THUNDER BAY – The New Democrats are the first party to have their leader arrive in Thunder Bay during the 2014 Provincial Election. Andrea Horwath will be in Thunder Bay briefly in the morning for an announcement.
The arrival by Horwath has been preceeded by some jabs from local Liberals Michael Gravelle and Bill Mauro. In a statement issued on Sunday the Liberal MPP state, “Andrea Horwath put her own political interests ahead of local Thunder Bay families by rejecting a budget that supported hundreds of local jobs”.
“By rejecting a budget that meant hundreds of jobs at Bombardier and a $1 billion investment in the Ring of Fire, Andrea Horwath put her own political interests ahead of Thunder Bay families,” charges Michael Gravelle. “The NDP rejected the budget, plunged us into an unnecessary election and now we have Tim Hudak and the PCs promising to impose massive cuts if given the chance. Thunder Bay families are concerned about what this election could mean for us.”
Gravelle and Mauro are referring to Hudak’s plan to cut billions from infrastructure, schools, and hospitals, while firing more than 100,000 front-line workers immediately. “Kathleen Wynne has plan for transit: Moving Ontario Forward. This plan would have meant $29 billion for transportation projects. Investments into mass transit retain and create jobs here in Thunder Bay at Bombardier.” said Mauro. “The NDP talks a lot about Northern Ontario, but when she had the chance to stand up and support local jobs, Andrea Horwath sided with Tim Hudak and opposed them instead.”
The Liberal MPPs say that by opposing the budget, the Horwath NDP rejected:
· Liberal investment of $29 billion in Transit and Transportation Infrastructure – jobs in Thunder Bay for years to come.
· $1 billion investment in the Ring of Fire — one of the most promising mineral developments discovered in over a century, creating thousands of jobs.
· An Ontario Retirement Pension Plan – retirement security by expanding coverage initially to more than three million Ontarians.
· Increasing the Minimum Wage – increasing to $11 and indexing to inflation.
· Expansion of the Ontario Child Benefit and a commitment to index annual increases to inflation.
· A $2.5 billion Jobs and Prosperity Fund that would help secure investments, good jobs, and growth in the economy.
“Only Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals can be counted on to stand up for Thunder Bay families,” concluded Gravelle.
The latest Ipsos Reid Poll is showing that the New Democrats, across the North are holding a commanding lead over the Liberals with the PCs in a distant third place. Critics of the poll however point out the relatively small sample size of the poll for Northern ridings.