The debate is over and now everyone is debating the winner. Andrea Horwath did what she needed to do. Ontarions who have not heard her or seen her to date were impressed. In fact Horwath surprised many and was seen as the one with the best policies (ipso) and the most likable candidate. This doesn't surprise me, the more you know Andrea, the more you are going to listen and like what she has to say. It is time for a change in Ontario and I like the change being offered by the NDP and Andrea Horwath.
The McGuinty Liberals did not not do badly last night, still they suffered due to the unexpected performance of Horwath. It means the soft NDP vote will likely stay where it is and may even siphon off left liberals and the undecided especially in Toronto. Toronto is the bastion of the Liberals. Has been for many years, at least since 1999. Not so much anymore as the NDP make big inroads. The last federal election saw the NDP become the dominant party in Toronto, displacing the Liberals.
This provincial election looks to do more of that. Once taken for granted by the Liberals, Toronto is turning their backs on them. It hasn't helped the Liberals when they do things like Delay and or postpone things like Transit City. Those delays implemented by Queens's Park have made it much easier for mayor Ford and his gang of right wing puppies to cancel transit city. It is one of the bigger mistakes of the McGuinty Liberals over the last four years.
The changes being offered by Andrea Horwath resonate with people. Things like making life more affordable. When ever I hear that I recall McGunity raising the minimum price for beer. I don't expect the NDP will lower it but when McGuinty raised beer from a buck a beer, it was a symbolic slap against lower income people.
Add to that all the costs going up, you see that people are actually hurting more today than four years ago when McGuinty was re-elected for a second term. He is left announcing some new jobs, which is good, but he can't find the 300,000 lost manufacturing jobs., the 40,00 lost jobs in the North with respect to Forestry.
Horwath's policy to see more Ontario resources processed here versus being sent to the USA or China is a big step in the right direction. Why are we sending raw minerals to the USA for processing? Why are logs continually being sent to the USA for cutting into lumber? These are serious flaws in our economy. We have these abundant resources in Ontario. We are losing so much opportunity when we allow them to be developed or value added in jurisdictions outside Ontario.
Then we have Hydro. The Liberals and before them, the Conservatives have privatized so much of it, almost all new power generation is being produced by private developers, locking the province into long term and costly deals. Try unlocking the Hydro production and transmission details in this province. We have five main Hydro related corporations, 100's of private producers and all the middlemen.
Horwath is promising to consolidate the five 'Public' bodies that oversee Hydro in the province and refocusing new hydro development under that agency, returning new hydro development to the public sector. Horwath will also end the plans for Nuclear expansion, currently set at 33 billion dollars. We know from experience that number could easily double. That's why we have the debt recovery charge on our hydro bills today. The move will also mean Ontario will create less nuclear waste and can eventually eliminate the need for Nuclear power. (That will be many years away, but if we don't start now, we will never get it done)
Too address the growing power needs of Ontario, the NDP will reduce the demand for hydro by providing tax credits of up to $5,000 to people to upgrade/retrofit their homes with energy efficient windows, heating, air-conditioning and insulation. This could lead to a significant reduction of energy use, thus allowing for lower energy demands and the need to build more hydro.
Then we have green energy. The NDP fully support efforts to grow this aspect of electrical power generation and supported the Green Energy Act. Solar, Wind and Hydro generation will be at the lead in new generation of electricity. This is a vital step in our efforts to stop polluting our air and water, and reducing greenhouse emissions.
Further parts of the NDP's green plan include supporting public transit in our communities. Again the Conservatives and McGuinty's Liberals have failed to adequately fund these other than through piece
meal efforts. McGuinty has not as promised helped fund day to day operations of our public transit. The province use to fund 50% of the operating costs. For the last eight years, McGuinty has rejected this action. By funding our share with municipalities, the NDP will reduce the cost of transit to municipalities, freeing up monies to be used in growing and or improving transit and reducing the tax burden of Municipal taxpayers.
I haven't started on the health care system and Mr. Hudak, that's for another blog soon.
My friend over at Far and Wide asked only a few days ago, why do we need the provincial NDP. I believe I have demonstrated the need for the NDP and why it is important people understand the differences between Mr. McGuinty's Liberals and the Horwath's NDP. The NDP and LIBs might be closer in policy than with Hudak, the differences are wide and significant.