Horwath supports incentives for auto sector

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath at Brampton library's Cyril Clark branch on May 21, 2014 in Brampton,...

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath at Brampton library's Cyril Clark branch on May 21, 2014 in Brampton, Ont. (DAVE THOMAS/QMI Agency)

Antonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 3:20 PM ET

An NDP government would be open to partnering with the auto sector to keep jobs in the province, Leader Andrea Horwath says.

“I’m the daughter of an auto worker. I know what good jobs...the auto sector brings,” Horwath said Wednesday. “I believe that the government of this province needs to be very active in maintaining and expanding the opportunities in the auto sector.

“And that does mean sitting down with these companies and getting a sense of what other jurisdictions are offering in terms of incentives, what Ontario can offer over and above our skilled workforce and our capacity to put out excellent products,” she said.

Premier Kathleen Wynne dismissed Horwath as “irrelevant” Wednesday and accused PC Leader Tim Hudak of being willing to “destroy” the province’s auto sector.

In February, Hudak criticized Chrysler’s request for about $700 million in public funds as “corporate welfare.”

Wynne expressed disappointment at the time that Chrysler subsequently took its request off the table.

Horwath joined in the Hudak pile-on Wednesday, saying he had delivered a “backhand” to northern Ontario by refusing to participate in a special election debate on that region’s issues.

The PC party issued a statement expressing disappointment at being unable to attend, saying the organizers of the debate chose a date that only works for some provincial parties, not the Tories.

Horwath was in Brampton Wednesday to discuss her “open school” plan with NDP Brampton-Springdale candidate Gurpreet Dhillon.

The $60-million fund would help keep under-capacity school facilities open for community and non-profit use after hours and on weekends at a reasonable rate, Horwath said.

“So unlike the Liberals, who continue to close schools and tear that heart out of communities, and Conservatives frankly have been silent on this issue, New Democrats believe that an open school fund is something that will help serve communities and will help these schools stay open and stay accessible to community groups,” she said.


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