July 22nd, 2020

Session was a missed opportunity to support schools, LTC, small business, says Horwath

QUEEN’S PARK — After the Doug Ford government abruptly shut down the Ontario legislature Tuesday, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said the entire sitting was a lost opportunity to help people make it through COVID-19.

“We could have used this session to make seniors safer in long-term care, including adding more workers for every shift, and making their jobs full-time and better paid,” said Horwath.

“The legislature should have put a plan in place to get kids back to school and child care safely.

“We also could have used this time to put financial help in place for small local businesses that are struggling under the weight of rent and safe re-opening costs, like personal protective equipment and plexiglass barriers. And I had hoped to launch a preparedness review to make sure we’re ready to cope with a second wave of COVID-19 – from mask stockpiles, to a plan to maintain scheduled surgeries.”

Horwath said, instead, Ford chose to help out some of his friends and insiders at the expense of everyday people.

  • Ford helped landlords by making it easier to evict people (Bill 184)
  • Ford helped big developers by allowing them to skirt environmental protections – literally breaking the law by violating the Environmental Bill of Rights in order to do that (Bill 197)
  • Ford helped himself by handing himself unprecedented and undemocratic powers to make rules in secret behind closed doors (Bill 195)

“It’s a terrible shame that we’ve had weeks together here in the legislature to get things done, and everyday families got nothing out of it,” said Horwath. “This government just doesn’t believe it’s their job to help people.”

Before shutting down the session to leave on his vanity campaign tour, Ford’s last act of the session was to throw Belinda Karahalios (Cambridge) out of the PC Caucus because she had a moment of principle, daring to contradict him. Karahalios voted no on Ford’s move to give himself unchecked power to make new orders behind closed doors.