Today Peter Tabuns, NDP MPP for Toronto-Danforth, and the Ontario NDP’s environment critic, presented his private member’s bill for climate action in the province.
'The Wynne government’s climate plans aren't ambitious enough or transparent enough,' said Tabuns.
Today Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath sat down with Sarnia residents Shaun and May Evans to discuss how their skyrocketing hydro bills are affecting their family.
“The NDP has been listening to people like Shaun and May and have been putting forward 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. “We have a responsibility to the people of this province to make sure that we, as their representatives, are doing everything we can to make life easier, not harder.”
Today at Queen’s Park Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath launched a new website aimed at empowering young people to tell their stories of how student debt is affecting their lives.
Horwath was joined by young people from across Ontario for the launch where she reiterated the NDP’s promise to immediately remove the interest from Ontario student loans if the party forms government in 2018.
Today during Question Period, Deputy Leader of the Ontario NDP Jagmeet Singh called on the Premier to remove her Minster of Energy from cabinet in light of the shocking allegations of bribery involving him.
“The people of Ontario deserve a government of integrity. They deserve a Premier that puts integrity ahead of protecting her friends, party insiders and cabinet ministers,” said Singh. “Why has the Premier not yet received the resignation of her Minister of Energy from Cabinet?”
November 2, 2016
Mr. Greg Essensa, Chief Electoral Officer
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
To mark the beginning of Nursing Week, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath called on the Wynne government to impose a moratorium on any further nursing cuts in Ontario’s hospitals.
“This morning, on the first day of Nursing Week, I’m here with one message for Premier Wynne: Enough is enough,” said Horwath. “The Liberals are forcing our hospitals to make decisions based on dollars and deficits, rather than what’s best for patients. The Premier’s deep cuts to nursing care in Ontario’s hospitals must stop – Now.”
Today Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, and NDP Critic for Children and Youth Services, Monique Taylor, spoke to hundreds of families who came to Queen’s Park to rally against cuts to autism therapy in Ontario. Parents and children fighting for therapy were joined by Ontario school boards, educators, and labour.
“The Liberals are cutting thousands of children off the waitlist for autism services. Autism doesn’t end at 5, but under the Liberal plan, IBI therapy will,” said Horwath. “Parents, educators, school boards, workers, the Provincial Advocate, and autism experts all say the same thing: children with autism need and deserve access to these therapies. The Premier admitted she was wrong to nearly double drug costs for seniors. She admitted she was wrong to close provincial and demonstration schools. It’s time to admit cutting children off from these therapies is wrong, and ensure these children get the therapies they need.”
In honour of Tamil Genocide Remembrance Month , Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath announced that she will be hosting a commemorative event at Queen’s Park next week, while Deputy Leader Jagmeet Singh also delivered a statement to commemorate Tamil Genocide Remembrance Month in the Ontario Legislature.
“The Ontario NDP stands together with Tamil Canadians in remembering the thousands of loved ones, families and friends that were killed during the genocide in Sri Lanka. New Democrats stand in solidarity with the Tamil community in their struggle for justice for the innocent children, women and men who were victims of the Tamil genocide. We support the Tamil community on their path towards healing and reconciliation,” Horwath said.
Ontario NDP MPP Catherine Fife called on Premier Wynne to ask her minister to resign following his comments in the legislature yesterday comparing the leader of Ontario’s New Democrats to an animal.
“I thought the Liberal caucus had a code of contact. Surely it doesn’t say that comparing women to dogs is okay?” said Fife, MPP for Kitchener-Waterloo. “Premier, it’s never okay. It’s 2016. When is enough is enough?”
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says it’s time for the Liberal government to stop cutting hospital care and ensure that Ontario families can count on their health care system to be there when they need it. Horwath says hospital funding should be stable, predictable and, at a minimum, must keep pace with inflation and population growth.
