Thursday, March 5, 2009

Leaders of Steel Endorsement

It was an honour to receive the support of Steelworker leaders, Leo Gerard and Ken Neumann. Here I share Leo's letter of endorsement with you.

International President of the United Steelworkers Leo Gerard, Andrea Horwath and Ken Neumann, Steelworkers National Director for Canada.

Daring to Dare Again
Leo Gerard endorses Andrea Horwath

Fellow New Democrats,

My name is Leo Gerard, I was born and raised in Sudbury but today I work in Pittsburgh as the International President of the United Steelworkers.

I'm a proud Canadian and a proud New Democrat. Last year I had the privilege of helping Steelworkers and thousands of everyday Americans make history by electing Barack Obama President of the United States. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

During the campaign, Republicans told Americans the country needed 74-year-old John McCain. They said the economic crisis meant that new leadership was too risky. They were wrong.

Voters knew it was time for change. Time for a leader who would dare to lead differently and draw a new path - not someone that would stay the course and manage a disaster. Sometimes good is just not good enough.

Ontarians and New Democrats, need a leader with a vision for growth and a purpose to break through the established way and open up new territory. That leader is Andrea Horwath.

We deserve a leader that can bring forward a different way of operating, that can break down our barriers and grow our party.

Andrea's record is solid: she builds teams, builds communities and wins campaigns.

With Andrea Horwath, we can look forward to what is possible for New Democrats today.

Under her guidance we can grow beyond where we are and achieve the relevance we once enjoyed.

Sometimes the best tribute to our past leaders and to our legacy, is daring to dare again.

In solidarity,

Leo Gerard

P.S. Vote for Andrea today or donate to her campaign

Thursday, February 12, 2009

In support of northern workers

This week Northern Ontario workers in Marathon, Thunder Bay
and Sudbury received devastating news.

The Thunder Bay Chronicle reported that 1,000 laid-off workers
at Buchanan Forest Products' three Thunder Bay lumber mills will
not be getting their severance pay.

The paper also reported 200 workers at Marathon Pulp Inc.
learned on Tuesday their plant is being idled and they are losing
their jobs. This despite an agreement last fall by plant workers
to cut their pay by 12 per cent.

And in Sudbury, the Star reported today that 700 workers laid
off at Xstrata are resigned to not getting their jobs back.

Here are some quotes from these papers about what workers are

From Buchanan:
"Same stuff we've been hearing for years, nothing new," said one
employee on his way out the door.

"I should have just stayed home. It's the same old story –
there is no light at the end of the tunnel," said another.

From Xstrata:

"There's no real hope for this thing to turn around and us get
our jobs back in the next couple of months, or even in the next
year or two, maybe," said miner Darren Anderson, 29.

"I've been laid off, I've got a wife and two kids and we bought
a house when I started (three years ago), so it's going to be
a struggle," Anderson said.

And the Thunder Bay Chronicle reported that workers at Marathon
Pulp were shocked but not surprised as the plant had been
struggling as much as other area mills with high costs and a
slump in product demand.

This is Dalton McGuinty's status quo. It's wrong and it won't
stop until we:

• give northerners control over their economic destiny with a Northern hydro
system and a commitment to keep resource revenue in the North.
• save forestry jobs by embracing a value-added forestry
• Promote new industries for the North such as light-rail

I will be in Thunder Bay Friday morning meeting with workers
representatives because workers need to know that McGuinty's
lack of action doesn't mean there is no hope.

Ontario New Democrats will work with our federal counterparts
in the North to help workers get the severance pay they earned
from Buchanan. At a time when Canadian workers are footing the
bill for billions of dollars given to banks, we will not allow
workers to be denied their severance pay during these tough times.

We have made-in-Ontario solutions to bring down the costs for
small plants like Marathon Pulp to keep workers on the job.

As leader of the Ontario NDP, I will work with our northern
federal counterparts to fight for workers.

I will be in Subury on Sunday, February 15 and Monday morning
when I will meet with workers and their representatives.
Ontario New Democrats are committed to fighting alongside northern
workers to keep their jobs and to help northerners gain more
control over revenue generated from northern natural resources.

