Episode 34 with Andrea Horwath
In this episode, Nashwa and Ryan sit down with Andrea Horwath, MPP for Hamilton-Centre and the Leader of the Official Opposition New Democrats. ** Please note this episode was recorded in mid-March** Nashwa and Ryan contextualize this episode with an extensive pre-show- if you do not want to listen to the pre-show please forward this episode to the interview that begins at around 26 minutes.
In this interview Nashwa and Ryan wanted the audience to learn more about Andrea and the Ontario New Democrats. This episode focused on provincial issues such as the vaccine rollout. The rollout continues to be a disservice to Ontarians as many have witnessed egregious lines at pop-ups and people rely on a community-driven twitter feed for information about the vaccines. Ryan and Nashwa also ask about the Ontario NDP’s launch of the Green New Democratic Deal.
Although this was recorded during phase two and we are now in phase three the rollout remains disjointed and inequitable. As a podcast project, we are constantly thinking about a world beyond electoral politics and hope for electoral politics with teeth that go beyond platitudes. This is why we asked about the Ontario NDP’s stance and their policy paper produced in the Summer of 2020. You can find the NDP policy paper referenced here: End Police Violence. Invest In Black, Indigenous And Racialized People’s Lives. An Ontario NDP Commitment To Action.
Ryan wraps up by asking an evergreen question about the future of the Ontario NDP, how the base is being built, and how the provincial party plans to retain power.
During the pre-show, Ryan and Nashwa discuss the current state of so many political issues throughout Ontario and why we want Ford out. While we vehemently recognize and acknowledge the limitations of electoral politics we hope this episode presents an alternative to the Ford Conservatives.
Last week Doug Ford’s Conservatives rammed through Bill 307. For the entirety of the pandemic, there was no urgency for an adequate paid sick days plan, to stop COVID evictions, to roll out an accessible vaccination program, to redress long-standing issues throughout the Long-Term Care system, and so much more. The list of moments throughout this pandemic that were urgent for so many Ontarians and not prioritized by Ford Nation are quite obvious.
At the same time, we are witnessing a burgeoning fascist movement in Ontario and throughout Canada. We have been experiencing a rising unchecked white supremacy grow in Canada, overlapping with the anti-mask conspiracy parades. We fear that as Canada “goes back to normal” hate crimes will inevitably increase (terminology that frankly requires its own reckoning and further complexity).
This contingent, which was emboldened after Donald Trump’s election as well as the general acceptance of far-right hate speech in Canada's political discourse has been left entirely unaddressed. The Ford government is part of this. With cabinet members like Merrilee Fullerton and friendships with people like Charles McVety it is rather clear that this is a government that is friendly to bigotry.
Bill 307 was rammed through last week after courts had deemed it unconstitutional because it unjustifiably violated Ontarians’ right to freedom of expression – in particular affecting this important right during elections. Instead of appealing the decision, the Ford government invoked s. 33 of the Charter: the Notwithstanding Clause. The legal rule is an emergency tool governments can use to override certain Charter rights, even after a court deems a law unconstitutional. This tool has never been used in Ontario because invoking the Notwithstanding Clause means that a policy is going to violate fundamental civil liberties. This shows just how far Ford will go to achieve his political goals.
Regardless of where you fall politically, even if you are beyond electoral politics, Ford’s time in office has been devastating for activists and organizers throughout the province fighting like hell to keep people safe and alive. From his austerity cuts and right-wing populism, the racist dog whistles he has used to signal that he's on the side with the white supremacists, Ford needs to go.
In Ontario, one could describe the current electoral political arena as something like the Sanders versus Trump showdown that never materialized in the US. With decades of Liberal governments neglecting Long-Term Care, destroying our public services, and so much more, the NDP finally holds a position as the official opposition in a way they previously have not.
We have less than one year to get the Ford government out of office, but we can also dream far beyond that. We are very cognizant of the limitations of electoralism, as we've expressed on many occasions on this podcast, but it is also important to recognize multi-method action. We can and should be principled while also knowing that there is flexibility and multiple fronts we must organize on and counter.
** Please note this episode was recorded in mid-March**
* This episode was recorded before Nashwa began her role at the Ontario NDP.
Mutual Aid & Community Support:
Although this episode is not paywalled we would deeply appreciate it if people would share or give (if able to do so) to any of the causes or groups listed below.
Last week has been and will continue to be hard for myself (Nashwa) and the team so I will keep this brief. I will try to better address the murder of multiple generations of the Afzaal family in London Ontario at another time but for now, I am trying my best to be there for my community and help organize. I have been asked to share this page for financial support of the 9-year-old son who was left orphaned and injured.
I keep this podcast mostly free. I know my listeners are generous people who care about this world and so if you are able to give we urge you to give to the remaining member of the Afzal family, Faez Afzaal. From the team and I, Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un to multiple generations of the Afzaal family. We will keep you in our hearts and continue to fight for a world that does not paper over the vile settler colonialism and xenophobia that is the bedrock of what we know as Canada.
Guests of the Week: Andrea Horwath, MPP for Hamilton-Centre and the Leader of the Official Opposition New Democrats.
Andrea Horwath is the Leader of the Official Opposition New Democrats. From her early career in community development to today, she’s always believed that government should be about giving people the opportunity to build a good life no matter where in Ontario they live, or when this province became home.
Born and raised in Hamilton, Andrea was elected to Hamilton City Council in 1997, then as the MPP for Hamilton-Centre in 2004. In 2018, Andrea led her party to become the Official Opposition – the largest Official Opposition in a generation. Today, half of the members of her MPP team are women, they represent ridings from every region of the province, and together they’re reflective of the diversity of Ontario.
She’s a leader who believes in proposing positive solutions, especially when it comes to ending hallway medicine, giving seniors better care and supporting public schools so they can give kids a great start. She’s fighting for good jobs, and a more affordable life.
She’s an Ontarian, a mom, a Hamiltonian and she’s running for premier in 2022.
Hosted by Nashwa Lina Khan and Ryan Deshpande
Show Music by Johnny Zapras and postXamerica
Art for Habibti Please by postXamerica
Production by Canadian Dimension
Production Assistance by Ryan Deshpande and Nashwa Lina Khan
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