“The last thing people should have to worry about is their family’s health care. Ontarians deserve health care they can count on, and that’s what the NDP is determined to deliver,” said Horwath. “Instead of stability, people are watching as hundreds of nurses are fired, hospital beds are closed, and services are being cut across Ontario because this Liberal government is forcing hospitals to make decisions based on dollars and deficits, instead of what’s best for patients.”
During Question Period today, NDP health critic, France Gélinas called on Premier Wynne to stop continued cuts to health care in Northern Ontario where hospitals are being forced to cut patient care, while families face a health care crisis.
“Northern Ontario has been hit hard,” Gélinas said. “Frontline workers have been laid off and beds closed across the entire north. In Sault Ste Marie, Timmins, North Bay, Atikokan, Temiskaming Shores. The list goes on. At the North Bay hospital, more than 300 frontline workers have been cut over the past four years. But this government doesn’t seem to care about cuts to patient care.”
Today, following media reports of yet another OPP investigation into the Liberal Government’s dealings in the energy sector, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath released the following statement:
“From the Gas Plants scandal, to the selloff of Hydro One, to Greenfield fundraising, to today’s new allegations about more deleted documents, the Liberal scandals in our energy sector seem never ending. It’s time for a Public Inquiry on the Awarding and Management of Public Contracts in the Energy Industry in this Province. The government needs to be held accountable and Ontarians deserve answers,” said Horwath.
NDP MPP Catherine Fife called on Premier Wynne to both admit she failed vulnerable citizens and front-line workers across the province, and demand the resignation of her Minister for Community and Social Services, Helena Jaczek, following the Liberal government’s disastrous rollout of the Social Assistance Management System (SAMS).
“Over the last few days we’ve learned that the people of Ontario will once again be forced to pay for this government’s incompetence when it comes to the SAMS file,” said Fife, MPP for Kitchener-Waterloo. “The disastrous implementation of SAMS hurt some of the most vulnerable people in this province.”
Today during Question Period, Monique Taylor, the Ontario NDP’s critic for Children and Youth Services, demanded Premier Wynne keep her word to change the child welfare system, and take immediate action on the Katelynn Sampson inquest’s core recommendation, “Katelynn’s principle.'
“On Friday, the inquest into Katelynn Sampson’s death led to 173 recommendations. The most important was to overhaul the child welfare, judicial and education systems to hear and value children’s voices and wishes,” said Taylor, MPP for Hamilton Mountain.
Following endless promises to make government more transparent, the Wynne government’s release of a heavily-redacted SIU report on the shooting death of Andrew Loku not only does a disservice to the family of Mr. Loku, but to public trust in the administration of justice and our justice system, said Jagmeet Singh, Ontario NDP Attorney General critic and Deputy Leader.
“First, the Attorney General took 30 days to read a report that only she could read. Then, while the Premier made some promising remarks about perhaps releasing this report, the Attorney General said ‘no’ four times in response to media questions about the release of this report,” said Singh. “Now, finally, when the government releases the report, they release it late on a Friday. They release only ten out of 34 pages — and one of those ten pages is blank. The pages that are released are heavily-redacted.”
In the wake of revelations that the government is looking at increased TTC fares for non-downtown residents, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath called on the Liberal government to protect fair and equal access to transit. Today, the Liberal government refused to rule out TTC fare increases for Scarborough, North York, Etobicoke and other non-downtown residents, or other unfair transit fares.
“If the Liberals go ahead with this plan, people in Scarborough might get a subway only to find out they can only afford the bus,” said Horwath. “Throughout its history, TTC fares in Toronto have been based on the simple principle that every Torontonian deserves equal access to their transit system, regardless of their income and regardless of where they live. I’m calling on the Liberal government to promise that people won’t be punished with higher fares, just because they can’t afford to live downtown.”
Today during Question Period, Gilles Bisson, MPP for Timmins-James Bay, demanded the Wynne government listen to Northern municipalities and their call for the provincial government to rein in fluctuating gasoline prices in Ontario.
