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Ontario Votes 2003

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Election Day: Oct. 2, 2003   

Party Platforms: Social
by Paddy Moore

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

Liberal Social Platform                                 [top]
Build 20,000 affordable housing units over four years, involves matching federal funds.
Establish housing allowance program, providing relief for 35,000 families.
Revamp protection for tenants and create new rent controls.
Make assistance available to 75 per cent of all families with children under four years of age. A household making $75,000 annually would be eligible for $5 a day.
Give subsidy of $15 a day for families earning $25,000 or less. Those with low income and now have full subsidy will retain it.
Establish college of early childhood educators.
Enhance Family Resource Centres and Early Years Centres.
Repeal 60-hour workweek.
Increase minimum wage to $8.00 over five years, up from $6.85.
Double the number of apprentices in Ontario.
Increase support to women's shelters.
Improve enforcement of family support payments.
Create "Rapid Re-employment Training Project."

New Democratic Party Social Platform         [top]
Reduce child-care fees to $10 a day for children up to five years of age.
Create 20,000 new regulated day-care spaces.
Stop "clawback" of Child Tax Benefit for those on social assistance.
Link Ontario Disability Support program to cost of living; overhaul application process.
Create new holiday in February by making Heritage Day a statutory holiday.
Create indexed and more portable pension.
Immediately increase minimum wage to $8.00 an hour, up from $6.85.
Freeze rents for two years and bring back rent control.
Build 32,000 affordable housing units over four years, involves matching federal funds.
Repeal the 60-hour workweek.
Implement pay equity for home-care and child-care workers, citing a 1999 court ruling.
Tie benefits for workers' compensation to inflation.
Improve system of women's shelters and crisis centres with additional funding, as well as improve services for women who are recent immigrants or have disabilities.
Provide legal aid for family law.
End lifetime ban for social assistance.
Increase housing allowance for social assistance to 85 per cent of community average.
Consider tying social assistance to cost of living.
"Crack down" on sweatshops.

Progressive Conservative Party
Social Platform                                               [top]
Increase funding for Early Years program to $192 million this year.
Create Ontario Child Benefit for families on social assistance.
Increase disability payments by five per cent.
Eliminate mandatory retirement age.
Create Shared Care Teams to provide health services for the homeless. They would have the power to remove homeless people from the streets, if deemed necessary.


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