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Ontario Heading to the Polls

NDP confirms it will vote against the budget the Liberals unveiled yesterday, triggering an election.

Andrea Horwath announcing her party’s rejection of the Liberal budget.

Yesterday, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath broke with tradition and declined to comment on the draft budget unveiled by the minority Liberal government. Today, she made her position clear, confirming in a press conference that her caucus has decided unanimously that it cannot support the Liberals any longer. The NDP will be voting against the budget bill—a confidence motion—and in the process, will bring down the government and trigger an election.

Though the Liberal budget was widely characterized as NDP-friendly, and several major unions—a key base of support for the NDP—urged Horwath to support it, today she said that “I have lost confidence in Kathleen Wynne and her ability to deliver. I cannot in good conscience support a government that people don’t trust anymore.”

The full transcript of her remarks:

My leadership has always been about real lives, real problems, and real people—that’s who I am. And it’s clear to me that minority government is about working together to achieve results. It’s not about standing on the sidelines and running your mouth. Results matter, and that’s what I focus on.

I know that when you send your hard-earned tax dollars to Queen’s Park, you expect to see results. You don’t expect to see your tax dollars wasted—wasted on the partisanship that was the gas plant scandal, on the embarrassment that was ORNGE, on the mismanagement of the Windsor Parkway.

It’s time for Kathleen Wynne to take responsibility. It’s as if she really doesn’t even live in the real world. In the real world, if you make a mistake, you own up to it or face the consequences. At Queen’s Park, you wipe the hard drive and hope you can get away with it.

In the real world, you’re adding up every bill at the kitchen table to see if you can squeeze out some savings. At Queen’s Park, public sector CEOs buy themselves speedboats with your money and cabinet ministers are chauffeured to and from work every day.

In the real world, you can work the same job for 10 years and never even get a raise. At Queen’s Park, a CEO that’s driving up hydro rates gets a bonus that’s more than most people make in an entire year.

After yesterday’s budget, I thought long and hard about the many promises the Liberals are making. I was reminded of the promises the Liberals made last year: Kathleen Wynne promised a reduction in auto insurance rates, an accountability officer, and significant action on home care. Yet families keep seeing auto insurance bills climb even while the government insists the rates are coming down. The financial accountability office that was supposed to be up and running last December is still sitting empty. And seniors are still left waiting weeks for home care that should be available to them within five days of being assessed.

The same government that couldn’t fill these three promises in the last last year is making more than 70 new promises this year. How can Kathleen Wynne build a ship when she hasn’t even managed to build a raft?

Despite all of these grand promises, there are still no plans to get the basics right—like creating jobs, like lowering hydro rates, and making life more affordable for people.

I have lost confidence in Kathleen Wynne and her ability to deliver. I cannot in good conscience support a government that people don’t trust anymore.

Instead of fixing the mess in our electricity system, the Liberals want to drive hydro rates higher with a fire sale of our assets in a rerun of the failed privatization of Ontario Hydro by the Conservatives. You don’t heat the house by burning the furniture.

There’s no plan to reward job creators in this budget or offer relief to small businesses. Instead, the Liberals are offering more of the same ideas, promising even more handouts to corporations that ship jobs away.

This budget is not a solid plan for the future—it’s a mad dash to escape the scandals by promising the moon and the stars.

Well, I’m not the kind of woman that believes those kinds of promises. I come from a simpler place. Promising is good: making good on those promises is better.

You deserve action, not just aspirations. You can’t pay your bills with aspirations. Aspirations won’t keep your neighbourhood school open. Aspirations won’t ensure that health care is there when you need it.

It’s time for change. You deserve a better government—a government that values people’s tax dollars, a government that makes life affordable, a government that stands up for the middle class, a government that makes sense.

So, as I’ve said: I have lost confidence in Kathleen Wynne and in her ability to deliver. I cannot in good conscience support this government, a government that people simply don’t trust anymore.

It’s time for Queen’s Park to work for you.


  • andrew97

    Best case scenario: This is the end of Tim Hudak.
    Worst case scenario: This is the beginning of Tim Hudak.

    • Paul Kishimoto


      Torontoist’s “Liberal Government Fails Toronto on Transit,” was dead on point. There are no good alternatives in this election, and that means people won’t vote, and we know what happened in 2010 when people in Toronto didn’t vote.

    • wklis

      So true. Be careful what you wish for. Hudak may win and the NDP would be getting their worse case senario out of it.

