ONTARIO VOTES 2007

Features

Election Promises

By Jennifer Wilson
CBCNews.ca | Updated Sept. 20, 2007

What the parties are promising and how much their promises will cost

Even before the writ dropped on Sept. 10, Ontario's parties had started to promise billions of dollars in spending to improve health care, education and social services across the province.

In the Liberals' 43-page platform, called Moving Forward, Together, the party promises $14.7 billion in new program spending by 2012. The party has not yet offered the full cost of its proposed tax cuts and credits. Highlights from the party's platform include funding a full-day pre-school program, cutting taxes on corporate assets and hiring 9,000 new nurses.

The Progressive Conservatives, who launched their 61-page Leadership Matters platform well before the official campaign started, offer a comparable $14.1 billion in additional annual spending by 2012 as well as tax cuts worth an additional $3.8 billion. Tory promises include funding faith-based schools, eliminating the use of 905-area tax revenues for services in the Greater Toronto Area and phasing out the controversial health-care tax by 2011.

The New Democrats rolled out their six-plank platform over the campaign's first two weeks, with plans for $16.8 billion in new program spending by 2012. The party's plans include cutting the health tax for low- and middle-income families, freezing college and university tuition fees at 2003 levels for four years and creating a program for OHIP to cover physiotherapy, optometry and chiropractic care.

The Green Party platform, Meeting our Green Obligations, focuses on electoral reform to a mixed member proportional (MMP) system, "turning back the clock" on climate change and amalgamating the Catholic and public school boards into a single, publicly funded school system.

To help keep track of the many promises flying from the platforms and the campaign trail, here are the new programs and tax cuts the four main parties have said they would implement if elected on Oct. 10. The CBC will be updating the promises and filling in the costs throughout the campaign.

PC PartyThe PCs have pledged to…
NDPThe NDP have promised to…
Liberal PartyThe LIBERALS have vowed to…
Liberal PartyThe GREEN PARTY has sworn to…

Liberals
Type PromiseCost
Taxes Expand new home tax credit to cover all first-time home buyers$100 million
Taxes Eliminate taxes on companies' assets 
Taxes Double tax credits for seniors earning under $50,000$250 million
Taxes Tax credit for caring for relatives$70 million
Taxes Sales tax break on bicycles and helmets; tax credits for families who enroll their children in physical activity 
Health Create 50 new family health teams, which include physicians and other health-care providers$75 million
Health Hire 9,000 nurses, establish 25 more nurse-led clinics and guarantee jobs for new nursing grads$280 million
Health Establish a strategy to battle chronic diseases, starting with diabetes$150 million
Health Create a provincewide electronic health record by 2015$250 million
Health Reduce wait times, increase cancer screening, adapt to population increases$445 million
Health Create three-year Aging at Home program to help seniors with meals, shopping and other home-care services$700 million (promised in August, so not included in new spending costs)
Health Fund other health projects, including increased hospital use, banning trans fats in school cafeterias and implementing a childhood fitness program$7.5 billion
Education Increase English as a second language (ESL) funding$26 million
Education Increase special needs program funding$144 million
Education Provide online and after school homework help and increase funding for community use of schools program $43 million
Education Fund other public school initiatives$2.2 billion
Education Expand the $300 textbook and technology grant for post-secondary students$170 million
Education Increase the number of apprentices by 25 per cent $50 million
Education Fund other investments in universities, colleges and training, including pushing for longer grace periods before students must start repaying student loans$580 million
Social Services Create early learning and full-day pre-school programs$300 million
Social Services Create a dental program for low-income families$45 million
Social Services Fund other social services and housing investments, including scheduled continuing increases to the Ontario Child Benefit to $1,100 per child by 2011$955 million
Social Services Upload from the municipalities the costs of the Ontario Disability Support payments and the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan by 2012$935 million (promised in August, so not included in new spending costs)
Crime Hire 1,000 new municipal and provincial police officers; invest in police operations including the anti-gang and guns strategy; fund youth initiatives to prevent youth crime$200 million
Environment Invest in a variety of climate change initiatives, including cleaning up Great Lakes and Lake Simcoe, closing all coal-fired power plants by 2014 and banning cosmetic pesticides provincewide $200 million
Economy Invest in the Next Generations Job Fund, a strategy to promote economic growth$100 million
Economy Support tourism industry initiatives$15 million
Economy Support the television and film industries$50 million
Economy Promote economic development in rural, eastern and northern Ontario$70 million
Misc. Other ministry investments$565 million
Party's estimate for total new spending: $14.7 billion by 2012
Tax cuts: not yet estimated

