‘A force­ful op­po­si­tion’

Hor­wath prom­ises to push hard against Ford agenda

Toronto Sun - - NEWS - AN­TONELLA AR­TUSO

Pre­mier-des­ig­nate Doug Ford and NDP Leader Andrea Hor­wath are at odds over one of the first pri­or­i­ties of his new gov­ern­ment — leg­is­lat­ing strik­ing York Univer­sity con­tract fac­ulty back on the job.

“I think it’s pretty clear New Democrats won’t sup­port that leg­is­la­tion,” Hor­wath said Thurs­day, as she held her first of­fi­cial cau­cus meet­ing since the June 7 pro­vin­cial elec­tion.

“I’d be cu­ri­ous to know though whether Mr. Ford has even both­ered to reach out to the two sides when it comes to the York Univer­sity strike.

“Cer­tainly, that’s one of the things that I had com­mit­ted to do­ing as soon as the elec­tion was over, to reach out to the two sides and see if there’s some way to get a res­o­lu­tion with­out the heavy ham­mer of leg­is­la­tion,” she said.

Ford’s ma­jor­ity will even­tu­ally be able to push back-towork leg­is­la­tion through, but Hor­wath was clear the two par­ties have lit­tle in com­mon go­ing for­ward.

“There are many, many pieces that we’re con­cerned about,” she said.

Ontario elected 40 NDP MPPs and they will rep­re­sent the in­ter­ests of the 60% of pro­vin­cial vot­ers who did not sup­port Ford, she said.

Ford’s fo­cus is clearly cut­ting gaso­line prices by 10 cents a litre and end­ing the cap-and-trade pro­gram, but the NDP would have put end­ing hall­way medicine at the top of its agenda, she said.

Hor­wath also men­tioned the can­di­date nom­i­na­tion scan­dals that dogged the PCs up to and through­out the elec­tion cam­paign.

“We will be a force­ful op­po­si­tion, we’ll be a dili­gent op­po­si­tion ... there are still unan­swered ques­tions about the stolen data from the 407, there are still po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tions into some of the nom­i­na­tion meet­ings that were held by the Con­ser­va­tive Party,” she said.

How­ever, Hor­wath still faces her own can­di­date scan­dals in­clud­ing hu­man rights and union griev­ances against two re­turn­ing NDP MPPs, Paul Miller and Monique Tay­lor.

Their fu­ture in the NDP will be de­cided once those pro­cesses are com­pleted, Hor­wath said.

The NDP leader said she does sup­port Ford’s de­ci­sion to present a united front with Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau in the NAFTA talks, but added she would have liked to have seen him in­clude work­ers’ rep­re­sen­ta­tives in his dis­cus­sions with the lead­ers of in­dus­tries im­pacted by

U.S. tar­iffs.

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