Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath issued the following statement regarding NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo’s announcement that she will be stepping down as MPP for Parkdale-High Park as of January 1, 2018: “Today, my friend and fellow New Democrat Cheri DiNovo let the people of Ontario know that she has been called to return to ministry in the new year. Cheri’s faith and passion for ministry helped shape her into the devoted community organizer and social justice activist she is today. As an MPP, Cheri has been a tireless advocate for her community, for LGBTQ2SI Ontarians, and a very effective legislator. She has been a voice for many Ontarians who might otherwise have felt voiceless, and she will be missed in the legislature. On behalf of all New Democrats, I would like to extend thanks to Cheri for her years of service to Ontarians, and to the NDP, and best wishes as she prepares for an exciting new chapter in her life.”
NDP LGBTQ Issues critic Cheri DiNovo says that despite legal protections, Trans patients are being denied equal access to health care in Ontario.
“It’s been five years since the government passed Toby’s Law, granting Trans people protections under the Ontario Human Rights Code. Yet there is no equality for Trans folk when it comes to accessing health care,” said DiNovo this morning in question period.
Today in question period, Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell demanded that the Wynne government stop blaming First Nations for delays, and finally act on the long-delayed twinning of Highway 17. “Residents in Kenora-Rainy River were shocked last month when they learned that the long-delayed twinning of Highway 17 has been delayed yet again,” said Campbell. “Even more shocking is that instead of accepting responsibility for the delay, the minister of Northern Development blamed Shoal Lake #39 First Nation.” While the Wynne government previously stated that the twinning of Highway 17 from the Manitoba border east to Kenora would be completed in 2020, the completion date is now set for ‘2021 and beyond.’ Campbell said people in the region are tired of being repeatedly let down by Wynne. “The public accounts recently revealed that this government failed to spend $3.3 billion in budgeted infrastructure cash last year,” said Campbell. “In fact, this premier has spent nearly $4 billion less on infrastructure during her first four years than the previous premier spent during his last four years. This premier keeps playing political games with her infrastructure projects and promises, especially in the North. She’ll drop by to make big announcements, but when it’s time for action, she disappears.” “When will the premier stop blaming First Nations for her own lack of action on the infrastructure file?” asked Campbell.
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and the NDP MPPs celebrated the contributions and future of Ontario's agricultural producers at the annual International Plowing Match and Rural Expo in Walton, Tuesday. While in Walton, Horwath said that it’s time for a premier that invests in rural families and agricultural producers, including health care and education close to home, and takes action to deliver relief from sky-high hydro bills.
'I want to thank every farm family for your hard work,” said Horwath. “Every day, you help feed nearly 14 million Ontarians, and the world beyond our province. You never let us down, and you deserve a premier that never lets you down – that means ending the rural school closures and investing in our students, ensuring that there’s good health care close to home for all families, and it means delivering more affordability for your business and for your family, including by bringing Hydro One back into public hands so we have some control over hydro bills, again.”
Today, an NDP bill that would create a ministry devoted to mental health and addictions passed a critical vote in the legislature. Every Wynne Liberal present voted against the improvement for mental health and addictions -- but several left the house before the vote, allowing those in favour to outnumber the Liberals. “By voting against this important legislation, Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals are showing Ontarians exactly where their priorities lie,” said Ontario New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath. “Across this province, people living with addiction and mental health issues are struggling to access the care and resources they need. People requiring urgent care are left languishing on waiting lists, or are simply being left to fend for themselves where no programs exist at all. “Mental health and addiction services should be more than an afterthought, but with programs spread across multiple ministries, it hasn’t had the attention or focus it needs. Creating a separate ministry would put in place the coordination, dedicated resources and attention currently missing in Ontario – and that would move us forward, towards better health for those living with mental health challenges or addiction.” The legislation, introduced by NDP Health critic France Gélinas, would create a new ministry tasked with – amongst other things – “[leading] the transformation of Ontario’s mental health and addictions services; … [ensuring] that all Ontario residents have timely and equitable access to an integrated system of mental health and addictions care; … and [ensuring] that all Ontarians can seamlessly navigate mental health and addictions supports.” The last Conservative government gutted Ontario’s health care system, laying off thousands of front line staff – including 6,000 nurses – and closing dozens of hospitals. This Liberal government has only made things worse by freezing hospital budgets and leaving our health care staff without the resources they need to do their jobs. “Creating a ministry to focus on mental health and addictions will set us up to deliver better health to Ontario people. I look forward to working with my fellow New Democrats to keep pushing this legislation until we get the job done, and taking the next step to help Ontario families living with mental health and addiction issues,” said Gélinas. “For mental health and addiction services, we can do so much better. Creating a ministry to focus on mental health and addictions will set us up to deliver better health to Ontario people.”
