NDP leader Andrea Horwath in Windsor, March 9, 2018. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

NDP Promising Better Auto Manufacturing, Healthcare & Student Breaks

The Ontario NDP says its platform will make life better in Windsor-Essex. The party’s southwestern Ontario platform was revealed on Tuesday.

The three local incumbents promise to create a better local auto research centre, add more hospital beds and healthcare workers, create a ministry to deal with mental health and addictions, and give post-secondary students a break on their loans by turning them into grants.

Windsor-Tecumseh incumbent Percy Hatfield says the NDP wants to create a one stop shop for auto manufacturing and research.

“Try to accelerate auto manufacturing and new tech. We want to concentrate on auto research and development. That’s the way of the future,” says Hatfield.

The NDP also promises to cut hydro rates, keep pushing to include Windsor-Essex in the high speed rail environmental assessment plan and push to create regional transit.

Expanding Hwy. 3 from Essex to Leamington is also in the NDP plan.

The local incumbents say higher taxes for high income earners and corporations will pay for the promises.

Windsor-West incumbent Lisa Gretzky says the NDP wants to open and staff 89 new beds at Hotel Dieu Grace Heathcare for better local healthcare.

“Those beds are there, they are new beds, they’re sitting empty and they have not been used. So, we are committing to funding those 89 beds and getting them open to serve the people of Windsor and Essex County,” Gretzky says.

Essex incumbent Taras Natyshak says the NDP will help farmers by lifting the cap on the business risk management program and stop giving away prime farm land to developers.

“We’re absolutely going to stop that and ensure that prime agricultural land in Ontario is protected and remains a viable economic generator,” says Natyshak.