NDP Leader for Ontario speaks at Brock

Andrea Horwath, NDP Leader for Ontario, spoke to a filled room of first-year Labour Studies students on the morning of Jan. 21. At 10:00 a.m., Horwath took the podium of AS 203 to speak of her education, her movement into the Canadian political arena and the challenges she has faced since becoming a New Democratic Party (NDP) leader.
As Horwath concluded her 35-minute speech, students were encouraged to ask questions in a Q&A format. Student inquiries ended at 10:50 a.m.
Horwath said in an interview with The Brock Press afterwards that job losses in Ontario have been a major setback, yet the NDP have plans to turn it all around.
“Niagara suffered from manufacturing job loss in a heavy way, and most of southern Ontario and southwestern Ontario has as well. I’m from Hamilton, and it’s a very similar story,” said Horwath. “One of the things that we have been urging the government to consider is a way to try and keep manufacturing jobs here in the province, and to encourage more manufacturing and more investment.”
Horwath said that incentive programs for local businesses such as tax credits will encourage companies to keep jobs here.
“Instead of having to provide across the board tax cuts to companies who then do whatever they want with it; they could invest in Ontario, they could pay off to their shareholders and they could increase the wages of their CEO or salary,” said Horwath. “What [the NDP] think is a better way to do things is to actually tie those incentives to tangible results. So, instead of a giveaway and a tax cut, there’s a tax credit.”
She added that businesses get the tax credit if they hire more workers, if they invest in their plants, machinery or production and if they train their workers.
“A tax credit system, basically, instead of being a free-for-all, it actually gets tangible improvements to our economy to help maintain jobs in Ontario,” said Horwath.
Horwath said that another fundamental approach to job sustainability is procurement.
“We just went through a phase of stimulus funding from the federal and provincial governments, and I believe the provincial government and the federal government need to continue with some stimulus investment,” said Horwath. “But, let’s make sure that those tax dollars that are building bridges and roads and infrastructure in Ontario are putting Ontario workers to work.”
Horwath concluded by touching on the importance of supporting local agri-business.
“If it’s keeping a farm operating, if it’s keeping a business here, keeping people employed and keeping those tax dollars coming into the government coffers, all of those things are important. We have quite a vision as to how we can create a stronger economy in Ontario that is focused on putting people back to work.”  

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