QUEEN’S PARK – The Ontario NDP Official Opposition joined countless families and advocates at Queen’s Park today to declare Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) an epidemic.

“We need every tool available to put an end to intimate partner violence and gender-based violence – and this is one right at our fingertips,” said Kristyn Wong-Tam (Toronto Centre). “Nearly 100 cities in this province, including Toronto have declared Intimate Partner Violence an epidemic and today we can ensure Ontario does too.”

On April 10, the Ontario NDP will debate Bill 173, which would declare intimate partner violence an epidemic in Ontario. This was the number one recommendation of the 86 from the Renfrew Inquest – a recommendation directed at the Province of Ontario that’s been repeatedly rebuked by Ford and the Conservatives.

“This is an epidemic and we need to act on this issue with the urgency it deserves,” said Jill Andrew, NDP critic for Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity. “Without meaningful action, we’re putting women and gender-diverse people across our province at risk.”

Recent instances of Intimate Partner Violence have been all too common across the province, from Sault Ste. Marie to Huron County to Windsor. Many impacted families join the MPPs today.

“I am deeply grateful to the advocates and family members who have joined us with their relentless advocacy”, said Lisa Gretzky (Windsor West). “Intimate partner violence has impacted so many people and touched so many communities, including my hometown of Windsor. Stories like Sahra Bulle are heartbreaking – but all too common. We’re here to say that enough is enough.”

“We’re calling on Ford to do the right thing today,” said MPP Peggy Sattler (London West). “There’s too much at stake and no time to waste.”


Fartumo Kusow, Mother of Sahra Bulle

“Intimate Partner Violence is pervasive, predictable and preventable and that is the definition of epidemic. My daughter Sahra was murdered by her partner last year, and it has been an ongoing nightmare. We need the provincial government to step-up and do the right thing: declare Intimate Partner Violence an epidemic in Ontario.”

Erin Lee, Executive Director, Lanark County Interval House and Community Support

“Nearly 100 Ontario municipalities have declared IPV an epidemic, and I strongly urge all members to vote in support of Bill 173. It is critical for victims, families, survivors, and those living isolated to hear a message, loud and clear that they are believed, that they are heard and that they are being responded to by the government of Ontario.”

Kirsten Mercer, Lawyer, Goldblatt Partners LLP (Counsel at the CKW Inquest)

“Using the language of an epidemic frames gender-based violence as the public health emergency that it is- a social challenge not an individual problem. We are telling all those who live with gender-based violence that what is happening to them is not their fault. This violence is our collective concern.”

Sami Pritchard, Interim Director of Advocacy & Communications, YWCA Toronto

“While we know that this declaration will be merely a first step to addressing and eradicating this epidemic, we also know that we cannot change what we refuse to name. By naming this crisis for what it is - an epidemic - we are sending a clear message to the survivors and children fleeing violence, the frontline workers, advocates and organizations supporting survivors, and the loved ones of those lost to femicide – we see you, we believe you, we respect you, and your life matters.”


QUEEN’S PARK – Official Opposition NDP MPP Peter Tabuns (Toronto – Danforth) and Housing critic Jessica Bell (University – Rosedale) are demanding Ford’s Conservatives force corporate landlords to follow the law on expired Above Guideline Increase (AGI) orders to ensure tenants get the rent reductions they are owed.

“The Ford government is missing in action when it comes to enforcing expired AGI orders, so tenants are getting stuck paying higher illegal rents,” said Tabuns. “We’re calling on the Premier to make it clear to corporate landlords that they have to follow the law, follow the orders from the LTB and ensure that tenants get the rent reductions they are legally owed.”

Tabuns and Bell have been working with tenants in their communities living in buildings where AGI orders are set to expire to make sure they are not being charged illegal rents by property management companies. So far, they have succeeded in getting rent reductions for tenants in two buildings.

“Landlords are not telling tenants that they are owed a reduction,” said Bell. “It shouldn’t be up to tenants to force landlords to obey the law. Doug Ford needs to stop corporate landlords from illegally making tenants pay surcharges on their rent and start putting that money back in people’s pockets.”


• In 2007 the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) was changed to put time limits on rent increases arising from an Above Guideline Increase order. Tenants paying for millions of dollars in building repairs and improvements are not supposed to be paying the surcharge forever. The LTB ordered these rents to come down when the original order expires in 10, 12, 15 or 19 years.

• Successive Liberal and Conservative governments have failed to protect tenants covered by these AGI orders, despite calls by tenants' associations to require landlords -- by law -- to notify eligible tenants they are due for a rent reduction. They have also called for a way for tenants to apply to the LTB to force the reductions they’re entitled to under the law.


QUEEN’S PARK – Marit Stiles, Leader of Ontario’s Official Opposition NDP, is bringing forward a new healthcare solution that puts patients first by unlocking thousands of hours of physicians’ time.

