Ontario election 2022: Here’s what the PCs, NDP, Liberals and Greens have promised so far

Ahead of the June 2 election, Ontario’s political parties are working hard to get voters’ attention and support.

Here is a list of some promises made by the PCs, NDP, Liberals, and Greens so far. This list will be updated as the campaign unfolds.

Progressive Conservative Party

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April 20: The PC government says it is exploring increasing compensation for workers injured on the job, but the change wouldn’t take effect until after the election. It says the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act would need to be amended to set a new rate. It says the proposed change would be possible due to surplus WSIB funds.

April 25: The PC government says it will spend $1 billion more over three years to expand home care. It says the funding will help prevent “unnecessary” hospital and long-term care admissions and shorten hospital stays.

April 26: The PCs say they intend to move the WSIB head office from Toronto to London. They say the current location in Toronto has more than 600,000 square feet and has an annual cost of $30 million. The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act requires that the head office be located in Toronto, so it would need to be amended for the change to be possible.

April 27: The PC government says it is committing $87 million over three years to provide Toronto police with new resources for community safety and to fight gun and gang violence.

April 27: The PCs say they would commit $15.1 million over three years to “improve and expand” the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program.

April 28: The PC government releases its budget, doubling as the party’s platform. Much of the content was previously announced. The budget includes:

  • Spending $158.8 billion over 10 years for highways, transit and hospitals, with $20 billion promised this year alone. Highway projects include Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass, widening Highway 401 east from Pickering, and improving the QEW Skyway. Hospital funding commitments include $1 billion each for projects at the Scarborough Health Network and Unity Health. Transit projects include continuing Ontario Line work, a Sheppard subway extension, the Eglinton Crosstown West extension to the airport, weekday GO trips between London and Union Station, and passenger rail service to northeastern Ontario.
  • The budget also outlines new tax breaks for low-income workers and for seniors to help them age at home. It proposes changes to the Low-income Individuals and Families (LIFT) Credit and creating an Ontario Seniors Care at Home Tax Credit, both taking effect this year. Eligibility for the non-refundable LIFT credit would be expanded and the maximum benefit would rise, while the rate at which it is deducted compared to one’s income would lower.
  • The Ontario Seniors Care at Home Tax Credit would be refundable and is aimed at helping low- to moderate-income seniors over the age of 70. “Eligible recipients of the new Ontario Seniors Care at Home Tax Credit would receive up to 25 per cent of their claimable medical expenses up to $6,000, for a maximum credit of $1,500,” the budget notes.
  • The budget also states the PCs intend to propose changes that would allow for consumers to have “more options” when purchasing auto insurance, but lacks specifics as to what exactly they have in mind.
  • Moving some provincial agencies out of Toronto in a bid to save on real estate costs and bring jobs to other regions.
  • Making film and television productions distributed exclusively online eligible for a credit. Scrapping a rule that limited tax credits to books with more than 500 hard copy editions published.
  • Committing an additional $114.4 million over three years in a Skilled Trades Strategy. Providing an additional $268.5 million over three years to Employment Ontario.
  • “Seizing Ontario’s critical minerals opportunity” in the north. “Critical minerals will become part of the future of clean steel, batteries and hybrid and electric vehicles as the next generation of automobiles are built in Ontario, by Ontario workers and sold across North America and the world,” the PC government says.
  • Providing $4 billion to support high-speed internet access across all of Ontario by the end of 2025.
  • The PCs indicate they would balance the budget in 2027-28.

May 6: The PCs tout a plan to extend GO train service in Durham Region with four new stations, including Bowmanville GO.

May 7: The Progressive Conservative Party says it will work with Indigenous communities and spend $1 billion on an all-season road to potential mining sites in Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire.

May 8: The PCs promise to restore passenger rail service between Toronto and Timmins. They also promise to extend the Northlander rail route to Cochrane and add a connection to the Polar Bear Express to Moosonee. The promise echoes a pre-campaign commitment to restore service sometime in the mid-2020s.