      • bobloblawbloblawblah

        Anything can happen in an election. We could end up with an NDP government too.

    • ei(pi)+1=0

      Best case scenario: Tim Hudak win to restore Ontario as a “have” province.
      Acceptable scenario: This is the end of Tim Hudak.
      Worst case scenario: A Liberal majority.

      • estta

        A “have” province. Who will have what, exactly?

        • Paul Kishimoto

          Tim Hudak…and not much else.

        • tyrannosaurus_rek

          I assume what we had under Harris and Eves – teachers and students walking out, people dying from deregulated inspections of tap water, transit plans buried, nurse shortages…

          • rich1299

            The dying hasn’t stopped though since both the McGuinty LIbs and Wynne Libs have refused to restore the social assistance cuts made by Harris in 1995 that resulted in increased numbers of homeless people. Unsurprisingly there’s also a similarly massive increase in the number of people dying on Toronto’s streets from being homeless since those cuts. I figure at least several hundred more people have died on our streets than would’ve under the previous rate. To make matters worse the rates don’t keep up with inflation so in effect the rates are being continuously cut despite the occasional 1% increase. I have no idea how anyone can survive on OW without getting extra on the side from somewhere. Our gov’t knows that too, its why they’re okay with food banks existing. Our society has set the bar so low that so long as the people dying on our streets aren’t dying from starvation then everything is okay. If people on OW or ODSP had more money it would stimulate our local economy and likely save more than it cost in the healthcare and shelter systems.

            Check out

          • OgtheDim

            Last i heard, the ONDP was going to talk about that but there is no promise to actually do something.

            Don’t want to lose the “all those people on welfare are lazy” vote I suppose.

            I agree with much of what you say, but there is a lot of unwillingness in all 3 parties to tick off the Toronto Sun reading crowd.

          • TheSotSays

            Yeah, but you know, I’ve talked with a few of the guys on he street. They get a monthly “street allowance” of about $140.

            And usually just about the time they get their “street allowance,” the NDP appointed Police Chief, Bill Blair, takes a few guys off duty from persecuting Rob Ford and sends them out to issue $200 tickets to the street people for loitering.

            People are tired of NDP hot air and that’s why a known tax plunderer as NDP candidate is a recipe for failure in October.

  • Squintz

    OH the good old job creators, that’s a traditional NDP constituency right?

  • estta

    Ugh, this is not the time for this. The NDP does not have the support it needs right now to win. So disappointing.

    • Paul Kishimoto

      Horwath has had years to explain how her NDP would form a “better government,” but the only explanation I’ve seen is, roughly, “we’re not the Liberals.” The remarks quoted here are no different.

      Have they any real policy to propose, or are they going to skate by on finger-pointing?

      • estta

        She certainly hasn’t captured the hearts and minds of the base, I don’t see how she’s going to fare much better with the general public. Finger-pointing Wynne is not going to get the NDP anywhere near the points they need.

        • OgtheDim

          From what I’m reading, the NDP base is not behind her.

          But, the NDP riding execs are not as powerful as the leaders office (see the Adam G nomination).

          Losing CUPE on day one is not going to help them here.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    Why call an election you can’t win, Andrea? What do you think happens to you as party leader when the NDP again come in second or third place?

    • wklis

      Who does the NDP wants as the next government?

      • bjhtn

        Presumably the NDP. *ducking*

      • OgtheDim

        Hudak, in a minority situation, where the Libs have about 7 seats and the ONDP and the Tories are real close.

    • tomwest

      The current polls are within the margin of error of the last election. This implies that post-June, we’ll have a minority LIberal government, who will have to present a budget…

      • mixandserve

        Better than Hudak. I don’t want Rob Ford replayed on the provincial stage–if our city/province spends any more time going backwards, it’s going to really suffer.

        Anyone But Hudak!

      • tyrannosaurus_rek

        The NDP have a history of doing better in polls than at the ballot box. Quebec aside, I don’t see Horwath doing anything to buck the trend.

        • dsmithhfx

          FPTP effect.

        • TheSotSays

          Last time around, 2011, Quebec seems to have been the NDP testing ground for irregular voting practices. It was a spectacular adolescent stunt running 14 baby students to sit in Parliament and electing 12 of them.

          So it’s no wonder the NDP seems to “have a history of doing better in polls than at the ballot box.”

