November 17th, 2015

Horwath: Kathleen Wynne must keep promise to US Steel retirees and employees

During Question Period today, Andrea Horwath, Ontario NDP Leader and MPP for Hamilton Centre, called on the Premier to live up to the promise made by her government in the Legislature to provide transition support to 20,000 US Steel pensioners in Hamilton, Niagara and Haldimand-Norfolk who have had their health benefits cut.

“The Minister of Finance rose in this House to say that the government was going to kick in $3 million over six months as a transition fund. The problem is nobody really knows how this transition fund is being administered or how to access the help these pensioners desperately need,” said Horwath. “Nearly two months after these benefits were cut, will the Premier tell the House where is the $3 million of help that she and her minister promised to the pensioners?” 

Premier Wynne took a pass on the question, leaving her Minister of Finance to make excuses and more vague promises with no firm timelines. Meanwhile US Steel pensioners, who took the Liberal government at its word, still have no access to the health benefits they earned over a lifetime of service.

The NDP Leader pressed for answers, “This minister offered $3 million in transitional help. All I was asking is, where’s the money?” 

Horwath noted that the Liberal government promised to stand with US Steel retirees as well as current employees.  This means opening up the deal that was signed between U.S. Steel and the federal government. She called on Kathleen Wynne to keep this promise.

“Will the Premier tell the people of our province, the retirees and their families, what commitments they’ve secured from the federal government to protect pensioners and the vital benefits of 20,000 U.S. Steel pensioners?”