Chesterville Ontario — John Vanthof, the MPP for Timiskaming-Cochrane, spoke at the NDP Breakfast sponsored by the Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry Provincial NDP riding association on September 20 in Chesterville at The McCloskey Hotel.
Prior to being elected to the Ontario legislature in the October 6, 2011 provincial election, Vanthof operated a dairy farm for almost 30 years outside Earlton in Northern Ontario. As the President of the Temiskaming Federation of Agriculture, he played a leading role in helping stop the Adams Mine Landfill project.
Brian Lynch, President of the SDSG Provincial NDP riding association in his introduction of Vanthof stated: “The Ontario NDP is very fortunate to have as an MPP such a knowledgeable, hardworking, personable, community leader as John Vanthof fighting to make life better for his constituents and people living in rural Ontario. He is a man to watch.”
Vanthof who is the NDP critic at Queen’s Park for Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs as well Natural Resources told the crowd at the breakfast that the Liberal Government’s proposed Local Food Act is a “public relations exercise to make Premier Wynne look good in her role as Agriculture Minister.” He explained: “It won’t do much other than increase awareness of local food in Ontario and proclaim the week leading up to Thanksgiving as Local Food Week. If the Government is really committed to the cause, it would help smaller local abbatoirs that are facing closure because they can’t keep up with the never-ending series of regulation changes that are applied across the board to all slaughterhouses. This should be addressed in the Local Food Act.”
Vanthof also said that when the next provincial election comes the NDP will have a record to run on, namely the measures that the Ontario NDP were able to have included in the 2012 and 2013 provincial budgets. He elaborated on the Financial Accountablity Office, jobs for youth, the cut to auto insurance rates, the reduction in home care wait times, greater social assistance, more childcare spaces, more funding for small, rural hospitals, and the 2% surtax on incomes over $500,000.
Vanthof expressed disappointment that the 2013 budget did not close the corporate tax loopholes that will provide large corporations with tax credits for the HST charged on luxury business expenses such as meals, entertainment, and company vehicles. Vanthof said: “Closing those corporate tax loopholes will save the provincial treasury over $1 billion annually by 2017-18.”
As for the Conservative opposition, Vanthof stated: “By failing to try to make the minority Government work, the Conservatives have had no input in the budget.” Vanthof said that people are worried about what programs the Hudak Conservatives would slash if they formed the next Government in Ontario.
Elaine MacDonald, the NDP candidate in SDSG for the next provincial election, praised Vanthof and the NDP caucus at Queen’s Park under the leadership of Andrea Horwath for working at Queen’s Park to get results that make life better and more affordable for everyday people.