If the New Democratic Party is elected in Ontario, it would ensure resources that could be processed here are, it would cut the HST from electricity and home heating bills and encourage 200 doctors to practise in underserviced areas of the province, at least 50 of them in the North.
Northeastern Ontario would also get the positron emission tomography scanner that thousands of northerners have been calling for, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath told a partisan crowd at Laurentian University on Thursday.
Those promises and more are contained in the Respect for the North plan Horwath unveiled in Sudbury at her first stop on a northern tour.
It is time Queen’s Park showed respect to the people and the communities of the North, said Horwath, and hers is the party to do it.
NDP rule would end “years of neglect” from a government “that just didn’t seem to care,” said Horwath. “Frankly, Northern Ontario deserves a lot better.”
Horwath struck a chord with the audience on northern issues such as lost jobs in resource industries.
Her government would help forestry towns “get back on their feet” and ensure contracts such as a multimillion project for GO Transit went to Ontario Northland rather than an out-of- province company.
“That work can be done here and those jobs belong here,” said Horwath.
Household budgets are getting “hammered” in Ontario, she said, calling energy prices in the province “a genuine scandal.”
As hard as the rest of Ontarians are being hit by hydro costs, northerners are hit even harder because of the area’s climate.
An NDP government would merge hydro companies in Ontario, making them more accountable to consumers.
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