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Horwath: NDP returns to roots in seeking balanced budget

By: Heidi Ulrichsen - Sudbury Northern Life

 | May 25, 2014 - 1:59 PM |
Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath, seen here during a January 2014 visit to Sudbury, is unfazed by criticism of the party's election platform by 34 high-profile Ontario NDP supporters. File photo.

Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath, seen here during a January 2014 visit to Sudbury, is unfazed by criticism of the party's election platform by 34 high-profile Ontario NDP supporters. File photo.

Party leader criticized for adopting 'moderate right-wing program'

In adopting a platform that seeks to balance the province's budget by 2017-18, the Ontario NDP is really just returning to the party's roots, the party's leader, Andrea Horwath.

That's despite criticism from a group of 34 high-profile Ontario NDP supporters, including long-time activist Judy Rebick and Michele Lansdsberg, wife of former Ontario NDP leader Stephen Lewis.


In a May 23 letter, the group said they're upset the Ontario NDP platform adopts “a more moderate right-wing program focusing on balanced budgets, austerity or at least public service cuts and 'common sense.'”

The letter goes on to say that in Horwath's “rush to the centre,” she's abandoned the party's values. “If the NDP does not stand with working people, poor people, with women, with immigrants, then what does it stand for?” the letter said.

They also criticize Horwath for voting against the Liberal budget — “the most progressive budget in recent Ontario history” and triggering an election.

But in a May 24 phone interview with Northern Life, Horwath pointed out that the NDP's founder, Tommy Douglas, always believed in balancing the books.

“You don't want to spend a lot of money on interest to the banks,” she said. “You want to use that money to provide services to people. So I'm proud to walk in the footsteps of the 'prairie giant' in terms of the way he saw the world, and look forward to offering the people of this province a party that makes sense.”

Horwath said she had no choice but to trigger an election because people are “fed up” with what she said is the Liberals' corruption.

“Progressives everywhere have to protect our democracy, frankly, by calling out corruption and coverup,” she said.
Heidi Ulrichsen

Heidi Ulrichsen

Staff Writer

@heidi_ulrichsen

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