Andrea Horwath and the NDP are releasing a Northern platform which they say is a plan to make life easier, healthier and more affordable for northerners.
“I want people to get the health care they need without long waits or long drives. And folks need lower costs and more good-paying jobs, so the next generation can stay and raise their own family in northern Ontario,” said Horwath.
“People in northern Ontario have been denied their fair share for too long by too many governments. But the good news is, together, we can start to fix that.”
Under Horwath’s plan:
- Ontario will hire 300 doctors in Northern Ontario, including 100 specialists and 40 mental health practitioners. Northerners will have less highway medicine, and will get mental health care with their health card, not their credit card.
- A Northern Health Travel Grant Guarantee will ensure Northerners never have to wait longer than 14 days to be paid back for health travel.
- The overdose crisis will be declared a public health emergency, and additional supervised consumption sites will be expedited. The NDP will also invest in treatment, including detox and rehab beds.
- Northern communities will get more training and job opportunities in the trades, mining, and in the film and television sector. Ontario will open community-run employment and training centres.
- Instead of Doug Ford’s cut to Canadian content rules for transit projects, more trains and streetcars will be built in Northern Ontario.
- High-Speed internet will be available province-wide by 2025.
- The Northlander will be fully restored, and will connect with the Polar Express in Cochrane
“Our plan is also guided by the unique needs and rights of Northern Indigenous and Francophone communities. Indigenous Peoples have been denied respect and basic needs, like clean water and culturally appropriate health care. And the cuts Doug Ford made to Francophone education and culture have been felt deeply. Together, we can turn that around,” said Horwath.