 

Progressive Conservatives
Type Promise Cost
Taxes Phase out health-care tax by 2011- $2.8 billion
Taxes Eliminate capital tax in 2010- $900 million
Taxes Reduce business education Tax- $100 million
Taxes Adopt a five per cent cap on annual property assessments and review the current system 
Health Attract and retain health professionals, in part by deferring loan payments during residency $400 million
Health Implement electronic health records over four years $300 million ($540 million over four years)
Health Help the health system adapt to population increases $200 million
Health Improve the long-term care system $100 million
Health Fund mental health initiatives $100 million
Health Expand and improve the home-care service $100 million
Health Implement disease management programs $50 million
Health Improve children's health-care services $50 million
Health Fund other health-care initiatives, including adapting to increasing costs and additional priorities $7.2 billion
Education Expand the public school system to include all faith-based schools complying with Ontario standards$400 million
Education 'Fixing' the education funding formula and invest in capital improvements to schools$2 billion
Education Provide long-term funding for post-secondary education and create a new research and development fund for northern Ontario colleges and universities$600 million
Social Services Increase the Ontario Child Benefit$170 million
Social Services Fund further support services for children with autism$75 million
Social Services Fund other social services investments$755 million
Justice Provide additional support for law enforcement, including a crackdown on bail violations and rewards for tips to police$100 million
Justice Invest in a crackdown on drugs, violent youth crime and white-collar crime$50 million
Justice Increase support for victims of crime, improve the justice and human rights systems$150 million
Infrastructure Increase public transit funding and put 100 per cent of gas tax revenues towards roads and transit improvements$800 million
Infrastructure Improve rural and northern roads and bridges$300 million
Environment Invest in water protection, clean air and climate change initiatives, including a program to purchasing scrubbers for coal-power plants$85 million
Environment Create a land conservation challenge fund and other environmental initiatives$55 million
Environment 'Restore' the Ministry of Natural Resources Fish and Wildlife programs $50 million
Environment Clean up the coal-fired power plants by installing scrubbers $1.3-billion
*cost to be covered by power authority
Economy Provide support for farmers $300 million
Economy Eliminate the use of 905-area tax revenues for Toronto services $65 million
Economy Invest in initiatives in tourism, citizenship and immigration and culture, and other ministries $385 million
Party's estimate for total new spending: $14.1 billion by 2012
Tax cuts: $3.8 billion by 2012

 

