May 9, 2018 11:59 am
Updated: May 18, 2018 5:33 pm

2018 Ontario election promise tracker: Here’s what the Liberals, PCs, NDP and Greens have pledged so far

WATCH ABOVE: The Ontario election officially began on Wednesday. Party leaders have fanned out across the province hoping to win over voters. Alan Carter has more.

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The leaders of Ontario’s political parties are trying hard to win your vote on June 7.

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In the lead up to the election, we’ve heard the Liberals, the Progressive Conservatives, the Green Party and the New Democrats each claim they want to make life better for Ontarians. They’ve all put forth policies on issues such as child care, health care, transit and much more. Many of these promises, of course, come with big price tags.

To help make sense of it all, Global News is tracking what’s been promised by the leaders of the most popular parties, and how much they say these pledges will cost.

Here’s a running list of all of the campaign promises made so far.

Skip to promises made by the:

Progressive Conservatives

  • May 18: PC Leader Doug Ford says a Tory government would permit the sale of beer and wine in any grocery, convenience or big-box store, so long as the retailers meet provincial rules surrounding the sale of alcohol.
  • May 18:  Ford said in a statement a PC government would work as quickly as possible to clean up mercury contamination in Grassy Narrows.
  • May 18: Ford vowed to cut healthcare wait times through previously announced initiatives on mental health, dental care for seniors and additional long term care beds.​
  • May 17: Ford vowed to cut taxes on small businesses from 3.5 per cent to 3.2 per cent at a cost of $60 million annually. (Only the first $500,000 of profits would be taxed at this rate). If elected, the party said the tax cut would be implemented in its first budget.
  • May 16: Ford vowed to reduce the price of gasoline by 10 cents per litre through eliminating cap and trade greenhouse gas emission auctions and reducing the provincial fuel tax to 9 cents per litre for both gasoline and diesel. The party said the move would cost $1.19 billion annually.  If elected, the party also vowed to fight at the Supreme Court of Canada any attempt by the federal government to implement a carbon tax. Ford also promised that a PC government would have a balanced budget by the end of their term. ​
  • May 15: The Progressive Conservatives said they would not roll back expanded rent control measures brought in by the Wynne Liberals. “When it comes to rent control, we’re going to maintain the status quo,” Ford stated in a media release.
  • May 14: The Tories have vowed to axe business grants provided under the Jobs and Prosperity Fund, but maintain regional economic development funds. A spokeswoman for the campaign confirmed the party’s position after leader Doug Ford made an appearance in Niagara Falls to outline the PC plan to attract business. Ford also vowed to erect a “big sign on the border” saying “Ontario is open for business.”
  • May 12: Ford promised a Tory government would set up a public dental plan for seniors earning $19,300 or $32,300 for a couple.  The initiative would cost $98 million annually, the party estimated.
  • May 10: Ford promised a 20 per cent reduction in the rate of the province’s middle class tax bracket, which the party said would save individuals up to $786 per year.  If elected, the move would be implemented in the third and fourth years of Ford’s mandate, at a loss of $2.3 billion in revenues.
  • May 9: Ford said he is “100 per cent committed to Ontario’s public health care system” after an Ottawa candidate came under fire from the Liberals for past comments on two-tier health care.
  • May 9: Ford released further details on a plan to fund transit, including $5 billion for Toronto subways. He also vowed that he would support two-way, all-day GO Transit service to Niagara and Phase 2 of the Ottawa LRT, as well as regional transit projects in Mississauga, Brampton, Hamilton, London and Kitchener-Waterloo.
  • May 8: After facing criticism that he’s betrayed social conservatives after dropping controversial Mississauga candidate Tanya Granic Allen, PC Leader Ford vowed to overhaul Ontario’s sex education curriculum. He also said he’d scrap the math curriculum and “ensure that publicly funded universities defend free speech for everybody.” He did not explain how he would tie university funding to a free speech requirement.
  • May 7: During a debate with Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne and the NDP’s Andrea Horwath, Ford pledged $5 billion for subways, relief lines and two-way GO Transit service to Niagara Falls. He said this funding is on top of what the provincial government has already allocated for transit.
  • May 1: Ford said he’ll establish a system for sharing resource revenues so that Ontario’s northern communities can get a greater benefit from the mining projects in their own backyards.
  • May 1: Ford backtracked on an earlier plan to open up the Greenbelt to housing development due to negative public feedback. The party promised it would instead work to generate more supply of affordable housing.
  • April 30: Ford vowed to open up the protected Greenbelt in some areas for housing development to generate new supply in the GTA housing market.
  • April 30: Ford committed $1.9 billion over 10 years for mental health and addiction services. A similar pledge was made in the party’s old platform, the People’s Guarantee, launched by former leader Patrick Brown.
  • April 28: Ford vowed to establish a tax rebate of up to $6,750 per child for families with child care expenses at a cost of $389 million per year.  
  • April 27: Ford committed to additional help for hydro customers, promising to reduce rates by 12 per cent or an average of $173 a year, on top of the relief offered in the Liberals’ Fair Hydro Plan, which he vowed to review. Ford also said he would also place a moratorium on new energy contracts and renegotiate existing deals where possible.
  • April 26: On the heels of a scathing report from the Auditor General that criticized provincial government accounting practices for obscuring the deficit by billions, Ford announced that if elected premier, he’ll seek a commission of inquiry into Liberal spending.
  • April 26: Doug Ford promised he’d provide a costed election platform that would outline how he’d fund all of his campaign pledges. (As of May 8, no such document has been released).
  • April 23: Ford promised to get rid of the province’s cap-and-trade carbon pricing program. He said the move would reduce the price of gas by 4.3 cents per litre. He also vowed to fight the federal Liberal plan to implement a carbon tax.
  • April 20: During a pre-campaign announcement in Sarnia, the PCs committed to creating 15,000 longterm beds within five years, and 30,000 over the next 10 years. Ford’s campaign did not say what the proposal will cost.
  • April 17: Ford promised an independent audit into spending by the Ontario Liberals.
  • April 18: Ford visited a manufacturing plant in Cobourg to announce a campaign promise to reduce corporate taxes by a percentage point, to 10.5 per cent from 11.5. He also said he’d take measures to reduce “red tape and stifling regulations” he claimed were barriers for businesses.
  • April 16: After a previous commitment not to follow through with the Liberals’ planned minimum wage hike to $15 in 2019, the PCs committed to eliminating provincial taxes for minimum wage earners at a cost of about $500 million per year.
  • April 12: Ford put Hydro One in his crosshairs, promising to fire the partially privatized utility’s CEO and board over their compensation packages. The move would cost at least $10.7 million in severance.
  • April 12: The Tories promised they would let London choose its own transit plan. The Liberals have committed $170 million, but specifically for the region’s proposed bus rapid transit plan, which would see transit vehicles occupy dedicated lanes.
  • April 4: In a tweet, Ford said as premier he would “cut taxes, put money back in people’s pockets and put a big sign on the border that says Ontario is open for business.”
  • April 3: In Hamilton, Ford vowed to let the public decide how to proceed with a proposed billion-dollar LRT line. He said if they’re against it, provincial money will go toward other infrastructure needs in the city. He made a pledge to return to the city to be held accountable for his campaign promises.
  • March 16: Ford made several commitments regarding northern Ontario. He promised to bring roads to the Ring of Fire mining development even if he has to “hop on a bulldozer” himself. A statement from the party said he also touched on reducing hospital crowding/wait times and “making the north open for business” in a call with northern Ontario media.
  • March 12 (and possibly before this): Media reports say Ford vowed to save four cents on every dollar of government spending through “efficiencies.”