Today, Ontario’s New Democrats passed a critical motion to broaden the inquiry into the long-term care homes system to include understaffing, underfunding and other systemic issues.
The motion passed despite opposition from the Wynne Liberal government. Now, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says she'll be focused on getting action, so seniors and their families aren't disappointed again.
Today, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and NDP Long-Term Care and Seniors' Affairs critic Teresa Armstrong announced the NDP will introduce a motion to immediately broaden the scope of the inquiry into the long-term care homes system to include systemic issues in long-term care – including understaffing, underfunding and quality of care. “Long-term care in this province has reached a breaking point,” said Horwath. “Some families feel powerless as their parents or grandparents live in fear of resident-on-resident violence. And for many, understaffing means a lack of help, health and dignity. We’ve heard of residents left in bed for 18 hours. We’ve heard of residents who don’t get enough help for basic hygiene, or even to get to the bathroom on time. Most workers try their very best to deliver support and care, but they are run off their feet. “It doesn’t need to be this way. An expanded inquiry will give us an honest picture of systemic issues in long-term care — issues we can solve.” In August, Ontario launched a public inquiry into the long-term care specific to the conditions that allowed multiple murders to be committed by Elizabeth Wettlaufer, but the Wynne government limited scope of the inquiry so it does not include systemic issues like quality of care, funding or staffing levels. Horwath and families throughout Ontario pushed then for a broader inquiry, but their calls were ignored. Speaking at a press conference Thursday, Horwath and Armstrong were joined by families from across Ontario who continue to be let down by the system. Their loved ones can’t wait any longer for action. “Governments have ignored these issues, and ignored families, for too long,” said Armstrong. “Seniors care has deteriorated ever since the Conservatives fired 6,000 nurses and closed thousands of hospital beds, and families continue to be disappointed as conditions deteriorate further under Wynne. It’s time for a clear understanding of the issues in seniors long-term care – when we find the root causes of the problems, we can fix them.”
NDP Justice critic Gilles Bisson issued the following statement on the ongoing bribery trial of Liberal insiders relating to the 2015 Sudbury by-election:
“From today’s testimony, it's clear Kathleen Wynne was involved from the beginning. She knew what was happening in Sudbury, and she provided direction throughout the lead-up to that by-election.
Timiskaming-Cochrane MPP John Vanthof says the future of small Ontario communities is being brought into question by a Liberal government more focused on making money than serving Ontario’s residents fairly, whose long list of cuts now include LCBO locations critical to local families and tourism-driven communities.
“The area around Larder Lake has about 1,000 residents. The town has one gas station, one co-op grocery store, two restaurants, several tourist lodges and campgrounds and, until recently, it had one LCBO outlet. In a northern Ontario tourist town, an LCBO outlet is an anchor store,” explained Vanthof during question period this morning. “Due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control, the LCBO could no longer stay in their current location. But instead of moving locations, they … abandoned the town. They abandoned the residents.
Despite paying high prices for everything from hydro to housing, Ontario households faced the slowest median income growth in the nation according to 2016 Census data from Statistics Canada.
“This report shows what families already know – they’re being squeezed,” said NDP Economic Development critic Catherine Fife. “Household costs have gone up under Kathleen Wynne, but wages are being held back.
With Sears Canada in court this week applying to scrap its pension, Ontario’s New Democrats are calling on the Wynne Liberals to finally take action protect Ontario workers and pensioners during bankruptcy proceedings.
