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CityVote Day 19: NDP says platform would cost $3.3 billion

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim.

The New Democrats revealed the cost of their provincial platform on Sunday, saying their plan for Ontario would cost $3.3 billion.

The “Plan for Affordable Change” includes increasing minimum wage to $11 an hour and removing the HST from gasoline, hydro and home heating bills.

The NDP said the Liberal platform costs $3.6 billion, and the Conservatives have budgeted nearly $6 billion. The NDP also says the other two parties are assuming revenue growth of between $400 million and $500 million over the next four years — a gamble, the NDP says, given that the province appears to be headed for another recession.

Meanwhile, Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty was campaigning in Toronto while Conservative leader Tim Hudak was in Brantford and Stoney Creek.

McGuinty spoke out on his party’s plans to stop construction of the 280-megawatt natural gas-powered facility in Mississauga, Ont., announced Saturday.

The Liberal leader defended the timing of the decision, saying the community has changed since the plant was first proposed back in 2005.

“It’s important for us, as a political party, to listen to the arguments made by the community and I thought they were pretty compelling,” McGuinty said.

“Before the campaign started, I was asked about this (and) I said, ‘I’m keeping an open mind; we’re listening to the community,’ and we’ve listened.”

Residents in the area have long opposed the plan, saying the facility, which would have been built on the Mississauga-Toronto border, would be too close to homes, schools, a hospital, a hospice and a large mall.

But Hudak was quick to criticize the Liberal’s energy plan.

“This is a government that is panicked, that is desperate and is on the run,” said a feisty Hudak, who made an impromptu stop at the plant site Sunday.

“Chickens with their heads cut off would have more stability on energy decisions than these guys.”

Hudak said he believes gas-fired power plants should only be built in “willing” communities.

With files from The Canadian Press.