Sault Ste. Marie – Shortly after Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath unveiled Ontario New Democrats’ northern platform, Ontario NDP candidates Michele McCleave-Kennedy (Sault Ste. Marie) and Michael Mantha (Algoma-Manitoulin) highlighted how the plans would make life better and more affordable for families in the region.
“Our communities have starved with Wynne’s cuts, privatization and neglect of the north” McCleave-Kennedy said. “Wynne’s move to sell-off Hydro One has caused hydro rates to soar, has forced families to struggle to make ends meet, has even caused hospitals to cut corners, putting an enormous strain on care staff and causing a hallway medicine crisis for patients needing care.”
McCleave-Kennedy spent years advocating for workers as a Vice-President at the Ontario Federation of Labour. Mantha has fought tirelessly for communities struggling with the Liberal government’s neglect of northern roads since first becoming elected in 2011.
“Kathleen Wynne has had 15 years to un-do the damage of the Conservatives before her, but things just keep getting worse” Mantha said. “Wynne’s privatization of road maintenance means our highways are shutting down in the winter because we can’t get plows on the roads. People should not be risking their lives – facing the risk of accident or even death – because you can’t get a snow plow on a main artery highway.”
Mantha and McCleave-Kennedy pointed out that Doug Ford’s conservatives have already promised an additional $6 billion in cuts to services, scaling back care and devastating families in the north even more.
“We don’t have to keep settling between bad and worse. Andrea Horwath and the NDP have a plan to make life more affordable, to bring the necessary change to families in our northern communities,” Mantha said.
“We need change that’ll invest in roads, fix the hallway medicine crisis, bring hydro back into public hands and make life more affordable. Andrea Horwath is the face of that change.”
Earlier today, 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 a 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/northern-platform