You asked, Horwath answered: Ontario NDP leader put to test with sassy reader questions

Ahead the election for the next Ontario premier, Yahoo Canada News spoke to NDP leader Andrea Horwath and asked her to respond to the questions and comments you had on her party, her vision for the province and her history in politics.

Horwath’s “Change for the Better” platform emphasizes child care, health care, education and public transit as key areas of investment for the party.

The provincial NDPs promise free child care for families that earn $40,000 or less and a 5.3 per cent increase in hospital funding in the first year, with a fully implemented universal pharmacare program by 2020.

Additionally, the party promises to provide dental care that’s free for individuals earning less than $30,000 a year, with the most anyone would have to contribute totaling $4.33 a week. 

If elected, Horwath would increase taxes by one per cent for individuals earning more than $220,000, and two per cent for people earning $300,000 or more.

Similarly to the current provincial Liberal government’s budget projections, the NDPs are anticipating five consecutive deficits, totaling $3.3 billion in the first year, peaking at $5 billion in 2020-2021, but the party anticipates reducing the deficit to $1.9 billion in five years.

Following Monday’s leadership debate, Horwath has made significant strides in her quest to come out on top on June 7. According to the CBC News Poll Tracker, an aggregator of polling data, Doug Ford continues to maintain his lead with 41.1 per cent of projected votes, with Horwath sitting in second place with 27.2 per cent.

The current premier Kathleen Wynne is just over one percentage point behind Horwath, but as we move closer to the election, Ontarians will see if Horwath can shrink the gap between the NDP and Ontario Progressive Conservatives.