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Ontario Votes 2003

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Election Day: Oct. 2, 2003   

Party Platforms: Municipal
by Paddy Moore

Here are the highlights of the municipal platforms from the Liberal, New Democratic and Progressive Conservative parties:

Liberal Municipal Platform                                 [top]
Give two cents per litre of provincial tax to municipalities for public transit.
Invest in public transit, with a focus on tackling Toronto's gridlock.
Invest in highways and roads to improve cross-border trade links.
Make transit passes provided by an employer a non-taxable benefit.
Fast-track funding to maintain municipal bridges and roads in rural Ontario.
Fast-track funding to rural communities to improve water and sewer systems.
Work to develop "brownfields," or vacant, toxic, urban industrial sites.
Change Land Transfer Tax Rebate program to encourage intensification and discourage urban sprawl.
Establish Golden Horseshoe Greenbelt.
Will not impose amalgamations.

New Democratic Party Municipal Platform         [top]
Lower transit fares, giving two-thirds off transit passes for college and university students, seniors, and those on job training programs.
Create Transportation Trust Fund to reduce gridlock by dedicating three cents of provincial gas tax from every litre sold in Ontario, with 60 per cent for transit, 25 per cent for roads and highways, and 15 per cent for GO Transit.
Create Green Planning Act to fight urban sprawl and preserve important natural areas.
Create Dynamic Downtown Fund to: protect heritage buildings; clean up toxic urban industrial lands; increase arts funding; support cultural facilities; and revitalize waterfront areas.
Give Toronto, and possibly other larger cities, the ability to negotiate directly with the federal government on funding and other issues.
Require province to pick up any extra costs incurred by a municipality as a result of downloading from the province.
Allow cities to levy hotel room tax.
Would consider reversing amalgamation in some areas, but only at the request of local governments.

Progressive Conservative Party
Municipal Platform                                               [top]
Prohibit new taxes or tax increases by a municipality without approval from citizens through a referendum. However, a council would be allowed to levy new local gasoline taxes or hotel room taxes if approved through a referendum.
Provide $200 million for Toronto transit systems.
Provide $75 million for high-occupancy vehicle lanes on parts of 403 and 404.
Provide $430 million for GO Transit, adding service to Barrie.
Triple fines for violations adding to gridlock.
Take back responsibility for municipal bridges in rural Ontario.
Create provincial auditor for municipalities.
Spend $750 million to improve water and sewer systems.


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