“The Sears pensioners are getting the rug pulled out from under them and Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government is looking the other way,” said Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath. “Liberal and Conservative governments in Ontario have ignored and mistreated workers and pensioners so investors, creditors and bankscould pocket even more money.”
Today, NDP Municipal Affairs and Housing critic and Windsor-Tecumseh MPP Percy Hatfield demanded that the Wynne government change the criteria for assistance through the Ontario Disaster Recovery Assistance Program to allow families experiencing sewer backups to qualify.
“Criteria for Ontario’s disaster relief assistance program were written in the last century,” said Hatfield. “Sewer backup claims during torrential rainfalls aren’t covered. In our area - We had more than 6,000 homes flooded recently and the minister of Municipal Affairs took a look and says few of them will qualify under the existing guidelines. Well duh – let’s change the guidelines.”
Today, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and NDP Health Critic France Gélinas announced legislation to create a ministry devoted to mental health and addictions in Ontario. “Everyone who needs access to mental health or addiction services should be able to get them, when they need them,” said Horwath. “But that’s simply not happening in Ontario today. Too many people requiring urgent addiction treatment are left languishing on waiting lists. And too many people desperate for mental health care are being let down by the Wynne government – which treats mental health and addictions as an afterthought, left to fight for funding in an already-underfunded health care system.” “Mental health and addictions services need more resources, more funding and more attention. I believe that having a Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions will help us get there.” Horwath and Gélinas were joined at a press conference by Noah Irvine, a high school student from Guelph who lost both his parents to mental illness. “I hope all parties will show support for this bill. We need to make mental health and addictions a real priority,” said Irvine. Seven years ago, the all-party select committee made important recommendations, but almost nothing has been done. We can’t wait any longer for action to improve mental health and addictions services.” In 2010, the Select Committee on Mental Health and Addictions issued 23 recommendations to improve mental health and addictions services, including the creation of Mental Health and Addictions Ontario. “Seven years later Ontario still does not have a Mental Health and Addictions system,” said Gélinas. “Ontario’s mental health and addictions services are scattered across 11 different Ministries. Depending on who you are and where you live the services that are available to you vary greatly. It’s time to give mental health and addictions a home, and the focus and attention it needs for us to start delivering care families can count on.”
On the eve of Kathleen Wynne's scheduled appearance in court, Ontario’s NDP challenged Premier Wynne on her involvement in the 2015 Sudbury by-election bribery scandal. During question period, Kitchener-Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife questioned Premier Wynne on the lengths she and the Liberal Party were willing to go to have now Minister of Energy Glenn Thibeault as their candidate.
Before the 2015 Sudbury by-election, Thibeault was appointed as the riding’s Liberal candidate, circumventing the local riding association’s plan to hold a democratic nomination meeting.
Today during question period, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath called on the Wynne Liberals to hear the alarm bells, and take action to protect temp agency workers.
“Temp work is on the rise in Ontario, but the Wynne Liberals have done nothing to protect these vulnerable workers,” said Horwath.
London West MPP Peggy Sattler rose in the legislature today to demand that the Wynne Liberals address the crisis created by chronic underfunding of vital mental health services for children and youth.
“This summer I met with the board chairs of seven local children and youth mental health agencies, including Vanier, Craigwood, Merrymount, WAYS, Anago and London Family Court Clinic. Each month, the boards of these agencies are not only forced to consider service cuts, but even whether they can continue to keep their doors open,” said Sattler.
With MPPs returning to Queen’s Park today, Windsor and Essex-area NDP MPPs Lisa Gretzky and Taras Natyshak called on Premier Wynne to immediately assist Windsor and Essex County in the aftermath of severe flooding this summer.
“For the second time in 12 months, area residents have had to recover and rebuild their lives,” stated MPP Natyshak. “The premier tweeted that she’d help. But we’ve really seen nothing. Municipal staff continue to be spread thin, desperately trying to keep up with amount of debris that needs to be cleared.”