“Everyone deserves access to care when they need it. But 2.2 million people in Ontario are without a family doctor. Not only does this put their health at risk, but it also puts tremendous strain on our already-overburdened emergency rooms,” said Stiles.

Stiles and the NDP are introducing a motion in the Legislature that would connect more patients to primary care by reducing the amount of time doctors spend on administrative work. By investing in administrative support staff and integrated health teams, we could add the equivalent of 2,000 more family doctors and help up to 2 million people get the care they need.

“This is an all-hands-on deck moment for health care. This is a smart, simple solution to fix the massive patient backlog in Ontario and get people the care they need – starting right now.”

Stiles and the NDP will force a vote on the measure in the Ontario legislature Monday afternoon.


QUEEN’S PARK – Official Opposition NDP critic for Energy and Climate Action, Peter Tabuns (Toronto Danforth) is introducing legislation to help Ontarians save money on rising energy bills.

Tabuns’ Bill, Affordable Energy Act, 2023, is co-sponsored by MPPs Jessica Bell (University – Rosedale), Chandra Pasma (Ottawa West – Nepean), and Doly Begum (Scarborough Southwest).

“We are in a cost-of-living and climate crisis. Report after report shows that a focus on conservation and community-based distribution for renewable energy can substantially cut costs of providing energy,” said Tabuns. “It’s time for the Ford government to get serious about Ontario’s energy future and focus on making sustainable, affordable, and reliable energy more accessible for Ontarians.”

This Bill gives residents, including tenants, the tools to cut their energy usage and costs. It calls for the province to set up agencies to finance retrofitting homes and setting up distributed energy systems that will help people afford reliable and sustainable energy.

"These measures will help people access more reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy.”


“Ottawa residents need options to generate power closer to home and make their homes as energy efficient as possible. Practical solutions like these will ensure Ottawa residents aren’t left without options following extreme weather events in the future.” - MPP Chandra Pasma, Ottawa West - Nepean

“People are hard pressed now to cover all their bills. We must take the most cost-effective energy options and put them at the heart of our power system. This bill sets out how to do that." - MPP Doly Begum, Scarborough Southwest

“We have the technology to build a reliable and sustainable energy future in Ontario that does not leave Ontarians footing a pricey bill. If the Ford government wants a solution that works – here is one that keeps energy costs low and reduces carbon pollution.” - MPP Jessica Bell, University Rosedale


  • Ontario is looking at spending $400 billion on our electricity system over the next 25 years. Government scenarios project an increase in electricity prices by up to 30% in that time.
  • In 2022, Ontario’s electricity system operator put out a study showing that providing electrical generation at or near a home, distributed energy, could substantially cut the costs of electricity in Ontario.
  • The measures in the bill are new to Ontario but not elsewhere. Just last week Nova Scotia announced a Community Solar Program. Deep retrofits and community energy generation are increasingly part of the energy solutions in Europe and the US.
  • This Bill creates the framework to set up large scale programs to finance and organize deep home energy retrofits, including installation of heat pumps and facilitate the implementation of distributed energy generation from homes to neighbourhoods using community energy facilities.


LONDON – Peggy Sattler (London West), Official Opposition critic for Colleges and Universities, released the following statement in response to reports of provincial funding for postsecondary institutions:

“Does Ford understand that we are in a crisis?

“Ford has been fully aware of how decades of chronic underfunding by Liberal and Conservative governments, and five years of Ford cuts, have pushed our postsecondary institutions to the brink. Now Ford’s rumoured investment is half what his own panel of experts have recommended”

“Instead of taking serious action, Ford has encouraged unrestrained international student recruitment, enabled bad actors, rewarded PC party donors, and left everyone else out in the cold.

“We should never have gotten to this level of crisis in our colleges and university sector. We need serious solutions to get us out.”


  • The Blue Ribbon Panel recommended an urgent $2.5 billion investment over three years as the minimum needed just to keep colleges and universities running. And that was before the international student cap was announced.
  • Ford’s investment is rumored to be $1.2 billion – not nearly enough


TORONTO – Official Opposition NDP critic for Energy and Climate Action, Peter Tabuns (Toronto – Danforth), has released the following statement in response to the Conservative government’s legislation to maintain a costly charge on energy bills that subsidizes Enbridge’s expansion plans:

“Ending this subsidy would mean over a billion in savings for customers, who will now be stuck paying more than $300 on top of their current utility bills simply to help Enbridge’s bottom line. Ford’s Conservatives walked away from a win-win-win situation: lower energy bills for Ontarians, lower carbon emissions, and a future where homes can start converting to heat pumps.

"At a time when the world needs to move towards green energy, the Conservatives are using their majority to drive up carbon emissions and gas bills.

"They had the option to put money back in people’s pockets and finally start addressing the realities of climate change. But they chose to stick to their interests: climate denial and lining the pockets of billion-dollar corporations like Enbridge.”