New Democratic Party

  • May 18: NDP Leader Andrea Horwath made a campaign stop in Grassy Narrows. The party has vowed to clean up the mercury contamination in the English–Wabigoon River and work with First Nations to ensure drinking water is safe. She also plans to invest $209 million immediately in a First Nations-focused health plan.
  • May 17: Horwath said an NDP government would not implement road tolls, saying that access to transit is not equal across the GHTA. She also said that as a flat tax, tolls impact those with lower incomes the most.
  • May 15: The NDP released its platform for southwestern Ontario, which included pledges to add all-day train service to the Kitchener-Toronto GO Transit route, implement a transportation plan for the region, restore funding for municipal transit operation to 50 per cent, open 2,000 hospital beds, expand the mandate of the Elizabeth Wettlaufer inquiry during the party’s first hundred days in office, and implement a moratorium on rural school closures.
  • May 14: Horwath ruled out a coalition with the Liberals, saying she had “no interest” in partnering with the party.
  • May 14: Horwath vowed an NDP government would build another hospital in Brampton. She also promised to expand Peel Memorial Centre into a full hospital.
  • May 4: Horwath announced a series of policy planks for northern Ontario, including a billion dollar investment in the Ring of Fire mining development, a vow to keep schools open and a pledge to end higher northern and rural hydro delivery costs.
  • May 2: As part of the party’s broader plan to offer dental care coverage, Horwath said the NDP intends to establish seven mobile dental clinics and 70 new public dental suites.
  • May 1: Horwath vowed to expand GO transit service in Hamilton and fund 50 per cent of municipal transit if elected premier.
  • April 30: The NDP announced a plan to fund prescription cancer drugs for those without coverage at a cost of $42 million per year.
  • April 18: Horwath outlined in a campaign pledge to give tax revenues related to mining operations to First Nations in northern Ontario. She told the CBC the windfall would amount to about $41 million.
  • April 16: The NDP launched a costed campaign platform that includes a five per cent boost to hospital funding, free childcare for those earning under $40,000 (otherwise $12/day), pharmacare and dental plans, a commitment to boost taxes for those earning more than $220,000 by one percentage point and those earning more than $300,000 by two percentage points. The plan would be paid for through five years of deficits, starting with a $3.3 billion in 2018-2019.
    Other highlights: billions to increase Ontario Works and Ontario disability payments; a 30 per cent reduction in hydro bills, the addition of 2,200 new mental health workers over five years; 15,000 additional long-term care beds, a three per cent surcharge on vehicles over $90,000; a promise to cut auto insurance rates by 15 per cent.
  • April 12:  The NDP committed to restoring a 50 per cent provincial funding commitment to transit agencies.
  • April 11: At a debate organized by black community leaders, Horwath said the NDP would ban the police street checks practice known as carding. The party also announced a plan to launch a $20-million anti-racism fund to support community organizations tackling the issue.
  • April 10: Horwath tweeted that an NDP government will fund the Pay Equity Commission, to put “more women in public service leadership roles, and implement the Equal Pay Coalition’s 12 recommendations.”
  • March 19: Horwath pitched a public dental plan that would extend coverage to 4.5 million Ontarians at a cost of $1.2 billion.
  • March 17: At a party event, Horwath provided a preview of the NDP election platform, saying it would de-privatize Hydro One, offer universal pharmacare and dental coverage, and abolish student loans.
  • March 12: Horwath told teachers that as premier, she would scrap the Education Quality and Accountability Office standardized testing in favour of a random sample testing system.
  • March 9: Horwath vowed to overhaul mental health and addiction services through the creation of a dedicated ministry. She also promised the NDP would fund hospitals, at minimum, to the rate of inflation.
  • April 22, 2017:  A year ahead of the campaign, the NDP promises a provincial pharmacare plan if elected.

