Ontario's NDP

Ontario's NDP

September 06, 2007 09:50 ET

Why Should Working Families Believe McGuinty This Time?

Hampton urges voters to reject Liberal record of inaction, broken promises

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 6, 2007) - NDP Leader Howard Hampton this morning issue the following statement on the soon-to-be-released Dalton McGuinty election platform:

"Dalton McGuinty has a miserable record for keeping promises. He broke his promise to children with autism. He broke his promise to shut down coal plants. He broke his promise not to raise our taxes. Why should working families believe him this time?"

Background - Dalton McGuinty's record of inaction, broken promises

Don't believe McGuinty promises to children:

- Dalton McGuinty promised children with autism that he would ensure treatment for them - instead he fought them in court to deny the same treatment.

- This is the second time McGuinty has put full-day kindergarten in a platform. In 2003 he promised: "Public schools will become our community hubs, with full-day junior and senior kindergarten eventually available for all four and five-year-olds." (Ontario Liberal Plan for Education, 2003)

- McGuinty also promised more money for childcare - but it never came. "We are committing $300 million new provincial dollars to increase the affordability and quality of childhood education and care in Ontario" (Response to Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition (ISARC), April 2003). As of 2007 they had invested a mere $25 million.

Don't believe McGuinty promises to students:

- In 2003 the McGuinty promised, "Ontario now has the second highest tuition in the country. Tuition has skyrocketed in programs such as medicine and law. We will not let this continue." As of 2006, Ontario still has the second highest tuition fees in Canada.

- Dalton McGuinty's tuition hikes already leave the average undergraduate paying $460 more than they did two years ago - and looking at the prospect of seeing their tuition increase by at least that much again in the next two years. Professional programs like law have seen an increase of as much as $1,500.

Don't believe McGuinty promises to seniors in long-term care:

- McGuinty Liberals first promised a minimum standard of care for seniors in long-term care homes in the last campaign: "Ernie Eves does not believe in giving our most frail and vulnerable elderly even one bath per week. He cut the standard of 3 baths per week and at least 2.25 hours of nursing care per day. Now there are no standards. Only Dalton McGuinty and the Ontario Liberals are committed to setting high standards in our nursing homes." (Liberal Caucus Release, July 17, 2003). Those standards have not been introduced.

Don't believe McGuinty promises to working families:

- McGuinty has been promising a new statutory holiday for four years - and he hasn't delivered. In 2004, McGuinty Liberals supported a resolution calling for the August long weekend to be made an official statutory holiday. Two years later, however, the McGuinty government has not made any new holidays a reality for Ontario's hard-working families - and shut down the Legislature early this year instead of passing it.

- Meanwhile 175,000 good manufacturing jobs have been lost while Dalton McGuinty opposes measures like a Jobs Protection Commissioner to stand up for good jobs.

Don't believe McGuinty promises to expand health care:

- In 2003 McGuinty promised to stop de-listing of OHIP services and ensure coverage then he de-listed eye exams, chiropractic care and physiotherapy from OHIP forcing Ontario families to pay for those services. The number of new patients seeking chiropractic treatment has plunged 22 per cent since then and the Ontario Association of Optometrists says the government's failure to properly fund primary eye care services "a crisis in the making."

- Toronto's chief dentist Dr. Hazel Stewart proposed an expanded dental program to the McGuinty Government before the last budget and McGuinty refused to respond much less move on a plan ("Health minister silent on dental care" Toronto Star, February 23, 2007)

Don't believe McGuinty promises on the environment:

- Dalton McGuinty has broken his promise to close coal plants three times, exempted nuclear plants and garbage incinerators from Ontario's environmental laws and was criticized by the Environmental Commissioner for underfunding the Minsitry of Environment.

- Dalton McGuinty killed the NDP's "Community Right to Know" Bill that would have ensured citizens have a Right to Know about toxins and carcinogens in their homes and communities. Other jurisdictions have had these laws for quite some time, Canada and Ontario in particular have lagged behind.

Dalton McGuinty's Dirty 30 broken promises:

1. Promised to follow the Taxpayer Protection Act and hold a referendum before any tax increase - then violated Act in first budget, refusing to hold referendum.