Protecting and creating good jobs

Feb. 12, 2009

This week I released my leadership platform based on
protecting and creating good jobs for Ontarians.

I want to thank Wayne Fraser, the elected Director of
District 6 of the United Steelworkers, representing
more than 80,000 Ontario workers, who announced his
support for my campaign.

I made it clear to the media that I am opposed to
McGuinty's plan to abandon manufacturing and forestry
while subsidizing low-wage paying employers.

Instead of acting to save good jobs, Dalton McGuinty
tells workers they’re on their own during these tough

McGuinty's move to abandon Ontarians when they need
government most, shows it's time for real leadership
that will put people first in Ontario.

Here is my plan to keep Ontario working:

* Invest in sector strategies that bring government,
management and workers together to sustain and improve
and create new industries – everything from light-rail
to forestry.

* Provide government investment in companies, or
workers, who are willing to innovate to create
high-value manufacturing and preserve jobs – through
worker ownership, by accepting unionization and
partnering with organized workers, by providing education
and skills development.

* Protect vulnerable workers in low-waged jobs by raising
the minimum wage, expanding enforcement of employment
standards, and protecting the right to organize and bargain

* Reject new proposals for wage insurance and calls to
abandon manufacturing and forestry sectors.

I also made it clear that we do not need another round of
across the board corporate tax cuts. We can’t cut taxes and
expect to invest for the future.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Campaign Trail Tales


January 30:

We made a brief stop in the lovely City of Kingston to meet with NDP Queen’s University students on our way to Ottawa. We had a quick bite at the Grad Club before continuing our trip to Ottawa.

Thank you Alexis White for the invitation to meet with you and your friends. I really enjoyed the wide range of issues we discussed and the sense of hope and enthusiasm we all shared for the re-invigoration of our party.


After battling a brief snow fall we made it to our lodgings in Ottawa. The Capital is beautiful covered in snow and the view of skaters on the Rideau Canal as we drove past was straight out of a greeting card. I had an early night in order to prepare for the leaders debate the next day.


January 31:

I started off the day with a swim, followed by a lovely brunch at one of Ottawa’s many quaint restaurants. Then it was off to the Lord Elgin Hotel for the debate. The turn out was impressive. It’s a great feeling to be looking at a full room of New Democrats of all ages who are engaged in the political process. After the debate I met with some of my local supporters at the Lord Elgin CafĂ©. I really enjoy chatting to people from all walks of life. It was a great way to unwind from the debate, listening to what local Ottawa activists have to say and how they see the future of the party.

February 1:

In spite of the bitter cold in Ottawa, we had a great turn out at my meet and greet brunch at Carmello's restaurant. It was especially warming to see the number of young people who showed up to talk with me. Among them was Natalie Beaudin, president of the Carlton New Democrats, and one of my youngest supporters - Gordie – 2 years old and he’s already canvassed! Thank you all for coming.

The brunch was followed by a fundraiser organized by some of my local supporters. There was some wonderful items donated included hand made finger puppets of all four leadership candidates. It was a great success and not only did we raise some money but I got to meet some great people who are active in the Ottawa community. Thank you all (and Maureen and Andrea in particular) for making this event possible!

February 2:

I had never toured Parliament Hill and was looking forward to our brown bag lunch in one of the meeting rooms in the Confederation building. A number of MPs attended including the 3 Hamilton MPs, David Christopherson, Chris Charlton and Wayne Marston, Tony Martin (Sault Ste Marie) and Dennis Bevington (Western Arctic) attended along with numerous staffers. Thank you David Christopherson for giving us a back stage tour of Parliament. Off to Brantford to walk a picket line!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Road Trip

Stratford - January 11

My first road trip of the New Year – happy New Year everybody! There was a great turn out at the Perth-Middlesex NDP AGM. Congratulations to all the new executive members and delegates to convention. Thank you Kathy Vassilakos for the invite and thank you to the members for their wonderful potluck dinner – the offerings were delicious. What a great way to start the New Year!

Oshawa - January 13

I enjoyed mixing and mingling with delegates and party members at the Durham Labour Council Membership Meeting prior to my speech. The challenges facing working people are significant but solidarity between workers and New Democrats will get us through these difficult times. Thank you to all the members for coming out on that particularly cold night.

