July 12th, 2020

Horwath calls for Save Main Street plan during visit to Essex region

KINGSVILLE — Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Official Opposition New Democrats, was in Kingsville, Leamington and the Essex region Saturday and Sunday to fight for the help the region and its small businesses need to come roaring back.

The Doug Ford government has not managed to ramp up testing and COVID-19 isolation in the region, causing outbreaks at agribusinesses to spread. As a result, Ford forced communities in Windsor-Essex to stay locked down in Stage One longer than the rest of the province.

“When this crisis began, families, small businesses and workers were asked by government to shut down, stay home and do their part to beat COVID-19,” said Horwath, speaking from Atlas Tube Centre in Bell River. “While they held up their end of the bargain, Mr. Ford didn’t do his part.

“Not only has the province dropped the ball on a coordinated testing and isolation strategy — causing people and businesses here to pay an extra price —they’ve also left businesses and working folks in this region to go it alone as they try to recover.”

While Horwath said it’s critical to encourage everyone to support local business, she also said the NDP’s Save Main Street plan is long overdue.

“Small businesses have told us what they need to recover from this pandemic,” said Horwath. “It’s rent money. It’s funding to set up a new way of working. It’s a freeze on utility payments.”

Horwath visited the region throughout the weekend to meet with local officials, support local businesses and workers, and make a special visit to the Miracle Food Pantry to thank the Miracle team for their incredible work, which will feed thousands of families


Taras Natyshak, NDP MPP for Essex

“Families in the Windsor-Essex region deserve better than to be abandoned by Doug Ford in their time of need. That’s why the NDP is going to keep fighting for the kinds of supports that will help local small businesses bounce back from the prolonged suffering caused by Ford’s inadequate response to local COVID-19 outbreaks.”

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=KJs7fZFgu9M&app=desktop


Save Main Street is Andrea Horwath and the NDP’s pandemic survival plan for small and medium-sized businesses, charities and community-based non-profits. It calls on the province to commit to:

  • A 75 per cent commercial rent subsidy up to $10,000 a month for three months for businesses that continue to struggle with decreased revenue as a result of COVID-19
  • A utility payment freeze
  • A remote-work, physical-distancing and safe re-opening set up fund, to help with computers for staff to work at home, upgrades to make workplaces safe for staff and the public, and PPE
  • An auto insurance grace period for taxis and car-sharing drivers, established in partnership with the insurance industry and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority
  • A designated emergency fund for small businesses and entrepreneurs who have faced historic barriers to accessing traditional capital, as proposed by the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce.

The cost of the Save Main Street plan is estimated to range from $850 million to $1.15 billion.