Andrea Horwath, Candidate for Hamilton Centre in Ontario Provincial Election 2011

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Candidate Details (top)

NameAndrea Horwath
ElectionOntario Provincial Election 2011
AreaHamilton Centre
PartyOntario New Democratic Party
Email andreahorwath@ontariondp.ca
Website http://ontariondp.com/en/meet-andrea
BioAs a community organizer, a city councillor and an MPP over the last 20 years, I’ve come to see the need for change that will make a difference in your life and in the life of your family.

Growing up near Hamilton, in a family of auto workers, I learned how hard it is to make ends meet with the rising cost of living in an economy where it is hard to find full time, stable, employment.

As a community organizer at a local legal clinic, I’ve learned the importance of public services that we can count on, like education, pensions and health care.

And as a mother to my son Julian, I’ve always recognized the importance of leaving our children a better future than we inherited from our parents.

As leader of Ontario’s New Democrats, I am committed to working day in and day out to bring change that works for you and your family.

Change that provides you and your family quality health care when you need it.

Change that means more jobs in a strong and sustainable Ontario economy.

Wherever I go in this wonderful province of ours, I hear you telling me that we need to change the way that things are done at Queen’s Park. We need to do better and that we can do better. On October 6th I need your support to make sure that we do things better and bring change that works for you and your family.

I hope you will join me.

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Responses to Questions (top)

QuestionBrief ResponseFull Response
In 2007, the Ontario Government promised two light rail lines in Hamilton. Will you fulfill that promise to build light rail in Hamilton? Why or why not? Yes Ontario’s NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has met with Metrolinx and encouraged them to recognize how important the LRT system would be for the City of Hamilton. New Democrats are absolutely in favour of light rail transit in Hamilton.
Will you complete the job of uploading social services costs to the Province? Why or why not? Yes During the Harris and Eaves years of provincial government, millions of dollars of provincial cost-sharing was downloaded to the municipalities. This included hospital, infrastructure spending, court security, education and social assistance. The Liberals promised to upload this money back to the province by 2018. That is seven years away. New Democrats would speed this process up by cost-sharing with municipalities. 

A new, three-year dedicated fund will provide $70 million annually to help municipalities with road and bridge repairs. The operating costs of municipal transit systems will be split 50-50. Costs for social assistance and court security will continue to be uploaded.
And the NDP will make a commitment not to download the cost of hazardous household waste disposal onto municipalities, or consumers in the form of eco-fees. 
Hamilton has a lot of available office space in the downtown. Will you move any departments to Hamilton to boost the local economy and save on rent costs? Why or why not? Maybe If elected, we would review department locations and how we can help boost Hamilton's local economy. New Democrats recognize that the current tax system is stacked against small business, which employs thousands of Ontarians and makes a significant contribution to our economy. Ontario's NDP will reduce the small business tax rate to 4 per cent in order to support these vital businesses. We'll also take the HST off essentials like heating and hydro to ease the squeeze on small business operations.
Do you support completing the Mid-Peninsula Highway? Why or why not? No The NDP's first priority for reducing congestion is to make transit more accessible and affordable to Ontarians. Second, we believe we can make much more efficient use of highways - for example, by speeding up the planned implementation of high-occupancy vehicle lanes. There may be cases where the expansion and extension of highways is necessary, but all cost-effective and environmentally preferable options should be explored first - something we believe the Liberal government has failed to do. Historically, we have raised concern about planned highway expansions that threaten the Greenbelt, such as the Bradford by-pass, the GTA West highway to Guelph, and the Mid-Peninsula highway. We will continue to raise those concerns in the future.
The Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area has some of the worst traffic congestion in North America. What, if anything, will you do to alleviate the gridlock? Yes The cost of congestion in the GTA is $5 billion annually. Ontario’s NDP recognizes that we need to provide convenient and affordable transit options to busy Ontario families by putting transit plans back on track.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be announcing more on our plans to tackle the gridlock issue.
Hamilton has a large number of contaminated brownfield properties that present a risk for investors. What, if anything, will you do to make it easier to remediate brownfields? Yes Brownfield re-development is an important component of the NDP intensification plan. The NDP would assess a range of regulatory, property assessment and tax changes to encourage brownfield development.
Do you believe municipalities should have more powers to generate revenue? If so, what would you propose? If not, why not? Yes Ontario’s New Democrats recognize the fiscal challenges faced by municipalities, which is why we will allocate additional funds to infrastructure projects, continue to upload social service and court security costs by 2018, make the provincial gas tax permanent and fund 50% of the operating costs for municipal transit.

We also are committed to expanding municipal powers to generate revenue. For example, the Development Charges Act should ensure that growth pays for growth. We will also create opportunities for municipalities to engage in renewable energy projects.
Do you support term limits for municipal politicians? Why or why not? Maybe Ontario's NDP believes that measures are needed to enhance democratic participation and accountability at the municipal level. Too often, municipal politicians are beholden to big donors such as developers rather than the needs of their constituents. The NDP proposed stronger restrictions on municipal donations such as reducing donation amounts and banning loans to candidates. These were defeated by the McGuinty government.