NDP leader launches Northern Ontario platform in Thunder Bay

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andrea horwath

THUNDER BAY – Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath shared her vision for change for the better for Northern Ontario families Friday with a northern platform – which includes better access to health care services, more good jobs especially for young people, safer roads, lower hydro bills and keeping northern schools open.

“Northern Ontario is a beautiful place to live and raise a family,” said Horwath. “I believe it was wrong for the Conservatives to make deep, deep cuts in the north, and it was wrong for the Liberals to keep cutting. For folks here coping with sky-high hydro bills, and having a harder time accessing services like health care close to home and community schools – Ontario owes them better.”

Doug Ford has vowed more than $6 billion in cuts across the board, and promised to privatize as much as possible – putting northern health care at risk. Ford’s plan to plow ahead with school closures puts hundreds of schools on the chopping block. And, Ford’s promise to keep every part of Kathleen Wynne’s hydro scheme will mean northern bills will not only stay high, but they’ll get higher after the election.

“I am offering something completely different,” said Horwath. “In this election, we don’t have to settle. Ford wants Ontario to go from Kathleen Wynne’s cuts and privatization to his deeper cuts and even more privatization. I say, let’s choose hope instead. Let’s respect the north, and invest in northern people. Let’s give northern youth the opportunities they deserve, and northern families the care they need.”

Horwath highlighted six changes for the better for Northern Ontario:

Protect and invest in Northern health care, so people can get the care they need close to home – including $19 billion in new health care facilities, repairs and upgrades

Make travel safer by improving winter road maintenance, and making it public again — and bringing back the Northlander passenger service

Create good jobs across the resource development sector – the kind of jobs young people can raise a family on. That includes lighting the Ring of Fire with a $1 billion investment

Make life more affordable by ending price gouging at the pumps, and lowering hydro costs by about 30 per cent – including ending higher rural and northern delivery costs

Keep Northern and rural schools open – giving Northern youth more opportunity, not less

Establish a true government-to-government relationship with First Nations based on the principles of Reconciliation

The NDP’s fully costed platform for Northern Ontario can be found at ontariondp.ca/northernplatform

 

1 COMMENT

  1. Well said Tommy Lee .NORTHERN ONTARIO PARTY.

    Ladys and Gentlemen, we are a regional party representing people in Northern Ontario who have come to realize that the big three Toronto focused parties just don’t seem to care much about Northern Ontario. Oh sure we get a bit of attention before every election and a bunch of empty campaign promises pointed our way, but the day after the election is when everything goes back to normal and Northern Ontario again gets forgotten about, except when Toronto politician’s are after our chromite. This year the Northern Ontario Party’s goal is to run 13 candidates across Northern Ontario. If we get a few seats (and it looks like we may), then things will start to happen. First, the constituents represented by those MPP’s will for the first time be truly represented at Queen’s Park. I say that because we don’t use a party whip. Each NOP MPP will be mandated to poll their constituents prior to any vote and vote accordingly. These MPP’s will always be able to put their constituents best interests first and foremost, not having to toe the party line. Secondly, with members in Queen’s Park, we will be able to continually advocate for fairness for Northern Ontario. Things like equal access to public services and healthcare, the lack of public transportation availability in many of our communities across the north, and the lack of investment into Northern Ontario’s highways and other infrastructure. Toronto’s political parties don’t care about the lives of Northern Ontarians. Simple proof is the total lack of rest areas on Northern highways! They put up flashing billboards stating that fatigue kills and that you should pull over if you’re tired, but they don’t give you any safe areas to pull over into. The bottom line is that all the big three Toronto focused parties have had a crack at governing Northern Ontario in the last 40 years, and they’ve all failed us miserably…including the GTA focused Mike Harris and Ernie Eaves who started selling off Hydro One, and privatized the 407, among other fiascos. The sell-off of Hydro One has hit Northern Ontarian’s the hardest as our winters are colder and winter nights are a little longer. Many of us have no access to natural gas and have to heat our homes with electricity or wood. To sum up and to answer your questions. Well, we won’t know how many seats until after the election. Do you know how many the PC’s will win? Of course you don’t. As for impact, we’re already making an impact as we’re giving Northern Ontarians hope for a better tomorrow. Real hope, not just empty promises. Something Toronto focused politicians can’t seem to wrap their heads around.

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