Tom Rakocevic summed up 2022 as a very busy and exciting year.
It was an election year, and he was “honoured” to get the opportunity to continue to represent his lifelong home community and to continue to serve his friends and neighbours every day.
In 2022, his team worked hard to continue to return phone calls, do casework and solve problems for people in the community, he said, and he’s proud it reflected at the polls. It’s one of the more rewarding parts of the job, Rakocevic said, and he’s thrilled to have the strong team he does helping him do it.
Legislatively he introduced various bills, one to bring in a consumer watchdog to look at increased protection on price gauging. He co-sponsored a bill on postal code discrimination in auto insurance. He tabled others to open up roads to provide access to city streets, giving drivers more options and taking heavy trucks off Finch and Weston.
In terms of what he plans in the time ahead, there are many different priorities. Narrowing it down to three, he said the healthcare crisis is number one.
“We continue to have massive backlogs in individuals waiting for surgeries, procedures, and diagnostic tests, and the procedure could mean life or death in many scenarios. So, I continue to work toward a resolution here, while continuing to respect the workers that are there. To pay them the wages they deserve so we can continue to hire more and ensure they stay to practice in Ontario.”
Treatment of seniors in long term care is essential as well. Rakocevic has fought against money being taken out of the system and sees it as a fight for the seniors’ time of greatest need.
“They are often left without the support they deserve. We want to see people in long term care getting a minimum of four hours of care a day, the hiring of more PSWs and care workers, and to take profits out of the long-term care system.”
Consumer protection critic is also a part of Rakocevic’s portfolio and a third focus. He is constantly fighting for consumers, focusing on auto insurance. He has fought over and over again against postal code discrimination, where Ontario drivers who are among the safest are not penalized simply for where they live.
And price gauging that began during the pandemic is continuing, and Rakocevic has seen consumers lose as they would have to fight against massive corporations to enact change. It is somewhere he wants to continue to leverage his office against and help those consumers find a voice.
And today, he said he must add the Greenbelt fight, a fight for species, farmland, the waters, and air that people rely on.
“The government recently has begun cutting into our Greenbelt,” he said. “We’re losing 3,000 acres of prime farmland daily in Ontario, and developers are coming in far above what the infrastructure can support. Unfortunately, this government has weakened the community voice, and ultimately, I am joining my colleagues in fighting for communities, for the wishes of the residents of those communities.”