Horwath outlines plan to help rural Ontario thrive

Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath addressed the leaders of the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) Tuesday, saying that Doug Ford must stop meddling in Ontario municipalities — and promised a bill to ensure that’s the case.

Horwath outlined a way forward to help grow rural and northern Ontario with policies focused on jobs for young people, better infrastructure and respect for local decision-making.

“Rural Ontarians built our economy and continue to put food on the table for millions of people across the province and around the world,” said Horwath. “With industries from forestry and mining to start ups and agricultural innovation, rural families are truly the bedrock of our economy. When rural Ontario thrives, our province thrives.

Rural and northern families deserve a government that’s in it for them, that supports local jobs so their children can build a life and grow a family in their community.”

Horwath said that while Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals let rural families down, Doug Ford is making things even worse by trampling local governments and making deep cuts to school repairs and mental health funding.

“The Premier’s job is to work with municipalities, not to rule them,” said Horwath. “Yet, time and time again, Ford has trampled local decision making and meddled in their affairs. He is using his office to settle personal scores at any costs. Now, Ford is setting his sights on rural municipalities throughout the province and threatening amalgamation.”

Horwath said that when the legislature returns the NDP will introduce legislation that would stop Ford’s meddling in municipal elections.

“Rural and northern families deserve a government that put their interests first, not one mirrored in personal vendetta’s and grudge matches.”

Andrea Horwath

Andrea Horwath, MPP Hamilton Centre. She is the leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party in Canada.
Andrea Horwath