Andrea Horwath welcomes Peggy Nash to Ontario NDP team

Today, Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath announced that former Parkdale High Park Federal MP, Peggy Nash will be joining the Ontario NDP team at Queen’s Park in the role of Senior Policy Advisor, Stakeholder Relations.

“From the House of Commons to Toronto’s High Park, from her time in politics to her time as a leader in the labour movement, Peggy has been a tireless fighter for a vision of a progressive Canada that we all share, a place where no one is left behind,” said Horwath.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to have Peggy join us here at Queen’s Park; her years of experience, her wisdom, tenacity and strength will be a tremendous asset to our already strong team.”

“The Ontario NDP is leading the way on so many issues I care deeply about; the fight for high-quality health care, good jobs you can raise a family on and on stopping the short-sighted selloff of Hydro One. I’m glad to be a part of this team as they build towards electing an NDP government in 2018,” said Nash.

“I can’t wait to get to work at with Andrea at Queen’s Park and in communities across this province,” said Nash.

Peggy Nash was first elected to represent Parkdale-High Park in Parliament in 2006 and served as Finance and Industry Critic. She was a Canadian election observer in South Africa and in Ukraine.

She is a founding member of Equal Voice, a multi-partisan organization that advocates for the election of more women in Canada and also served on the board of Invest Toronto and has long championed affordable housing, urban transit and environmental issues alongside economic development.

NDP MPP Sarah Campbell secures clear timeline for Highway 17 twinning

After years of the Liberal government’s failure to move forward with the long-promised twinning of Highway 17 from the Manitoba border to Kenora, Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell’s motion, that sets clear goals and timelines for this project, passed with unanimous support of the Ontario legislature today.

The motion calls for the expansion and four-lane widening of Highway 17, from the Manitoba border to the City of Kenora by 2020, with the Minister of Transportation to provide updates every 6 months.

“Today we have taken an important step towards the long-standing promise of expanding and twinning Highway 17,” Campbell said.

NDP amendments to Bill 172 -- Liberal Climate Change Plan

The NDP submitted over 80 pages of amendments to make Bill 172 more fair, effective and transparent. 

The Liberal government voted down most of them. They did agree to the following key changes in response to NDP amendments all of these were weakened versions of the actual NDP amendments:

  • Apply a “low-income lens” when administering the cap-and-trade system and developing the climate change action plan
  • Require a report about the report to the Treasury Board assessing the likely impact of proposed climate change initiative
  • Improve transparency concerning the distribution of free allowances
  • Require the Minister to update the Legislature on the status of its climate change action plan every year, instead of every five years

NOTE: while Bill 172 requires the creation of a climate change action plan, it does not specify details such as those that have been recently disclosed by the Globe and Mail.

Statement by Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on Electoral Finance Reform

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath issued the following statement regarding electoral finance reform:

"We've been clear that it's time to get the influence of big money out of government and politics in Ontario.

However, we are disappointed that the Liberals have chosen to make something as important as changing the rules of our democracy a partisan issue rather than allowing it to move forward with a fast-moving, non-partisan panel led by an independent party like the Chief Electoral Officer with substantive input from the public, academia, labour, business and all major political parties.  

Liberals balancing the budget on the backs of children with autism: NDP

During Question Period today, Monique Taylor, the Ontario NDP’s Children and Youth Services critic, demanded the Liberal government listen to its own expert advisors, and stop trying to save money on the backs of children with autism.

“You can’t claim to be making decisions based on science if you’re ignoring the experts behind the science.   This is about vulnerable children that deserve access to promised life-changing therapy.  It’s time to put them first,” Taylor said.   “This Liberal government needs to stop thinking they know more than clinicians, and listen to experts who are sounding the alarm.”

Liberal cuts won’t fix hospital overcrowding: NDP

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has released new information showing evidence of overcrowding in many Ontario hospitals. Documents obtained by New Democrats through Freedom of Information show acute care beds in hard-hit regional hospitals as well as large urban hospitals are over 100 percent capacity in hospitals across the province – and reveal that the Liberal government has no standards or best-practices for managing hospital occupancy. 

“When Ontarians need health care, it should be there for them. But today, at the same time as many Ontario hospitals are filled to capacity, the Liberals keep cutting hospital services, laying off health care workers, and closing beds,” said Horwath. “It’s clear that health care is the silent crisis of the Wynne government. The Liberals refuse to even admit that hospital overcrowding is a problem in Ontario.”

