NDP: Opportunities for Sault Ste. Marie youth a priority

Young people in the Soo deserve meaningful job opportunities in their own community, says Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.  Horwath, NDP candidate and City Councillor Joe Krmpotich, and Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha spent the day in Sault Ste. Marie Friday, talking with the community about creating well-paying jobs on which Soo residents can raise a family.

“Parents and grandparents don’t want to see another generation of young people moving away from the north because they can’t build their career in their own community,” said Horwath.

Horwath, Krmpotich and Mantha spent time Friday with Sault Ste. Marie families, businesses and representatives of the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre discussing jobs and training – including the NDP’s Bill 64, which will massively expand paid work-integrated learning opportunities.

“This is an issue that affects people in the north in particular,” said Mantha.  “In the Algoma region between 2007 and 2012, nearly 1,200 people between the ages of 18 and 25 left home.  That’s a big loss to the community, and to many families.”

“PC Leader Patrick Brown supported Stephen Harper’s cut to the Federal Youth Employment Program while the Liberals took harmful steps like cancelling the Ontario Ranger Program. The NDP’s work-integrated learning plan is a concrete step to help Soo youth get the training they need to build their careers and their lives here,” Mantha finished.

Krmpotich said the time for action in the Soo is now.

“I’ve lived in Sault Ste. Marie all my life.  I raised my kids here.  I love this community, and I know we can’t keep heading in the wrong direction,” he said. “People know I'm a fighter for the Soo and I want to take that fight to the province to ensure our community and our families have long-term prosperity.”

Toronto needs the province to partner on transit, childcare, affordable housing: Horwath

Today Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Toronto Mayor John Tory met to discuss ways in which the provincial government can and should be partnering with the City of Toronto when it comes to funding transit and transportation, affordable housing for vulnerable Ontarians, and affordable and accessible childcare for working families across the city. 

“Toronto and municipalities across the province need reliable and stable funding for transit and transportation, and putting Ontarians first means being a partner on that front,” said Horwath. “The province must contribute its fair share. It’s time to immediately restore 50 per cent operating funding for Toronto transit services.”  

In addition to properly supporting transit in Toronto, Horwath said it’s past time for the provincial government to do its part to protect affordable childcare spaces, which are under pressure due to lack of adequate funding. Horwath said Ontario must also commit to a fair one-third split, alongside federal and municipal partners, to improve and sustain affordable housing.

“Torontonians expect their provincial government to deliver when it comes to the basics like transit, affordable childcare and affordable housing.” said Horwath.  “These are priorities for families living in Toronto and municipalities across the province, and we need to see real, budgeted financial commitments to deliver on those priorities.” 

The NDP Leader said that working together with municipalities is a critical part of making life better for the people of Ontario.

“I thank Mayor Tory for today's very productive meeting and I'm looking forward to meeting with other municipal leaders to talk about building partnerships that support their priorities.”    

Statement by NDP Culture critic Sarah Campbell on TVO ending over-the-air broadcast signal to communities outside Toronto

Sarah Campbell, Ontario NDP Culture Critic and MPP for Kenora-Rainy River, issued the following statement in response to the announcement that TVO will decommission eight over-the-air transmitters on July 31, 2017: 

"New Democrats are deeply concerned that Liberal government cuts to TV Ontario have resulted in this short-sighted decision to eliminate broadcast transmitters to eight Ontario communities.

"Ending over-the-air transmission of TV Ontario is unfair to families in these communities and will have a disproportionate impact on children and families in the north.   

"Children in Thunder Bay deserve access to a free signal providing dynamic educational programming from our public broadcaster as much as a child in Toronto. 

"Cutting transmitters will not only restrict free, public access, but it also ignores the cord-cutting trend that has seen many Ontarians return to OTA receivers.

"The Minister of Education must immediately consider the impact the loss of educational programming will have on young Ontarians in Belleville, Chatham, Cloyne, Kitchener, London, Ottawa, Thunder Bay and Windsor.

"As Ontario’s educational broadcaster, TVO has contributed to a richer understanding of our province and our world reaching most regions in our province for generations. The announcement to go dark, except for an additional cable fee, outside of Toronto goes against the spirit and mandate of this unique institution. 

 "This move should be reversed immediately. The Minister ‎of Education must take the necessary steps to protect access to educational programming for all Ontarians across our province.”

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on Black History Month 2017

Hello friends,

As Leader of Ontario’s New Democrats, I’ve had the opportunity to travel all over Ontario and everywhere I go, I am reminded of just what an important role the Black community has played in shaping this province, and country.

As Canada marks its 150th anniversary, Ontario celebrates its 39th Black History Month this February, which I urge all Ontarians to take part in.

When we talk about Black History Month, what we’re really talking about is Canadian history.

