TORONTO—Andrea Horwath’s NDP must immediately reveal the full extent of their interest in Cornerstone – a for-profit business partnership with eight of Ontario’s largest and most powerful unions that was created to financially backstop the NDP’s election campaigns and operations. Through Cornerstone, the NDP is structurally, financially and corporately intertwined with many of the same unions that, if the NDP were to form government, they would be obliged negotiate with to strike new collective agreements. This arrangement places the NDP in a situation where their private corporate interests would collide with their public obligations.
For years, the NDP has worked hard to deflect media and public interest in Cornerstone. In 2011, Horwath told reporters “there is no financial connection whatsoever” between Cornerstone and the NDP. When the Toronto Star revealed $6M in loan guarantees to the NDP years later, Horwath was forced to recant although she still insists the relationship exists at arms-length.
In reality, the NDP Party President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Provincial Secretary and Horwath’s personal aide all sit on Cornerstone’s board, controlling a corporation funded by the unions. Cornerstone also owns the building in which the NDP headquarters is housed, meaning that in addition to being business partners and fellow shareholders with these eight large unions, the NDP are also their tenants. Since election financing laws were changed to ban corporate and union donations in 2017, the NDP have provided no updates or information on how Cornerstone is currently structured.
This relationship is simply too close for comfort.
It is imperative that Andrea Horwath immediately make public the Cornerstone shareholders agreement and reveal all financial details of the corporation. Voters need to know how much influence these unions have over a possible NDP government before ballots are cast.
AUDIO: Andrea Horwath's Corporate Deal with Ontario's Unions
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