Elizabeth Rowley: Leader, Communist Party of Canada (Ontario) Sam Apelbaum: Leader, Libertarian Party of Ontario Frank De Jong: Leader, Green Party of Ontario Giuseppe Gori: Leader, Family Coalition Party of Ontario Ernie Eves: Leader, Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario Paul McKeever: Leader, Freedom Party of Ontario Dalton McGuinty: Leader, Liberal Party of Ontario Howard Hampton: Leader, NDP
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New Democrats
COMMUNIST PARTY OF CANADA (ONTARIO)


Leader: Elizabeth Rowley

Web Site: ontario.communist-party.ca

Platform: Platform

Candidates: Included in Platform document.

On the Issues (note: this information is based on explanations received on May 14, 2003 via e-mail from Marcel Rodden, who is developing a web site for the Ontario CPC). The CPC is encouraged to contact Mondo Politico to correct any inaccuracies):

Schools - At present in Ontario, parents are required to pay for government owned-and-operated schools (i.e., what are popularly called "public" schools) even if their children do not attend them: this is known as "universality" in education. The Communist Party would continue universality in education and decrease private-sector involvement in schools. The party stands for what it calls "Universal Quality Public Education". It would invest $20 billion over 5 years in public education and adopt a needs-based funding model. It would rescind the private school tax credit and provide no public funding for private schools. "Lease-backs" would be banned, as would public-private-partnerships (P3s) in public schools. "Uncertified" teachers would be banned. The CPC takes the position that we currently do not have a liberal arts curriculum, such that it needs to be "restored". The CPC would make classes smaller and develop "full service schools". It says it would "restore local autonomy and democracy" and remove provincial Supervisors.

Health Care - At present, all taxpaying Ontarians are required to pay for a health care system operated, and largely owned, by the government, whether or not one is using health care services: this is known as "universality" in health care. Private companies are currently prohibited from competing with the government in the provision of most health care services: the government has a monopoly in health care. The Communist Party would continue the monopoly, and expand it. It stands for what it calls "Universal Quality Public Health Care". It would implement the Romanow Report without further delay. Public-private-partnerships ("P3s") would be banned: P3 hospitals or clinics would not be permitted to operate or exist. The CPC would increase health care funding without delay and expand medicare to cover "denticare".

Electricity - In May of 2002, the government discontinued the practice of controlling the price charged by electricity generators: this discontinuance is commonly referred to as "deregulation". In December of 2002, the government imposed a control on the price paid directly by the small-scale consumer of electricity (i.e., residences and small businesses). Under this "price cap", if the price charged by a generator 4.3 cents or less, the taxpayer pays only for his own consumption. If the actual cost of the electricity is more than 4.3 cents, the difference is to be paid out of a fund collected by Ontario Power Generation. If there is not enough money in the fund, Ontarians will pay the difference through the taxes they pay (e.g., PST). The Communist Party wants electricity to be government owned and regulated in an east-west power grid. The party would phase out nuclear power, restore nuclear plants to public control (some, such as Bruce, are leased to a private consortium). The CPC says it would "develop" new sources of energy including solar and wind power, and phase-out coal fired generating stations.

Municipalities - The Communist Party would provide municipalities with new wealth taxing powers, or, substantially increase statutory grants to provide adequate, stable funding. It would transfer 50% of gas and road-user taxes to municipalities, and remove (and upload) the costs of education, health, housing, welfare and transit from the property tax. It says it would "recognize municipalities and public school boards in Canada's Constitution" (i.e., a constitutional amendment: at present, a municipality's law-making powers are delegated to it by the provincial Legislature).

Taxes - The Communist Party says it stands for "taxing the greedy, not the needy". It would rescind corporate tax cuts, restore the corporate tax share to 19%, eliminate taxes on incomes below $35,000, tax corporate assets (keep the capital tax), eliminate the PST, restore the corporate minimum tax, collect all unpaid and deferred corporate taxes, introduce a progressive tax system based on ability to pay, and introduce wealth and inheritance taxes on estates over $500,000.

 


Progressive Conservatives
CONFEDERATION OF REGIONS PARTY


Leader: (position vacant)

Web Site: mountaincable.net/~galloway/cor/index.html

Policies: Policies

Candidates: None listed on the Party web site as of February 27, 2003.

On the Issues:

Unique to CoR: English the Only Official Language - The Confederation of Regions Party states "English official language of Ontario. CoR would hold a referendum on Bill 8, The French Language Services Act. English is the official language of Ontario and CoR would keep it that way. People may use whatever language they wish, but documents relating to business, financial records and licenses would be in English."

Schools - At present in Ontario, parents are required to pay for government owned-and-operated schools (i.e., what are popularly called "public" schools) even if their children do not attend them: this is known as "universality" in education. The Confederation of Regions Party states "Single Publicly Funded Education System. CoR believes in providing the same education for all citizens. If parents want something different for their children, they are free to provide it."

