Objective:To assist the London West MPP with her political and legislative duties.

LEGISLATIVE ASSISTANT (FULL TIME) Michael Mantha MPP Algoma-Manitoulin

Objective:To assist Algoma-Manitoulin MPP with his political and legislative duties.

Statement from Ontario NDP Finance Critic Catherine Fife regarding FAO Annual Report

“This isn’t the first time the FAO has called out the government for keeping facts from his office. Ontario’s independent watchdogs are there to give people the facts and cut through government spin. Kathleen Wynne is refusing to give the Financial Accountability Officer the information he needs to do his job because she’s more interested in protecting the Liberal party and her own reputation, than she is in independent, non-partisan oversight. 

The Liberal government has tried to undermine the Auditor General, they’ve fought with the Ombudsman, and they are refusing to give the FAO the information he needs to do his job.  That’s a pattern. This government has a problem with oversight and with non-partisan watchdogs.

A Premier that’s so focused on keeping secrets clearly isn’t interested in what’s best for Ontario families. This spring, I introduced legislation to ensure the FAO has the information and data they need to do their job. The Financial Accountability Office would have the same right to information as the Auditor General. People deserve so much better than Kathleen Wynne’s political opportunism. Ontarians deserve honesty, and they deserve a government that shares that priority.”

Joint statement from Ontario NDP Immigration Critic Teresa Armstrong and Community Safety and Corrections Critic Jennifer French regarding federal immigration detainees

 Ontario NDP Immigration Critic Teresa Armstrong, and Community Safety and Corrections Critic Jennifer French issued the following joint statement.

New Democrats support calls on Premier Wynne and her government to request that federal Minister of Public  Safety Ralph Goodale meet personally with the federal immigration detainees currently on hunger strike in provincial jails.    

The Ontario government should not be in the business of immigration detention. Our provincial correctional facilities are already overcrowded and stretched thin. The Province should not be warehousing individuals who the federal government cannot identify or process through the federal immigration system.

We demand that Minister Orazietti act now to do the right thing and ensure that his federal counterpart meet with the detainees in order to avoid a tragedy. 

New Democrats stand with health professionals, civil organizations, and the United Nations who are calling on the federal government to limit immigration detention, to the extent that federal immigration detention continues, to 90 days in keeping with the international standard. 

Going on hunger strike speaks to how desperate these detainees feel. The responsibility for their health falls to the Wynne government. There’s no time to wait. Minister Orazietti and Premier Wynne need to act now, before there’s another death in detention.”

Statement by Ontario NDP Energy, Environment and Climate Change Critic on nuclear safety whistleblower warnings.

Peter Tabuns, Ontario NDP Energy, Environment and Climate Change Critic, issued the following statement regarding nuclear safety whistleblower warnings.

“I am calling on the Premier to call independent review of allegations made by nuclear safety whistleblowers today. This review should be completed by experts with no connection to Ontario’s nuclear industry. 

As of today, the whistleblowers say ‘neither OPG nor the Commission can make an informed decision about the safety of the plant during a refurbishment. Until an independent review is completed, and every step has been taken to ensure the safety of all Ontario’s nuclear reactors, we need to press pause on any work on the Darlington refurbishment.’

Ontarians count on the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to ensure nuclear reactors are being operated as safely as possible, but whistleblowers are calling into question whether the commission was forthcoming about risks to the safe operation of the Darlington and Brucereactors.

The letter also says the safety commission cannot evaluate whether Ontario’s Emergency Response Plan is adequate. 

These are major concerns which cannot be ignored. When it comes to Ontario’s nuclear reactors, we can never be too careful. The Premier needs to do what’s right, and call an independent review today.”

Statement by Ontario NDP Finance Critic Catherine Fife on provincial debt comments by Ontario’s FAO

Ontario NDP Finance Critic Catherine Fife issued a statement regarding  comments on the provincial debt made by Ontario’s Financial Accountability Officer.

“The reason the Province’s net debt is increasing is because Kathleen Wynne’s choices are more about politics than about what’s best for Ontarians. The FAO has reported that Kathleen Wynne’s decision to sell Hydro One doesn’t pay for infrastructure, but will actually increase the debt. Instead of asking profitable businesses to pay their fair share, the Liberals have cut Ontario’s corporate tax rate so it’s lower than Alabama’s. It isn’t just that these decisions mean more debt; they have real impacts on people like longer waits in crowded ERs.  Schools and hospitals that need critical repairsare being left to crumble.

Ontarians deserve so much better than Kathleen Wynne’s  short-term, politically-motivated decision-making. They deserve a government with the right priorities, that plans for the future, and is focused on prosperity for all Ontarians.”

Joint Statement by Ontario NDP MPPs Peter Tabuns, France Gélinas, and Sarah Campbell on Grassy Narrows

Joint Statement by Ontario NDP Environment Critic Peter Tabuns, Indigenous Affairs Critic France Gélinas, and MPP for Kenora-Rainy River Sarah Campbell

“In light of the latest revelations that the federal government has been holding on to thirty year-old data that shows the devastating impact of mercury exposure in the development of children of Grassy Narrows, New Democrats call on the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to release all health data the government possesses to the people of Grassy Narrows, which they have a right to access.

Serious questions remain about the Ontario government’s claims to transparency and accountability: Was the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care aware of Health Canada reports showing elevated mercury levels in the umbilical cords of babies in Grassy Narrows? If so, then why was this information kept secret? If the Minister was unaware of these studies then how can the Ontario government legitimately claim that it has been monitoring the impact of mercury contamination on the people of Grassy Narrows?

Given the provincial government’s responsibility to the people of Grassy Narrows it’s hard to fathom that the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care did not have prior access to this recently released Health Canada information.

Instead of waiting for the next story to detail the unacceptable neglect of the health and well-being of the people of Grassy Narrows, New Democrats call on the Wynne government to fully release all of the information they have about the environmental and health impacts from the mercury contamination of the English-Wabigoon River system, and to act immediately to clean up the mess.”

Statement by Ontario NDP Finance Critic Catherine Fife responding to Q1 2016 Economic Accounts

Catherine Fife, Ontario NDP Finance Critic, issued the following statement:

“The Liberal economic plan is out of touch with the realities that too many Ontarians face.

It does nothing to address the silent crisis in our province’s health care system. Their promise is to balance the books by overcrowding our hospitals, firing thousands of healthcare workers, and creating a $3 billion backlog in critical repairs to hospitals. 

The government’s claims of prosperity will do little to comfort the hardworking families who continue to wait to find good, stable jobs across Ontario.

And the story behind their numbers shows that under this Liberal Premier, the number of people working in temporary jobs, without benefits or even sick days, has increased more than twelve times faster than people with stable, permanent jobs. Families are being forced to do more with less and are falling further behind. Precarious employment disproportionately affects women and members of marginalized communities.

Rather than helping to fix these problems by raising the minimum wage to $15/hr and investing in healthcare, education, and job training, Ontarians continue to see more cuts, fewer services, and higher costs for everyday necessities like paying the bills for hydro or car insurance.  

In fact, today’s announcement comes at the same time that some Ontarians learned their auto insurance rates have gone up by much as 3.7%  instead of going down by 15% as the government promised back in 2013.

People deserve so much better than broken promises and ‘stretch goals.’ They deserve a government that will provide real opportunity for every Ontarian.”

Joint Statement by Ontario NDP Environment Critic Peter Tabuns, Indigenous Affairs Critic France Gélinas, and MPP for Kenora-Rainy River Sarah Campbell

Queen’s Park – Ontario NDP MPPs Tabuns, Gélinas and Campbell issued the following statement calling on the government to stop making excuses when it comes to the clean-up of mercury contamination in Grassy Narrows.

“The ‎people of Grassy Narrows have needlessly suffered from mercury poisoning for over 40 years because of contamination in the English-Wabigoon River system. If the Liberal government put as much effort into remediation as they continue to put into making up excuses then the mess would already be cleaned up.  The Premier must listen to scientific opinion, and the voices of Grassy Narrows, and act now to fully clean up the mercury in the English-Wabigoon River system and Clay Lake.”


Statement from Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on the National Council of Canadian Muslims’ Charter for Inclusive Communities

On behalf of Ontario’s New Democrats, I would like to extend my full support for the National Council of Canadian Muslims’ Charter for Inclusive Communities. We strongly believe that Ontario is at its best when we’re all included, and nobody is left behind.
As elected officials, we have the tools before us to make a difference in the lives of so many Ontarians, but it’s time we have the collective will to use them. That means making choices, and showing leadership for all Ontarians. We must take positive steps to challenge inequality, which is why Ontario’s New Democrats proudly stand with the commitments outlined in the Charter and why we fought hard for the creation of the Ontario Anti-Racism Secretariat. We need a government body that is dedicated to work with others to develop policies, programs, and initiatives that aim to eliminate racism in Ontario.

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