May 9: Five per cent increase for disability support payment rates. Introduce legislation to tie annual increases to inflation.

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April 3: The NDP promises to expand OHIP coverage to include universal mental health care.

April 12: NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says she will ensure registered early childhood educators are paid a minimum rate of $25 per hour, while a minimum rate of $20 per hour would be set for other child-care program staff.

April 20: Horwath says an NDP government would pass the Our London Family Act “immediately upon taking office.” It is aimed at combatting Islamophobia after the attack in London, Ont., in 2021 that left members of the Afzaal family dead.

April 21:  Horwath promises to have prescription contraception fully covered under OHIP.

April 21:  The NDP says it will launch a $20-million Black Business Recovery Fund and other supports for Black entrepreneurs.

April 22: On Earth Day, the NDP says it commits to planting one billion trees by 2030. Horwath also announces that she would establish a “Youth Climate Corps,” giving young residents “the opportunity to gain knowledge and training to level up their skills through a paid program that will also count towards post-secondary credit.”

April 25: The NDP platform is released. According to a statement from the party, in addition to some promises mentioned above, highlights include:

  • Working on a universal pharmacare plan.
  • Hiring 10,000 personal support workers.
  • Hiring 30,000 nurses and expediting the recognition of the credentials of 15,000 internationally trained nurses.
  • Hiring 300 doctors and 100 specialists for northern Ontario.
  • Four-year tax freeze for middle- and low-income households while requiring “multi-millionaires and massive corporations who exploit tax loopholes to pay their fair share.”
  • Bringing back rent control for all apartments.
  • Introducing an annual speculation and vacancy tax for speculators who own homes they don’t live in, at a rate of two per cent of the assessed value, phased in over two years.
  • Regulating gas prices.
  • Ending user fees on patients and families in “every part” of the health-care system.
  • Expanding hydro capacity, increasing renewables including wind and solar power, and improving grid scale storage.
    • Making grid interconnections with Quebec and Manitoba to “enable cost-effective electricity imports.”
    • Stopping privatization and looking at ways to restore public ownership.

Additional NDP promises include:

  • Scrapping Bill 124, which limits public sector compensation increases.
  • Creating a mixed-member proportional voting system designed by an independent group of citizens.
  • Holding a public inquiry into the COVID-19 response.
  • Establishing provincial standards for home and community care services. Establishing a caregiver benefit program to provide $400 a month to informal caregivers who don’t qualify for existing federal tax credits or respite care. Building a new public and non-profit home and community care and long-term care system. Building 50,000 new and modern beds.
  • Raising the minimum wage to $20 in 2026 with an annual $1 increase.
  • Legislating 10 permanent personal emergency leave days.
  • Reducing Ontario’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Establishing a new cap-and-trade system. Offering up to $10,000 incentives for zero-emission vehicles, excluding luxury vehicles. Expanding the Greenbelt. Banning non-medical single-use plastics by 2024.
  • Introducing an energy-efficient building retrofit program to help families and businesses with the cost of retrofitting their homes and lowering electricity bills.
  • Hiring 20,000 teachers and education workers. Capping class sizes for Grade 4 through Grade 8 at 24 students. Capping full-day kindergarten classes at 26 students. Cancelling EQAO standardized testing. Scrapping the requirement for two online courses for high school graduation.
  • Restoring the previous government’s free tuition program. Converting post-secondary student loans to grants. Retroactively erasing student loan interest.
  • Increasing Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program rates by 20 per cent and index raises to inflation. Restarting a basic income pilot.
  • Building 100,000 units of social housing over the next decade. Updating 260,000 social housing units to extend their lifespan.
  • Implementing a provincial anti-racism strategy; appointing a minister responsible for anti-racism.

April 26: The NDP says it will implement recommendations from the Integrity Commissioner to reform lobbyist legislation and change laws so that every lobbyist meeting is publicly reported. It also commits to making changes to limits on campaign contributions and ensure that government appointees are reviewed by an all-party committee.

