News

NDP to Elections Ontario: investigate Glenn Thibeault’s role in the Sudbury by-election scandal

November 2, 2016

Mr. Greg Essensa, Chief Electoral Officer
Elections Ontario

Dear Mr. Essensa: 

I am writing to request that your Office launch an investigation into the actions of Glenn Thibeault regarding the Sudbury by-election scandal.

Yesterday, the Ontario Provincial Police charged Ms. Pat Sorbara, the Premier’s former Deputy Chief of Staff, and Mr. Gerry Lougheed, a key Liberal fundraiser and powerbroker, with alleged bribery under the Election Act.

In sworn information filed in relation to these charges, we learned of a new development in this troubling case. One of the charges against Ms. Sorbara relates, specifically, to an alleged bribe that she offered to Mr. Glenn Thibeault, who is now the MPP for Sudbury and Minister of Energy.

According to the information filed by the OPP, it is alleged that, between November 19, 2014 and February 6, 2015, Ms. Sorbara did "directly or indirectly give, procure or promise or agree to procure an office of employment to induce a person, to wit, Glenn Thibeault, to become a candidate contrary to section 96.1(e) of the Election Act." 

As you are aware, the Election Act not only prohibits an individual from offering an alleged bribe; it also prohibits an individual from accepting an alleged bribe.

Section 96.1(d) states that no person shall, directly or indirectly, “apply for, accept or agree to accept any valuable consideration or office or employment in connection with the exercise or non-exercise of an elector’s vote.”

In light of these new revelations concerning the offer that Ms. Sorbara allegedly made to Mr. Thibeault, I am requesting that your Office open an investigation into Mr. Thibeault’s actions. The people of Ontario need to know whether Mr. Thibeault was offered and accepted an office, employment, or any other consideration in exchange for his candidacy for the Liberal Party.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Jagmeet Singh
MPP, Bramalea-Gore-Malton
Ontario NDP Deputy Leader

 

Cc:

Vince Hawkes, Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police
Attorney-General of Ontario, the Hon. Yasir Naqvi

 

NDP calls on Premier to stop any plans to privatize Ontario Place

Ontario NDP GTA Affairs critic, Cheri DiNovo, called on Premier Wynne to stop any plans to privatize Ontario Place as the Wynne government prepares an omnibus bill that would enable the sale of Ontario Place lands.   

DiNovo was joined at a Queen's Park press conference by Toronto City Councillor, Mike Layton, and Urban Planner, Ken Greenberg.

“We fought and thought we'd won with the No Casino movement to keep Ontario Place public. Now it seems all the activism may have been in vain,” Di Novo said.

“Is this just a Halloween trick to secretly make an administrative amendment to allow the sale of Ontario parkland and heritage? If so, this an egregious mistake,” said Councillor Layton. 

Bill 27, the Burden Reduction Act, an omnibus bill that is over 150 pages long, quietly rewrites the Ontario Place Corporation Act ‎to enable condo development and other forms of privatization. The bill allows Ontario Place to “dispose of land, buildings and structures, or any interest in land, buildings and structures, by sale, lease or otherwise." The bill also allows Ontario Place to be operated for “commercial” purposes.

Greenberg said Premier Wynne must keep her word to keep Ontario Place lands public.

“We are at a critical juncture in determining the future of Ontario Place. Ontario Place is an irreplaceable public asset on Lake Ontario, in the heart of a growing urban region that demands public space and access to Lake Ontario,” Greenberg said.

“It is absolutely essential that the Premier stand by her commitment and not permit any condo or other residential development at Ontario Place. The government should pursue a future for Ontario Place that embraces culture, recreation and entertainment, protects and re-purposes the Cinesphere and pods, and creates a revitalized waterfront canal district with stores and restaurants, bike and walking trails, playing fields and parks.”

Assure the Safety of Long-Term Care Facilities for Concerned Ontarians

Today during Question Period, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath called on the Liberal government to review oversight measures for long-term care homes in the province, and to reassure family members that their loved ones are safe following shocking allegations of murder at Woodstock and London facilities. 

