Statement from Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

Ontario’s New Democrats are a part of the global movement against homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia because we believe no one should ever be discriminated against because of who they are, or who they love. In Ontario, and around the world, everyone deserves to be safe, tofeel safe, and to be empowered to freely express themselves.

Taking time to mark the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia is an important opportunity to raise awareness of the realities that members of the LGBTQ2 community continue to face, especially at a time when divisive politics seems to be on the rise.

New Democrats are proud to stand alongside the LGBTQ2 community in the fight for recognition and safety and we’re proud to take this fight to the Ontario legislature. That includes leading the fight to ban conversion therapy, entrenching gender identity protections in the Human Rights Code, and introducing a historic motion to mark the Transgender Day of Remembrance with a moment of silence at Queen’s Park.

We mourn those we have lost, and celebrate the victories we have won. Most importantly, we remind ourselves that there is still so much work to do before we can say that all Ontarians live free of prejudice or violence.

NDP calls for legislative session to be extended

Kathleen Wynne is about to enact a plan that will cause hydro bills to soar for decades, and the public isn’t even being given time to weigh in. That’s why the NDP is calling for the legislative session to be extended by at least one week.

Today, Wynne’s Liberals will force through a motion that will limit debate, and cut the window for public hearings down to a meagre six-hour window.

Wynne failing to cover medication for Ontarians with diabetes: NDP

During question period on Tuesday, NDP health critic France Gélinas called out Premier Kathleen Wynne for failing Ontarians living with diabetes by excluding them from provincial drug coverage. The NDP has proposed the first universal Pharmacare plan, which will provide drug coverage for all Ontarians, regardless of age or income.

Gélinas participated in an Ontario round table organised by Diabetes Canada on Tuesday, where she found that their number one issue was access to medications and supplies.

NDP calls on Wynne government for inquests into deaths of children in care

During question period on Tuesday, Monique Taylor, the NDP critic for children and youth services, called on the Wynne government to hold a mandatory inquest each time a child under its care dies, after several children and youth living in foster and group homes died over the last six months.

In February, fire swept through a foster home near Lindsay, killing 14-year-old Kassy Finbow and Andrea Reid, one of the caregivers.

Horwath brings fight for jobs in the Sault to Queen’s Park

Today during question period, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath demanded to know why the Wynne Liberals are ramming through their $40 billion hydro borrowing scheme when they know it will threaten jobs in Sault Ste. Marie and across the province. 

Horwath told the legislature about Steve and Lucy Fronzi, business owners in the Sault who employ over 50 people in their community. They already pay over $10,000 every month for hydro, and if their bills go up any further, they may have to cut back on staff.

Statement from the Office of NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

Prior to announcing that he will enter the federal NDP leadership contest, NDP MPP Jagmeet Singh (Bramlea-Gore-Malton), spoke with NDP Leader Andrea Horwath about his intentions. They agreed to an adjustment of his caucus duties consistent with the rules federal NDP caucus members seeking the leadership are required to meet.

Singh will step down as Deputy Leader for the duration of the Federal NDP Leadership campaign.

·       Stepping in as critic for the Anti-Racism Directorate portfolio is Teresa Armstrong, MPP for London-Fanshawe.

·       Stepping in as critic for Government and Consumer Affairs is Wayne Gates, MPP for Niagara Falls.

·       Stepping in as critic for the Attorney General is Gilles Bisson, MPP for Timmins-James Bay.

Singh will continue to serve his constituents as the NDP MPP for Bramlea-Gore-Malton, and will remain a valued member of the NDP caucus team.

NDP to vote against Wynne hydro hike

Premier Kathleen Wynne’s new hydro deal will cause hydro bills to soar – which is why the NDP will vote against the Liberal borrowing bill.

Last week, leaked secret documents from Wynne’s cabinet showed that the Liberal government’s plan to borrow billions of dollars will cause electricity bills to shoot up sharply after the election, as ratepayers will be forced to pay back billions, plus interest.

NDP calls for Wynne to turn hydro bill hike docs over to FAO

Disgusted by documents showing the Wynne Liberals will dump the cost of their hydro borrowing scheme on Ontarians’ hydro bills, the NDP is asking the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) to investigate – and demanding that Wynne cooperate.