May 2: The NDP guarantees timely job offers for 2,000 internationally trained nurses through a $600-million commitment in the Nursing Graduate Guarantee Program.

May 5: The NDP says its dental coverage plan would cover all uninsured low- and middle-income families. Under its plan, households earning less than $90,000 would be fully covered, while households earning between $90,000 and $200,000 will pay a co-pay on a sliding scale that doesn’t go higher than 50 per cent of the dentist bill. It would cost the province $680 million in 2022-23 and once the federal funding kicks in, the program would be maintained with $380 million in provincial funds each year, the party says.

May 6: The NDP say it would “spur the construction” of 1.5 million homes over the next decade. The party says it would be a combination of starter homes, rental homes and affordable housing. The party also commits to mandating universal design for accessibility and allowing first-time buyers with household incomes under $200,000 to access home equity loans of up to 10 per cent of the purchase price to help with their down payment.

May 7: The NDP promises grants for homes to make upgrades including heat pumps and deep retrofits. The party says it will offer grants between $7,000 and $11,000 and financing at 0 per cent interest for costs not covered by the grants.

May 9: The NDP pledge those in northern Ontario get quicker reimbursement for health travel expenses and more local health centres. Residents won’t have to wait more than 14 days to be paid back after health-related travel.

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March 28: The Liberals launch planks of their election platform focusing on “economic dignity.” The promises include raising the minimum wage to $16 per hour by January 2023, 10 paid sick days and a benefits package for workers, including those in the gig economy, which the party says it would classify as employees. The party also promises to eliminate corporate taxes for two years for small businesses hurt by the pandemic.

April 12: The Liberals promise $10-a-day before and after school care to complement the federal government’s promise of $10-a-day childcare for children aged five and younger. The party also promises to reintroduce the Pay Transparency Act that was passed but never implemented.

April 19: The Liberals promise a handgun ban within its first year of government if it is elected. The party does not reveal details of the pledge and promises to work with federal and municipal governments to make it happen.

April 20: The Ontario Liberals pledge a slate of reforms to combat racism. It includes regular police training in de-escalation, anti-racism training and cultural sensitivity training. The party also says it would end streaming in Grades 9 and 10, alongside $10 million in grants for Black entrepreneurs and small businesses.

April 22: Ontario’s Liberal Party announces it would expand universal access to medication that prevents HIV transmission and would reduce barriers to gender-affirming surgeries. The party also promises to build 2,000 supportive homes for LGBTQ2 youth. On the same day — Earth Day — the party promises to plant 800 million trees if elected.

April 25: The Liberals promise to increase the amount low-income seniors receive from the province as a top-up to federal Old Age Security payments. The party says it would raise the threshold to be eligible to $25,000 for individuals and $50,000 for couples, adding $1,000 to the annual total they receive.

April 26: The Liberals announce that they will raise the base pay for PSWs to $25 per hour and increase wages for health-care workers. The party also says it will repeal Bill 124 and sections of Bill 106. The Liberals say they will guarantee access to mental health services for health workers, and “establish and enforce” protest exclusion zones around health-care buildings. They also say they will provide top-ups for short-staffed shift work and deliver “consistent” pay across home and community care, long-term care, and hospitals. The party also promises to end for-profit long-term care by 2028, build 30,000 new long-term care beds, and redevelop 28,000 existing spaces, as well as expand and make permanent the Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit. It would also make the Ontario Caregiver Tax Credit refundable, tax-free and paid throughout the year.

April 29: The Liberals promise to remove the provincial portion of the HST on all prepared food under $20.

May 2: The Liberals say they would slash transit fares to $1 per ride for every transit line in the province and make monthly passes $40 until January 2024. The party says they would replace transit systems’ lost revenue “ensuring no municipal government is impacted by this decision.” It’s estimated to cost $710 million in 2022-23 and $1.1 billion in 2023-24. The Liberals say they would also commit an additional $375 million in annual transit operating funding and make transit “completely free” for veterans.