From cowboys in Alberta like John Ware, to business entrepreneurs like Thornton Blackburn in Toronto, African-Canadians have been building and shaping this country since the earliest days of its history.

Black History Month is more than just an important educational opportunity – it is a celebration. 

Ontario, Canada, and cultures around the world have been profoundly influenced and enriched by the Black community. 

Black History Month is a time for all Ontarians and Canadians to celebrate the contributions the Black community has made, and to honour its role models and leaders, past and present. 

All Ontarians should take time to learn about the challenges and triumphs of African-Canadians, African-Americans, as well those from the Continent and the diaspora. 

It is important that this history never be forgotten or ignored. 

We must also never forget or ignore the challenges still being faced by the Black community.

Despite improvements, the Black community still bears a disproportionate burden of violence, poverty, racism, and lack of opportunity. 

Thankfully, community activists and leaders are carrying on the traditions of human rights pioneers like Stanley Grizzle, Bromley Armstrong, and Viola Desmond. 

These community leaders, past and present, are standing up to make the promise of Canadian multiculturalism and tolerance a reality. 

Their ongoing struggles and leadership are a call to action to all Ontarians to confront injustice wherever we see it and to build a fair, inclusive society, where everyone can build a future for their family.

Ontario’s New Democrats are proud to stand in solidarity with these community activists, and to celebrate the leaders and activists that have come before.

The African-Canadian community, its history, and it struggles, should always hold an important place in our schools, literature, and culture.

Alongside all Ontarians, New Democrats are proud to celebrate Black History Month, this year, and every year. 

Thank you.







2017 Black History Month Message from Andrea Horwath

Hello friends, 

As Leader of Ontario’s New Democrats, I’ve had the opportunity to travel all over Ontario and everywhere I go, I am reminded of just what an important role the Black community has played in shaping this province, and country. 

As Canada marks its 150th anniversary, Ontario celebrates its 39th Black History Month this February, which I urge all Ontarians to take part in.

When we talk about Black History Month, what we’re really talking about is Canadian history.

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath to Premier Wynne: Declare Ontario a “Sanctuary Province”

January 31, 2017

Hon. Kathleen Wynne
Premier of Ontario
Room 281, Main Legislative Building
Queen's Park
Toronto, ON M7A 1A1

Dear Premier Wynne:

Ontarians are dismayed by United States President Donald Trump’s alarming and discriminatory ban on refugees and the citizens of seven primarily Muslim countries.

Like millions of our American neighbours, we believe that a ban against individuals based on religion, race, or country of origin must never be tolerated by Canada. President Trump’s actions are disastrous for innocent people and put the lives of thousands of vulnerable refugees at risk.

As the House of Commons prepares to hold an emergency debate this evening, I am writing to request that you formally urge the Prime Minister to immediately condemn President Trump’s ban, in the strongest possible terms, and to announce that Canada will welcome impacted refugees. The federal government must understand that Ontario will fully support all concrete steps to aid refugees and vulnerable people, including lifting the 1,000 person cap on G5 private refugee sponsorships this year.

Ontario can and must also step up and lead. In addition, I urge you to declare Ontario to be a sanctuary province. In recent years, cities like Toronto and Hamilton have shown tremendous leadership by making local services accessible to all residents, regardless of their immigration status. Now, our province must do the same. We must guarantee that services will always be accessible to everyone in Ontario.

Furthermore, as we stand in solidarity with Muslim Canadians and grieve for the victims of the terrorist attack in Québec City, we must redouble our efforts to fight hate and Islamophobia. We must take concrete actions to affirm that diversity and inclusiveness are our greatest strengths.

Ontario must take real action to show that our communities are always stronger and safer when we are welcoming, inclusive, and when no one lives in fear. I urge you to act without delay.


Andrea Horwath, Leader, Ontario’s New Democrats


Good morning everyone! Hello New Democrats! 

Bonjour à toutes et à tous ! 

And a belated Happy New Year to all of you!

I thought about starting with a Trump joke this morning but, you know, none of us are really in a laughing mood.

Instead, I’ll be joining the Women’s March at Queen’s Park in a few hours. Because now, more than ever, we have to stand together.

We have to stand up together and fight harder than ever for social justice, for the rights of women, and for the rights of the most marginalized and vulnerable people.

Statement by Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on Québec City mosque shooting

Ontario New Democratic Leader Andrea Horwath issued the following statement, in response to the deadly attack at the Centre culturel islamique de Québec:

“Like all Canadians, I was heartbroken to hear about the attack at the Centre culturel islamique de Québec, in Québec City.

“Today, we stand in solidarity and mourning with Muslim-Canadians, and all those grieving in Quebec. New Democrats condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms, and we extend our deepest sympathies to the friends and families of the victims.

“This is a country that has been profoundly enriched by diversity and difference. Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our communities, our history, and our future.

