Horwath wants Liberals to 'make good' on budget promises
Ontario NDP leader speaks to media after meeting with premier
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says her party has no intention of holding up business unnecessarily in the legislature this fall, but they want to see the Liberals make good on promises they made to get their budget passed.
Horwath had a late afternoon meeting with Premier Kathleen Wynne, in which the two party leaders were going to discuss priorities at the legislature during the fall session.
Wynne has been reaching out to the opposition leaders to see what kind of co-operation may exist on bills of common interest and to determine if a fall election can be avoided.
Following the Monday afternoon meeting, Horwath said the New Democrats simply want to see the governing Liberals live up to what they promised.
“Now it’s going to be up to the premier to make good on her word when it comes to the promises she made in the budget,” Horwath told reporters at the legislature.
The governing Liberals have been dealing with the challenges of a minority position in the legislature for nearly two years.
And after a set of summer byelections, the government now holds only 50 of 107 seats. The Progressive Conservatives hold 37 seats and the New Democrats the remaining 20.
In the last legislative session, the Opposition Tories refused to co-operate with the Liberals and have made continual calls for a change in government.
That left the government looking to the third-party New Democrats for support to get their budget bill passed — an event that was made possible by the Liberals making concessions to them.
Wynne has warned that she will call an election if the Opposition stops all bills from being passed in the fall session.
The premier believes that there are bills and issues that both opposition parties can support.
"It's very clear to me that there are areas where the NDP, and quite frankly the Conservatives as well, have indicated that they're supportive, and so my hope is our conversation today will be about those things," said Wynne.
"I'm under no illusion that there aren't issues where we'll continue to disagree, but I think there are some areas — like the local food act — where we can agree."
Former premier Dalton McGuinty announced his intent to resign as Liberal leader in October of last year. That was about a year after the provincial election that created the current minority government.
His departure from the legislature triggered a leadership contest, which Wynne won at the end of January.
With files from The Canadian Press