May 3: The Liberals promise to cut greenhouse gas emissions by increasing industrial standards, banning new natural gas plants, offering electric vehicle rebates (up to $8,000 for electric vehicles up to retail prices of $65,000 and $1,500 for charging equipment) and grants for home retrofit renovations (100,000 grants of up to $3,000 each year). The party says it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 50 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero by 2050. The plan for $1 transit announced May 2 will also help, the Liberals say. The party also promises to divert and recycle 60 per cent of waste from landfills by 2030 and 85 per cent by 2050.

May 4: The Liberals say they will invest $10 billion to build and repair schools across the province. The party says the plan would be fully funded by cancelling Highway 413.

May 5: The Liberals say if elected, they would cap class sizes at 20 students for every grade and hire 10,000 more teachers. The Liberals also say they would end mandatory online learning.

May 6: The Liberals release additional information on their plan for education. They say they would reinstate an optional Grade 13 and offer classes on mental health, financial literacy, and taxes. They would end EQAO testing and find an alternative, end academic streaming, hire 5,000 more special education workers, and update the curriculum to include more learning on Indigenous history, including residential schools, and more support for French and other languages.

May 7: The Ontario Liberals pledge to add COVID-19 to the list of vaccines required for front-line educators in schools, if elected. The party says current exemptions would apply.

May 9: The Liberals release their costed platform. In addition to some promises mentioned above, highlights include:

  • Drawing money from contingency funds to pay for pledges and promises
  • Renegotiating child-care deal and “efficiencies” in procurement to pay for it
  • Re-instating rent control province-wide and building 1.5 million new homes — the party said it expects to balance the budget by 2025-2026 (a year earlier than the PCs)
  • Reviewing procurement strategies to find efficiencies and savings
  • Establishing Ontario Home Building Corporation to finance and build affordable homes
  • Hiring 100,000 health-care workers and training 3,000 new mental health and addictions staff
  • Spending $1 billion to clear surgery and diagnostic backlogs and creating maximum wait times for surgeries

Additional promises include:

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  • Forgiving all student loans for nurses, paramedics and other health-care workers on the front lines of COVID-19
  • Reforming election rules to use ranked ballots at the next provincial election and allowing municipalities to use it
  • Scrapping Minister’s Zoning Orders as a planning tool to bypass the local consultation process
  • Making it “easier” to build student residences on education campuses
  • Creating 3,000 new hospital beds and expanding capacity at places like Peel Memorial in Brampton, adding new hospitals including in Windsor, Moosonee, Paris and Newmarket
  • Permanently increasing lab testing capacity in Ontario and stockpiling COVID-19 rapid tests
  • Ending mandatory online learning requirements
  • Completing all public transit projects that are already funded
  • Providing free menstrual products in schools, libraries and “other spaces”

May 10: The Liberals say they will improve medical care and build more roads in a bid to northern Ontario residents. They also pledged to get “affordable, high-speed internet” to everyone in northern Ontario by 2025.

March 29: The Green Party promises to reduce mental health wait times for young people and children to 30 days or less. It also promises to improve mental health access near schools and to commit funds to youth wellness hubs.

April 1: The Green Party unveils a slew of promises relating to electric vehicles. It pledges rebates of up to $10,000 for electric cars and $1,000 for electric bikes or used electric cars. It also promises to increase EV innovation with a $5-billion tech innovation fund and $4 billion for a climate bank. The Greens also say 60,000 young people will be able to enter the workforce with one year of free tuition and guaranteed apprenticeships.

April 8: The Green Party promises to enact the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The party says it will update the Ontario Building Code to guarantee that multi-unit buildings are accessible.

April 13: The Green Party says it would create an $8-billion climate fund to support municipalities, build resilient infrastructure and restore a 50 per cent provincial cost sharing agreement for transit. The party also promises to implement Vision Zero, a traffic safety plan, across Ontario.

