The fraud of the Ontario NDP’s “left” election platform
23 May 2018
The New Democratic Party’s (NDP) tepid platform for the June 7 Ontario election is being touted by media outlets, the trade unions, and the pseudo-left as a bold “left” turn and a return to the party’s social-democratic roots. Such claims only underscore how far to the right bourgeois politics has shifted in Canada.
To much media acclaim, NDP leader Andrea Horwath was the first of the three main party leaders to present her election platform. It includes pledges of modest increases in healthcare, education, and social spending—pledges that only appear generous in contrast with the ruthless austerity implemented by successive Ontario Liberal governments, in collusion with the trade union bureaucracy.
Horwath pledged to implement a $12-a-day childcare program (with fees waived for those with family-income of less than $40,000) and to provide dental care for all “who can’t afford it.” She also promised to increase funding for hospitals to put an end to “hallway medicine”—a reference to the widespread practice of treating patients in hallways due to the lack of hospital beds and staff.
For six years, from 2012 through 2017, the Ontario Liberal government slashed health care, education and other vital public services in the name of eliminating the province’s annual budget deficit. During the first two years of this austerity drive, the minority Liberal government of Dalton McGuity and then Kathleen Wynne retained power only because it enjoyed the parliamentary support of none other than Horwath and her fellow NDP legislators.
Horwath’s election platform also contains pledges an NDP government will introduce a universal (but not free) prescription drug or pharmacare…