Health Care - At present, all taxpaying Ontarians are required to pay for a health care system operated, and largely owned, by the government, whether or not one is using health care services: this is known as "universality" in health care. Private companies are currently prohibited from competing with the government in the provision of most health care services: the government has a monopoly in health care. The Confederation of Regions Party states "Adequately Funded and Efficiently Run Health Care. CoR's plan for health care would give individuals more responsibility over their own health care. There would be some costs that people could afford, but no charges for devastating illnesses which could ruin people financially. We are not, however, in support of a two tier health care system."

Electricity - As of February 28, 2003, we can find no Confederation of Regions Party policy specifically concerning electricity.

Municipalities - As of February 28, 2003, we can find no Confederation of Regions Party policy specifically concerning municipalities.

Taxes - As of February 28, 2003, we can find no Confederation of Regions Party policy specifically concerning taxes.

 


Ontario Liberals
FAMILY COALITION PARTY OF ONTARIO


Leader: Giuseppe Gori

Web Site: www.familyparty.on.ca

Special Focus: Anti-abortion / "Family Values"

2003 Election Platform: Platform for the 2003 Election

Candidates: Committed to Run for the Family Coalition Party

On the Issues:

Unique to Family Coalition: Government "Protection and Promotion" of Families headed by Heterosexual Couples or by Single Persons - The Family Coalition Party supports the institutional value of marriage, which Family Coalition defines as "the union between a woman and a man recognized by the State and/or by the Church". Family Coalition states that "only this definition will be used in the provision of spousal benefits and for any program funded or administered by the government." Family Coalition defines "nuclear family" in a similar way. It states that a nuclear family "...may be composed of: a) a married couple with their biological or adopted children, or b) a single parent with his biological children, or children adopted during a previous marriage, or c) a heterosexual Common Law couple with their biological or adopted children." According to those definitions of marriage and family, the Family Coalition party believes that "government has a fundamental obligation to protect and promote the well-being of the family and family members through political, economic, social and juridical policies, which aim at consolidating the unity and stability of the family".

Schools - At present in Ontario, parents are required to pay for government owned-and-operated schools (i.e., what are popularly called "public" schools) even if their children do not attend them: this is known as "universality" in education. The basic thrust of the Family Coalition policy on education is that parents would choose a school for their child, but the government would provide a basic tuition amount to all children, whether or not their parents need financial assistance. A Family Coalition government would set minimum requirements for school certification, including minimum curriculum requirements. It would administer standardized tests at grades 5, 8, 10, and at the end of high school.

Health Care - Highlights: An Ontario Coalition government would eliminate any ceiling on doctors' fees. It would give every person receiving OHIP benefits an itemized account of the cost of such benefits. The Ontario Coalition would give health-care workers the power to refuse to participate in any procedure which is contrary to their moral conviction or religion (e.g., abortion). The Ontario Coalition would introduce HIV antibody screening premaritally on admission to any Ontario hospital and upon incarceration in any Ontario correctional facility. The Ontario Coalition would provide medical students with tuition, books, and living expenses for each year of medical school in exchange for an equal number of years in under-serviced areas of Ontario.

Electricity - As of February 28, 2003, we can find no Family Coalition Party policy specifically concerning electricity.

Municipalities - As of February 28, 2003, we can find no Family Coalition Party policy specifically concerning municipalities.

Taxes - Highlights: The Ontario Coalition supports the flat tax and $14,000 personal basic exemption for Ontario income tax purposes. The Ontario Coalition would allow a combined tax return between husband and wife, so that a family would be taxed according to the total combined income. Family Coalition would have all after-tax money donated by an individual to a non-profit organization at "arms length" deducted from the donorís taxable income.

 


Freedom Party
FREEDOM PARTY OF ONTARIO


Leader:
Paul McKeever

Web Site: www.freedomparty.on.ca

2003 Election Platform: The Right Direction (html, pdf) - released May 16, 2003

Auto Insurance Plank: The Right Direction for Auto Insurance Reform (.pdf file)

Candidates: Freedom Party of Ontario Candidates

On the Issues:

Schools - At present in Ontario, parents are required to pay for government owned-and-operated schools (i.e., what are popularly called "public" schools) even if their children do not attend them: this is known as "universality" in education. Freedom Party would end that requirement: parents whose children did not go to a public school would not pay for public schooling. Instead of collecting an education tax, parents would pay their child's school directly: "from your pocket, to the school of your choice". Government financial support would be provided to those in demonstrable need to ensure that every child would receive an education. Freedom Party supports not just "choice in schools" but "choice in education": Freedom Party would not impose government control over curriculum in independent schools.