“New Democrats in Ontario, and across the country, have always worked to combat Islamophobia and intolerance.  Now, more than ever, we must confront injustice whenever we see it.”


Statement from Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on addressing the pressing needs of municipalities now

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath issued the following statement.

"The needs of Toronto, and municipalities across the province, have been ignored for too long by Premier Wynne and her Liberal government.  New Democrats are proud to support  citizens groups and municipal leaders who have called on the Province to contribute its fair share when it comes to funding transit and transportation,  affordable housing for vulnerable Ontarians, and affordable and accessible childcare for working families.

While municipalities will no doubt find good use for additional gas tax revenue, they cannot wait until 2021 for support.

If the Premier were truly committed to meeting the needs of Toronto and Ontario’s municipalities then she would  immediately restore 50% operating funding for municipal transit services, which amounts to more than $300 million dollars as opposed to the inadequate $170 million dollars the Liberals are offering Toronto. She would make real contributions to protect affordable municipal childcare spaces, which municipalities are being forced to close for lack of provincial support. She would immediately commit the Province to providing an equitable one third split, alongside the federal government and municipalities, for affordable housing, so that municipalities can make badly needed improvements to affordable housing stock.

Like people in Toronto and across the province, I am deeply disappointed that the Premier has decided to play games with the urgent need for transit funding. The timing of this announcement and the fact that the money she is promising won’t begin to flow until after the 2018 provincial election is politics at its worst. It is the duty of a provincial government  to respond to the pressing needs of cities and municipalities now not at the most politically convenient time.  The upcoming provincial budget must include 50% operating funding for municipal transit and real support for public housing and affordable childcare.

In the future I look forward to meeting with Mayor Tory and municipal leaders across the province to discuss ways in which the Province can and should be helping municipalities to meet their transit, transportation, childcare and affordable housing needs." 

Statement by Ontario NDP Advanced Education and Skills Development Critic Peggy Sattler

Ontario NDP Advanced Education and Skills Development Critic Peggy Sattler issued the following statement:

“New Democrats have long called on the Liberal government to put a hard cap on public sector CEO salaries and to make sure that our precious public dollars are used to enrich the learning experience of students instead of enriching executives.  

Unfortunately, today’s announcement by the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development has more to do with insulating the Liberal government against criticism than it does with prioritizing classroom needs and investing in post-secondary education for Ontarians.”

Joe Krmpotich secures NDP Sault Ste. Marie nomination

This evening in front of a room full of enthusiastic New Democrats, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath welcomed Sault Ste. Marie City Councillor Joe Krmpotich as the party’s nominee for the upcoming provincial byelection in the riding. 

“I am thrilled to have Joe carrying the NDP banner as we head into what will most certainly be a very competitive byelection,” said Horwath at the meeting.  “Joe’s dedication to his community, his eagerness to serve, and his willingness to listen to all points of view and engage with anyone working to make life better for the people of Sault Ste. Marie are just a few of the qualities that will make him an excellent representative for this community.”

Joe is committed to making government about people again – so it actually works for the residents of Sault Ste. Marie. He’s a champion of education, health care and seniors care - because he believes in opportunities and security for everyone.

“Too many Ontarians are struggling to make ends meet and it’s no different here in the Sault. Hydro costs just keep going up, wages are flat, and more and more people are finding themselves trapped in part time jobs that don’t pay enough and don’t have benefits,” said Krmpotich after securing the NDP nomination.  “Kathleen Wynne isn’t the Premier she promised to be, and Patrick Brown will only make things worse.  I know we can do better.  We have to do better if we are going to provide the next generation the opportunity to live, work, and raise a family here in Sault Ste. Marie.”

Joe Krmpotich was born, raised, and educated in Sault Ste. Marie. As a parent, City Councillor and former United Way Chair, Joe cares passionately about the Sault, and is committed to building a better future for his community.

Horwath, Singh honour Ontario’s South Asian media outlets

Sunday evening Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Deputy Leader Jagmeet Singh honoured Ontario’s South Asian media outlets with a reception and dinner event in Brampton.

“A thriving and independent press is one of the foundations of our democracy, and a vibrant ethnic press is crucial in a diverse province like ours,” said Horwath at the event.  “The importance of the work that South Asian media does in Ontario cannot be overstated.  You ensure that the work our elected representatives do is communicated back to communities that the English-language press doesn’t necessarily reach; and for that, we thank-you most sincerely.”

Community water needs must take permanent priority over corporate interests:

Ontario NDP Environment and Climate Change Critic Peter Tabuns issued the following statement: 

“New Democrats welcome the long-overdue acknowledgement that Ontario should not be giving away water to corporate bottlers for a pittance. However, nowhere in today’s announcement does the Liberal government commit to protecting the water needs of municipalities and First Nations communities by giving them permanent priority over commercial interests.

