Horwath, Ontario NDP to kick off election campaign in Hamilton


Published April 29, 2022 at 5:01 pm


While all four major Ontario parties have been posturing for polling position for weeks, Ontario New Democratic Party Leader Andrea Horwath is set to kick off her party’s campaign in Hamilton tomorrow.

The ONDP, which is Ontario’s official opposition, says it will hold at event at 2 p.m. Saturday at the George R. Robinson Bandshell in Gage Park (1000 Main St. E.). Technically, it is a Hamilton Centre nomination meeting, which is a formality since Horwath is entering her fourth election as leader and has been a member of provincial parliament since 2004.

Along with supporters, Horwath will be joined by ONDP’s other Hamilton area candidates — incumbents Monique Taylor (Hamilton Mountain) and Sandy Shaw (Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas), and challengers Zaigham Butt (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek) and Allison Cillis (Flamborough—Glanbrook). Evelyn Myrie, president of theHamilton Afro-Canadian Caribbean Association and CEO of the EMpower Strategy Group, and former United Steelworkers (USW) national director Ken Neumann are also slated to appear.

After having opposition status for four years, the ONDP and Horwath have their sights set on forming government. Their platform has been focused on affordability and health system measures such a tax freeze for low and middle income earners, mental health coverage and quicker access to pharmacare.

The governing Ontario PC Party adjourned the legislature on Thursday for the June 2 election, and the summer, without passing a spring budget. The Ontario PCs, who are led by Premier Doug Ford, presented $198.6-billion fiscal plan, but since it was not debated or voted into law, it essentially functions as the incumbent’s election platform.

In 2018, the ONDP earned 40 seats to form opposition. They are running third in most reputable polls, with the Ford-led PC Party in first and the Ontario Liberal Party (OLP) and Leader Steven Del Duca in second. The Green Party of Ontario, under Leader Mike Schreiner, has also had greater visibility over the last four years due in part to growing concern about climate catastrophe and the party holding a seat in the legislature.

The showing included winning four-of-five Hamilton-area seats. One-time city councillor Donna Skelly captured Flamborough—Glanbrook for the Ontario PC Party, and the Liberals were shut out. The Greens’ best showing locally in ’18 was 5.75 per cent in Hamilton Centre.

The Liberals’ federal counterpart, though, won three of the five Hamilton seats in the 2021 federal election. Hamilton Centre (New Democrat MP Matthew Green) and Flamborough—Glanbrook (Conservative Party of Canada MP Dan Muys) were the exceptions.

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