Politicians Must Honour Campaign Promises, says Horwath
By William Doyle-Marshall
Andrea Horwath, Leader of the New Democratic Party in Ontario is very concerned about whether the leaders of the main three political parties will keep their campaign promises. Ontario politicians are facing this question as we come up to June 12. On that day voters will gamble with their conscience.
Ontarians have a very important decision to make, Horwath told members of the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada Monday night. She was the only party leader who turned out for a meeting of leaders with council members. That concern was again expressed Tuesday night as well as highlights of her party’s plan, during the televised leaders’ debate.
She told journalists, broadcasters and publishers voters on Jul 12 have to make a choice between a corrupt Liberal Party that has wasted a lot of their money; Tim Hudak’s plan which will throw 100,000 people into the unemployment line and her party’s plan that makes sense.
The New Democratic Party’s focus, she said is on the priorities of every day Ontarians. The New Democratic Party has worked hard to listen to what people have to say and to put a plan together that represents their tax dollars. The NDP intends investing those tax dollars, making sure the system is meeting the needs of Ontarians. That means making sure the province’s education system is something that everyone can be proud of. :When you look at how your tax dollars have been wasted on scandals on corruption, on things like E-health, ORANG air ambulance, the gas plants, CEO salaries still skyrocketing in this province, you know there are better ways to use the tax dollars so we can get wait times down,” Horwath said. That’s what New Democrats are doing, she stressed.
The party’s proposes to bring nurse practitioners into the emergency rooms to help reduce the time patients have to wait before they are attended to. “We are going to get rid of the wait list in long-term care. We are going to make sure we have more family health clinics – 24 hour clinics – to help people from leaving their homes to go to ER in the first place. These are priorities that Ontarians have told us they want us to focus on,” Horwath continued. The outcome or decision of voters on June 12 will result in who governs this province from June 13.
The NDP Leader advised council members that she believes in promises but even more, she believes in keeping promises. She accused the Liberal Party of not talking about the affordability of everyday life. Horwath reported, anywhere she went in this province people were telling her that they can’t make ends meet anymore. They feel like their quality of life is reducing because the bills are going up but the pay cheques aren’t. “So how can anybody think seriously and go for re-election or election if you aren’t in tune with some of the fundamentals of what the people are talking about?” she quizzed.
Those words of desire are responsible for the NDP’s focus definitely on making life affordable, she said. It’s platform centers on jobs; health care system – emergency room wait time in particular and it’s on making sure the tax dollars are respected and invested in people particularly, Horwath advised.
Regarding the lost 300,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector of Ontario Howarth said there are a number of things her party wants to do. Dealing with the electricity system is one. She reported that electricity rates are killing jobs in the province. In Manitoba and Quebec the NDP Leader reported, electricity rates are half for residences or businesses of what they are here. This is causing businesses to pack up and leave for those two Canadian provinces and other jurisdiction as well, in the last couple of years Howarth said. Claiming her party is the only one concerned about cleaning up “the mess” in the electricity system and making it an electricity system that serves Ontario’s economy and residents.
The NDP’s remedy is to collapse four of the existing agencies and get rid of a couple of layers of bureaucracy and address high priced CEO salaries. Getting rid of waste and duplication in those agencies and start marketing Ontario’s excess hydro at a price that makes sense for the province is being advanced as a panacea for success by the NDP Leader.
The forthcoming Toronto Pan Am Games 2015 is another concern of Horwath. She has problems with the plans for the project. “We’ve seen a government that doesn’t seem to think that it’s important to actually have a budget that’s got a ceiling on it. Security cost has continued to skyrocket and every time we ask what’s the budgeted amount for security we don’t get an answer. We get told security is going to cost whatever security cost. Now we are hearing some rumblings about internal structures,” she reported.
“What n eeds to be done is we need to have a Financial Accountability Officer to look at what’s happening there and see what we can do to ensure the tax dollars is being spent wisely. One of the things that office is supposed to do is prevent us from falling into these scandals by having an examination of the government’s plan before they are implemented. But there will also be a role for the Auditor General to make sure where we’ve gone so far hasn’t been wasteful.”
June 4, 2014