April 17th, 2019

Horwath shares vision for stable business climate, job creation in Ontario

Official Opposition Leader delivers remarks at Canadian Club

TORONTO — NDP Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath says a key to job creation and economic growth is guaranteeing stability for businesses, working people and investors. That was the theme of an address Horwath delivered Wednesday at the Canadian Club, in which she laid out an alternative vision to Doug Ford’s first budget.

“I have a vision for a province where government is accountable, transparent, and predictable. Where decisions about the things that matter most to people don’t seem arbitrary. A place where government is serious about the key role it plays in providing a stable environment,” Horwath said.

“I envision a province where businesses, investors and working families have fewer shocks and surprises to contend with. One where they don’t have to worry about what the government will do next, because there is a clear plan — based on the best research, data and advice available — and the government has shared that blueprint for all to see, and everyone knows what to expect in the next quarter, the next year, and the next five years.”

Horwath said what shocked her most about Ford’s budget was the “total lack of a coherent vision for our province, and where we’re headed.”

Ford decimated Training, Colleges and Universities with a $700 million cut, undermining the trained and skilled workforce industries count on. He slashed Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade by more than $185 million, and cut Northern Development and Mines by more than $565 million. While other jurisdictions ratchet up infrastructure spending to attract investment, Ford dialed back infrastructure spending by $290 million.

And putting even more of a chill on investment, Ford’s budget bill included a draconian change to put the government above the law, preventing people and businesses from taking the province to court.

“Businesses should be able to trust the contracts they sign with the government will be upheld, and investors should see our province as a safe bet,” said Horwath.

Laying out her alternative vision, Horwath described a higher and predictably rising minimum wage, broadband services province-wide, investment in transportation infrastructure, and new university campuses in Markham, Milton and Brampton. She also pointed to bold policies like her prescription drug pharmacare plan and her dental care for everyone plan as ways to build stability.

“Just imagine, when we expand medicare to include drug and dental benefits for Ontarians, it’s not only going to make people healthier and stop them from ending up in our ERs, it’ll also take employee prescription costs off the ledgers of businesses,” said Horwath. “Imagine a province providing all these services at the high level we need to make Ontario more connected, more prosperous, and a more desirable and stable place to live, work and do business.”