Public outcry over the management of Ontario’s water resources has finally forced the Liberal government to pay attention. Thorough consultation with Ontarians is an important first step but what is needed is a comprehensive water strategy for the entire province. ”

Government must act now on Grassy Narrows mercury contamination

NDP Environment and Climate Change Critic Peter Tabuns challenged the Liberal government to act on new information about ongoing mercury contamination affecting the English-Wabigoon River system. 

“Once again supporters, scientists, and the Grassy Narrows people have demonstrated that the mercury contamination of the English-Wabigoon River system is not just a shameful toxic legacy but an ongoing issue of mercury contamination of the Grassy Narrows and White Dog territories,” said Tabuns.

Soil samples taken last November in an area behind the Dryden paper mill - the historic site of the mercury release into the Wabigoon River more than forty years ago - show current mercury levels in the soil 80 times greater than what is considered safe. The contaminated soil was found by the conservation group Earthroots in an area suggested by a former mill worker as the likely site of a former mercury dumping ground, 100 kilometres upstream from Grassy Narrows. Previous studies have shown that fish in the Wabigoon have the highest levels of mercury in the province, while 90 percent of residents of Grassy Narrows and White Dog First Nations show the health effects of mercury exposure.         

“The Liberal government may not like the fact that the ongoing legacy of the mercury poisoning of Grassy Narrows has been their responsibility for over a dozen years now, but they can no longer afford to look away and must act now in the face of mounting and overwhelming evidence of an ongoing source of mercury contamination,” said Tabuns. “The fact that this isn’t happening in Toronto-Centre or Willowdale doesn’t make it any less urgent. No more excuses. The Premier and her government needs to clean up the Wabigoon River now so the fish are safe to eat again.”  

NDP: FAO report confirms more Liberal healthcare cuts are coming

Ontario NDP Finance Critic John Vanthof said the latest report by the independent Financial Accountability Office confirms that more Liberal cuts to healthcare are coming. 
“Healthcare in Ontario is at a tipping point. Hospitals and emergency rooms are overcrowded, people are waiting far too long for surgeries, and hospitals are being forced to treat people in hallways that were never designed for patient care,” said Vanthof, MPP for Timiskaming-Cochrane. “These are the results of deep cuts to healthcare, year after year, under this Liberal government.”
According to the FAO, for the Liberals to reach their health sector expense targets, they will have to cut $400 million from healthcare spending this year, $900 million next year, and $1.5 billion dollars in 2018-19.
“Ontarians deserve better. We have to stop the cuts to healthcare in Ontario,” said Vanthof. “We need to make sure hospital funding keeps up with inflation and population growth and the unique needs of communities, each and every year. We have to stop the layoffs of nurses and healthcare workers. And, most importantly, we need a government that actually works for the people of Ontario for a change – and protects the public healthcare that all of us count on.”
The FAO raises serious concerns about the long term sustainability of Ontario’s current standard of care. According to the report, beyond 2019, healthcare cost growth and spending pressure are expected to be more than double the funding growth allowed for in the Liberal plan.
“$2.8 billion in cuts to healthcare isn’t what Premier Wynne promised, and it isn’t what people voted for. Ontarians expected, and deserve something better,” said Vanthof. “New Democrats would make investments in the healthcare system that keep pace with inflation, and with Ontario’s growing population. Ontarians should be able to access the care they need, when they need it. We can make things better; we can give people hope for the future.”

Open Letter from Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath: Premier Wynne must support Toronto’s effort to establish supervised-injection sites

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath sent the following open letter calling on Premier Wynne to support the efforts of Mayor Tory and Toronto City Councillors to establish three life-saving supervised-injection sites. Horwath said that the Province must do its part to reduce the harm of a nationwide overdose crisis by providing immediate funding and letters of support for this vital program.

NDP: Ontarians struggling to find good jobs

NDP Economic Development and Employment Critic Catherine Fife says Ontario’s year-end job numbers confirm what too many Ontarians already know: it’s getting harder to find full-time, secure employment in Ontario.

“From December 2015 to December 2016, 74,000 of the 81,000 jobs created in Ontario were part time jobs,” said Fife. “Families in Ontario are struggling. Trying to piece together a decent income from precarious part-time work is only going to make things worse.”

Horwath visits family struggling to keep up with hydro bills

Today Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath sat down with Sault resident Charlene Lovelace to discuss how the skyrocketing cost of hydro is affecting her family.

“I have been travelling the province listening to people like Charlene for almost two years now.  Hydro bills are skyrocketing all over Ontario and the NDP  has been putting forward real solutions that will address the immediate needs of Ontarians who are finding it harder and harder to build a good life in our province,” said Horwath.  “As elected representatives, we have a responsibility to every single person in this province to work to make life easier, not harder.  Ontario can be a great place to live, but we need to make sure that the next generation has a future here.”