Smokey Thomas publicly commends and supports
Andrea Horwath's position on the Ontario budget
On behalf of OPSEU, President Smokey Thomas commends NDP leader Andrea
Horwath for efforts to reduce the negative impact of the Liberal budget.
This contrasted the NDP from the Conservatives. These efforts lessened the
impact of the budget while not prompting another election just six months
after the last provincial vote.
April 24, 2012
Andrea Horwath, MPP (Hamilton Centre)
Room 113, Main Legislative Building
Dear Sister Horwath:
Re: Balanced Measures Assure Progress for Ontario
On behalf of OPSEU’s 130,000 members, I commend you for the leadership you
have demonstrated to the people of Ontario.
Clearly, Ontarians were of two minds. They did not like the right wing
McGuinty budget yet they did not want an expensive election just six months
after the last provincial vote. That presented both the NDP and PCs with a
choice of strategies.
You could have acted as did PC leader Tim Hudak, and take the easy path. If
you had you would have played politics with the lives of those in our province
that desperately need balance and stability during these challenging times.
You could have given up when the McGuinty Liberals publicly chastised your
efforts to arrive at a deal. But you did not. Instead you rolled up your sleeves
and put the people of Ontario first. Your efforts not only shaped the debate on
tax fairness – you changed it.
Your position to have the ultra-rich dig a little deeper during these
difficult times was widely accepted by all Ontarians. Even those with the good
fortune to be earning a little more had to admit that they should pay a greater
share than those less advantaged.
You stood firm on principle for our most vulnerable. You gave credence to the
fact that unfettered corporate tax cuts do nothing to create wealth. Instead,
the middle class rather than the corporate elite will provide the key to future
You fought hard for rural Ontario, forcing the government to establish
transition language for the horserace industry and all who depend on it. You put
good jobs for all firmly onto the agenda.
Most importantly, you demonstrated confident, intelligent leadership that
gives the province hope for a future where no one is left behind.
I know that there is more to be done. At least now working people, middle
class Ontarians and the poor and vulnerable all have a champion in their corner.
I urge you to continue down the road of balance, fairness and competence.
There are more fights to come in our collective future. It is said that it is
people that make a house a home.
It won’t be long before the people of our province realize that an Andrea
Horwath NDP government represents the best chance for all of us to come back
home to a prosperous and inclusive Ontario.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas