Tuesday, June 14, 2011

NDP have shaken the Rae albatross

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath speaks to reporters outside Queen's Park on June 13, 2011 with some of her candidates for the Oct. 6 provincial election.

The Toronto Star:

Finally, 16 years after former NDP premier Bob Rae left office, the hangover of those tumultuous years appears to have subsided for Ontario’s New Democrats.

“People are more looking forward to a campaign that speaks about the future and not so much the history lessons anymore,” Horwath told reporters at Queen’s Park on Monday.

Asked if were helpful that Rae, who became interim federal Liberal leader last month, is no longer a New Democrat, she flashed a sporting grin.

“He hasn’t been one for an awful long time. Some wonder if he ever was,” the 47-year-old NDP leader said with chuckle.

New Democrats gather for their pre-election convention in Toronto on June 24. By then, the party should have candidates nominated in about 60 of Ontario’s 107 ridings.

Along with a pledge to remove the 8 per cent provincial portion of the 13 per cent harmonized sales tax on home energy bills — a promise copied by the Progressive Conservatives in their platform — the NDP is vowing to impose a weekly price cap on gasoline. Further election planks will be unveiled later this month.

After the May 2 federal vote that saw NDP Leader Jack Layton vault to leader of the official Opposition in the Commons, Horwath said there is much more interest in the party.

“There’s no doubt that the energy that the federal election brought with the victories of our federal team has created a wind under our wings and has created excitement,” she said.

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