Wynne Liberals shouldn’t force Torontonians to pay for its Presto transit mistakes: NDP

During Question Period today, NDP transportation critic, Wayne Gates, demanded the Liberal government assure Torontonians that it won’t force them to pay for its transit mistakes, following reports that Metrolinx has asked Ottawa’s OC Transpo to pay 10 per cent of its fare revenue for the use of Presto, five times more than what it currently pays. 

“Negotiations with Metrolinx are always one-sided. Metrolinx and the government can force transit agencies to take whatever deal they want,” Gates said.  “Metrolinx currently charges the TTC five per cent of fare revenue for Presto.  When that agreement runs out, will Metrolinx also demand 10 per cent of the TTC’s fare revenue?” 

Gates said that in 2010, Premier Wynne, who was then the Minister of Transportation, told the TTC to stop shopping around for a better smart card, and stick with Presto. 

“She said the TTC had better take Presto, or else she would cancel funding for Transit City.  She eventually killed Transit City anyway, but only after the TTC had bent to her will and agreed to take Presto,” Gates said.  “This was in spite of problems, cost over-runs and a warning by the Auditor General who said, ‘By the time it is fully developed, Presto will be among the more expensive fare-card systems in the world.’”

Liberal government continues to ignore plight of thousands of vulnerable airport workers

NDP Deputy Leader Jagmeet Singh called on the Liberal government to address the plight of thousands of vulnerable workers in precarious jobs at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

“Airport workers screen passengers for safety, they handle our bags and they refuel our planes. Their work brings in billions of dollars in revenue into the GTA every year, yet employees struggle to make ends meet,” said Singh, MPP for Bramlea-Gore-Malton. 

Toronto Pearson International Airport is the largest transportation hub in Canada and one of the Canada’s largest workplaces with over 4,000 employees, who handle more than 41 million passengers.

While the federal government has responsibility for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, federal labour code only applies to direct employees of the authority – a relatively small group.

“While most believe that employees all work directly for the airport, they actually don’t. In fact, it’s a complicated system of contractors and subcontractors that run the airport. This means that for thousands of employees there is no job security, no sick days, no guarantees in scheduling and, what’s worse, a wage that’s very difficult to live on,” said Singh. 

Premier chooses Liberal Party over public trust in Ontario’s energy sector

Today, the Liberal government voted against an NDP opposition day motion calling for the establishment of a Public Inquiry on the awarding and management of public contracts in the energy industry. Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath tabled the motion for a ‘Charbonneau Commission’-style inquiry in response to widespread concerns that the government is setting energy policy according to what benefits the Liberal Party of Ontario rather than what is best for the families, businesses and industries in the province.

“People deserve to know their government isn’t corrupt, but when they’re facing five police investigations, people start to worry,” said Horwath. “The government should be asking how they can ensure Ontarians have affordable, clean, reliable electricity. Instead they’re asking what the energy system can do for the Ontario Liberal Party.”

Citing the $1.1 billion cancellation of the gas plants in Mississauga and Oakville, the cancelling offshore wind contracts, the sell-off of Hydro One and ‘cash for access’ fundraising, Horwath laid out a pattern of costly, politically-motivated decisions in the energy sector that have eroded the public’s trust in the Premier and her government.

“The Premier said that she would clean things up, but four years later nothing has changed,” said Horwath. “A public inquiry would have cleared the air. Instead she once again chose the Liberal Party over the families and businesses of Ontario.”

Even in the face of legal action, Liberal government remains oblivious to Hamilton stadium construction shortfalls: NDP

Ontario NDP Tourism, Culture and Sport critic, Paul Miller, demanded accountability from Premier Wynne for the fiasco around the construction of Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton.

“Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton was turned over to the city unfinished and nearly a year late last May. The construction of this stadium under the watch of the government’s Infrastructure Ontario turned into, unfortunately, a fiasco,” said Miller, MPP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek. “Completion and handover was rushed in order to ensure the stadium be used for the Pan Am Games.”

Now, another year has passed and the stadium is still not complete. 

Recently, both the City of Hamilton and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats filed notices of action in the superior court claiming tens of millions of dollars in damages. Both notices include Infrastructure Ontario, which is tasked by the Liberal government to arrange all privatization contracts. 

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@ 06:00 PM
Reception with Andrea
Location: Museum of Nature (Rotunda) in Ottawa, ON, Canada



A Reception with Andrea Horwath at the Museum of Nature

Wednesday June 15th, 2016