NDP Leader brings election message to Essex (GALLERY)

Ron LeClair (from left at microphone), NDP candidate for Essex, speaks as Windsor-Tecumseh candidate Gemma Grey-Hall, Lisa Gretzky of Windsor West, Brock McGregor of Cahtham-Kent-Leamington, and Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath listen in Essex, May 12, 2022. Photo by Mark Brown/WindsorNewsToday.ca.

An Ontario party leader discussed health care, affordable housing, and other hot topics during a southwestern Ontario campaign stop Thursday.

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath met with supporters in Essex, at the campaign headquarters of Essex candidate Ron LeClair. Horwath was also accompanied by Windsor West candidate Lisa Gretzky, Windsor-Tecumseh’s Gemma Grey-Hall, and Brock McGregor for Chatham-Kent-Leamington.

Horwath expressed the NDP’s support for the “Platform 4 Windsor”, a series of priorities created by Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens. She then turned her attention to the party’s promise of bringing a new sense of normal to the province.

“The things we should be able to rely on just aren’t there for us anymore, and certainly, COVID-19 showed us just how much is broken in Ontario,” said Horwath.

Horwath discussed the NDP’s plan to support health care workers should the party take power after June 2. She also touched on a subject that has affected many in Windsor-Essex, affordable housing.

“Gemma, Lisa, and I were on the bus on the way here talking about some of these very things. We need to make housing more affordable so that people can have a roof over their head, and still pay the bills,” said Horwath. “We can do that, we can make sure we have a minimum wage that people can rely on.”

Horwath criticized the Progressive Conservatives for a perceived lack of attention to Ontario’s schools and school safety in the face of COVID-19.

“We want not only parents, but young people and educators to know that they can have a government that supports our public education system, and gives our kids what they need to thrive and have bright futures in our province,” said Horwath.

Outgoing NDP members Percy Hatfield and Taras Natyshak also campaigned with Horwath on Thursday. Hatfield’s seat in Windsor-Tecumseh is open due to retirement, while Natyshak is leaving his Essex seat to spend more time with family.

Meanwhile, Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford made a pair of quick campaign stops in southwestern Ontario. He stopped first at a produce facility in Staples with Chatham-Kent-Leamington PC candidate Trevor Jones, then appeared at a pizzeria in Tecumseh with Windsor-Tecumseh PC candidate Andrew Dowie. Ford is scheduled to make a campaign announcement in Windsor on Friday morning.