THUNDER BAY – POLITICS – Andrea Horwath is winding down her listening tour of Northwestern Ontario. The NDP leader has toured communities across the region seeking information from residents on issues including healthcare, housing, and hydro.
Horwath states that the stories she has heard are “heart wrenching” and there have been times that she has really had to steel herself during meetings across the region. The stories of healthcare, especially from First Nations have the NDP leader looking for real solutions and action from the Ontario Government.
Having spent time in Thunder Bay, Sioux Lookout, Dryden, Migisi Sahgaigan First Nation, and Red Lake, Horwath talked with people affected by the Liberal plan to nearly double drug costs for most seniors, and to people deeply affected by years of healthcare cuts across the region.
“In every community I visited, seniors told me they won’t be able to afford to see their drug costs nearly double. These are people who have seen cut after cut to healthcare in the north, and now they’re worried about whether or not they’ll be able to afford their medication,” said Horwath. “I met with strong, dedicated healthcare workers who are seeing patient care cut. And I met with Nishnawbe Aski Nation leaders who told me about the state of emergency that’s been declared in 33 northern communities. Instead of solutions, they are seeing more cuts from the Liberals.”
In addition to meetings on the state of healthcare, Horwath held a townhall meeting with Thunder Bay residents about the cost of electricity and the Liberals’ decision to sell-off Hydro One.
While in the riding of Kenora-Rainy River, Horwath held several meetings alongside Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell. Horwath commended the work Campbell has been doing to serve people across the riding, and bring their concerns to Queen’s Park.
“The North is different: food costs more, a litre of gas costs more, and people often travel hours to get the services southerners expect within a half-hour drive. Instead of respecting that, the government insists on a cookie-cutter approach that we can see isn’t working. The result is that families in the North aren’t getting close to the same services that people expect in the rest of the province,” said Horwath. “Whether it’s nearly doubling the cost of medication for seniors, cuts to healthcare, or the decision to sell-off Hydro One, the Liberals are out of step with northerners.”