          However, the Quebec election and the NDP disenfranchisement of almost 400,000 Rob Ford voters has served to shine a spotlight on NDP activities and my guess is that it’s downhill from here for NDP.

          • OgtheDim

            Somebody doesn’t remember the days when finding a Tory to run in Quebec was next to impossible.

    • Canmon

      The same thing that Jack Layton did federally. It’s all about getting ahead personally. If the Tories win a majority, but Horwath becomes opposition leader, she sees that as a win.

      • tyrannosaurus_rek

        What Layton did with the federal NDP was unprecedented, but the ONDP have been the official opposition several times in the last 50 years.

        • OgtheDim

          Yes, but the ONDP has a very strong belief that if it can just kill the Liberals, it will be better off.

        • tomwest

          I would hardly call two occasions (1975, 1987) “several times”.

          • OgtheDim

            yeah, but lets face it, the unofficial opposition the last 2 years has been the NDP. The Tories just opposed.

        • TheSotSays

          “Unprecedented” is a good description of it.

          But Layton’s most significant contribution was in making complete fools of the NDP membership. Any practicing NDP now found seriously criticising Rob Ford, as just one example, is proven right off to be nothing but a self serving hypocrite.

          While the hypocrite may sometimes be looked at as laughable, when hypocrisy is found within a group seeking political power it’s looked at as dangerous and despicable.

          The NDP and their tax plundering dud candidate are going to find out in October just how “unlaughable” hypocrisy really is.

          • dsmithhfx

            “Let me explain supply and demand to you. When you have a lot of an item — like bananas or socks or videos of Rob Ford smoking crack — price tends to drop. You want to make six figures? You want a video of something rare. Justin Bieber stopping a bratty kid from being a public nuisance”

    • ei(pi)+1=0

      Look at the last Quebec election – things can change during a campaign. The NDP, no doubt, will figure that no-one in their right mind will vote Liberal so she does have great room to improve with the centre left crowd. They could overtake the Liberals and maybe be in the drivers seat of a minority government, not the back-seat driver they are now.
      As for the Conservatives, they too figure that no-one in their right mind will vote Liberal. By getting the support of the centrist voters, they could form a minority. There are probably plenty of centrist voters who are shocked that Ontario has fallen to have-not status and has economic performance that greatly lags that of Canada as a whole.

      • OgtheDim

        “that no-one in their right mind will vote Liberal”

        Ur assumption is based on people thinking like you do.

        Bad assumption.

        A LOT of people think the best thing that could happen is the Tories end up in 3rd in a minority situation.

        • vampchick21

          I don’t think that was the poster’s assumption, they were saying that’s likely the assumptions of Horwath and Hudak.

          • Notcleverguy

            However, I did like the use of “Ur”, that’s awesome.

          • dsmithhfx

            Stick around, he uses it a lot.

          • Notcleverguy

            I wasn’t even being sarcastic.

            On a sports blog I visit, “Ur” has taken on a kind of mythical comical life of it’s own.

          • TheSotSays

            Comical? I must have missed that.

            Any reference I can find pertaining to the use of “Ur” refers to it as childish.

          • TheSotSays
          • OgtheDim

            Language develops from strange places- I’m English by background, working class north west type, and the accents I grew up with phonetically were not exactly Queens or Canadian English.

            As to how I use your:

            In speech, I’m likely to say “Yur”.

            I have memories of the pronunciation “Uuuur” being used in discussions, in particular when disagreeing with somebody on something worth arguing about but not at the level of “if you disagree with me on this I will never speak to you again”. Banter and bicker discussions.

            The urban dictionary reference provided by the troll is interesting in that the poster assumes only one way to say/spell things is correct – I suspect in the 11 years since that was posted, that the poster has since changed how they say things.

            How we speak/type changes over time. Much like we look back at photos of ourselves from even 3 years ago and notice hair styles and clothes that we don’t do anymore, our speech and English usage when typing, if we were to look back at stuff from 10 years ago, has changed.

            Any expectation of the English language to stay static is doomed to be disappointed.

          • TheSotSays

            “Language develops from strange places-”

            And no stranger place than NDP Junction Land is there “Sunflower.” Or more childish either.

          • dsmithhfx

            I don’t think it’s an assumption by either party, but more of a highly unrealistic wish among the fire-breathing faithful.

