Niagara’s Ontario NDP Reps Roll Out Their Party’s “Save Main Street” Plan

An NDP Plan For Jobs And Financial Security Will Support Working People In Niagara

From left, Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch, St. Catharines resident and downtown worker Adelodun Olusola-Ajayi, St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens, St. Catharines resident and downtown worker Andrea Connely-Miele, and Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates. Photo by Doug Draper

News from the Constituency Offices of Niagara NDP MPPs Jennie Stevens (St. Catharines), Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) and Jeff Burch (Niagara Centre)

Posted September 26th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines, Ontario’s downtown has been undergoing a positive makeover in recent years that has been drawing more people to the city centre. File photo by Doug Draper

Niagara, Ontario – Ontario NDP MPPs Jennie Stevens (St. Catharines), Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) and Jeff Burch (Niagara Centre) held a press conference in downtown St. Catharines this past Friday, September 25th to discuss “Save Main Street: A Plan for Jobs and Financial Security for Working People.”

Full details of the plan were released earlier in the day by Ontario NDP and Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath.

It’s a plan to help people and small businesses weather the second wave of economic challenges, and ensure working people are positioned to drive Ontario’s economic recovery, and bounce back healthier and more prosperous than ever.

During their press conference in St. Catharines, Stevens, Gates and Burch had the following to say –

St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens

“There needs to be a comprehensive plan that puts small businesses first. Small businesses and the people that work in them, like in downtown St. Catharines need to see the confidence in their government to know there is a long term plan that will keep their business afloat – not short term solutions. The childcare gap we have in this province has been on display during the pandemic. This includes small business dreamers and workers with young families that need to know they can go back to work knowing that childcare is available. This affects women, and it is important that they are included in the recovery. there will be no recovery without a she-covery.” – – Jennie Stevens, NDP MPP for St. Catharines

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates

“For members of our community, it is clear that we are getting all of the alarm bells that a second wave is quickly approaching. Niagarans need the government that is pro-active, not reactive. For small businesses here, the first wave never stopped. It never stopped because they never made back the money they lost and every day we’re seeing people’s entire lives get flushed down the drain as they declare bankruptcy. The NDP’s new Save Main Street plan will to close the book on the first wave that hit these businesses, get them on their feet and get money in their pockets so they can not only stay open but also not drown in debt for the next three decades. This is a plan that is direly needed, and we need to treat this financial emergency like the crisis it is.” – Wayne Gates, NDP MPP for Niagara Falls

Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

“With many municipalities like Thorold currently working to revitalize their Main Streets, now more than ever we must ensure these vital pillars of our communities are supported. Downtown businesses rely on one another, when one fails the others all face challenges. In Niagara we’ve seen the impacts of difficult times on our communities. In the early 2000s, Niagara faced devastating job losses. The loss of jobs at GM and closures of Welland facilities like Graftech, Stelco’s pipe operation, Henniges Automotive, Fana Corp and John Deere saw thousands of people in our community lose their jobs, and we saw the ripple effect on small business, on business areas and on people. With Ontario entering a second wave, we believe that by investing in small and medium sized businesses the government has an opportunity to protect jobs and help working people come through this pandemic.” – Jeff Burch, NDP MPP for Niagara Centre

At the same press conference, two residents who work in St. Catharines’ downtown also spoke.

“As a single mom, having to be on the spot and the make the decision, when I get the call to work full time, if I don’t have the availability of child care, I don’t have the options in Niagara to go back to work.” – Andrea Connely-Miele, St. Catharines resident

“As a young cook with hopes and dreams hoping to survive and open my own restaurant one day, it breaks my heart to see what’s happening in the hospitality industry right now. Not only are chefs losing their businesses and their jobs, they’re going through a severe mental health crisis. We need a wage subsidy and rent relief, especially in an industry where the profit margins are small to begin with.” – Adelodun Olusola-Ajayi, St. Catharines resident

From left, Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch, St. Catharines resident and downtown worker Adelodun Olusola-Ajayi, St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens, St. Catharines resident and downtown worker Andrea Connely-Miele, and Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates. Photo by Doug Draper

Now here is a News Release on the plan from Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Catherine Fife, critic for Economic Growth and Job Creation

Working folks need financial stability to make it through the second wave of COVID-19, and drive the recovery. That’s why Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Official Opposition NDP, and Catherine Fife, critic for Economic Growth and Job Creation, released a new plan Friday to Save Main Street.

Ontario NDP and Official Opposition Party Leader Andrea Horwath

“The COVID-19 pandemic revealed how many workers are just a paycheque or so away from their pantries going bare, rent or mortgage going unpaid, or having to crack open their retirement savings just to get by,” said Horwath.

“It’s clear that working people need more good jobs, and more financial security to get through the second wave of COVID-19. We also know that everyday working folks — especially women — need that economic stability to be the engine for the recovery. We need to have a powerful plan in place to lift them up.”

Ontario’s Financial Accountability Officer revealed this month that the Ford government is sitting on $6.7 billion which was earmarked for pandemic supports — most of which is federal money transferred to the province. Horwath and Fife say part of that money can help businesses keep people on the payroll and out of a desperate situation.

“It’s about choices,” said Fife. “Doug Ford chooses to spend on big businesses, while cutting and shortchanging the things working folks, families and small- and medium-sized enterprises rely on.

“By investing in working people, we can make sure Ontarians don’t just stay afloat through the second wave, but come out of this pandemic healthier and more prosperous, and ready to power the economy forward.”

Thanks to local businesses, heritage leaders and city councillors working together, the downtown in the Niagara, Ontario City of Thorold has been recognized across Canada as a model for downtown rejuvenation.

The NDP released a Save Main Street plan in April, and has now updated and expanded to fit changing conditions for small businesses and workers.

The NDP’s plan includes a ban on all commercial evictions, a 75 per cent commercial rent subsidy, sick days for all, a fund to help businesses with safe-reopening costs or remote-work set-up costs, more non-profit and public child care spaces for working parents, an end to insurance gouging and insurance denials, and more.


Keeping workers on the payroll

  • * A ban on all evictions, lockouts or eviction threats by commercial landlords, in place until the pandemic ends
  • * A utility payment freeze for small and medium-sized businesses
  • * A stand-alone emergency 75 per cent commercial rent subsidy, up to $10,000 per month
  • * A fund for businesses that face historic barriers

Keeping workers safe

  • * A safe re-opening and remote-work set up fund for small and medium-sized businesses
  • * A Made In Ontario paid sick days plan for all

Building the she-covery

  • * Cap class sizes and school bus capacity to keep kids safe, and moms working
  • * Create more, safer non-profit and public child care spaces* Create a dedicated re-training fund and Office to Advance Women Apprenticeship

Stopping insurance gouging

  • * Institute an auto-insurance grace period for taxis and car-sharing drivers
  • * Stop insurance gouging, stop insurance corporations from denying coverage based on COVID-19, stop insurance companies from denying business interruption claims
  • * Mandate commercial vehicle insurance rebates.

Keeping restaurant jobs afloat

  • * Limit food delivery fees



To read the NDP’s Save Main Street Plan, click on –

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