Sunday, May 25, 2014

Andrea’s platform: progressive, liberal, real

I’m surprised by lack of rational debate going on this election. Liberal attacks against Andrea Horwath are all smears and lies.

Mudslinging

Liberals chided Andrea for waiting until last Thursday to put out her platform — yet Wynne waited until today to put out her platform!

They claim Andrea is a right-wing Thatcherite. But Andrea will cancel neo-Liberal trickle-down corporate tax cuts for the rich, costing $2.4-billion a year.

The say Andrea is copying the Liberal’s “NDP” budget — as if that makes any sense.

But instead of wasting time with Wynne’s budget that piles empty promises on top of broken ones — which Wynne has no way of paying for — Andrea decided to put a serious budget to the people and let them decide.

What’s wrong with democracy?

Why are Liberals so vehemently opposed to the democratic process? Obviously they believe they are entitled to power. They are not.

So let’s dispense with the nonsense and take a look at some highlights from Andrea’s progressive, fully-costed platform that will eliminate the deficit by fiscal year 2017-18.

Health care

  • 24 hour Family Health clinics

  • Reduce ER wait times in half using program proven to work

  • Home care for seniors (in 2013 budget but abandoned by Wynne)

  • Attract doctors to underserviced areas with student debt forgiveness program

Children

  • Dental care for low-income kids

  • Fund to prevent school closures and extend after-hours programs

  • Nutrition program provide nutritious breakfasts and lunches

  • Day care: invest in safe and affordable childcare spaces

Affordability

  • Eliminate HST on hydro and debt retirement charge (low- and middle-income families are getting gouged by endless Liberal hikes: 160% counting.)

  • Post-secondary tuition freeze

  • 0% interest on student loans

  • Reduce auto insurance rates by 15% (in 2013 budget but abandoned by Wynne)

Accountability

  • Save $600-million eliminating bureaucratic waste (Liberals plan $3-billion cuts to spending)

  • Appoint a Financial Accountability Office (in 2013 budget but abandoned by Wynne)

  • Cancel Liberal corporate tax cuts & close tax loopholes

  • Reduce hydro costs by merging 4 hydro agencies

  • Tougher rules on government partisan advertising

Environment

  • Help families install solar panels and make energy efficient retrofits

  • $29-billion transit fund

  • Prioritize high impact transit projects

  • Conduct an Environmental Assessment of pipeline projects that impact our communities

Jobs

  • $12/hr minimum wage indexed to inflation

  • Invest in re-training programs for workers over the age of 55

  • Job Creation Tax Credit

  • Ring of Fire infrastructure and promote revenue-sharing with First Nations

  • Attract manufacturing jobs by providing incentives for upgrades and expansions

Conclusion

There are a lot of progressive policies here. There are a lot of policies here that will make life affordable for struggling families. There are a lot of good job creation policies.

And best of all, there is no Liberal scheming: no campaigning from the left to win all the power then govern from the right. Andrea is the real deal.

Andrea will wait until the 2015 federal election before proceeding on the pension file, like all other provinces are doing. Wynne’s half-baked pension plan will gouge low-income earners according to Maclean’s: forcing them to pay for benefits they won’t receive.

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