With the trial of two top Liberal operatives, including Premier Wynne’s former Deputy Chief of Staff, underway, it didn’t take long for Ontarians to learn shocking new details about how far the Wynne Liberals were willing to go to win the 2015 Sudbury by-election. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath demanded answers from Kathleen Wynne and her government during the first question period of the fall sitting of the legislature. Horwath demanded answers from Premier Wynne about what she knew and when she knew it, when it comes to the alleged bribery of the current Minister of Energy, Glenn Thibeault. “It’s alleged that the Minister of Energy demanded paid jobs for staffers in exchange for running as the Liberal candidate in the by-election,” said Horwath. “Can the premier tell us right now – did she agree to this demand?” Wynne refused to answer that, or any of the questions asked of her in question period. It appears from the evidence heard in court that the only reason Mr. Thibeault was not charged alongside other Liberal insiders is that it is only illegal to offer a bribe, it’s not illegal to accept one. “Things are getting harder in Ontario. Health, education and the services we count on are being cut,” said Horwath. “We need a government focused on undoing that damage and making life easier for Ontario families. But it looks like Wynne and her party have been focused on themselves and their internal party politics. Kathleen Wynne has disappointed Ontarians – and she is making it worse the longer she refuses to answer questions about what she knew about the bribery scandal, and when she knew it.”
September 7, 2017
Hon. Kathleen Wynne Premier of Ontario
Room 281, Main Legislative Building Queen's Park, Toronto, ON M7A 1A1
Dear Premier Wynne:
Today, I joined Windsor area MPPs as well as the City's Mayor to survey the damage caused by severe flooding and speak to impacted residents.
I was both shocked and saddened by the extent of the damage. The basements of more than 5,000 homes were flooded, residents went without power for days, and thousands of families are still coping with the effects of the record breaking rainfall. While I am relieved that the rainfall has subsided, our attention must now turn to assisting city officials in clearing damaged property from streets and helping Windsor families get their lives back on track.
Despite the tireless efforts of sanitation staff to clear debris and damaged items from curbsides as quickly as possible resources are stretched to their limits. While a garbage truck can typically visit 300 homes before reaching capacity, the property damage is so severe that trucks are full after visiting just three homes. The longer residents wait for debris to be removed the greater the potential health and safety risk as people clear out sewer damaged items from their homes.
Premier, the situation is urgent. Municipal staff and resources are already fully utilized, but it is not enough. I urge you to make available provincial resources to help municipal workers, including assistance in locating and deploying garbage trucks that are so desperately needed. The provincial government should also expedite permits to allow garbage trucks from Michigan to cross the border in order to help.
When the immediate crisis has subsided, the people of Windsor will need help rebuilding their lives. I appreciate that Minister Mauro has activated the Disaster Recovery Assistance Program, but it is important that this assistance start flowing without needless delays or red tape. There are still over 200 victims of the 2016 floods waiting for their claim through the program to be processed. This year, more than a week passed before your government even informed residents that they can qualify for assistance under this program. The provincial government needs to do better.
With the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) raising alarm bells about a worsening capacity crisis in Ontario’s hospitals over the winter months, Ontario New Democratic Leader Andrea Horwath says the Wynne Liberals must act now to reverse decades of cuts to Ontario’s health care system.
“The last Conservative government fired 6,000 nurses, eliminated 7,000 beds, and shuttered dozens of hospitals. When the Liberals came into power, instead of reversing those cuts, they froze health care spending, slashed more front line jobs, and continued to worsen the health care crisis across this province,” said Horwath this morning. “The OHA is highlighting what many Ontarians have already experienced firsthand: Ontario’s hospitals are overcrowded, and – without a major change – things are only going to get worse.'
Ontario NDP Attorney General Critic Gilles Bisson issued the following statement.
“Today’s announcement by the Wynne government is an obvious attempt to distract from the Liberal bribery trial now underway, and the upcoming Liberal gas plant scandal trial. Something as important as Ontario’s framework guiding the use and retail of recreational marijuana should not leave the public with more questions than answers.
Today Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath hosted community leaders from across southwestern Ontario for a discussion on shared priorities and the issues that are most important to families and businesses in the region.
