Dear New Democrat, Greetings from Ontario, where one of the most interesting election races in years is happening! After our House closed last week, I hightailed it up here to lend a hand and make connections with our NDP counterparts. It is so clear that people are ready for a change and are seriously considering Andrea Horwath and her team of New Democrats as the Party that can make meaningful change happen. NDP activists from Ontario and across Canada are coming out in droves to work on the various campaigns. They are focused on bringing the message of inclusivity, fairness, and "Change for the Better" to the people and on forming the next government.
The Ontario NDP platform includes an end to hallway medicine, improved homecare, reduced hydro bills, universal pharmacare and dental care, a $15 minimum wage, grants to replace student loans and more, all progressive programs that we, too, support as NL New Democrats. Thursday night will tell. Stay tuned.... Demanding answers in the House Since my last message to you, Lorraine Michael, our great caucus team, and myself have had a really busy time in the House of Assembly. We've challenged Dwight Ball and his Liberal government's short-sighted efforts related to the growing and sale of cannabis. We asked questions and demanded answers to recent tragic deaths at the Clarenville Correctional Centre for Women and repeatedly pressured Dwight Ball and his government’s failure to properly support the families affected by these deaths.
From an economic perspective, in partnership with labour, we called for the review and modernization of our labour laws. We also proposed a Private Member's Motion for an All-Party Select Committee on Jobs, which the government chose to ignore even though we are moving toward an unemployment rate of 20 per cent in NL. Neither the Liberals nor the Progressive Conservatives supported our PMM for reasons unclear. One thing that is clear, however, is that to date the Liberals have not presented a concrete plan to address job losses in a sustainable way. Then, of course, there is the scandal of bullying and intimidation within the Liberal caucus! Lorraine Michael is our representative on the House Management Commission and has been working hard to ensure we have a sound, fair, and precise policy to address harassment of and by MHAs. Stay tuned on that one, too. Finally, in the dying days of the spring sitting of the HoA, the Liberal government tabled a motion to strike the long overdue All-Party Committee on Democratic Reform. We were happy to support this motion, as it is desperately needed. We need to address our democratic deficit, campaign and party financing, and electoral reform. At the 11th hour, government left it on the table. This was an insincere ploy and shows they have no intention to implement any changes before the next election.
Coming to a community near you
This summer, I will be travelling the province between June and August to meet with people to hear about their communities and ideas for our province. I hope to come to a community near you. I will be attending events and festivals but also having kitchen table discussion sessions with people just like you who are involved in their communities. How about having a few people over to your house or someone else's for a conversation sometime this summer and I will join you? In the meantime, check out our Newfoundland and Labrador NDP Facebook page for updates, to see how you can get involved, and for ongoing conversations among our members. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let's make a date! Looking forward to seeing many of you soon.
Gerry Rogers Leader, NL NDP