“While this is perhaps the most graphic, serious and tragic example of abuse and mistreatment in the long-term care system, this heartbreaking incident is not the first,” said Horwath. “Ontarians need to know exactly what is being done by the Premier to ensure that something this horrific and heart-breaking never happens again.”

Horwath said that Ontarians are seeking clarity about provincial oversight procedures. While being mindful not to impede or compromise the ongoing police investigation, Horwath urged the Premier and the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to conduct an immediate review. Although Kathleen Wynne declined to respond in detail, citing an ongoing police investigation, the NDP Leader was encouraged by the Premier’s openness to undertaking  “an independent review or an inquiry” into the long-term care system “at some point” in the future. 

New Democrats echoed concerns from Ontarians with family members in long-term care facilities who want to know how it is possible that alleged murders inside long-term care homes in Ontario can go undetected for seven years.

“There are 78,000 Ontarians in long-term care right now, and that means 78,000 families are looking to the Premier for reassurance about their loved ones,” said Horwath. “When will the Premier be taking action to ensure that Ontario has the most effective—the most effective possible—oversight and monitoring of our long-term care facilities?”

 

Wynne Liberals’ failed launch of online literacy test will cost taxpayers

During Question Period today, NDP education critic and Windsor West MPP, Lisa Gretzky, demanded answers from Premier Wynne on what her government’s failed launch of the online literacy test will cost taxpayers. 

“Last week’s failed launch of the online grade 10 literacy test cost nearly 200 000 students an entire school day, and months of hard work and preparation,” said Gretzky. “While experts say that an online attack came as no surprise, this Liberal government was caught blindsided with their rushed rollout of online testing.”

Last Thursday, the province launched an online version of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), but a cyber-attack prevented thousands of students from completing the test. Of the nearly 16,000 students that were able to complete the test, they are still unsure whether or not their results will be accepted.

“Now it’s back to the drawing board for a Liberal government that continues to let Ontario students down,” said Gretzky. “While the loss of confidence in our education system is immeasurable, how much will the latest IT blunder cost Ontario taxpayers?”  

NDP demands Premier take action to protect seniors in Ontario nursing homes

During Question Period today, NDP Health and Long-Term Care critic, France Gélinas, demanded that Premier Wynne take action to stop tragedies and systemic problems in Ontario’s long-term care homes, as an Ontario family takes private, for-profit nursing homes to court after the death of their father, Arthur Jones. 

“In Ontario, we should be able to provide quality care to seniors living in long-term care homes.  But that’s not happening today,” Gélinas said.

“Arthur Jones moved to a private, for-profit long-term care home. Soon after he suffered from malnutrition and dehydration, he fell repeatedly, and he developed a huge bedsore. Mr. Jones spent his final week, in excruciating pain, in hospital.”

“How can this happen to any long-term care resident under this government’s watch?” Gélinas asked. 

Gélinas called for big changes in long-term care because Arthur Jones is not alone. His family is part of a lawsuit with, so far, 82 separate allegations against a private, for-profit long-term care chain.

“This Liberal government has had plenty of opportunity to act. Families have demanded change for years. The Coroner, after investigating numerous homicides, has called for more staff to provide bedside care. And frontline workers know that residents need a guaranteed minimum standard of care,” Gélinas said. 

“What will it take for this government to finally step up and prevent anyone else from suffering the indignity and pain that Arthur Jones suffered in a private, for-profit long-term care home?” 

New Democrats nominate candidate in Niagara-West Glanbrook

Ontario's New Democrats have nominated retired police officer and former President of the Hamilton Police Association Mike Thomas to carry the party’s banner during the November 17th byelection in the riding of Niagara-West Glanbrook.

“I am thrilled to have Mr. Thomas representing the NDP in Niagara-West Glanbrook.  This election is a chance for people in this riding to have a voice in the future of their community and I know that Mike will work hard to show people that the NDP is different, we have a real plan for the future,” remarked Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath.