New Democratic Party
Type PromiseCost
Taxes Eliminate the health-care tax for low-income families, and reduce the tax by $450 for middle-income families over four years$1.5 billion
Taxes Freeze property tax assessments for homes on the market until the home is sold or renovated
Taxes Cap industrial hydro rates, residential property tax assessments and transit fares
Taxes Create a new provincial tax bracket for people making more than $150,000 a year, which would increase the tax rate by two per cent
Taxes Increase corporate taxes for banks and insurance companies by one per cent and reverse the elimination of the corporate capital tax
Taxes Eliminate the $400,000 Employer Health Tax exemption for corporations with payrolls in excess of $1 million$535 million in 2008-2009, $635 million by 2012
Taxes Create an anti-smoking tobacco tax$550 million by 2012
Health Create Ontario Smiles, a dental care program for low-income families$100 million
Health Provide more home care$230 million
Health Hire more doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals$400 million
Health Create a program for OHIP to cover physiotherapy, optometry and chiropractic care$100 million
Health Invest to help the health care system adapt to existing pressures$7 billion
Health Implement a long-term care quality guarantee and create 2,000 new long-term care beds$550 million
Health Reduce emergency room wait times$50 million
Health Fund a cancer care strategy$65 million
Health Invest in other health initiatives and provide a minimum of 3.5 hours a day of personal care for seniors in long-term care homes$9.6 million
Health Implement a support program for autistic children
Education Invest in the education system and launch an immediate review of the funding formula$2.7 billion in total new education spending
Education Freeze college and university tuition fees at 2003 levels for four years$250 million
Education Help cover costs for textbooks, supplies and other school programs that students fundraise to pay for.$75 million
Education Help fund local priorities$400 million
Education Fund full-day kindergarten$800 million
Education Provide a grant of an average of $125 per pupil to help students at risk$250 million
Education Enhance funding for post-secondary institutions$200 million
Education Improve student assistance programs$90 million
Education Eliminate apprenticeship fees$35 million
Education Create a program to certify internationally trained doctors$5 million
Education Invest in the post-secondary system$1.1 billion in total new spending
Social Services Upload from municipalities the costs of the Ontario Disability Support payments and Ontario Drug Benefit Plan, along with up to 50 per cent of transit costs$1.2 billion
Social Services Provide operational funding for municipal transit$220 million
Social Services Invest in the Children's and Social Service's sectors$1.75 billion
Social Services Invest in affordable housing$350 million
Justice Hire 3,000 new municipal police officers
Justice Invest in Violence Against Women programming$55 million
Environment Invest in a climate change strategy$450 million
Environment Invest in environmental enforcement$125 million
Environment Implement a "right to know" law about toxins in use in factories and in products$10 million
Economy Roll back politicians' wage increases$3 million
Economy Fund an Ontario Grows plan to aid farmers and their families$300 million
Economy Invest in "safe and fair" workplaces$40 million
Economy Create an Auto Strategy and a Jobs Commissioner$125 million
Economy Eliminate private-public partnerships, or P3s, for public facilities
Economy Enhance the forest products strategy$60 million
Economy Allow northern Ontario to keep proceeds from levies on mining profits, Crown timber and hydroelectric power$75 million
Economy Provide incentives for manufacturers that develop green automotive technology$600 million over five years
Misc. Fund the new Windsor Tunnel crossing$250 million annually
Misc. Increase film and television financing$40 million
Misc. Other initiatives$740 million
Party's estimate for total new spending: 16.8 billion by 2012

 

Green Party
Type PromiseCost
Taxes Implement a green tax shift: shift the tax burden to resources such as fossil fuels and unearned income such as capital gainsGenerate $6.1 billion
Taxes Reduce corporate income taxes over four years through the green tax shift- $1 billion
Taxes Freeze residential property assessments and replace the existing property tax system with a location value tax
Taxes Reduce personal income taxes by gradually raising the personal tax exemption to $11,000-$2.3 billion
Taxes Levy a $2,000 fee on new vehicles with low fuel efficiency, while providing incentives of up to $2,000 per fuel-efficient vehicle in addition to the existing rebate
Health Phase out the Ontario Health Premium Tax-$3.5 billion
Health Provide low-income Ontarians with an additional $1,000 per person health-care allowance
Health Increase funding for midwifery training$10 million over four years
Health Provide fully refundable tuition for graduating family doctors who commit to working a year in under-serviced areas for every year of free tuition
Education Amalgamate the Catholic and public school boards into a single, publicly funded school systemSave $500 million
Education Cap annual tuition fees at $3,000 for universities and $700 for colleges$500 million by 2011
Social Services Provide non-profit childcare provincewide$300 million
Social Services Increase access to schools for community groups$45 million
Environment Expand Alternative Land Use System to better compensate farmers for environmental protection efforts and implement an organic farming transition plan$110 million over four years
Environment Create a program for low-income households to convert to natural gas and renewable energy sources$150 million
Environment Convert government buildings to more efficient heat and power systems$200 million over 10 years
Environment Double the maximum provincial energy-efficiency grant for homeowners
Environment Create a 10-year grant program for municipal building projects that use green technologies$500 million
Environment Invest in initiatives to achieve a six per cent reduction in emissions from 1990 levels by 2010, including a ban on cosmetic pesticide use, a new emissions cap and a volume cap on water permits
Economy Invest in health, transportation, environment, education and economic development in northern communities$495 million
Economy Invest in infrastructure programs that foster local marketing and distribution systems $300 million over four years
Economy Work to alleviate labour shortages through funding apprenticeship and immigration programs$11.5 million over four years
Economy Create a four-year program to provide zero-interest loans for worker co-ops and similar workplace organizations$10 million
Party's estimate for total new spending: unknown

 

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