Horwath blasts rivals on health
NDP leader Andrea Horwath fired dual blasts Tuesday in London at the ruling Liberals and front-running Tories, accusing both of so neglecting health care that London and its hallway medicine has become ground zero for what ails the province.
“London Health Sciences has actually had to implement something that they are calling a hallway medicine protocol. This is the response that hospitals are left with after all the cuts the Liberal government has implemented. It should never, ever have come to this,” Horwath told supporters at a rally in downtown London.
“I don’t think that Doug Ford is going to be the answer to the problems that we have when it comes to cuts to our health-care system. Look at what the Conservatives did the last time they were in office: They closed 28 hospitals and fired 6,000 nurses.”
Since May 1, staff at London’s University and Victoria hospitals have been following a detailed “hallway medicine” protocol to decide which patients can be moved to stretchers in hallways to free up space in overcrowded emergency rooms, intensive care units and surgical recovery wards.
Also in the London area Tuesday, Premier Kathleen Wynne focused on the dream of a high-speed rail link with Toronto, which she said only the Liberals are committed to seeing through.
“We’re at a point where it’s much more real than in the past,” Wynne said as she unveiled her plans for the first phase of the link, which could start service as soon as 2025. She dangled the enticing carrot of a 73-minute commute time to downtown Toronto, compared to some two hours now. Wynne is promising to: formally begin the environment assessment required by awarding a contract and issuing a notice of commencement
appoint David Collenette to head up the high-speed rail planning advisory board
commit more than $11 billion in the 2018 budget for construction on phase one of high-speed rail between Toronto and London.
Horwath’s attack on the Grits and Tories on the perceived decline of health care has become a cornerstone of her campaign at a time when New Democrats have climbed in the polls to heights not seen since the province elected its only NDP government in 1990.
An Ipsos poll between May 11 and 14 suggested the New Democrats had surged ahead of the Liberals.
Ipsos found the Tories were the choice of 40 per cent, the NDP of 35 per cent and the Liberals of 22 per cent with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.