Over the past few months the NDP has begun to articulate it’s priorities for the campaign and future of the province.  The party has been steadfastly against the further sell-off of Hydro One and in favour of the permanent removal of the provincial portion of the HST from people’s bills.  Horwath has called for predictable increases to base hospital funding as a way to stabilize damage done by the Premier’s funding cuts and on Labour Day, she committed her party to policies that would create good jobs in Ontario.

“I think that people in Niagara-West Glanbrook deserve a representative who will fight to stop the sale of hydro one and lower hydro rates, invest in our schools so that our children and grandchildren get the education they need to succeed and make sure that people have access to the healthcare they need, where and when they need it,” Horwath said. “I know that Mike is that person and I am thrilled to have him on board.”

In her remarks at the meeting, Horwath spoke about both Premier Kathleen Wynne and Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown.  She noted in particular, the Liberal’s wrong-headed sell-off of Hydro One and the Conservative party’s long history of privatizing public utilities like hydro and cutting spending to important sectors like education and healthcare.

“Patrick Brown isn’t the answer for the people of Niagara-West Glanbrook.  This riding has been represented by the Conservative party for decades and people here are ready for a change,” said Horwath. “Both Mr. Brown and Ms. Wynne represent a government that will help people at the top get further ahead while the middle class and everyone else pays the price.  Mike and the NDP want to make sure that the people of Niagara-West Glanbrook are represented by a party that champions healthcare you can count on, lower hydro bills and a good education system for the next generation.  Government should be about helping people and that’s what New Democrats will be talking about over the next four weeks.

Mantha demands Premier investigate exorbitant property tax assessments on northern homes

During Question Period today, Michael Mantha, MPP for Algoma-Manitoulin, called on Premier Wynne to step in to help northern families whose property tax assessments have been disproportionately increased by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC).

“People in the North use more hydro because they lack access to natural gas. They also pay the highest hydro rates.  On top of this, now some northern families are getting hit with huge property tax assessments, with MPAC claiming that homes in places like Walkers Lake have somehow doubled or tripled in value in just the past four years,” Mantha said.  “I heard from one senior on a fixed income, whose property assessment has increased from under $80,000 to over $180,000. It doesn't make sense and she can't afford it.”

Statement from Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on International Day to Eradicate Poverty

Each year, people around the world mark October 17 as the International Day to Eradicate Poverty.

In Ontario, this is a day to recommit ourselves to the fight for economic justice as a fundamental human right.

As New Democrats, we refuse to accept that poverty and inequality are inevitable – the challenge of eradicating poverty and injustice is at the core of what drives us each and every day.

This is why we fight for an economy that works for everyone. 

New Democrats believe we need to make it easier to join a union, to raise the minimum wage to $15 dollar/hour, to build more affordable housing, to ensure social assistance protects vulnerable people.

New Democrats believe in fairness.  We believe that anyone who works at a temporary job agency should receive the same pay and benefits as the coworker sitting next to them.  We know that a good job is the starting point that people need in order to build a good life for themselves.  And when people cannot work they need to know that their government is there for them providing the help and support they need to live in dignity.

We will continue to fight for strong public services like childcare, healthcare, education and public electricity that help make life a little bit easier for the people of this province.

Everyone who lives in Ontario knows what a wonderful place it can be to live and raise a family.  The NDP is committed to making sure that the future of our children and grandchildren is one that includes a province where no one is left behind.

Liberal plan to sell off patient health records not in the best interests of Ontarians

Statement by Ontario NDP Health Critic France Gélinas

Ontario NDP Health Critic France Gélinas issued the following statement on the Liberal plan to sell off patient health records to the private sector.

“The Liberals are asking Ed Clark, their privatization czar, to help the government ‘maximize the value’ of Ontario’s assets in its digital health system. I have heard those words before; Premier Wynne uses those words when she means privatization. It looks like the Liberals are trying to find a PR-friendly way of saying they want to privatize more of our healthcare system. Ontarians expect their healthcare system to look out for patients, not hand confidential health records to private, for-profit companies. Ontarians expect health care cuts and privatization from Conservatives, but they expected more from the Premier. Nobody voted to have our private, personal, confidential health records sold off to the private sector.”

