ONTARIO NDP LEADERSHIP RACE

LIVE BLOG FROM THE CONVENTION FLOOR

Closing remarks – Michael Prue

prueI have been a leader my whole life.  Student movement, union movement and a Mayor.  As Mayor, I turned things around in East York.  I have been elected in 8 elections, in places that New Democrats don’t usually win.  I have a plan that involves all 480 municipipalities in this province.  I would start by eliminating the OMB.  I would give every city the same powers that Toronto has recieved.  We need to change the property tax system.  We need to be bold.  We need to have a plan that convinces people outside this room to vote NDP.

Debate Question: Post-Secondary Education

debate1Bisson – Investing in post-secondary education is the key to building a strong economy.  Education is the great equalizer.  Student debt should be deducted from income tax.

Tabuns – It’s a question of what kind of society do we want.  We should roll back tuition to 2003 levels and freeze it.

Prue – I used to pay $560 a year to attend U of T.  If other countries can make university affordable, we can do it too.

Horwath – Students are finishing school with debts as large as mortgages.

Debate question: Public Auto Insurance

Question: Will you be brave and put auto insurance into public hands?

Horwath:  Yes. Now, more than ever we need to look at public auto insurance again.  I wasn’t here when that decision was made to back down on that.  And, by the way, that fellow (Bob Rae) is a Liberal now…

Bisson: The answer is yes. That is something we should have done when we were in government.  It was one of our biggest mistakes, not to implement it.

Tabuns: Yes. One of Bobs Rae’s biggest mistake was to back down from public auto insurance.  Public medicare, public hydro & public auto insurance:  Together, they can make Ontario far more attractive and far more affordable.

Prue: Yes.  Rae’s two mistakes were auto insurance and “Rae Days”

Watch LIVE: http://convention.ondp.ca/live.

Debate Question: Thoughts on Hydro / Electricity

crowd_at-debate2
Tabuns: “We need low cost, reliable, renewable power – put back in public hands.”  We need to invest in renewable power because that’s where future will be.

Prue: “We need to look at how Hydro was re-structured by Mike Harris.” It’s time that hydro came under one roof and was under public control in it’s entirety. ” …Nuclear is too expensive an option for Ontario.”

Horwath: “Hydro privatization was one of the biggest mistakes that Mike Harris made” and Dalton McGuinty has continued it…    Some industries need special rates on power to remain competitive.  Both generation and distribution should be in public hands.

Bisson:  “Every killowat of conservation is a kilowat we don’t have to generate.”  “Conservation is much better option than building new nuclear plants.”

DEBATE QUESTION – “Would you extend public funding to religous schools?”

This has been a hot topic for much of this race.  First question of the night:

Tabuns: “We do not need to go back and fight this issue again.”  “It would make the Liberals very happy…”

Prue: “We have never been afraid to talk about difficult issues”  He wants an open debate within the party. But when asked if he would extend funding, as leader, he answered : “Absolutely not”

Horwath: “I would not support it”.  She also talked about boosting support for ESL, special eduction and post secondary, and said we need to “change the Harris formula once and for all”

Bisson: Would not extend funding, and does not want to re-open the debate.  He also took the opportunity to make fun of recently defeated Tory leader, Tory.

Watch LIVE: http://convention.ondp.ca/live.

Watch Leaders Debate LIVE Online

Hundreds of New Democrats have filed into the main convention hall to watch the final debate!  Over the last few months the four candidates have faced off at dozens of debates and forums across the province.  This debate is the final group appearance for Bisson, Horwath, Prue and Tabuns before tomorrow’s election.

Watch LIVE: http://convention.ondp.ca/live.

Leadership debate at 7pm (watch it here)

We will be live-streaming tonight’s leadership debate, starting at 7pm.  Check back here for the link!

Right now, all four candidates are hosting rallies for their supporters, in various rooms at the convention centre.   I’ll report back with updates and photos soon!

Ontario NDP convention begins today!

hamptonNew Democrats from across Ontario are gathering in Hamilton for this weekend’s Leadership Convention.  After 13 years as leader, Howard Hampton is stepping down from the position and will be replaced by one of four candidates running for leader. The candidates are Gilles Bisson, Andrea Horwath, Michael Prue and Peter Tabuns. Watch this space for updates as we blog live from the convention floor, starting with Friday night’s leadership debate!  Stay tuned….