Key promises in the campaign leading to Ontario's Oct. 6 election
TORONTO - Key promises in the campaign toward the Oct. 6 Ontario election:
— A 30 per cent tuition credit for full-time college and university students whose families earn less than $160,000 a year. The grant plan will cost taxpayers $486 million a year by 2015-16.
— Create 60,000 new post-secondary spaces and add three new university campuses, although specific locations were not provided.
— Bring in an after-school program for six- to 12-year-olds at every elementary school in the province.
— Create a new tax credit of up to $10,000 for employers who hire immigrants for their first job in Ontario.
— Expand GO commuter trains to all-day service along existing corridors over 10 years.
— Spend $60 million to add three million hours to home care for seniors.
— A new program that would allow seniors to defer the increases on their property taxes.
— Give seniors a tax credit of up to $1,500 to offset renovations that make it easier for them to stay at home or with relatives.
— Reduce taxes on small business to 4.5 per cent from five per cent.
— Reduce the size of the public service and find $500 million in savings, plus another $200 million in savings from large provincial agencies.
— Make the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund and the Eastern Ontario Economic Development Fund permanent, and introduce a South Western Economic Development Fund.
— New online tool to provide early cancer screening.
— Double the budget to $70 million to fight contraband tobacco (off-reserve) and raise fines for the sale of tobacco to minors to the highest in Canada.
— Reduce childhood obesity by 20 per cent.
— Double the children's activity tax credit.
— Work with municipalities to expand the Greenbelt.
— Institute a Great Lakes Protection Act and a fund to clean up toxic areas of lakes and beaches.
— Service guarantee to refund any provincial fees if people have to wait more than 20 minutes at a ServiceOntario outlet for personal transactions, such as renewing a driver's licence.
— One-year grace period for paying back student loans if college or university graduates go to work for registered charities and non-government aid organizations.
— Double the number of premier-led international trade missions.
— Expand a program that provides up to eight weeks of protected, unpaid leave from work for people who need to provide care to family members suffering from a serious injury or illness. Currently, it only applies to those with a terminally ill family member.
— Allow health-care providers to make home visits for seniors and others who may otherwise find it difficult to leave their residence, at a cost of $60 million a year.
— Extend teachers college from one year to two.
— A voluntary, two-week summer program to help kids in Grades 1 through 3 get ready for the school year at a cost of $12 million a year.
— Balance the budget no later than 2017-18.
— Cut government spending by two per cent except for health care and education.
— Boost health-care funding by $6.1 billion over four years and education spending (including colleges and universities) by $2.5 billion by end of first term.
— Roll out full-day kindergarten in all elementary schools by 2014.
— Give teachers more freedom in the classroom, such as banning cellphones and teaching phonics. Restore fall report card for elementary school students.
— Create 5,000 new long-term care beds.
— Spend $20 million to force prisoners to perform 40 hours of manual labour a week.
— Create a website listing the names and addresses of registered sex offenders, spend $50 million to monitor them using GPS technology.
— Remove the eight per cent provincial portion of the HST from hydro bills and home heating and eliminate debt retirement charge from hydro bills at a cost of $1.4 billion.
— End mandatory time-of-use pricing for electricity.
— Scrap main elements of the Green Energy Act by killing feed-in-tariff system and $7-billion Samsung deal for wind and solar energy components. Focus on natural gas, hydroelectric and nuclear energy.
— Close all coal-fired plants by 2014.
— Reduce Ontario's 630 agencies, boards and commissions, starting with the Ontario Power Authority (which manages Ontario's energy supply) and the province's 14 Local Health Integration Networks.
— Shrink the bureaucracy, mostly by not filling vacant positions, and reduce public-sector wages.
— Require public-sector unions to compete for government contracts "where appropriate," such as food preparation and laundry in public institutions.
— Create 60,000 post-secondary spaces and redirect $30 million the Liberals set aside to attract foreign students by giving it to Ontario students instead.
— Give all 444 municipalities a share of the provincial gas tax revenues, up from the current 89.
— Reduce red tape by 30 per cent, introduce a Small Business Bill of Rights and provide fast "customer-friendly" dealings with government.
— Reduce corporate tax rate to 10 per cent by 2013 (same as Liberals).