Quick Facts:

  • $4,400 savings cited by the Minister are for homes where developers choose natural gas over electric heat pumps, will instead be added to the bills of existing gas consumers, representing over $1 billion in extra charges to gas consumers over four years.
  • The OEB decision was about keeping these costs off people’s gas bills, but today’s legislation will add these costs back on.


QUEEN’S PARK — Ontario NDP Leader Marit Stiles said the Official Opposition is heading into the upcoming legislative session ready to present practical, hopeful solutions:

"People across our province are facing real challenges right now. People are waiting for hours for basic healthcare, they are stuck with sky-rocketing costs of housing, and their bills are not getting any lower. We need real solutions,” said Stiles. “But this government is too wrapped up in its never-ending scandals to come up with real solutions that matter to Ontarians.

“The NDP is headed into this session focused on delivering solutions to housing, health care, and the rising cost of living.

“We've taken on a corrupt Conservative government and forced them to reverse course on countless bad decisions. Now, they’re under a criminal investigation for selling off the Greenbelt to the highest bidder and were forced to walk back wage-suppression policies after losing twice in court. Every climbdown and policy reversal is proof that when we work together, we can win.

"This session, we'll keep holding Ford’s Conservatives to account, while putting forward the solutions that will make people’s lives easier.”

Stiles and the NDP will champion real solutions in the legislature, from targeting the staffing shortage in hospitals and underused public hospital resources, to expediting housing—including deeply affordable housing.


QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Catherine Fife (Waterloo), Official Opposition Finance critic, released the following statement in response to the Financial Accountability Office’s economic update:

“Yesterday was a significant win for workers and a real victory as Bill 124 is set to be sent to the garbage bin of history where it belongs. Today’s FAO report shows us just a hint of how far Ford’s chaotic decision-making has set us back. There is a real cost to spitefully suppressing the wages of Ontario’s workers.

For years, this Premier denied health, education, and social service workers fair compensation for their work. What a waste of time, money, and public trust for this Conservative government.

Today the Ontario NDP are calling on the Ford government to commit urgent funding to stabilize our public health care and community services, and to recognize the dire recruitment and retention crisis that Bill 124 has created.

For the past months, my Ontario NDP colleagues and I have been traveling across the province with the finance committee, and listening to organizations and workers sound the alarm on the urgent need for public service support in the 2024 budget. We’ve been listening and we’ll be advocating for them in this upcoming budget. I hope Ford has been listening too.”


  • Bill 124 was passed by Ford in 2019 and deemed unconstitutional by the Ontario Supreme Court in 2022. Yesterday, the Ontario Court of Appeals upheld that decision – but not before Ford wasted another year fighting workers in court.
  • Today’s FAO report revealed significant shortfalls for public service funding, showing how much our public services have suffered under Ford


QUEEN’S PARK – Marit Stiles, Leader of Ontario’s Official Opposition NDP, released the following statement in response to the Ontario Court of Appeal’s ruling:

“Today is a victory for workers across Ontario.

"This win belongs to the workers, unions, and advocates from across the province who stood firm against the Conservatives’ unconstitutional attack on their rights.

"Bill 124 hurt our province. It forced health care and education workers out of the profession, cut people’s wages during an affordability crisis, and eroded the people’s trust in their government.

"This government wasted years and taxpayer dollars fighting workers in court to uphold an unconstitutional Bill and take away wages. The government needs to accept this ruling, stop fighting workers, and start addressing the crises that Ontarians are facing.

"Let’s make up for the lost time and wasted energy: start fixing this mess by hiring health care workers into our public system and paying back workers for lost wages.

"New Democrats will always stand up for the rights of workers."


TORONTO CENTRE – Kristyn Wong-Tam (Toronto Centre), the Official Opposition Critic for the Attorney General released the following statement in response to the verdict of the Coroner’s inquest into the police shooting death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim in 2013:

“I would like to thank the jury for their verdict and important recommendations, which have been a long time coming.

More than a decade ago, a very young Sammy Yatim was experiencing a mental health crisis and instead of receiving help and compassion, he needlessly wound-up dead.

Police officers are not trained or equipped to act as emergency mental health professionals or social workers. It’s clear that protecting Black, Indigenous and racialized lives urgently require a shift in the way we respond to people in crisis.

The former officer, responsible for the death of Sammy Yatim has already been found criminally responsible by the courts. Other inquests have already resulted in comprehensive recommendations calling for greater resources for community mental health supports and mandatory de-escalation training for police.

The government has yet to implement key provisions of its own policing bill that would help ensure there was better training for, and accountability of police in a situation such as the one that led to Sammy Yatim's death.

I welcome the 63 recommendations of the Coroner’s inquest into Sammy Yatim’s death, and call on Premier Ford to implement these changes to prevent further such incidents from taking place.

I know this verdict is long-awaited, especially and particularly by Sammy’s family. My heart is with them. If there’s one lesson to be learnt from Sammy’s killing, it’s that the threshold for brandishing a gun needs to be much, much higher.”

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