The Liberals

  • May 10: The Liberals promised that they would add 3,500 more nurses this year if re-elected. A news release from the party did not state the cost of the new hires, but mentioned the $822-million boost to hospitals announced in the 2018 budget.
  • May 7: Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne made an appearance to highlight a $62-million commitment to autism support that was included in the spring budget.
  • May 3: At a Toronto transit announcement, Wynne said the government would partially fund the Downtown Relief Line, the Yonge North subway extension and the Waterfront light rail transit service. She said the funding was included in her spring budget but the document did not identify specific infrastructure projects the money would be spent on.
  • May 2: After Doug Ford’s flip-flop on opening up the Greenbelt for development, Wynne said her party would add to the protected area if elected.
  • April 30: Wynne announced the Liberals would provide 500 new long term care beds for Francophone seniors.
  • April 19: The Liberals said they will build 5,000 new beds by 2022 and more than 30,000 new beds over the next decade.
  • April 11: Wynne made an appearance in Etobicoke and highlighted the party’s $3.3-billion, three-year commit for seniors that was part of party’s latest budget.
  • April 5: The Liberals announced that in 2019, GO Transit and Union-Pearson Express fares within Toronto will match the TTC at $3 for Presto users.
  • March 28: The Liberals unveiled the final budget of their term, which came with a $6.7-billion deficit. The $158.5-billion fiscal plan included several previously revealed commitments, including free childcare, the expansion of pharma and dental care, increased funding for hospitals, mental health and long-term care. More highlights can be found here.
  • March 27: The Liberals announced their budget will include a $2.2-billion commitment for childcare that will provide free childcare for pre-school-aged children starting in 2020.
  • March 26: The Liberals promised $300 million to expand special needs education. The money would go towards eliminating the waitlist to have children with special needs assessed and to hire 2,000 new teachers and education workers.
  • March 23: Wynne and the Liberals pledged $2.4 billion to rebuild Toronto’s SickKids Hospital over 10 years.
  • March 22:  The Ontario Liberals announced a 4.6 per cent, $822-million boost for hospitals for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
  • March: 21 Wynne promised to overhaul mental health services with a $2.1-billion funding commitment over four years
  • March 20: Wynne announced a plan to expand free pharmacare (OHIP+) to seniors by 2020-2021 at a cost $575 million when the program is fully operational.
  •  March 19:  A throne speech was delivered ahead of the budget. In it, the government pledged significant spending in health care to tackle hospital wait times and expand home-care and mental-health services, while reducing the overall deficit.

Green Party

  • May 14: Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner unveiled the party’s platform at Queen’s Park. Highlights include: creating green jobs; introducing a $4.18-billion, four-year fund to pay for energy retrofits for homes and businesses; cutting payroll taxes for non-profits and businesses earning under $5 million; a 20 per cent affordable housing requirement for new residential development; a plan to introduce mental health coverage under OHIP+ at a cost of $4.1 billion over four years; increasing social assistance payments by $3.4 billion by 2018-2019 as part of the basic income pilot project and phasing in a guaranteed basic income by 2021-2022 with a $6.4 billion investment;  a 0.5 per cent tax increase for large corporations, a 1 per cent provincial tax increase for the top 1 per cent of earners; a housing speculation tax; cancelling Kathleen Wynne’s Fair Hydro Plan; expanding the Greenbelt and raising water taking fees paid by companies; developing a plan for Ontario to become 100 per cent reliant on renewable energy; increasing funding for public transit to $1.5 billion per year and funding half  of the operating costs of municipal transit systems; introducing congestion charges, parking levies and land value taxes to pay for transit.

With files from Daniel Caudle and The Canadian Press

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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