About 100 municipal, education, business, health care and non-profit leaders in the region joined the NDP MPPs for the discussion.
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath looked ahead to the new legislative session by saying New Democrats will focus on what matters to families: prescription drug coverage for everyone regardless of age, better health care, addressing the seniors care crisis, and lowering costs on essentials like hydro. It's time, Horwath says, for the leaders to be clear about what their priorities will be after the next election.
“New Democrats believe that government can be about delivering for families. It can deliver the services that make life better for people,' said Horwath. 'But Kathleen Wynne has let people down. She's been showing people that she's in it for herself and her party.
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath issued the following statement today:
“Labour Day is a day to celebrate the rights that have been earned and gains that have been made for all working Ontarians, thanks to generations of working people and the unions they’ve built. This year, I believe it’s time to recommit ourselves to a new wave of gains.
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is calling on Premier Kathleen Wynne to immediately increase funding for Ontario hospitals, as the crisis in neonatal intensive care highlights the impact of Conservative and Liberal cuts to hospital services.
“Parents of sick or premature babies who need immediate care are already under enormous stress and anxiety. They deserve to know that their baby will be cared for today, without any delay,” said Horwath. “But cuts to hospital funding have created a capacity crisis inside Ontario’s hospitals that’s causing huge worry for parents and stress for doctors, nurses, and health care workers. It’s time for the Wynne government to wake up to the crisis they have created and take immediate action to fix it.”
NDP Urban Transit critic MPP Cheri Dinovo issued the following statement:
“Commuters in the GTA have every right to be concerned that Kathleen Wynne is making transit planning decisions in the interests of the Liberal Party instead of in the public interest.
France Gélinas, the Ontario NDP’s health critic, issued the following statement in support of 700 doctors, nurses, and frontline harm reduction workers from 59 communities across Ontario who are calling on Premier Kathleen Wynne to declare an emergency amidst the opioid overdose crisis.
“New Democrats support doctors, nurses and frontline harm reduction workers from across the province who are calling on Premier Wynne to declare an emergency so they can help stem the opioid crisis that has claimed too many lives in Ontario.
MPP Catherine Fife (Kitchener-Waterloo), the Ontario NDP’s critic for Economic Development and Employment, issued the following statement concerning job cuts at the GE plant in Peterborough:
'New Democrats stand with the workers and their families whose lives will be deeply impacted by the closure of the Peterborough GE factory. These were good paying jobs that leave families with an uncertain future after long service to the company.
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath issued the following statement.
“While investing in energy efficient retrofits for social housing is a necessary step in the fight against climate change, it appears Kathleen Wynne is still failing to understand the most urgent needs in social housing.
Today Peter Tabuns, NDP MPP for Toronto-Danforth, issued the following joint letter with Toronto City Councillors Paula Fletcher (Ward 30), Mary Fragedakis (Ward 29) and TDSB Trustee Jennifer Story (Ward 15), calling on the Wynne government for an injunction to block the use of disturbing images being distributed to homes and displayed on streets in their area by an anti-abortion group.
Today, Ontario NDP Education critic Peggy Sattler issued the following statement in response to the release of the 2016-2017 EQAO literacy results:
“Today’s report on the OSSLT reveals that the success rate for students enrolled in applied courses has been getting worse since Kathleen Wynne took office, and that the format of EQAO testing is failing students.
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath issued the following statement.
“I am deeply concerned about the findings of the 2017 First Nations Youth Inquest Report Card from Aboriginal Legal Services . This report shows that Premier Wynne is not acting quickly enough to implement jury recommendations for protecting the health and well-being of First Nations youth. We are not seeing meaningful progress and that’s not good enough.
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath visited Thunder Bay today to talk about the crisis in seniors care. With more than 800 people stuck on a waiting list for long-term care beds in the city, it's time to investigate and fix the seniors care system.
Families are waiting 1,000 days or more to get their loved ones the care they need in Thunder Bay.
