Hor­wath woos Ni­a­gara vot­ers with tran­sit prom­ises

NDP leader makes campaign stop in St. Catharines

The Welland Tribune - - Front Page - BILL SAWCHUK

NDP Leader An­drea Hor­wath rolled into St. Catharines on her big or­ange bus and revved up a crowd of well­wish­ers with the city’s train sta­tion in the back­ground dur­ing a campaign stop Thurs­day.

It’s this sta­tion that will be hum­ming with GO train traf­fic if Ni­a­gara’s tran­sit boost­ers see their dream re­al­ized and daily ser­vice ar­rives — and Hor­wath matched her mes­sage with the back­drop.

“Peo­ple in this re­gion have been squeezed long enough,” she said.

“It’s time for a change that will look af­ter the grow­ing num­ber of com­muters here, con­nect­ing them with ev­ery op­por­tu­nity, whether it’s a dream job or a qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion.”

She was flanked by NDP can­di­dates from all four Ni­a­gara rid­ings: Wayne Gates in Ni­a­gara Falls, Jeff Burch in Ni­a­gara Cen­tre, Jen­nie Stevens in St. Catharines and Cur­tis Fric in Ni­a­gara West.

Gates is the lone in­cum­bent. Burch won the right to take the place of NDP stal­wart Cindy Forster, who is retiring.

Hor­wath said her plat­form of­fers hope for peo­ple in Ni­a­gara who want bet­ter funded lo­cal tran­sit and more fre­quent GO ser­vice be­tween Ni­a­gara and Toronto.

The plat­form in­cludes restor­ing the prov­ince’s 50 per cent share of net oper­at­ing ex­penses for lo­cal tran­sit

and in­vest­ing in year-round GO rail ser­vices in Ni­a­gara.

“Ev­ery­day peo­ple should be able to count on tran­sit in their com­mu­ni­ties, but that hasn’t been the case un­der the Lib­er­als and Con­ser­va­tives. Our change for the bet­ter will make it eas­ier and more af­ford­able for On­tar­i­ans to where they need to go. That means tak­ing ac­tion to build the tran­sit sys­tem that peo­ple de­serve, no mat­ter where they live in the prov­ince.”

Hor­wath added that in­stead of in­vest­ing in bet­ter tran­sit, Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive Leader Doug Ford has vowed to cut at least $6 bil­lion across the board and to pri­va­tize as much as he can.

As for the Lib­er­als, she said, “We have had a gov­ern­ment for 15 years that has many times promised im­prove­ments to GO rail ser­vices to these com­mu­ni­ties and yet, here we are, and the ben­e­fits that the ser­vice could pro­vide in St. Catharines and Ni­a­gara have not been re­al­ized … What we have had is a lot of talk and no ac­tion.”

BOB TYMCZYSZYN THE ST. CATHARINES STAN­DARD

An­drea Hor­wath at an NDP campaign event in St. Catharines. To her right is Ni­a­gara Cen­tre can­di­date Jeff Burch.

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