April 14: The Ontario Green Party promises to expand zoning to increase the housing supply, as well as implement vacancy and rental controls on all units. The party also promises to cut transit fares by 50 per cent for three months and launch a green retrofit program. The party says it would freeze urban boundaries and implement a Grocery Code of Conduct designed to protect farmers.

April 20: The Greens promise to scrap Highway 413 and create a dedicated, toll-free truck lane on Highway 407.

April 21: The party pledges to clean up mercury poisoning in Grassy Narrows First Nation. It also says it would:

  • Require the Ministry of Environment to develop and report on a strategy to address environmental racism.
  • Establish stricter monitoring and enforcement standards for air and water pollution in areas with health risks from multiple industries such as Aamjiwnaang First Nation.
  • Increase access to green space in neighbourhoods with larger racialized communities.
  • Safely close the Line 5 pipeline.

April 22: The Ontario Green Party says it would double the Greenbelt and create a Bluebelt of protected waterways. The party also promises a ban on new gravel mining permits.

April 25: The party promises to make off-peak transit travel cheaper and cancel the widening of Highway 417.

April 26: The Greens promise to build 60,000 supportive homes over 10 years with wraparound mental health and addiction services.

April 27: The Ontario Greens promise a tax on domestic homebuyers with multiple properties. If elected, the Greens would place a 20 per cent tax on the purchase of a third home, with the amount increasing for each additional property.

April 28: The Greens say they will double Ontario Disability Support Program rates and ensure “rapid implementation” of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

April 29: The Greens promise to expand EV charging stations at locations like parking lots, transit stops and along highways. The party says it will add 4,000 electric buses by 2030 and electrify transit provided by Metrolinx.

May 2: The Ontario Green Party promises to make new highway infrastructure illegal through the province’s Greenbelt. In the announcement, the party reiterates its opposition to Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass.

May 3: The Greens promise to fund the Northlander passenger rail expansion. The route will allow trains to operate between Toronto and Cochrane, Ont., again and is estimated to cost $220 million in capital costs and $12 million per year to operate. The Greens also promise to increase the number of women’s health clinics in Ontario.

May 5: The Green Party says in partnership with co-op and non-profit housing providers, it would build 160,000 affordable community rental homes

May 6: Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner says his party would bring 60,000 young people into the “new climate economy” through tuition funding and guaranteed apprenticeships. “It’s time to invest in the jobs of tomorrow, not the polluters of the past,” Schreiner said.

May 9: The Green Party says it will implement a first-time homebuyer support plan which includes ending blind bidding making home inspections mandatory, a provincewide multiple homes speculation tax, vacant home tax and create a new multi-provider home warranty model for newly built homes to protect new homebuyers.

May 10: The Green Party announces its “Plan for the North,” and highlights seven key priorities. According to a news release, it includes:

  • Creating “good green jobs” by increasing “sustainable, circular and Indigenous-led access” to critical minerals and metals, as well as removing barriers to mass timber building.
  • Expanding access to health-care in the north. Making investments in nurse practitioner-led clinics.
  • A mental health and addictions strategy, which includes implementing the party’s wider addictions strategy. Building 4,000 supportive homes and 6,000 affordable community rental homes for northern communities.
  • Improving funding for education and French language access. Supporting the University of Sudbury in transforming into a “university by and for Francophones.”
  • Protecting the province’s natural heritage. Providing $1 billion in funding for First Nations communities to support Indigenous-led climate solutions, as well as Indigenous-protected and conserved areas.
  • Partnering with Indigenous communities. Investing in creating 14,000 Indigenous-led affordable homes.
  • Improving connections in the north. Immediately improving Northlander service between Toronto and Cochrane — funding upfront capital costs of $220 million and operating subsidies annually of $12 million.

— with files from Global News and The Canadian Press

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Ontario party leaders hit the ground running for official start of 2022 election campaign

Ontario party leaders hit the ground running for official start of 2022 election campaign

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