      • rich1299

        If they had a more moderate leader for the Ontario PC party they would have a good chance of scooping up a bunch of centrist voters. With Hudak at the helm of the PCs I just don’t see centrist votes going his way. I suppose its possible there are enough young people who don’t remember the Harris years for a bit of a bump in Hudak’s favour but fewer younger people vote than older people. They’ve tossed Tory after losing just one election while they keep Hudak despite him being considered unelectable by many Ontarians.

        I can easily see a Wynne Lib minority or even a slim majority. Hudak is the best thing the Ont. Libs have going for them. I’m not overly trusting of the Ont NDP either though I suppose if they come out in a big way during the election things could change.

        Ontario is only a “have not” province on the political bias of the equalization payments that doesn’t count the full value of natural resource extraction while the manufacturing sector is fully counted in calculating the equalization payments. It was originally set up this way since manufacturing was considered to be a permanent revenue source while natural resources wouldn’t last for ever. As we’ve seen though our manufacturing sector is far less permanent than originally thought.

        So Ontario is considered a have not province despite it still sending billions more dollars into the equalization plan that it gets out of it. In other words we’re contributing more than we get so we’re hardly a have not province. If the value of natural resources and manufacturing were counted equally Ontario, and likely Quebec too, would still be a have province

  • Randy Weinstein

    Populist politics are so damaging.

    • mlr81

      Politics comes in flavours other than ‘populist’!? Who knew…?

  • dsmithhfx

    I’m willing to give Wynne the benefit of the doubt, if only because she is able to project sincerity and trustworthiness far better than Horwath.

    Horwath and Hudak are pitching to the same angry bloc. That is not a vision, and can have no good outcome (as we’ve seen with Ford); it is just a cynical, foot-in-the-door exercise.

    The Liberal pension proposal is probably the gutsiest thing to come out of a government in a long, long time, and the one thing that will really help a lot of people. The feds should have have done it, but they won’t as long as Harper rules.

    The Liberal proposal for transit, as shaky as it is, is more appealing than the NDP non-plan, and Hudak’s screw transit plan.

    • OgtheDim

      I’m trying to figure out what Horwath gets out of giving the middle finger to TTC riders. They are taking Toronto voters for granted.

      • dsmithhfx

        She’s taking transit users for granted, it’s debatable whether they are a majority of voters (that will actually vote) in enough ridings to affect the outcome.

        Horwath isn’t really offering anything to anyone, except a way to stamp on liberal toes for the gas plant snafu, without following a nutter over a cliff.

        The ONDP takeaway seems to be that anger is a more effective motivator in politics than hope.

        Not exactly Layton’s vision, is it?

  • Laura

    A vote against the budget is a vote against supporting increased adoption resources and funding to provide aid for 1in6 struggling w infertility. Thanks ndp…

    • Squintz

      That;s the main priority you take away from the budget?

      • laura

        that’s just one of many of the budget issues that effects our family and 2.25 million other Ontarians. 1 in 6 is not a ‘fringe group’.

        There were many budget issues that would have effected ‘real lives, real problems, and real people’ that aren’t going to happen…Instead we get an election called and the problems and support needed go on unanswered and not addressed.

        Do you realize that there is currently a 17 month backlog to complete the pre approval training required to be considered for adoption or foster status through CAS. 17 MONTHS! There simply isn’t enough funding and support available to be able to process and vet the numbers of families eager to adopt a child currently waiting for placement at CAS.

        17 months is a huge amount of time in a child’s life, an absolutely unacceptable delay that could be avoided with the budget recommendations for additional funding and support of adoption resources.

        You better believe that is a HUGE budgetary priority. There was a real opportunity to have some effective change and improvement to adoption processes in Ontario and have that backlog managed in a way that resulted in children being placed in forever homes rather than sitting on the gov tab for months and years on end.

        Instead we get a forced election…and at what cost.

        • Squintz

          Its a broken system, one budget wasn’t going to solve this. It sounds like you are taking this far too personally and trying to ascribe meaning to Horwath’s actions that simply isn’t there.

          • rich1299

            Politics are always personal and politicians are supposed to represent their constituents. Its very true that different segments of our population have different political priorities that matter a great deal to them. Just because you couldn’t care less about this issue doesn’t mean laura who does care about it is “taking this far too personally”. The ndp could’ve also called an election with the following budget letting this one pass.

  • torontothegreat

    I’m curious to know how Tory is going to handle this as far as him platform goes, which seemed entirely based off the outcome of the Liberal budget.