 

Statement by Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on World Day for Decent Work

On behalf of Ontario’s New Democrats, I’d like to wish all Ontarians a happy World Day for Decent Work.

As New Democrats, we believe in the principle that anyone who works full time should never live in poverty. Our ideas about decent work flow from that basic belief. 

We want to raise the minimum wage in Ontario to $15/hour.  We think that people who work for temp agencies should be paid the same and get the same benefits as the person sitting beside them. We believe that internships should be paid so that no one is excluded from getting work experience because they can’t afford it. We believe in unions. 

If we form government in 2018, New Democrats have committed ourselves to taking on the unstable and unfair nature of the work that too many people in this province are forced into. Everyone in Ontario knows what a great place it can be to live and raise a family. New Democrats want to make sure that the opportunities that existed for the last generation, exist for the next one too.

Horwath pushes the government to protect Ontario’s water supply

Today Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath pushed the Liberal government to do more to protect Ontario’s long-term water sources.

“We need an Ontario Water Strategy to ensure that there is a sustainable supply of clean water for people today, and for generations to come,” said Horwath during Question Period.  “The Premier seems to think the way to protect Ontario’s water is simply to charge water bottling companies more to take it. That’s not good enough, that simply means that our water goes to the highest bidder, instead of ensuring that it's there for the people of Ontario for drinking, growing food, and sanitation needs in the future.”

NDP leads the way in declaring Islamic Heritage Month this October, in Ontario

Today Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and MPP Teresa Armstrong were joined by Farheen Khan from the International Development and Relief Organization and Dr. Al-Nadvi  from the Canadian Council of Imams in celebrating the establishment of Islamic Heritage Month in Ontario. 

“Over the past few weeks, we have been pushing for Islamic Heritage Month to be officially recognized in Ontario,” said Horwath during a press conference Thursday morning at Queen’s Park.  “Establishing October as Islamic Heritage Month in Ontario is an important opportunity to celebrate Islamic culture and to reaffirm that our province’s diversity is something to celebrate. The NDP is proud to stand with the Muslim community in making this happen.” 

NDP MPP Teresa Armstrong, who introduced the Bill, was pleased to see it finally become law after some weeks of uncertainty caused by the Liberal government’s lack of support for Unanimous Consent.

“There was really no reason not to do this, and I am thankful for the support of the Official Opposition and now of the government.  I think we all know how important it is to put aside our political differences when something as important as establishing Islamic Heritage Month is on the table,” said Armstrong.

The Province is now in line with the Federal government and many local school boards – including the TDSB- which have already taken this step.

“The Canadian Council of Imams would like to thank the NDP for championing this bill. This is an opportunity to highlight the true values and contributions of the Muslim community in Ontario and encourage a much needed dialogue in our province,” said Dr. Al-Nadvi. “We welcome this important step in building bridges between communities.” 

"As we see an increase of islamophobic incidents both in Ontario and across the country, it's now more important than ever before to acknowledge and to celebrate the contributions of Muslims in Ontario,” said Farheen Khan. “The passing of this bill an opportunity to combat hatred and islamophobia by educating current and future generations of Ontarians, and I applaud the NDP's hard work on passing this bill." 

"I thank Andrea Horwath and MPP Teresa Armstrong for introducing this bill. Conversations about Islam are too often framed around negative events. This can be emotionally challenging for children in schools, and it can skew their perceptions,” said Mr. Illyas Ally, Imam for the Islamic Dawa Centre and Executive Producer of Let the Quran Speak.  “Islamic Heritage Month will give children a vehicle to explore Islam from a new angle, empowering children to develop a healthier, richer understanding of Islamic heritage."

Gélinas calls out Thibeault for false promise of 20 per cent hydro rebate to Sudbury families

During Question Period today, Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas, demanded the Liberal MPP for Sudbury, and the Minister of Energy, Glenn Thibeault, admit that the great majority of northern families will not be receiving the Wynne government’s promised additional hydro rate rebate.