Health Care - At present, all taxpaying Ontarians are required to pay for a health care system operated, and largely owned, by the government, whether or not one is using health care services: this is known as "universality" in health care. Private companies are currently prohibited from competing with the government in the provision of most health care services: the government has a monopoly in health care. Freedom Party would end the prohibition against competition: it would allow private companies to compete with government health insurance and government health services. Ontarians would no longer be required to pay for government health care services they do not use and could choose, instead, to buy health insurance offered by a company (e.g., Blue Cross). Businesses would no longer be prohibited from setting up and operating hospitals, clinics etc. in competition with government facilities.

Electricity - In May of 2002, the government discontinued the practice of controlling the price charged by electricity generators: this discontinuance is commonly referred to as "deregulation". In December of 2002, the government imposed a control on the price paid directly by the small-scale consumer of electricity (i.e., residences and small businesses). Under this "price cap", if the price charged by a generator 4.3 cents or less, the taxpayer pays only for his own consumption. If the actual cost of the electricity is more than 4.3 cents, the difference is to be paid out of a fund collected by Ontario Power Generation. If there is not enough money in the fund, Ontarians will pay the difference through the taxes they pay (e.g., PST). Freedom Party would eliminate government price controls on electricity: consumers could instead cap their own electricity price by entering into a contract with an electricity retailer (electricity retailers buy electricity at a price that is sometimes low and sometimes high, but sell the electricity to consumers for a single, capped price per kWh). Freedom Party would require government-owned utilities to allow consumers to turn their power meters backward by feeding wind and solar power back into the grid (i.e., "net metering").

Municipalities - Freedom Party proposes two main changes in municipal funding. First, in co-operation with municipal governments, Freedom Party will replace the property tax with a consumption tax (for example, a tax on fuel, or a tax on sales): you will not have to pay property tax to keep your home (rents will decrease also, because landlords will not pay property tax either). Second, Freedom Party is opposed to taking money from the taxpayers in one city and spending it on municipal services in another city. For example, Freedom Party would not use provincial tax revenues to fund the TTC in Toronto. Freedom Party says that, by not redirecting tax dollars from smaller towns into cities like Toronto, jobs will move closer to where Ontarians live. Specifically, to stay in Toronto, some businesses will have to raise their employees' wages enough that the employees can afford to pay the full price of such things as transportation and housing: in the alternative, businesses could set up in less crowded, less expensive towns or cities, closer to their employees. Freedom Party takes the position that, by decreasing the amount of traffic heading into and out of Toronto, there will be less traffic congestion, less road rage, less pollution, less need for highway expansion, and less time away from family.

Taxes - Freedom Party would stop the taxation by Ontario of capital gains. As noted above, Freedom Party would eliminate property taxes and replace lost municipal revenues with a consumption tax. Freedom Party would reduce sales taxes only after decreasing income taxes. If more tax was collected than was needed to cover provincial expenditures, taxes would be lowered and/or the surplus would be used to pay down the provincial debt.

 


Green Party
GREEN PARTY OF ONTARIO


Leader:
Frank De Jong

Web Site: www.greenparty.on.ca

Special Focus: Environmentalism

2003 Election Platform: A Better Way to Live - released March 22, 2003

Candidates: Green Party of Ontario Candidates

On the Issues:

Schools - At present in Ontario, parents are required to pay for government owned-and-operated schools (i.e., what are popularly called "public" schools) even if their children do not attend them: this is known as "universality" in education. The Green party proposes a single school system, owned and operated by the government. They suggest a system in which the government provides the "same basic services" to all schools. The Greens focus their reforms on changes to curriculum. Specifically, the Greens say that "Education should be rooted in Green philosophy", meaning cooperation instead of competition (i.e., socialism instead of capitalism), "authentic human interaction" instead of bureaucracy, and "sustainable resource use" instead of "consumption".

Health Care - The general slant of the Green Party's health care policy is to focus more on illness prevention instead of treatment. This focus takes the form of such things as information campaigns, sin taxes (e.g., a "junk food tax" would be imposed, and alcohol/tobacco taxes would be further increased), and having the taxpayer pay for "drugs of all kinds...that prove effective in helping people live healthier, happier lives."

Electricity/Energy - The Green Party would not so much seek to increase the supply of energy, but to decrease the use of it: conservation instead of more energy. This would involve "the use of taxes, charges and when necessary regulation, to reduce the scale of energy use, and especially of fossil fuel use". To help decrease energy consumption, travel would be discouraged with such things as road use charges and the government supply of nearby amenities (so that you don't need to travel as often). Green Party would shut down the nuclear power generators (which, of course, would decrease supply immensely) as soon as practicable and build no more nuclear power generators. Green Party wants private "monopolies" or private "concentrations of economic power" to be regulated if they are "capable of influencing the market for electric power in their favor". Green Party would require the incorporation of energy and energy efficiency in the teaching of school subjects such as mathematics, chemistry and physics.