Wynne’s Liberals and the Conservatives joined together this week, refusing to support the NDP’s labour proposals that would give Ontarians more stability, more vacation time and access to paid sick days when they need them.
“We know the Conservatives aren’t on the side of working Ontarians,” said Horwath. “And Wynne’s Liberals joined those Conservatives in refusing to support better conditions for everyday Ontarians working for a living.
“Ontario families, especially northern and Indigenous communities, are tired of waiting for the Ring of Fire. I understand why today is yet another frustrating day for them.
Months after Kathleen Wynne said she was trying to reach a deal with nine First Nations to move forward in agreement – particularly to start on the road into the region – Wynne announced Monday that she has only reached a deal with three of those First Nations. That disappointment follows 14 years of Liberal government during which not one shovel has hit the ground. Not one kilometre of road has been built.
Ontario New Democratic Leader Andrea Horwath released new information Wednesday that shows chronic overcrowding and unfunded beds being operated at Kingston General Hospital, and called on Kathleen Wynne to undo the damage she has done to Ontario’s hospitals.
“When you or your loved ones are hurt, you should be able to get the help and care you need, when you need it most. But that’s not what’s happening. As all-too-many Kingston residents know firsthand, Kingston General Hospital has faced serious overcrowding for years,” said Horwath. “Kathleen Wynne has turned her back on patients and the workers that treat them and save them. Wynne government cuts have pushed Kingston General Hospital too far, and dangerous overcrowding and hallway medicine are now the new normal, in Kingston and across Ontario. We have to change that.”
New numbers released by Health Quality Ontario (HQO) confirmed what many residents have already experienced firsthand – London has the longest surgical wait times in the province, and things are only getting worse.
“Kathleen Wynne just doesn’t get it. She froze hospital budgets for years, and the funding she announced in the last budget to great fanfare doesn’t even keep up with inflation, much less make up for years of cuts,” said London West MPP Peggy Sattler.
Today, NDP Education critic Peggy Sattler released the following statement in response to the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario report on education funding in Ontario:
“Today's report by the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario highlights what too many students and parents already know: years of successive Conservative and Liberal governments have created an education system that is failing our children.
This morning at Queen’s Park, Ontario New Democratic Leader Andrea Horwath announced a comprehensive package of amendments to the Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations Act, aiming to improve working conditions across the province.
“In Ontario today, work is less stable. Jobs don’t last a lifetime like they used to. And so many workers don’t have even basic workplace benefits; it’s time to do something about it,” said Horwath. “For a decade and a half, Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals turned their backs on everyday families, refusing to update workplace laws. Now, Kathleen Wynne’s new labour bill falls far short of what’s really needed. Clearly, she doesn’t get what workers are dealing with every day.”
As the Wynne Liberals hand over the OLG’s GTA locations today to B.C-based Great Canadian Gaming Corp. and Toronto-based Brookfield Business Partners, the NDP is raising concerns over the effects of privatization -- and the billions of dollars that will be going into B.C. bank accounts instead of Ontario hospitals and classrooms.
Last week, on behalf of the NDP, Finance critic John Vanthof wrote to Financial Accountability Officer Stephen LeClair asking the FAO to determine the financial risks to the province.
New data shows that wages for Ontarians are dropping while the cost of living goes up, with full-time working women and young workers taking the hardest hit on their paycheques.
According to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey for July, the median weekly wage in Ontario was down $15.20 compared to the month before, a decline nearly double the decline seen nationally.
Ontario NDP Critic for Home and Long-Term Care and Seniors’ Affairs Teresa Armstrong issued the following statement on the public inquiry into the safety of Ontario’s long-term care facilities:
“Today I attended the news conference in London announcing the details of the public inquiry into the safety of long-term care homes. It’s clear the inquiry is very limited in its scope. We’ve heard from family members, seniors advocates and personal support workers that their loved ones are not getting the care they need. Our parents and grandparents deserve so much better than the short-staffing and underfunding we see today.
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath was back in Wallaceberg today, keeping her promise to local residents to find out why the Sydenham hospital was stripped of its ‘small and rural’ designation and funding for vital services like the emergency room, diagnostic imaging, and front-line care workers.