“For weeks now, people from northern and rural Ontario have been told by this minister that they are going to get a 20 per cent reduction on their hydro bill. The minister stood in this House on September 27, and said, ‘A 20 per cent reduction for families in rural, remote and northern communities, like in my part of the province, will actually be a significant savings for many families.’ The minister lives in the riding of Sudbury, and not one of his constituents will qualify for the 20 per cent savings,” Gélinas said.

Armstrong calls on premier for $15 minimum wage commitment

During Question Period today, Teresa Armstrong, MPP for London-Fanshawe, demanded the premier raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, after a new report showed  thousands of Londoners are living in extreme poverty, and face a “brutal” situation.

“A new report shows that London has deep, entrenched, poverty – a situation the report authors call ‘brutal’. 35,000 Londoners live in extreme poverty. And almost 8 per cent are jobless.  For individuals, that equates to an income of $11,000, and for a lone parent it’s $19,000 per year,” said Armstrong.

In Hamilton and across Ontario, people can’t afford privatization

Today during Question period, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath highlighted the extreme unaffordability of hydro in the province as she told the story of her constituents Ernie Warner and his wife.  Horwath asked the Premier if they should be paying the price for her privatization schemes. 

“Ernie got in touch with my office because his hydro bill has increased by 20 per cent over the last few months. His wife requires home dialysis ‎and has no choice but to run it during peak hours,” said Horwath during Question Period.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath statement on Hispanic Heritage Month in Ontario

Saludos,

Como líder del partido Nuevo-Demócrata de Ontario, quisiera agradecer y reconocer a toda la comunidad latinoamericana por sus innumerables contribuciones a esta provincia y a este país.

Unidos en base a los ideales que compartimos, ideales como familia, respeto, trabajo, y justicia, continuaremos trabajando juntos para que nuestros hijos reciban la educación necesaria para construir un mejor mañana.

Hoy, más que nunca, cuando la política de división reina en algunos rincones de Norteamérica, debemos seguir unidos.

Aunque algunos traten de separarnos, y quieran construir muros entre nosotros, no debemos permitir que nos dividan. Juntos derrotaremos la política del miedo y el odio, y la reemplazaremos con esperanza y con amor. Solo así, nuestra provincia y nuestro país, continuarán creciendo y prosperando.

Gracias,
Andrea Horwath
Lider
Ontario NPD

 

Saludos,

As Leader of Ontario’s New Democrats, I would like to recognize and thank each member of the Latin American community for the countless contributions you have made to make this a better province, and a better country.

Based on our shared values of family, respect, hard work, and justice, we can work together to make sure that our children get the education they need to lead all of us to a better tomorrow.

Today, more than ever, we must work together as politics of division are at work in North America. While some work to separate us, and to build walls between us, we will not be divided.

Together we will defeat the politics of fear and hate, and replace it with hope and love.

Our city, our province, and the country, will continue to grow and prosper because of your participation.

Thank you. Muchas gracias.

Statement from Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on Ontario Agriculture Week

“On behalf of the Ontario NDP and in recognition of Ontario Agriculture Week, thank-you to all of Ontario’s agricultural producers!

I encourage people across the province to celebrate this week by stopping in at your local farmer’s market, making an extra effort to buy Ontario produce at your grocery store, or treating your family to a night out at a restaurant that sources their food locally.

Ontario has 37,000 farm families who produce a year-round supply of meat, eggs, dairy and greenhouse vegetables.  By buying local, you are supporting these families and our province’s local economies not to mention getting fresh, delicious and environmentally friendly groceries. 

So go out and enjoy all the delicious food Ontario has to offer.  Happy Ontario Agriculture Week!”

Statement from Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on Rosh Hashanah

“Rosh Hashanah is a time for redemption, forgiveness and renewal in the Jewish faith. It is a time to gather with family, friends and community in celebration.  It is a time to reflect on the year that was, and look forward to the year ahead.

The Ontario NDP is proud to celebrate this day with the Jewish community in Ontario and to say thank-you for the many outstanding contributions of Ontarians of Jewish faith to our province.

To everyone who is celebrating this Holy day, Ontario’s New Democrats wish you peace, prosperity and good health.

Shanah tovah and have a “sweet” new year.”