— Invest more than $35 billion for new infrastructure, much of it in transit and transportation over first three years.
— Repeal the Far North Act and allow municipalities and First Nations to keep revenue from the mining tax for any new mines that are developed.
— Allow local governments in the north to develop Crown land, such as parcelling for cottage lots, and overhaul the forest tenure system.
— Require all welfare recipients to be residents for one year before collecting benefits, but allow those who work part time to keep more of their benefits. Lifetime ban on worst repeat offenders of welfare fraud.
— Spend $35 million to extend hours of the province's busiest courts.
— Crack down on illegal schemes that drive up auto insurance rates and form a special task force of prosecutors to fight white-collar crime.
— Establish a provincial registry of crystal methamphetamine labs and marijuana grow operations.
— Toughen rules on illegal occupations, support police dealing with them and strengthen trespassing laws.
— Balance the books by 2017.
— Remove the provincial portion (eight per cent) of the HST from home heating bills at a cost of $350 million annually.
— Remove the provincial portion of the HST from hydro bills, but not until 2015 when the Ontario clean energy benefit expires.
— Set a weekly price cap on gasoline through the Ontario Energy Board.
— Reduce the HST on gasoline by one per cent every year, which will cost $1.25 billion over four years and require approval from the federal government.
— Scrap plans to build new nuclear reactors and assess safety and costs before proceeding with any electricity plan.
— Spend nearly $1 billion over four years on energy-efficient retrofit programs, including a rebate of up to $5,000 for home renos, by putting nuclear refurbishment program on hold.
— Merge Ontario's electricity bureaucracies (Ontario Power Authority, Hydro One and the Independent Electricity System Operator) and cap CEO salaries.
— Legislate a Buy Ontario policy that will force the government to use public funds to create jobs in the province.
— Raise general corporate taxes to 14 per cent from the current 11.5 per cent, which will bring in $6.6 billion over four years.
— Block any foreign takeover of the Toronto Stock Exchange.
— Give 10 per cent tax credit to companies that invest in buildings, machinery and equipment in Ontario. They will also get a training tax credit if they help their employees upgrade their skills.
— Force companies that mine in Ontario to process those resources in the province.
— Scrap the province's 14 Local Health Integration Networks and replace them with another local decision-making body.
— Cut emergency wait times in half.
— Cap public CEO compensation for $20 million in annual savings, cut consultants in half for $125 million in annual savings, give ombudsman oversight of hospitals and health spending.
— Eliminate the wait list for acute long-term care beds at a cost of $320 million over four years, and fund one million hours of home care.
— Scrap ambulance fees for patients who need transport to hospital, which will cost $30 million a year.
— Forgive the student debt of new doctors who practice in under-serviced communities to bring 200 new doctors to those areas over four years at a cost of $16 million.
— Spend $420 million over four years to create 50 family health-care clinics by 2015.
— Freeze transit fares for four years and share the cost of operating transit equally with municipalities at a cost of $930 million.
— Increase minimum wage to $11 per hour and index it to the cost of living.
— Keep welfare rates in step with inflation, reduce clawback of welfare benefits for the disabled when they're moving back into a job at a cost of $160 million over four years.
— Strengthen the Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund and develop an Ontario Retirement Plan to provide a defined benefit pension to those who want one.
— Bring in mandatory physical education in high school classrooms, ban advertising of junk food aimed at kids and force large chain restaurants to put calorie labelling on menus.
— Balance the budget by 2015 without raising taxes or cutting services.
— Maintain expenditures for all ministries, except health, at 2010-11 levels until after the budget is balanced.
— Increase health-care funding by two per cent each year, with additional increases after the budget is balanced.
— Delay planned tax cuts for large corporations until after the budget is balanced.
— Partner with government employees to identify the least productive one per cent of every ministry budget, and to identify outdated or ineffective programs throughout the public sector in order to realize savings without job cuts.
— Expect public servants in the highest salary categories to support a wage freeze until the budget is balanced.
— Increase personal tax exemption by $2,000.
— Lower small business payroll taxes by raising the exemption level for the Employer Health Tax from $400,000 to $800,000 in payroll, thus eliminating the health tax for small businesses with payrolls less than $800,000 and making it easier for businesses to create more jobs.