Windsor - January 18

The Windsor West AGM was a study in NDP activism because the riding association worked very hard passing resolutions, selecting delegates and listening to two leadership candidates including myself. After the meeting, an activist from the riding hosted a meet and greet with local Windsor NDPers at the very chic restaurant – the Gourmet Emporium. Thank you to Wayne Harris for organizing this and for letting us rest our heads at his fabulous house.

January 19

I had the honor of being invited to attend a round table discussion on children’s services hosted by Community Living Windsor. Tragically it is the same story told by thousands of parents throughout the province. The McGuinty Government has consistently failed families with special needs children and I fear that this crisis is only going to worsen. Thank you to the courageous individuals who shared their heart wrenching stories of love and pain. Your dedication and commitment to your children is truly inspiring. I will bring your voices and stories Queen’s Park.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


We have started 2009 and my best wishes go out to everyone for a healthy and safe new year.

We started the new year knowing that we are facing enormous challenges. And if 2008 taught us anything at all, it is that the old system, the old way of doing things, the old boys club just doesn't work. The financial meltdown coupled with an ongoing economic crisis could not have made that more clear.

The market place dominated by the big banks threw up the white flag.

We cannot afford to wait for the market with its private circles far removed from us to make decisions that affect our jobs, our homes, our food, the basic essentials we depend on.

2009 is the year of a new kind of politics in Ontario. It is up to each and everyone of us to work together to make change work for us.

It's time to believe not only that New Democrats can lead change, but that we are the only ones who can and will do it.

Ontario needs a change that comes from people in our neighbourhoods, towns, and counties. From teachers and students in schools, to cashiers in the local supermarket, to nurses and childcare workers. We cannot turn things around in Ontario without your active, dedicated and constant participation.

A revitalized Ontario New Democratic Party can and will move Ontario along the path of a new system of cooperation that puts Ontarians first.

To get there we need you. We need organizers on the ground in ridings we can win in Ontario. We can win Ontario but we need to start working today, not just during the election month.

And we work to win because Ontario's families need us to win. We are called to make into a reality the solutions we propose today. Our commitment is to resolve everyday problems with new solutions.

The Ontario NDP I envision has solutions. But those solutions come from you.

Join us.

Andrea Horwath

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Well, these past two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity.

Working in the legislature, heading up to Sudbury to talk
about the North, and participating at the leader’s debate
hosted by the Ontario New Democratic Youth at this weekend’s
Toronto conference.

And many thanks to the workers at the Hamilton and District
Labour Council for their endorsement.

Next we continue on the campaign trail to Kingston, Cornwall
and Dundas.

Below, I share with you some articles of our media coverage.

NDP leadership contenders debate in Sudbury
By Bill Bradley
November 17, 2008
“If existing doctors are not happy in Sudbury (due to surgery cancellations), how can we expect to attract new ones here,” said Andrea Horwath in a response ...

We need to convince others: MPP
By Angela Scappatura
THE Sudbury Star
Mon, 17 Nov 2008
While McGauley hasn't decided who she will support during the March 7 vote in Hamilton, she is happy to see a woman, Andrea Horwath, in the race. ...

NDP would reinvest in North, leadership hopeful says
Sat, 15 Nov 2008
... time the North got its fair share of royalties currently collected by the provincial government, said Ontario NDP leadership candidate, Andrea Horwath. ...

Little progress on child poverty
Toronto Sun
NOVEMBER 23, 2008
NDP MPP Andrea Horwath said the Ontario government must realize that some people have been living in poverty for decades and the problems will only get ...

High-risk deliveries end if ICU goes: docs
Hamilton Spectator
And Hamilton Centre MPP Andrea Horwath has complained to Ontario's ombudsman. The doctors say they've taken so long to weigh in because they wanted to make ...

The process, and the plan
Hamilton Spectator
Mon, 17 Nov 2008
One is from Hamilton Centre MPP Andrea Horwath about the go-ahead given to the plan by Hamilton Health Sciences to restructure its facilities, including the ...