CORNWALL – Today, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath was in Cornwall to address the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. She expressed her concerns regarding the privatization of Hydro One and cuts in the 2015 Liberal budget, and the negative long-term impacts of the budget on Ontario’s economy and jobs.
“New Democrats share the Chamber’s concerns that high hydro rates are making Ontario less competitive with our neighbours,” Horwath said. “The privatization of Hydro One will mean higher rates for Ontario families, who are already paying the highest bills in the country, and it will mean less competitive rates for business and industry.”
Horwath also addressed the continued lack of funding and leadership on the Ring of Fire project. “It has been seven years and we are no closer to realizing its economic potential,” she told the crowd of regional business leaders.
The 2015 Budget’s cuts to apprenticeship training grants, post-secondary education and tax credits for the arts, film, sound recording and the digital economy will cost Ontario badly needed skilled workers and jobs.
“When they start cutting to the point where they can no longer provide the services that people need, we will see the negative effects ripple through our economy.”
Horwath addressed the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s own Emerging Stronger 2015 report which shows a disturbing drop in public confidence in Ontario’s economy under the Liberal government.
“We need people and businesses to have confidence in the economy so that they will hire and create jobs in our communities. We need Ontarians to be confident, so that they invest in their futures,” said Horwath. “I am very worried about the effect the 2015 Liberal budget will have on that confidence.”
“We need to be making smart investments in the future. New Democrats have always believed in investing in transit and infrastructure, but not at the cost of a sell-off of vital public assets,” Horwath said. “We need to be educating and training a workforce that is ready to face the challenges of the 21st century.”