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Oshawa–Economic renewal, improved transit and transportation and affordable housing are among the key planks in his campaign platform to win back the Oshawa riding for the NDP, said Sid Ryan the Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), who today formally announced his intention to seek the NDP nomination in the riding.

Surrounded by prominent Oshawa area residents, community activists and union leaders, outside Lakeridge Health (Hospital) Corporation Oshawa, Ryan told the gathering that, “Oshawa is not getting its fair share of funding from the province or the federal government. Although it is an important economic hub, Oshawa has unfortunately and unjustly been ignored and forgotten by the Conservatives. And this will change, when we (the NDP) win back this riding.”

Ryan credits the strength of the local community and council and in particular the perseverance of Oshawa mayor Nancy Diamond, for keeping Oshawa “viable and on-track because they certainly don’t get any help from the incumbent Tory MPP.”

He pointed to the slow pace of construction of the regional cancer centre at the Lakeridge site as a clear example of where the province has let the people of Oshawa and the surrounding Durham Region down.

“First the Conservatives nixed construction of the facility eight years ago. Now it is being built piecemeal. And only with a large amount of money fundraised by the community. It’s the same with the hospital emergency ward. It’s built but not operational because the Tories haven’t given any more funding for equipment. This is no way to deliver an essential service like health care to our community,” said Ryan.

The NDP is putting forth a platform that focuses on practical solutions to help working families, to help seniors and to revitalize cities and towns, like Oshawa across Ontario.

These practical solutions include:
  • The creation of a special dynamic downtown revitalization fund that would provide monies for waterfront development, cultural facilities, heritage properties and new parks and public spaces. Funding would come through the contribution of two cents a litre of the existing gasoline tax.
  • A transportation trust fund, taking three cents a litre from the existing gas tax and devoting the money to transit capital and operating costs and to road maintenance.
  • Enacting a green planning Act to prevent development from damaging groundwater, wetlands and other natural features.
  • Ensuring the portability of workers’ pensions from one workplace to another.
  • Expansion of publicly funded childcare through the provision of 20,000 new spaces and reducing fees to $10 a day per child.
  • Funding thousands of non-profit and co-op housing units.
  • Scrapping hydro deregulation and privatization.
In his capacity as president of CUPE in Ontario, Ryan travels the province extensively. His sense is that “from Thunder Bay to Windsor to Cornwall, the winds of change are blowing through the province. Ontarians want a new government.

“They want programs that will help them in very direct ways in their communities and their workplaces. The NDP will invest in the auto industry in order to attract new, higher paying jobs and maintain the existing jobs of autoworkers. The NDP will also end the crisis in public education by implementing the full recommendations of the Rozanski Commission and sitting down with teachers, parents and students so we can again have a system of public education that we can all be proud of. It’s clear they want leadership at Queen’s Park that understands the important role government plays in ensuring that our quality of life and our public services are maintained. They want a government that puts the interests of citizens and communities first.

“And that simply hasn’t happened under the destructive policies of the Harris/Eves Conservatives. The jury is now in and it’s clear. No matter what program you look at - health, education, electricity - the policies of ’common sense’ have not delivered a better Ontario,” said Ryan, who believes Oshawa voters will return to the NDP in the coming election.

The nomination meeting for the riding will be held on Thursday, February 27 at 7 p.m. at the Oshawa Resource Centre, 45 Queen Street, Oshawa. Provincial NDP Leader Howard Hampton will attend the nomination meeting.


For more information please contact:
Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario
(416) 209-0066
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications
(416) 578-8774