“About a week ago, there was a 26-cent-per-litre difference on the price of gas from southern to northern Ontario. Within northern Ontario, there was a 10-cent-per-litre difference between Kirkland Lake and Timmins,” Bisson said.
Today, Ontario NDP health critic, France Gélinas, issued the following statement in response to the Liberal government’s announcement regarding the final report of the Scarborough/West Durham Panel:
“Families in Scarborough know that today’s announcement by the Wynne government does not change the fact that the Liberals are cutting hospital care across Ontario and forcing patients to pay the price.
I’m honoured to stand in this House today and speak on behalf of the Ontario NDP caucus, as New Democrats join with workers across Ontario to mark the National Day of Mourning.
Today, we stand with friends and families to remember those who have been injured, maimed or killed on the job.
Ontarians are using less electricity, but for the eighth year in a row, people will see the cost of hydro increase by more than nine percent. Today, Ontario NDP Energy Critic Peter Tabuns, MPP Toronto-Danforth, called on the Liberal government to get hydro costs under control, and start putting the needs of people and Ontario businesses ahead of private power companies.
“When Ontarians use less energy, the should pay less. People are doing their part; it’s time for the Liberals to do their part,” said Tabuns. “The Liberals are putting the interests of private power donors ahead of families and businesses. Instead of getting results for families and small businesses, the Minister is signing more high-cost private power contracts that help Liberal donors.
Ontario NDP Attorney General critic and Deputy Leader, Jagmeet Singh, called on Premier Wynne to commit to publicly releasing the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) report on the investigation into the shooting death of Andrew Loku by police.
“For the sake of public confidence in Ontario’s oversight of police, it is essential to have details on how the SIU conducted this investigation, how it handled evidence and other background information,” explained Singh, MPP for Bramalea-Gore-Malton.
Today during Question Period, Ontario NDP Children and Youth Services Critic, Monique Taylor, demanded to know why the Wynne government is taking away essential treatment for children with autism, after a warning from experts today who said that would violate the code of ethics of board certified behavioural analysts (BCBA).
“Today, a group of experts released a letter outlining concerns with the government’s recent decision to remove children from intensive therapy. It states, ‘abandonment of our clients is in serious violation of the BCBA code of ethics,’” Taylor said.
Today, Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal Government voted down a motion, put forward by NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, that would have established a fast-moving, non-partisan panel of experts, academics, business leaders, labour and Ontarians to help write the rules that govern political party financing in this province.
“Ontarians deserve to know that their voice matters. That’s why New Democrats believe we need to get the influence of big money out of government and politics in Ontario,” said Horwath. “We believe it shouldn’t be up to one political party, or any single political leader, to make the rules for 14 million Ontarians. By voting down our motion today, Kathleen Wynne and her Liberal Government dug in their heels and showed that they’re determined to take a partisan approach to writing election rules.”
Ontario NDP Women’s Issues critic, Peggy Sattler, called on the Liberal government to take concrete actions to close the gender pay gap in Ontario.
“Women in Ontario have waited too long for the Premier to make the changes that are necessary to close the gap,” said Sattler, MPP for London West. “The Premier has ignored the actions that can be taken right now, like child care funding and enforcing labour laws.”
During Question Period today, Monique Taylor, the Ontario NDP’s critic for children and youth services, challenged the Liberal government to provide the information it is using to justify kicking children with ASD, 5 years and older, off of lists for essential therapy.
“When it comes to our most vulnerable kids, you would think government members would at least understand the devastating impact of their decisions. The Minister claims that, in the name of science, she had to remove children five and over from the list. That’s simply not true,” Taylor said.
In the legislature this morning, NDP Urban Transit critic, Cheri DiNovo, demanded the Liberal government explain why it ignored, then tried to bury, seven studies that showed the government’s flawed model for the Union Pearson Express would actually lose money.
