Ontario NDP MPPS: on transportation, Wynne has history of big promises, little follow through

Today southwestern Ontario NDP MPPs Teresa Armstrong (London-Fanshawe), Peggy Sattler (London West), Lisa Gretzky (Windsor West), Percy Hatfield (Windsor-Tecumseh), Taras Natyshak (Essex), Catherine Fife (Kitchener-Waterloo) and Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls, ONDP Transportation Critic) issued the following joint statement on the Liberal high speed rail announcement: 

Premier Wynne may make promises when it comes to our transportation infrastructure, but is always light on action. Although today's announcement was actually a re-announcement, it could be a step in the right direction and we have high hopes for this environmental assessment, but people in our communities are wondering today whether this is just another hollow election promise. 

Despite repeated promises to implement all-day, two-way GO train service to both Niagara and Kitchener-Waterloo, the people of these communities have seen no action.

Southwestern Ontario families and businesses have been hit with Wynne's skyrocketing hydro bills, while she's doing nothing to help people in our communities deal with the loss of so many manufacturing jobs. Our communities are concerned that this is another case of the premier looking for votes for herself while ignoring the needs of the rest of us. 

Horwath, Krmpotich urge Sault residents to have their say on Wynne hydro scheme

NDP critical of Conservatives support for hydro privatization

Today Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and NDP byelection candidate Joe Krmpotich urged the people of Sault Ste. Marie to have their voices heard on the Wynne Liberals' hydro borrowing scheme, which Ontario now knows will cause hydro bills to soar. 

Premier Kathleen Wynne is poised to use her majority to force her bill through the legislature in just a week, allowing only very limited time for Ontarians to push back. 

NDP bill to protect vulnerable adults in unregulated supportive living homes passes second reading

Today, a bill from Welland MPP Cindy Forster designed to protect vulnerable adults and seniors in Supportive Living Accommodations (SLAs) passed a critical vote in the legislature. 

Forster’s bill, the Protecting Vulnerable Persons in Supportive Living Accommodation Act, would put in place licensing rules for privately operated SLAs, as well as increased protections to prevent mistreatment of vulnerable high-risk adults and seniors living in this type of housing. Included among the safeguards proposed in Forster's bill is a provision that would require housing providers to be provincially licensed in order to collect ODSP cheques and other types of support payments on a resident’s behalf.

NDP demands Wynne act now and provide Toronto needed funds to stop opioid crisis

During question period on Thursday, the NDP’s health critic, France Gélinas, demanded that Premier Kathleen Wynne give Toronto the funds needed to save lives and stop the growing opioid crisis. Wynne is holding back money the Toronto Board of Health needs. 

“Ontario is in the midst of an opioid crisis that demands urgent action,” said Gélinas. “People are losing their lives, every day, on the streets of this city.”


Wynne must respect right to correct sex designation on birth certificates: MPP DiNovo

During question period on Thursday, Cheri DiNovo, the NDP’s LGBTQ issues critic, demanded that the Wynne government abide by the Ontario Human Rights code and allow Ontarians the right to correct their sex designation on their birth certificate.

“Joshua M. Ferguson is a queer non-binary person who has applied to change their sex designation on their birth certificate,” said DiNovo, MPP for Parkdale-High Park.

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.