Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says the party will support the ruling Liberals' budget, avoiding a spring election.
'We are prepared to support this budget within a process that ensures the financial accountability office legislation is passed into law early this fall.' —Andrea Horwath, Ontario NDP leader
Horwath made the comment Tuesday while speaking at a news conference at Queen's Park. She said although the NDP did not get everything it wanted, it was enough to offer its support to the Liberal Party.
"We are prepared to support this budget within a process that ensures the financial accountability office legislation is passed into law early this fall," Horwath said. "We will pass this budget based on the commitments this government has made and we will remain vigilant to ensure their promises are kept."
On Friday, Premier Kathleen Wynne agreed to the NDP's call for an independent financial accountability officer and new accountability measures in the health-care system.
Earlier this month, Horwath demanded that a financial accountability office be created to keep tabs on government spending. She has continually referred to Ornge, eHealth Ontario and the two cancelled gas plants as the type of scandals that can be avoided with an accountability office.
"People are upset that their hard-earned dollars have been wasted in the past by the Liberals," said Horwath during a May 8 news conference.
Wynne also agreed to lowering auto insurance premiums, but did not agree to cancel plans for new high occupancy toll lanes or what the NDP has dubbed "Lexus lanes." The premier also stopped short of the New Democrats' demand to give the ombudsman oversight of hospitals.
Asked if she was satisfied with the NDP decision, Wynne said, "I can't tell you what will happen three, six, eight months from now, but I'm very happy to get through this budget cycle."
The Progressive Conservatives have made it clear they want an election. And although the NDP support means there won't be a genenral election, the promise of the budget passing does set the stage for two byelections.
Wynne said Tuesday she's going to look at setting dates for two byelections: one in Windsor, the other in London. Both seats were held by Liberals — Dwight Duncan and Chris Bentley — who resigned when the new premier took office.