“In 2010, the Premier, who was then the Minister of Transportation, ordered Metrolinx to take over the Union Pearson Express under the same flawed business model that had just been rejected as a money loser by the private sector,” said DiNovo, MPP for Parkdale - High Park. “Instead of building affordable public transit in this corridor, the Premier ordered Metrolinx to build a luxury airport express service.'
Today during Question Period, Ontario NDP MPP Michael Mantha (Algoma-Manitoulin), pressed the Liberal government to reverse its decision to cut a successful employment training program for aboriginal children and youth on Manitoulin Island.
The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities has replaced the “Jobs for Youth Program” with the “Youth Jobs Connection Program.” Over the past seven years Waubetek Business Development Corp has successfully been delivering the Jobs for Youth program in the region.
Today during Question Period, Gilles Bisson, MPP for Timmins-James Bay, demanded the Wynne government meet the health needs of First Nations communities like Attawapiskat, by supporting First Nations-led health care delivery.
“The real issue here is that we do not have the type of services that we need in First Nations communities that is permanent and organized in a way that is consistent with the values of First Nations people, and able to make sure that those systems meet the needs of community,” Bisson said.
Today during Question Period, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Lisa Gretzky, the Ontario NDP’s education critic, demanded a commitment from Premier Wynne and the Education Minister to keep provincial and demonstration schools open for the long-term.
“For months, families and students with exceptional needs have pleaded with this government to keep their schools open. They've organized, gathered thousands of signatures and rallied from Belleville to London. Today, hundreds join us here at Queen's park, united for one reason, the future of our provincial and demonstration schools,” Horwath said.
France Gélinas, the Ontario NDP’s health critic, demanded Premier Wynne answer for the Liberal government’s continued cuts to hospital care, following the release of an Ontario Health Coalition report that shows the province’s hospitals are facing a deepening crisis.
“Under this Premier’s watch, the crisis of cuts inside our hospitals is only getting worse. Hundreds of nurses and frontline health care workers laid-off. Beds closed. And rural communities forced to fight just to keep the doors open and the lights on in their local hospitals,” Gélinas said.
Today in the legislature, NDP Education critic, Lisa Gretzky, asked the Minister of Education why, in 2016, the Liberal government still does not have a child care policy.
“As we know, the 2016 budget again squandered the Liberal government’s chance to be a leader on child care. Worst of all, its new child care regulations put our youngest children with much older children and fewer staff,” said Gretzky, MPP for Windsor West. “Apparently, this government believes that a 12-month-old child is a toddler. The Premier and her government are failing families in Ontario.”
Thank-you very much. Bonjour à toutes et à tous.
It’s great to be back at the Progress Summit!
Monique Taylor, MPP for Hamilton Mountain, and the NDP’s Children and Youth Services critic, was joined today by members of the medical community, and families that have been devastated by the government’s recent announcement of changes to autism services in the province.
“Parents are devastated by the government’s decision to take away essential therapy for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who are over the age of 5. The Liberal government is claiming to reduce the waitlist – but what they are really doing is kicking vulnerable kids off of the waiting list – that’s shameful,” said Taylor. “Kids with ASD should not be forced to pay the price for this government’s failure.”
Today in the legislature, NDP House Leader Gilles Bisson asked the Premier to make an ongoing and long-term commitment to address the crisis in Attawapiskat. Bisson called for a sustained response that doesn’t end when the community is no longer in the media spotlight.
“This is not the first time we’ve seen a rash of suicides on the James Bay. In fact, about five years ago, we had a similar situation going on and myself and others from James Bay, along with then-Grand Chief Stan Louttit, went to your government and asked for money for Payukotayno health services in order to put in place the staff necessary and your government did it; I’ll give you some credit. But two years later, you took that money away,” said Bisson, MPP for Timmins—James Bay.
“I entered today’s meeting feeling hopeful that the leaders would come together to agree on a transparent process on how we move forward on the important issue of how political parties are funded and elections are conducted.