“Leadership is about telling people what you will do – and then doing it,” said Horwath. “New Democrats always stand up for the health care that families need and I’m very happy to be back in Wallaceburg with answers for this community. It took 13 months to pry answers out of the Wynne government and what we’ve learned doesn’t inspire any confidence in Wynne’s health care leadership,” said Horwath.
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath joined local long-term care nurse practitioner Lynne Withers this morning to discuss the ongoing crisis in senior’s long-term care in Ontario. Horwath has called for a broad, two-part inquiry into seniors care across the province, stemming from the circumstances of the Wettlaufer murders, and expanding to include an investigation into staffing levels, funding and safety conditions in seniors care homes across the province and says she is concerned that the inquiry announced recently by the Wynne Liberals fails to specify these key issues that must be included in the inquiry’s mandate in order for it to be effective.
“Seniors in Sarnia can wait years to get into a seniors care home, and once they find a room many aren’t getting the care they need. Lynne works in a long-term care home in the area, and the conditions she described to me this morning are heartbreaking, and sound similar to stories I've heard all over the province” said Horwath.
Napanee Lennox and Addington County General Hospital operating above safe capacity, as high as 115 per cent, under Wynne Liberals
Today Premier Kathleen Wynne will visit Napanee Lennox and Addington County General Hospital, and the NDP says while Wynne is there, she must answer for why the hospital has been running dangerously overcrowded for years.
NDP Accessibility and Persons with Disabilities Critic Monique Taylor issued the following statement on the recent ruling from the Information and Privacy Commission regarding a Freedom of Information request from the Access for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Alliance:
“As the NDP critic for Accessibility Issues, I was pleased to see that the Information and Privacy Commission has ruled in favour of transparency and accountability by ordering the Liberal government to waive the thousands of dollars in fees they had levied against Ontarians trying to access information about accessibility enforcement and compliance in the province.
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath issued the following statement.
“New Democrats, seniors groups, health care advocates, and concerned families across the province have spoken out clearly on the urgent need for a broad based public inquiry into the systemic problems in long-term care. We are concerned that today’s announcement from Premier Wynne and her Liberal government fails to specify key issues that must be included in the inquiry’s mandate such as:
Two London NDP MPPs say the Wynne Liberals have worsened a funding crisis in children’s mental health services in Ontario, by failing to increase base funding for care agencies for more than 10 years, coupled with decades of chronic underfunding.
“Children and youth across Ontario are in desperate need of help, and children’s mental health agencies are struggling to keep up,” said London West MPP Peggy Sattler. “By perpetuating and worsening this funding crisis, Kathleen Wynne is failing children and youth living with mental health issues and their families. This is contributing to the tragedy of youth suicide we have experienced in London and communities across Ontario, and the epidemic of youth suicide among indigenous young people.”
The NDP says the time has come for the Ontario government to start investing in our health care system again, after years of Liberal budget cuts and freezes have left hospitals overcrowded, and scrambling to address mounting demand for care. This week, reports detailed the extreme measures being taken by Hamilton area hospitals: Hamilton Health Sciences is being forced to cut another $20 million while St. Jospeh’s Healthcare is being forced to cut $7 million.
“Patient care has already been seriously impacted by the Wynne government’s cuts to health care,” said NDP Health critic France Gélinas. “People in pain wait hours in emergency rooms and admitted patients spend days on gurneys in hallways. Years of cuts, underfunding and frozen budgets at the hands of Wynne and the Liberals have done deep damage to the health care that families count on.
Cheri DiNovo, NDP MPP for Parkdale-High Park, welcomed news that the dogs rescued from a dogfighting ring in the Chatham area will be sent to Florida for rehabilitation – but said the case highlights the need to end legislation that targets dogs based on their breed or even just their appearance.
“For too long, Ontario has allowed healthy dogs to be euthanized by labelling them as ‘pit bulls’ and denying them a chance for rehabilitation,” said DiNovo who is the author of a Private Member’s Bill aimed at repealing Ontario’s breed specific legislation (BSL).