Saturday, May 24, 2014
By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, May 24, 2014
Ontario NDP focus on ‘fundamentals’ in party platform
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has released a campaign platform that includes promises to raise corporate tax rates and cut auto insurance rates in the first year of an NDP mandate.
The platform features a mix of new and previously announced measures, with an emphasis on “fundamentals for families,” in a bid to woo voters ahead of the June 12 provincial election.
In announcing a plan heavy on pocketbook issues, Horwath assailed the Liberals for wasting taxpayer’s dollars in scandals such as the gas-plant fiasco.
“You deserve a government that makes sense, that respects your tax dollars and invests them in your priorities,” she said. “That’s what the New Democrats are offering.”
But the platform also includes a promise to freeze tuition fees and a plan to eliminate interest on student loans.
“It is not acceptable that people finish their post-secondary studies and have debts the size of mortgages,” Horwath said. “We are going to get this under control.”
The NDP also want to forgive up to $20,000 a year of student debt for doctors who agree to work in under-serviced areas.
One notable omission from the NDP platform was a made-in-Ontario pension plan, which the Liberals are promising.
Horwath said Thursday her party supports the idea in principle but said she wants to see what happens in the 2015 federal election before committing provincial dollars to it.
“We may actually get a federal government that will take pension plans seriously,” said Horwath. “We are the party that first began to talk about pension security for Ontarians.” (Source: CBC News)