NDP leader Andrea Horwath says she doesn't regret toppling Liberal government
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has no regrets about giving a thumbs down to Kathleen Wynne’s spring budget.
“Most Ontarians that I talk to, I would say virtually all Ontarians that I’ve talked to in this campaign, are not wanting to reward Liberal corruption, period,” Horwath told a Toronto Sun editorial board Tuesday. “Ontarians are tired of that corruption and that’s one of the factors frankly that I had in my head when I decided not to vote for that budget.
“When OPP came into Queen’s Park to start pulling out hard drives that’s when people told me enough was enough,” Horwath said, referring to a police investigation into the possible destruction of public records just prior to Wynne’s arrival in the premier’s office last year.
Horwath spoke to senior Toronto Sun editors as Wynne stepped up her campaign to draw in NDP voters, having compared Horwath and her pocketbook election platform to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
Again, Horwath made no apologies for offering taxpayers a break even as notable downtown Toronto NDPers broke ranks with the party.
“Regardless of what these people who have their opinions say, I know who I am. I know what I believe in. And I believe strongly that you can respect the tax dollar. You can respect the workers in this province, as well, and the public workers who provide those services,” Horwath said.
Polling shows Horwath’s NDP is third behind the Liberals and Tories but her support has grown since the leadership debate.
With the very real possibility the voters will choose a minority government on Thursday, Horwath wasn’t prepared to talk coalition government, saying that she’s still running to be premier of the province.
“Let’s give people a chance to make their choice and then we’ll see where the lay of the land is and make decisions as a result,” she said. “I’m a pretty pragmatic person and pretty open-minded but I know for sure that I won’t support firing 100,000 people in this province at a time when times are tough. And I certainly am not into governments that disrespect people’s money.”
Horwath has criticized Hudak’s promise to cut the public sector payroll by 100,000 positions, and also Liberal spending scandals such as the $1.1 billion cancelled gas plants.
Asked how she would get control of labour costs, she appeared to reject a legislated wage freeze as proposed by Hudak, arguing it would tie the government up in the courts and end up costing more than a negotiated solution.
“It’s not la la land,” Horwath said, suggesting Hudak’s plan is nonsensical. “With respectful relationships, not with rose-tinted glasses, but with a clear view you can actually achieve important goals.”