— Provide $1.6 billion over four years in refundable tax credits for home owners, tenants and businesses to invest in energy efficiency and building retrofits.
— Invest $400 million in tax credits over four years for affordable commuter benefits to support ride sharing and carpooling, flexible work and a refundable provincial tax credit for transit users.
— Support job creation through a $150-million fund for research and development in emerging sectors of the economy and by expanding programs for training, apprenticeships and co-ops.
— Implement a $10 per tonne price on carbon to provide market incentives for efficient use of resources and discourage greenhouse gas emissions. Every dollar raised in revenue would be returned to individuals and businesses through tax reductions, while $100 million per year would go to refundable tax credits for seniors, low-income residents and individuals living in rural areas. The price would rise to $15 per tonne over time to maintain revenue as greenhouse gas emissions decline.
— Provide $800 million in refundable tax credits for home owners and tenants over four years to invest in energy efficiency and building retrofits.
— Provide $800 million in refundable business tax credits over four years for businesses to invest in energy efficiency and building retrofits.
— Provide $150 million over two years in refundable tax credits for research and development in emerging sectors such as green technology, green buildings, value-added manufacturing, renewable energy and knowledge-based services.
— Provide $150 million in refundable tax credits over three years for people living in rural and remote areas to have affordable Internet access.
— Freeze tuition for the 2012-2013 school year and index tuition increases for 2013-2015 to the rate of inflation.
— Provide $300 million over three years in refundable tax credits for businesses that participate in training and certification programs in job growth areas such as green building, biomedical technology, renewable energy and sustainable transportation.
— Provide $300 million over three years in refundable tax credits for businesses that participate in apprenticeships, co-operative and mentorship programs.
— Negotiate agreements to purchase inexpensive hydroelectricity from neighbouring provinces and increase hydro generation in Ontario.
— Oppose construction of new nuclear facilities and prohibit cost overruns for nuclear projects from being passed on to ratepayers and taxpayers.
— Prioritize grid access for locally owned renewable energy and community power projects.
— Establish a loan guarantee program for public benefit, community-based renewable energy projects.
— Create a $200-million fund for municipalities to invest in safe roads, active transportation and complete streets.
— Offer $238 million over four years for electric and fuel-efficient vehicle tax credits.
— Encourage the purchase of more fuel-efficient cars through a $1,000 credit for the most efficient 10 per cent of cars on the market and a $1,000 fee for the most inefficient 10 per cent.
— Rejoin the Ministry of Health Promotion and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
— Invest an additional $285 million in a fund for municipalities to make water and sewage infrastructure improvements.
— Invest $200 million over four years for a healthy school food program and set purchasing targets for local sustainable food in public institutions.
— Invest $200 million over four years for a good food program that invests in community food programs that promote access to healthy food, community gardens, cooking and nutrition classes.
— Provide $200 million over four years in healthy living tax credits for children and adult recreation programs.
— Invest an additional $1.6 billion over four years in family health teams, aboriginal health access centres, nurse practitioner-led clinics and community care centres; clinics and practices that team doctors with nurses, dieticians, psychologists, counsellors, physiotherapists and others.
— Establish a new goal of providing 50 per cent of Ontario residents with access to family care teams by 2016, rising to 90 per cent by 2020.
— Revamp the current fee-for-service pay model. Move towards salaried and other funding models (either alone or in combination) that expand access, patient-centred care and encourage health promotion and innovation.
— Immediately embark on an evaluation of Local Health Integration Networks.
— Invest an additional $2 billion over four years in care for seniors. Includes additional tax credits for family members staying home to care for seniors and investments in long-term care homes.
— Introduce a package of tax credits of $760 million over four years to: foster local marketing and distribution systems for farmers; support research into new revenue streams for farmers such as energy from biomass and plant-based manufacturing materials; support organic farm business training; support innovative programs to assist farmers in developing new business models and sources of revenue.
— Post government contracts and public officials' expenses online.
— Stop corporate and union donations to political parties, candidates and campaigns in provincial and municipal elections.
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version incorrectly reported that the NDP would remove provincial portion of HST from hydro bills when the debt retirement charge ends. In fact it's when the Ontario clean energy benefit expires.