The NDP’s request for an FAO evaluation comes just after the leak of confidential Liberal cabinet documents that show hydro bills would shoot up sharply in just four years to pay back money the Liberals plan to borrow.

Wynne leaves out majority of Ontarians from drug coverage: NDP

During question period Thursday, NDP health critic France Gélinas demanded to know why Premier Kathleen Wynne is refusing to cover medication for Ontarians over the age of 24. 

Gélinas told the legislature about Sarah, a 27-year old worker and student from Norwich, Ontario who needs medication for a serious eye condition.

NDP: Liberal ‘Hydro Plan’ will cause bills to soar

Ontario NDP Energy Critic Peter Tabuns issued the following statement in response documents leaked by a whistleblower that suggest hydro rates will soar as a result of the Liberal government’s hydro scheme. 

“By ignoring Ontarians and selling off the majority stake of Hydro One earlier this week, and plowing ahead with a bizarre borrowing scheme, Kathleen Wynne is causing already-high hydro rates to soar.

NDP tells Wynne to fund Toronto’s Relief Line subway

During question period Thursday, MPP Cheri DiNovo, the NDP’s urban transit critic demanded that Premier Kathleen Wynne commit to funding the Relief Line subway for Toronto.

“The Mayor of Toronto and the TTC say that the Relief Line must be built before the Yonge line extension, or else there will be transit chaos.  But the premier seems to be more interested in saving Liberal seats north of Toronto than funding a subway project that transit experts say must come first,” said DiNovo, MPP for Parkdale-High Park. 

“Why is the premier once again putting her own political interests ahead of what’s best for Toronto’s transit riders?”

Prior to the 2014 election, the premier told Torontonians that the Relief Line subway was one of her top transit priorities.  But since the election, she has refused to commit to funding the construction of the Relief Line. 

“Toronto and the TTC have declared the Relief Line to be its top transit priority. But so far, the premier has committed exactly zero dollars to the construction of the Relief Line,” DiNovo said. 

“It is impossible for the City of Toronto to plan the construction of major infrastructure projects when it doesn’t know if the provincial government will be a funding partner.

“Will the premier commit today to funding the Relief Line, or will she keep letting down Toronto transit riders?”

Horwath addresses FONOM, says investment in the north key to success

Ontario NDP Leader addressed delegates at the Federation Of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) conference Thursday, telling delegates she believes that investment in the north is critical to the success and prosperity of the province.

“Northern Ontario deserves real investment, a real future, and a government that’s actually working with you to make life better for everyone who lives here,” said Horwath. “I know that when we invest in the north, the whole province benefits.

Hallway medicine continues: Brampton family suffers heartbreaking effects of Wynne’s health care cuts

Wednesday during question period, Ontario NDP Health critic MPP France Gélinas demanded answers from Premier Kathleen Wynne regarding the tragic case of 87 year old Ralfina Dillerop of Brampton, Ontario.

Dillerop waited five long days in the Emergency Department at Brampton Civic Hospital, Ontario’s busiest ER, before finally being admitted to a bed. She subsequently passed away while receiving treatment at the hospital. 

“Ms. Dillerop’s family was told by her doctor that the long hallway stint left her severely dehydrated and actually worsened her respiratory condition,” Gélinas told the Liberal premier today in the legislature. “Does the premier see a connection between her years of frozen hospital budgets and cuts to front-line health care workers and heartbreaking stories like Ralfina’s?” 

The vice-president of Medical Affairs at Brampton Civic Hospital told CTV journalists that the hospital is overburdened by the large number of patients coming into the emergency department every day. The ER sees an average of 400 patients per day, which is 160 per cent more than it was designed to care for.

“The hospital has said that they need at least 200 more beds in the short term, and more than 600 in the long term, essentially another hospital – just to keep up with the demand for care,” said Gélinas. “Does the premier plan to fix this crisis that she and her government have helped create in Brampton and across the GTHA?”

Wynne’s latest budget allocated $300 million less than what hospitals said they needed just to maintain the already-squeezed status quo.

The Ontario NDP has committed to providing Ontario’s hospitals with stable, predictable base funding that keeps up with both population growth and inflation if the party forms government in 2018. In addition, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has demanded a moratorium on the layoff of nurses from hospitals, citing the need to preserve quality, front-line health care, and reverse the damage done by Wynne and her Liberals.

