Ontario New Democrats Dig in to Fight Ford over Closing Down Queen’s Park

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford

QUEEN’S PARK — Andrea Horwath, the leader of the Ontario New Democrats says that, “Doug Ford’s government has informed the NDP it intends to shut down the legislature by Wednesday”.

Andrea Horwath states that, “NDP MPPs will refuse to cooperate until the government has reversed its dangerous police-state orders in their entirety, and replaced them with public health measures to stop COVID-19”.

“People are laying in crowded hospital hallways, struggling to breathe, and many thousands more will join them if we don’t replace Doug Ford’s plan,” says Horwath. “Black, Indigenous and racialized people know check stops and carding will target them, because it always has. Businesses are already on the brink and more will go under without help. People’s lives are on the line. Together, we have to fight to save Ontario.”

Across Ontario, police services have responded to the Emergency Orders saying that they will not use the new special powers that the Ford Government’s Emergency Measures have allowed them.

Police services are stating that enforcement is their last resort, and they are seeking to engage, explain, educate, and then if needed to enforce the legislative powers.

Horwath and the NDP caucus has sent a letter to the Ford government confirming that it will refuse to cooperate with the suspension of the legislature until the government has:

  • Given Ontarians paid sick days by passing Bill 239
  • Cancelled the extraordinary police powers announced Friday in their entirety
  • Shut down all non-essential workplaces
  • Formally committed to a meaningful package of supports, over and above the few announced, for businesses and workers affected by closures

“We are prepared to discuss how we can run the legislature with the minimum number of staff and MPPs, and with the strictest possible health protocols. We are not prepared to help Doug Ford go home, leaving a police-state in place while he allows COVID-19 to run rampant, overrun hospitals, and steal the lives of Ontarians who would otherwise make it through this,” said Horwath.

“Our province has never faced such a crisis as it is today. For the people elected to protect and support Ontarians to walk away from their duty at this time is wrong, and I won’t do it. It’s time to fight to save Ontario.”