- Created on Sunday, 19 January 2014 01:58
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By NICK FEARNS
Wayne Gates will be the Niagara riding Ontario New Democratic Party candidate in the Feb. 13 byelection.
Andrea Horwath, Ontario NDP leader, introduced the veteran campaigner Gates to a room full of supporters who flooded the Niagara Falls Public Library with supportive orange.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am that my friend Wayne Gates has stepped forward to accept the NDP nomination for the riding of Niagara Falls,” said Horwath. “He knows how to work with all levels of government and he knows what it means to be a working person in Niagara. Wayne Gates cares about creating and protecting jobs and improving healthcare. He will deliver results.”
Gates is a City of Niagara Falls councillor who is taking a leave while campaigning for the provincial post.
Gates spoke eliciting cheers and laughs from the enthusiastic crowd.
“I want to talk about Niagara Falls. Something’s gone wrong in Niagara,” said Gates. “It has the highest unemployment rate in Ontario. We need a jobs strategy that works!”
“I’m honoured to be the NDP candidate for the riding of Niagara Falls and I’m hitting the ground running,” said Gates. “People here need good jobs now not later. We need a new hospital. We don’t need any more excuses. We need results. We don’t need any more empty promises from the Wynne Liberals. We need action.”
Following the announcement Horwath spoke to the media responding to Liberal Party attacks on the NDP’s jobs plan. “Our jobs plan gives tax breaks to companies, but only when they are hiring people and only when they are supporting jobs.”
Horwath also mentioned the NDP’s First Start, on-the-job training program. First Start gives young people a chance to gain the experience that is now necessary.
“Young people are frustrated because they can’t get their first entrance into the workforce,” said Horwath. “They go to school, they get a degree or a college certificate and when they go to enter the workforce employers say, ‘You have a good education but you don’t have experience.’
“By partnering with employers, paying the wages of young people, that helps employers open that door to invite young people in to get some experience.”
Bette Anne Chevalier, of Niagara Falls, said she “absolutely” supports Gates and the NDP. “It’s about time they [NDP] get in.”
Federal MP Malcolm Allen (Welland) was also in Niagara Falls to show his support for Gates.
“I’ve known Wayne for a long time. He’s the right guy at the right time for this riding,” said Allen. “He will keep working for the folks like he always has, but on a bigger scale for the folks across the Niagara Falls riding.”
Gates is competing against Liberal candidate Joyce Morocco and Progressive Conservative candidate Bart Maves.