It's a 'Trojan Horse' budget: Horwath
NDP leader Andrea Horwath holds her first press conference since the election at Queen's Park on Tuesday. (CRAIG ROBERTSON/Toronto Sun)
A defiant Andrea Horwath says she’s staying on as leader of the NDP, despite angry calls for her to resign by activists within the party.
Horwath told reporters she’s proud of increasing popular support in the party in the last election and pointed out that 1.1 million people voted for her party.
The party picked up seats in Sudbury, Oshawa and Windsor but lost long-time veterans Michael Prue in Beaches-East York, Rosario Marchese in Trinity-Spadina and newcomer Jonah Schein in Davenport.
“As we go over the next number of weeks and we see the Trojan Horse budget that the Liberals put forward, people will have an understanding just how much austerity the Liberals have in mind for this province,” Horwath told reporters before going into her first caucus meeting since the vote.
Horwath says she has no regrets about triggering the election.
Meanwhile, she’s facing a revolt from the left wing of the party.
A group of union leaders and other activists is calling for her to quit.
In an e-mail, they called on the party to oust Horwath for abandoning traditional socialist issues in favour of pocketbook concerns in the party’s platform.
“We need to re-direct the party to lead the fight against capitalist austerity and for socialist solutions to the mounting problems we face,” the self-described Group of 7 said in an e-mail.
They complained Horwath and her strategists did not address phasing out nuclear plants, “stopping Line 9, satisfying the just claims of indigenous peoples, curtailing state surveillance, and terminating police repression of the kind that was unleashed during the G-20 Summit in Toronto.”
Horwath will face an automatic leadership review at a party convention in November.
She said she looks forward to a “vigourous debate,” and said many within the party are supporting her.
“People I spoke to across this province, not only who were candidates but who were activists who worked on the campaigns, some of our party elders, some people from labour, have all said to me, ‘you’re doing great, you’re a good leader. Stay on and let’s get moving to rebuild and reconnect with the voters of Ontario',” she said.
“There’s never a dull moment when it comes to NDP conventions.”