    • OgtheDim

      Or Chow, which seems entirely based on Hudak not getting in.

      • torontothegreat

        Chow is using a lot of existing money to get things done though. I don’t think her platform is as nearly dependent on Provincial funding as Tory has seemingly implied for himself.

        • TheSotSays

          The only “existing” money is Other People’s Money and tax plundering NDP Chow is addicted to it.

          • OgtheDim

            As against your guy who thinks everybody not white, straight and male is ‘the other”, eh bed sheet hood boy?

          • TheSotSays


          • estta

            So what did you think of those latest Ford videos?

          • dsmithhfx

            Are you kidding? They’re in his porn collection.

          • TheSotSays

            Everything is relative, and compared with the antics of NDP Chow and her late husband Jack , Rob Ford is still looking good to me.

            Rob will come back from rehab all dried out and good to go for the next 25 years but Chow’s problems have an ideological base and can’t be cured.

            We’re living in precarious financial times and running a tax plundering, double dipper, dud candidate for mayor isn’t likely going to cut it. Andrea Horvath acts responsibly, you should have run her.

          • torontothegreat

            “Other People’s Money”

            Taxes, how do they work? Next up, a new discovery that “water is wet”

          • TheSotSays

            “Next up, a new discovery that “water is wet””

            Nope, the next new discovery is going to be made by the Toronto Branch NDP when they discover in October what everyone else already knows now.

            Tax plundering NDP double dippers NOT WANTED.

          • dsmithhfx

            Chow thanks you for continuing to support the hopeless cause Ford. Every vote for Ford is an effective vote for Chow. Don’t stop now!

  • mixandserve

    Were I a New Orleans Saints fan –and a lot of folks are– right now I’d be singing:

    WHO DAT?
    WHO DAT??

    (I say…)

    WHO DAT?
    WHO DAT?
    WHO DAT?


    (Go Team Anyone-But-Hudak!!)

    • Notcleverguy

      Sadly the Saints stole “Who Dat” from the Bengals.

      • TheSotSays

        And laughably, the NDP stole The Iron Chow from the Women’s Extreme Wrestling Federation

  • allyson

    I do NOT trust Andrea Howarth and never have.

    • dsmithhfx

      I don’t mistrust her, but I this smells like a pointless grudge match that could backfire badly. I suppose her measure of success will be if the ndp picks up any seats. If Hudak gets in, too bad.

      • bobloblawbloblawblah

        “If Hudak gets in…..”

        Gawd, help us….Tea Party Tim.

  • dsmithhfx

    You misread my post: if everyone still crazy enough to support a crackhead for mayor actually votes for him, instead of a credible conservative candidate, then Chow wins. Do the math.

    • OpportKnocks

      In Ford Nation hyperpole trumps math.

      Has Doug announced the Tea Party campaign wiz that he was supposed to meet in Chicago to salvage the RoFo train wreck?

      • dsmithhfx

        Haven’t heard about that. Got a link?

        • OpportKnocks

          It was early last week and I was just trying to find it but came up with nada. Possibly it was in a comment posted on one of these boards.

          • dsmithhfx

            Fair enuf. I’ve heard mention of past teabagger trysts.

  • dsmithhfx

    Some conservative governments were relatively good, and some bad.

    For example the Harris government, which Hudak apparently intends to emulate, was an unmitigated disaster from which this city may never recover. So yeah, ‘the sky will fall’ is probably a lot closer to the truth than you realize. If he’s elected. That part is unlikely.

  • rich1299

    Ontario is still the economic engine of Canada. We get something from the equalization program due to its bias against the manufacturing sector that, when the program was drawn up was seen to be permanent so the value of its output was calculated at 100% while natural resources were seen as temporary so their economic value is considered to be much less in tallying up equalization payments.

    The reality is that Ontario still sends billions of dollars more into the equalization program than it gets out of the program. If natural resources were counted the same as manufacturing or vice versus, since we’ve seen just how temporary manufacturing can be, then provinces like Ontario and Quebec would be able to keep more of the money collected in their own provinces. We’d be able to reduce our debt levels, be deficit free and still provide the services Ontarians need.

  • OpportKnocks

    NAFTA and globalization of industrial production is what did in much of the Ontario manufacturing sector. You will recall that this all happened under the conservative trifecta of Reagan, Thatcher and Mulroney.

    You could argue that this was done to break the backs of the unions, who the conservatives believed had gained too much political power.