London MPP says she will look after Windsor area's interests (con't)

All three Windsor area ridings went NDP orange in Thursday’s provincial vote.

And the next closest riding, Chatham-Kent-Essex, which includes Leamington, was held by incumbent Tory MPP Rick Nicholls. 

“I take that responsibility as does (Premier) Kathleen Wynne,” Piruzza said.

“She is a firm believer that all parts of the province have to be represented whether we have MPPs from there or not.”

Matthews, who served as health minister during the last government, said she is aware of the Windsor region’s top current need, a new regional hospital.

“I know people have been working very very hard to come up with a plan that would make that (come about),” she said.

Matthews also acknowledged the city’s high unemployment rate.

“I think southwest Ontario as a region has been hard hit,” she said, and suggested a way to combat this is through incentives like the government’s $2.5 billion, 10 year, strategic investment fund.

“There’s no question that the Windsor area will benefit from that as well,” she said.

But Matthews said she has “a lot to learn” about this area and when asked if she could open a satellite office here, said “I’ll take that as advice, it’s an idea I haven’t heard before.”

Matthews, also the deputy premier, has served two years in the health portfolio since 2011, and was also well aware of this community’s grassroots campaign to save thoracic cancer surgery.

Prior to health, Matthews held the exact same portfolios as Piruzza - Minister of Children and Youth Services and Minister Responsible for Women's Issues.

She said it’s also the policy of her party to work with opposition MPPs who do in fact represent the region.

“If they come with reasonable concerns and issues we will work with them,” she said.

“Once the election is over and once we’re into decision making around issues that are important to communities we really try to take the partisanship out of that and judge issues on their merit.”

Matthews added that she “obviously” has her local London constituency office “and every MPP has a riding office.”

And while the province hasn’t had a tradition of “regional ministers” her government will “make sure that lines of communication are wide open.”

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