QUEEN’S PARK — With Doug Ford and his government mired in a cronyism scandal, Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath has designated a critic for Ethics and Accountability, assigning the new job to Taras Natyshak (Essex).
In addition, as devastating layoffs strike more and more Ontarians, Horwath has created an Auto and Manufacturing portfolio, naming Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) to the file.
“From Doug Ford’s cronyism appointment scandal, to the attempt to buy a pimped-out supervan for himself and hide the costs, to secret and sketchy meetings, it’s clear that a critic for Ethics is now a necessity in Ontario. The Liberals were scandal-plagued — with the gas plants scandal and a bribery trial — but Doug Ford is quickly taking things from bad to worse,” said Horwath.
“Meanwhile, a storm is brewing in Ontario’s auto and manufacturing sectors, and Ford’s not helping. I’ve appointed Wayne Gates to lead the fight for good auto and manufacturing jobs, to fight for the thousands of hard-working people who have gotten devastating layoff news, and for all those left to lay awake at night worrying about when the work could dry up.”
Ford wrote off thousands of lost jobs at the General Motors plant in Oshawa without any effort to keep them in Ontario, and cancelled an electric vehicle rebate that exacerbated challenges being faced by Canadian auto plants. With 550 layoffs looming at Bombardier in Thunder Bay, Ford turned his attention to the community for just long enough to play politics with the lives of workers and their families by blaming the federal government, then swiftly turned away — even though it was the Ford government that failed to move forward on procurement for transit vehicles.
Horwath has also created new portfolios to fight for some of Ontario’s most vulnerable. Suze Morrison (Toronto Centre) will become the first Tenant Rights critics, fighting for renters; as well as the critic for Urban Indigenous Issues, and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
Among the other changes, Jill Andrew (Toronto—St. Paul’s) will add the Women’s Issues portfolio to her work, Guy Bourgouin (Mushkegowuk—James Bay) and Jamie West (Sudbury) will both take on Labour portfolios, handling Training, Trades and Apprenticeships, and the Labour Relations Act, respectively. Paul Miller (Hamilton East-Stoney Creek) will add Pensions to his work, focusing on protecting the retirement income of Ontarians.
Deputy Leader Sara Singh (Brampton Centre) will take over as Housing critic, while lawyer Gurratan Singh (Brampton East) takes over as the critic for the Attorney General. Catherine Fife (Waterloo) will shift her critic work to focus on Economic Growth and Job Creation with specific focuses on Research and Innovation and International Trade, and Tom Rakocevic (Humber River—Black Creek) will take over Auto Insurance.