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Andrea promises more sand, less waiting

Friday, May 23, 2014   by: Darren Taylor

NDP leader Andrea Horwath (pictured) took questions from reporters from Ontario’s various regions by teleconference Thursday afternoon as the provincial New Democrats unveiled their official party platform leading up to the June 12 provincial election.

Highlights of the NDP platform of special interest to Sault Ste. Marie and northern Ontario include proposed widening of 60 kilometres of highways every year, 30 kilometres of that amount in northern Ontario.

Horwath said she did not have details in regards to which highways would get widened first, but when asked by if she would, if elected premier, commit to widening Highway 17 between the Sault and Sudbury, Horwath said: “This is one of the projects we’re certainly looking at and we’re prepared to make that commitment as we go forward… there’s plenty of opportunity to coordinate widening of Highway 17.”

"We know those (Northern) highways are literally a lifeline,” Horwath said.

Other items of interest for northern Ontario in the NDP platform released Thursday include improvement of winter road maintenance by adding 200 more sand trucks and snow plows, cutting of ER wait times in half and physician recruitment, investing in Ring of Fire infrastructure and promoting revenue sharing with First Nations, giving tax credits to small businesses and manufacturers that create jobs, taking the HST off hydro and addressing price increases experienced by natural gas consumers.

“We’re going to cut ER wait times in half because too many people are lingering in emergency wards for 10, 12 or 14 hours, that’s not acceptable,” Horwath said in regards to healthcare.

“With some investments we will bring more nurse practitioners into the ER to cut wait times, and cut the wait list for homecare that families are facing right now.”

24-hour family clinics would be established too.

The NDP’s platform also calls for reduction of auto insurance rates by 15 percent.

The platform also calls for keeping schools open, to be used for after school programs on evenings and weekends.

The NDP platform says $2 billion of taxpayer money would be saved through the creation of a Ministry of Savings and Accountability and the appointment of a financial accountability officer.

“We’ve made a very serious commitment to the fundamental issue, which is making sure we are respecting peoples tax dollars in a way that gets our deficit dealt with by 2017-2018,” Horwath said.

“A big part of that will be the financial accountability office.”

“We’ve undertaken some very specific initiatives that come from what I’ve heard from Ontarians over the last number of years, I’ve made commitments today to deliver for them on the priorities that they’ve outlined,” Horwath said.


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mosquitos 5/23/2014 9:58:35 AM Report

I'm voting for Hudak, but at least you can trust Andrea.
horseiv 5/23/2014 10:12:20 AM Report

@mosquitos that is just asinine.
Sam The Dog 5/23/2014 10:17:27 AM Report

30km/yr for the north. It will take her full term just to finnish Hwy 69. WOW! 200 more Sand and Plow Trucks. Wonder where the money for that is coming from?
What would be the split? 198 units for the south, 2 units for the north?
dadal 5/23/2014 10:28:55 AM Report

PCs and Libs have said they will not widen between the Soo ans TB due to costs and PCs have also said they will not widen between the Soo and Sudbury. while this is of interest, I am more concerned on local jobs, expansion and saving our rail service. None of these have been addressed by the NDP. So thanks forthe info on highways...we can use the wider lanes to move to somewhere else for work.
mosquitos 5/23/2014 11:47:30 AM Report

Horseiv, you can't really say unless they have a chance.
Back2the90s 5/23/2014 12:52:51 PM Report

I'm not sure you can call what the NDP released yesterday a 'platform'. It is more of a pamphlet. Maybe Andrea doesn't realize that the Liberals already committed to more four-laning of the highways in their budget that she turned down. She also turned down a decrease in auto insurance premiums and an increase in minimum wage when she voted against the budget, then put those items in her "platform". Come on New Democrats, after 50 years in the business of provincial politics, you think you'd have some original ideas.
steelworker 5/23/2014 2:42:05 PM Report

After propping up the Liberal Mafia Party I think that the NDP should go pound sand.
MYPOINT 5/23/2014 3:01:07 PM Report

I believe that the voters of Northern Ontario are getting tired of ALL of the party leaders and their so-called 'promises' for the north which almost always become unfulfilled AFTER the election is over.

I believe that ALL party leaders should have to prove to us northerners that they actually know where Northern Ontario is located in this Province by coming up here to debate the issues which affect us the most.

I believe that I hate what the Liberals have done in this Province over the past decade especially but I am confident that they will once again form yet another minority government in this Province.

I believe that the NDP, although it can be said that they are passionate about the north ( especially during elections ), will never be given a chance to once again govern in this Province again at least for the short term.

I believe that HUDAK will be the absolute ruin for this Province if enough of us vote for him or his party in the next election. You think we have problems with our local water right now ... wait till HUDAK begins cutting 'inspectors' even though he will probably promise to not do so ( using political speak aka lies ).

I believe that ALL party hopefuls in this area should be willing to sign a legal contract with all of us voters guaranteeing us that their party (if it should form the new government) WILL institute some sort of a ' recall ' plan and ensure it is in place ( 51% +1 ) for the next election after this one. Failure to follow this contract should result in them NOT being able to run for office again for 25 years minimum and if they are currently receiving some sort of M.P.P. government pension, they should lose the right to collect same until they are qualified to run for office again.

As always, your views may differ from mine :)
Verbatim 5/23/2014 4:40:13 PM Report

its always the same bullshit every time there is an election. They take the hottest topics and make promises that they couldn't keep for the last three years and all of a sudden they have answers to these problems. All politicians want power, they will make whatever promises get them that power, once they have the power all those promises seems to fade away.

If we want real change we need make that change. I wonder how many people are aware that canada is in debt to the tune of about 1.3 trillion dollars, this represents the federal, provincial and municipal levels. here is the catch though, as a country we only have about 900 billion in cash on the planet and of that only about 50 billion is actual paper money. So if we do the math we can see that we are about 400 billion in debt more than we have actual cash. So why is this, because we borrow our money at interest instead of making our own. if we cant pay the debt off with our own money it means we need to borrow to have more cash, which means more debt.

If we were to eliminate our dependency on private companies controlling our money and put it back into the hands of the government like it constitutionally should be we would be much better off. we would save billions in interest and that money could be better used to make our lives better.
steelworker 5/23/2014 6:43:32 PM Report

I wonder what Katy Wynnes' position is on Caledonia?
freedom1 5/24/2014 11:43:14 AM Report

The political partys are gangs!!! They put the party interests first. The party interest is not the same as the interests for the people. When people go to vote they look for which party to vote for on the ballet. Take the party names of the ballet would force people to actually learn about who is running and get more involved with politics. The CONservatives and the Liberals have scammed and lied and conned voters time and time and time again. The political scandals with these partys never seam to end, yet people keep voting for them. Anyone else that would have done this to you, you would never have anything to do with again. Time to give NDP a chance to see if they are any different or lies like the rest. Time to get rid of these gangs in our government and give more power to the people!!!!
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