I, however, left disappointed as it became clear in the meeting that only two leaders, myself and Mr. Brown, arrived ready to discuss a process that would give Ontarians the confidence they deserve that the deck isn’t stacked in the Premier’s favour.
Ontario’s New Democrats believe that the democratic process must be free of the influence or the perception of influence of big money. Sadly, today many Ontarians do not believe this to be the case. Changes in how we finance our political process are clearly long overdue. Those changes start with banning corporate and union donations, a change fully supported by the Ontario NDP.
In order to be successful in setting those rules Ontario needs a process that is beyond reproach, and recognizes the valuable role civil society plays in our democratic process.
During Question Period today, Teresa Armstrong, NDP MPP London-Fanshawe, called on the Premier to answer for Liberal government cuts to health care that have forced hospitals in London to cut patient care, lay off front-line staff and shut down even more beds.
“In the past two weeks, we’ve learned that St. Joseph’s and London Health Sciences are both cutting the equivalent of 60 full-time positions,” said Armstrong. “Budgets for supplies are being cut and 12 crucial transitional care beds will be shut down this October.”
NDP Finance Critic Catherine Fife (MPP Kitchener-Waterloo) responded to new jobs numbers released today by Statistics Canada. Fife noted a loss in manufacturing jobs as well as consistently high youth unemployment rates.
“More and more Ontarians are feeling that opportunity just isn’t open to them. They’re finding it tougher to find good work and more and more people feel like they’re being stretched thin. And the Liberal government is doing nothing to help,” said Fife. “Ontarians want to be able to know they can find a job, and when they find that job it will pay the bills. That’s why I’m proud that last week, New Democrats announced we will support a $15 an hour minimum wage in Ontario.”
NDP MPP Percy Hatfield’s bill requiring flags to be lowered on all Ontario government and public sector buildings on Workers Day of Mourning unanimously passed Second Reading in the Ontario legislature today with a standing ovation.
“With this bill we intend to increase the public’s awareness of the Workers Day of Mourning. We intend to promote workplace safety, and we want to see more respect paid to injured workers,” Hatfield said.
During Question Period today, Sarah Campbell, MPP for Kenora-Rainy River, called on Premier Wynne to prevent deadly fires in First Nations communities, and support a coroner’s inquest into the deadly house fire in Pikangikum.
“People living on reserves in Canada are ten times more likely to die in a house fire than in the rest of Canada. The community of Pikangikum knows this reality better than most, after last week’s deadly fire that wiped out nine lives, three generations, living under one roof,” Campbell said.
During Question Period today, the NDP’s Children and Youth Services Critic, Monique Taylor, demanded the Wynne government listen to Ontario parents and stop forcing kids with autism to pay for its mistakes.
“More than 10,000 parents have signed an online petition pleading with the Minister to reverse her decision to take essential therapy away from kids ages 5 years and over,” Taylor said. “This Minister is actually telling parents her only option to deal with the wait list is to “start fresh”. Really? The only way the government can deal with the mess it created is by forcing kids 5 and over to pay the price, twice? The Minister should be embarrassed. Parents and medical professionals are not buying it.”
Today, Ontario NDP Transportation Critic, Wayne Gates, called on the Minister of Transportation to explain why the Liberal government is paying more money to private winter road maintenance contractors that owe millions in fines to the province.
“The contractors owe the public millions in penalties for poor performance. Instead of forcing them to honour the agreements, these contractors get more money,” said Gates, MPP for Niagara Falls.
Today in the legislature, Parkdale-High Park NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo called on the Premier to support Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath’s call to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for all Ontarians.
“In Ontario, over 750,000 workers are taking home a minimum wage that is simply too low to help anyone get ahead,” said DiNovo. “It is the responsibility of government to lift people up, to make life better and to make sure that people no longer have to work multiple jobs simply to make ends meet.”