By Kevin Werner, News Staff
A financial accountability office and a new ministry of savings and accountability will prevent future Ontario government scandals, says NDP leader Andrea Horwath.
Soon after casting her ballot in her home riding of Hamilton Centre May 31, Horwath railed against the “corrupt” Liberal government, saying Ontarians are getting tire of the constant scandals that have been revealed over the past few years.
“One of the things the people of this province can take to the bank June 12 (is) the NDP will not waste your money,” Horwath told reporters. “We will respect your tax dollars.”
Horwath pounded on the Liberals’ constant scandals, including the latest revelation involving the potential $300 million bailout of a charitable research firm, MaRS, in downtownToronto. The Liberals provided MaRS to build a second tower near Queen’s Park, on top of a $234-million loan. But documents presented by the Progressive Conservatives reveal MaRS and the American-based real estate firm are unable to repay the money.
“This is exactly the kind of behaviour people are tired of when it comes to the Liberals,” said Horwath, who has requested the auditor general investigate the issue.
The NDP made the creation of a finance accountability office one of the conditions to supporting the Liberals’ 2013 budget. The NDP, though, have criticized the Liberals for failing to establish the office by the end of the year. The Liberals counter they had submitted a number of names for the office, but the NDP rejected them. It would cost about $2.5 million.
Meanwhile, the idea of forming another government ministry to find efficiencies, and redistribute spending in particular areas, such as health care, would be a key component of an NDP government. The ministry would have a mandate to eliminate $600 million annually from the province’s budget.
“One of the reasons we are in this election campaign is because of the financial accountability office,” said Horwath.
Meanwhile, Horwath rejected the idea of strategic voting to prevent Tory leader Tim Hudak from forming the next government. She emphasized the NDP is running to be the next party in government.
“People need to think carefully (about) voting this time around in a way that brings the type of province we want,” she said. “People do have a choice. I am running to be the premier of this province. People don’t need to support Kathleen Wynne and the scandalous government.”
Horwath also rejected the idea of backing a Tory government, which is only interested in cutting jobs.
“I will not support any plan that fires 100,000 hard-working people in this province,” she said.
Horwath and Hudak cast their ballots on the first day of advanced polls. They are open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day until June 6.
Hudak was in Grimsby depositing his ballot.
Horwath arrived in a vehicle, accompanied by her 21-year-old son Julian Leonetti at the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Hamilton office onMain Street Eastlate morning. The NDP leader’s arrive sent poll workers into a tizzy making sure the media didn’t impact any of the people who were voting at the site.
Wynne was campaigning in downtown Toronto on May 31.