2. Promised not to raise taxes - then raised taxes in first Budget.

3. Promised to balance budget every year - then ran deficit in first budget and second and third. Government sources revealed that the government "struggled" to maintain a deficit in 2005-6.

4. Promised to be a "prudent fiscal manager" - then leaked the fact that he was "struggling" to maintain a deficit so he would have an excuse not to increase social spending.

5. Promised not to displace democratically elected school trustees - then took over Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board when trustees refused to make cuts.

6. Promised to reduce the number of students waiting for special education assessment from 40,000 - then dithered. People for Education report in 2007 that 40,600 students are waiting for assessment.

7. Promised to protect Northern and rural schools - but rural schools still closing, drawing criticism from Child Advocate

8. Promised to stop sky-rocketing tuition fees - then announced hikes of up to 36 per cent.

9. Promised to fix the education funding formula and hold annual public hearings to ensure school needs were met - then refused to update the formula and voted against holding hearings.

10. Promised to scrap in-class apprenticeship fees - then refused to, forcing students seeking skills to pay out-of-pocket to learn.

11. Promised to unclog hospital Emergency Rooms - but ER patients are now waiting as long as nine hours to be seen.

12. Promised to extend treatment for autistic children over age 6 saying it was "unfair and discriminatory" not to do so - then fought parents in court to break the promise.

13. Promised to bring private hospitals in Brampton and Ottawa into the public sector - then signed deals that government sources conceded were virtually identical, and announced over twenty new ones.

14. Promised no health premium - then brought in health premium.

15. Promised an end to OHIP de-listing - then de-listed eye exams, chiropractic and physiotherapy treatment, kept audiology de-listed.

16. Promised to end Harris-Eves agenda of creeping privatization - but haven't stopped for-profit private-money (P3) hospitals, still allowing competitive bidding in homecare, and de-listed OHIP services.

17. Promised an annual cost-of-living adjustment to ODSP and Ontario Works - then froze ODSP and OW rates in 2005 budget.

18. Promised to stop clawing back the baby bonus from children on social assistance saying, "We will end the clawback of the National Child Benefit Supplement. The clawback is wrong and we will end it." - clawback is still there, now they're campaigning on a new promise to end it.

19. Promised to reduce energy consumption by five per cent with efficiency and conservation - then broke the all-time record for energy consumption in Ontario.

20. Promised to freeze hydro rates until 2006 - then jacked up hydro rates months after taking office.

21. Promised "public power" using OPG for all new power in Ontario- now building "private power" using Bruce nuclear station and other private sources.

22. Promised to stop construction on the Oak Ridges Moraine - then approved construction of 5,600 new homes.

23.Promised to close Nanticoke Generating Station, one of Canada's biggest polluters, by 2007 "come hell or high water" - then they said it would happen in 2009. Then they said 2014.

24. Promised increased environmental protection - then flat-lined budget at Ministry of the Environment drawing criticism from the environmental commissioner.

25. Promised to implement every recommendation of the Walkerton Inquiry - 19 are still outstanding.

26. Promised to make Agriculture a "Lead Ministry" - then slashed Ministry budget by 23 per cent.

27. Promised to reduce tolls on the 407 - but tolls continue to climb.

28. Promised to bring in real rent control including controls on vacant apartments - then broke that promise leaving the Toronto Star to comment "Mike Harris would feel right at home".

29. Promised to build 20,000 new units of affordable housing - have built less than a fifth of that.

30. Promised to crack down on the influence of big money in politics and introduce limits on pre-election spending - then didn't.

"Working families deserve a government that puts them first - that stands up for good jobs, for children and for our environment. Instead they have a government that kept coal plants burning, fought children and their parents in court, and calls 175,000 lost jobs 'inevitable' while giving themselves a massive pay hike. For the last four years Dalton McGuinty has got it wrong. Ontario's NDP will get it right by standing up for working families," Hampton said.

Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Ontario's NDP
    Jon Weier
    (416) 591-5455 x290
    Ontario's NDP
    Kaj Hasselriis
    (416) 591-5455 x271