili resigned as a result of that February by-election, ushering in Carla Beck as the next NDP leader.
The New Democrats have raised affordability through asking the government to scrap the rate increase on electricity, and asking the province to strike a committee to examine high food costs and supply chain issues. Both issues were panned by the Moe Government, which opted to give $500 affordability checks to all taxpayers, after increased tax revenues from higher inflation on goods.
2023 will look much the same as 2022 did, in that Vermette said he will continue to advocate for many of the same issues he did this year.