Hi, I’m Todd Case, Mayor of Watford for 18 years, former Warden of Lambton County and a small business owner.
After 15 years of Liberal government, life has only gotten harder for families. Now, Doug Ford promises deeper cuts, more reckless privatization and to continue Wynne’s hydro scheme that will raise already outrageous bills by 70% more after the election.
We can do better.
Andrea Horwath’s NDP has a vision to make life more affordable for everyone and a fully-costed plan that asks the wealthiest people and most profitable corporations to pay a bit more. That includes dental and drug coverage for everyone, ending hallway medicine, fixing seniors care, lowering hydro bills by 30% by eliminating unfair rural delivery charges and bringing broadband and natural gas to rural Ontario while expanding the cap on the risk management program. Together, we can change Ontario for the better.
Would you make changes, and if so, what, to the Green Energy Act?
Andrea Horwath and the NDP support green energy, but the Liberal approach has been a mess that focusses on private power and takes decision making power out of the hands of communities. It’s also clear that we can’t afford to go from bad to worse by replacing Wynne’s mismanaged electricity system with Doug Ford’s mismanaged electricity system. Ford will say and do anything to avoid talking about police investigations and his plans to close hospitals, fire nurses and cut taxes for the wealthy. We want to put our system in public hands, and make sure it respects the decisions of small, rural communities. That is why Andrea Horwath and the Ontario NDP were the first to commit to the Health Hazard Study asked for by Water Wells First. We will also aggressively re-negotiate and cancel bad energy contracts to stop the ridiculous practice of selling energy at a loss.
Ontario electricity prices continue to spiral upward. What should be done to stop the increases?
Kathleen Wynne’s government sold off Hydro One despite widespread opposition. Under the Liberals, hydro rates rose 300% then Wynne borrowed billions to artificially keep bills down. Now, Doug Ford wants to keep this scheme in place, dumping $40 billion in new charges onto hydro bills. That means your bills will skyrocket by 70% after the election.
Andrea Horwath knows it doesn’t have to be this way. To reduce rates by about 30%, we will bring Hydro One back into public hands. We will eliminate the unfair rural delivery charges that mean we pay more for the same amount of energy usage as someone in the city. We will get rid of mandatory time-of-use charges because we know farmers can’t choose when to operate. We will cap profit margins and executive salaries, and fix the oversupply in our system so that we aren’t selling power across the border at a loss.
How do you think the increase in minimum wage has impacted the Ontario economy?
Too many families in Ontario are feeling squeezed while watching the services they rely on be cut and privatized after 20 years of Liberal and Conservative governments. Now, Doug Ford has promised to cut taxes for the wealthiest Ontarians and the most profitable corporations, leaving those earning minimum wage with $1,000 less in their pockets every year compared to the planned minimum wage increase. Tax cuts for the wealthy and giveaways to largest corporations haven’t worked for 20 years. Why should we believe they will now? There’s a reason Doug Ford doesn’t have a costed platform. He doesn’t want to tell us what services he will cut to put extra money in the pockets of his wealthy Toronto friends.
In terms of health care, what do you feel the spending priority should be?
After decades of switching between Liberal and Conservative governments, health care across Ontario has been stretched to its breaking point. The good news is that we don’t have to choose between bad and worse anymore. Andrea Horwath and the NDP believe that delivering quality public health care is one of the most important things our government does. We will put an end to overcrowding and hallway medicine by restoring hospital funding and ensuring it keeps pace every year with inflation, the needs of aging communities, and recognizes the unique needs of communities like those in rural and small-town Ontario. We will open 2,000 new hospital beds immediately and shorten wait times for surgery by allowing hospitals to remove arbitrary caps that force surgery cancellations and delays. And we will invest in expanding hospitals to meet growing capacity needs, including much needed investments to replace or repair aging rural hospitals.
The province has a debt of more than $320 billion, running a deficit this year of about $6.7 billion. What has to change?
For more than 20 years Liberal and Conservative governments have cut taxes for the wealthiest people and most profitable corporations in our province. Meanwhile, they’ve asked families like yours and mine to get by with less while they cut and privatize the services we rely on. Andrea Horwath and the NDP have a different vision – a vision of change for the better in our province. We will protect low and middle income families by asking the very rich to pay a little bit more, raising income tax by 1% for those who earn over $220,000 every year and 2% over $300,000. We will end corporate income-tax giveaways and close loopholes that allow big corporations to qualify for a small business exemption, and we will add a surcharge for luxury vehicles that cost more than $90,000.