Wynne says one thing, does nothing on Ring of Fire

Tuesday during her pit-stop in Sault Ste. Marie, Premier Kathleen Wynne, after being pushed by journalists, tried to claim that money for the Ring of Fire development was available, ignoring the truth: that there isn’t a single dollar for the Ring of Fire in her 2017-18 budget. 

“Wynne is up to her old tricks,” NDP Northern Development and Mines critic Michael Mantha said in question period Wednesday. “She only talked about the Ring of Fire in the Sault after being forced to, there’s no money in her budget this year, and we still haven’t seen one shovel in the ground. People can’t trust what she says anymore.”

The Wynne Liberals have a long history of empty promises when it comes to the Ring of Fire, and during question period, Mantha pushed Wynne to explain her inaction.

“She was bragging about how her budget would help the north while, at the same time, committing no money at all for the Ring of Fire,” Mantha said in the legislature.  “When will the premier learn that the people of Ontario see through her desperate political tactics? When will she start walking the walk?”

The Ring of Fire is a chromite deposit that, if developed, would create thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic development. To date, Wynne has failed to take any action to spark this development.

The Ontario NDP recognizes the economic importance of developing the Ring of Fire, particularly for northern communities, and has previously committed to providing provincial support for the project, including the transportation infrastructure required to support the development, and bring it to operational status as quickly as possible.

MPP Gretzky calls on Wynne government to help Ontarians with developmental disabilities

During question period on Tuesday, Lisa Gretzky, NDP MPP for Windsor West, demanded that the Wynne government begin helping thousands of adults with developmental disabilities, and their families, by increasing funding for supportive programs and housing. 

Gretzky, the NDP's critic for community and social services, raised the struggles of 16-year-old Abdullah Yar Khan and his family. Khan, who lives in Windsor, has severe autism and his family is struggling to care for him without the necessary supports.

Wynne disregards Ontarians by selling off majority of Hydro One

During question period on Tuesday, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath blasted Premier Kathleen Wynne for ignoring the vast majority of Ontarians and businesses who want her to stop hiking already sky-high hydro bills by further privatizing Hydro One.

“Families, business owners, municipalities, NGOs – they have all told the premier, loud and clear to stop this wrong-headed sell-off,” Horwath said.

Wynne's move to sell off more of Hydro One disastrous: Krmpotich

Ontario NDP candidate Joe Krmpotich issued the following statement about the further privatization of Hydro One, announced late Monday.

"Premier Kathleen Wynne and her Liberals are now giving up the province's majority stake in Hydro One. Premier Wynne clearly doesn't understand how people are hurting as a result of the damage she's already done to our hydro system -- including families and businesses here in Sault Ste. Marie.

Monday's announcement that Wynne will now sell off more than 50 per cent of Hydro One is unwelcome in the Sault. People are already paying massive hydro bills -- a major factor in a growing cost-of-living crisis that's making it harder for folks to get caught up, and get ahead. I think of Jamie LaCross, who I met just a few weeks ago, who told me that this winter, she had to shut off the heat and use propane heaters in the house to keep her little boys warm. I think of all those who are losing sleep over how to pay off the hydro bill while other costs are also piling up. Premier Wynne acts like she hasn't had to pay her own hydro bill in years.

By selling off more than half of Hydro One, Wynne is following a Conservative playbook: this disastrous privatization plan was first proposed by the Conservatives in the last election.

New Democrats will fix the electricity system broken by private power deals signed by Liberals and Conservatives. We'll cut hydro bills for everyone by about a third, and put Hydro One back into public hands where it belongs. And when Hydro One's dividends go to the public instead of well-heeled and foreign investors, we'll be able to keep those hydro bills down, and help fund hospitals, schools and vital public services."

MPP French shares deeply troubling local patient’s story at legislature

Oshawa NDP MPP Jennifer French called on Premier Kathleen Wynne to address ballooning hospital wait times during question period on Monday.

French shared the story of Steve Borders, an Oshawa man who injured his shoulder and has spent the past five months in relentless pain, but still hasn’t received a date for his surgery.