Municipalities - Green Party wants legislation that promotes the use of recycled material over virgin materials through fees, taxes, price supports, and tax credits. It opposes garbage incineration. Green Party would place "the responsibility of pick-up, recycling, and reuse of all products and packaging material" on manufacturers: "For example included in the cost of the purchase of a car would be a levy that would be used to dismantle, recycle and reuse the remains of the car". Green Party would impose an immediate ban on new landfill site construction. It would ban the export of recyclable materials. It would ban compostable material from landfill collection. Green Party would reintroduce rent controls. Green Party proposes a new Heritage Act outlining guidelines to cover not just historic buildings but also the "natural heritage of the landscape": agricultural land, wood lots, heritage buildings, wetlands, coastlines and waterways. Green Party would encourage the zoning of current single family homes into multiple family units. It would encourage infilling and intensification of our cities and discourage "urban sprawl" with Greenbelts around all urban centres in Ontario (the greenbelt policy has also been borrowed by the Liberal Party in its 2003 election platform with respect to Toronto).

Taxes - The Green Party believes that the provincial government should begin a revenue neutral tax shift from income and consumption taxes to resource taxes (examples: emissions, land, water, trees, fossil fuels, air, minerals, metals and aggregates).

 


Progressive Conservatives
LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF ONTARIO


Leader: Sam Apelbaum

Web Site: www.libertarian.on.ca

Policies: Policies for Real Change

Candidates: None listed on the Libertarian Party web site as of February 27, 2003.

On the Issues:

Schools - At present in Ontario, parents are required to pay for government owned-and-operated schools (i.e., what are popularly called "public" schools) even if their children do not attend them: this is known as "universality" in education. The policy of the Ontario Libertarian Party is to complete end all government participation in education.

Health Care - At present, all taxpaying Ontarians are required to pay for a health care system operated, and largely owned, by the government, whether or not one is using health care services: this is known as "universality" in health care. Private companies are currently prohibited from competing with the government in the provision of most health care services: the government has a monopoly in health care. The Liberal Party would continue universality in health care, and would continue to prohibit companies from competing with the government health services monopoly. The policy of the Ontario Libertarian Party is to get government entirely out of health care. A libertarian government will eliminate any requirement for government licensing of physicians, medical treatment facilities, or other medical care providers. Private certification, says the Libertarian Party, will fill the gap to satisfy the need to know whether someone is qualified to provide medical treatment.

Electricity - As of February 28, 2003, we can find no Libertarian Party policy specifically concerning electricity.

Municipalities - A Libertarian government would limit the services municipalities could operate on a tax funded basis; all other services and facilities would be provided by voluntary, private funding. The costs for these "core" services would be allocated according to property size and frontage. Regional and Metropolitan levels of government would be eliminated to reduce costs and increase accountability.

Taxes - The Libertarian Party is against taxes, period. However, they suggest tax reforms while taxes are still being imposed. They suggest a single rate income tax; that taxes are used only for their stated purpose (e.g. revenues from a "road tax" should be used only for roads); that the sales tax should be "phased out of existence".

 


Ontario Liberals
ONTARIO LIBERAL PARTY


Leader: Dalton McGuinty

Web Site: www.ontarioliberal.com

2003 Election Platform (released in five main parts, plus three addenda):

  1. Education (html, pdf)
  2. Communities (html, pdf)
  3. Economic Growth (html, pdf),
  4. Health Care (html, pdf),
  5. Government (html)

Candidates: Your Ontario Liberal Team

On the Issues:

Schools - At present in Ontario, parents are required to pay for government owned-and-operated schools (i.e., what are popularly called "public" schools) even if their children do not attend them: this is known as "universality" in education. Parents of children who attend a private school currently receive an education tax credit equal to 10% of the independent school tuition paid for their childrens' tuition. A Liberal Party government would eliminate this education tax credit. A Liberal Party government would also create programs intended to encourage educators in better government schools to improve education in government schools that are not educating children quite as well.

Health Care - At present, all taxpaying Ontarians are required to pay for a health care system operated, and largely owned, by the government, whether or not one is using health care services: this is known as "universality" in health care. Private companies are currently prohibited from competing with the government in the provision of most health care services: the government has a monopoly in health care. The Liberal Party would continue universality in health care, and would continue to prohibit companies from competing with the government health services monopoly. A Liberal Party government would attempt to improve the quality of government health care by having physicians work in teams along with nurses and nurse practitioners.

Electricity - In May of 2002, the government discontinued the practice of controlling the price charged by electricity generators: this discontinuance is commonly referred to as "deregulation". In December of 2002, the government imposed a control on the price paid directly by the small-scale consumer of electricity (i.e., residences and small businesses). Under this "price cap", if the price charged by a generator 4.3 cents or less, the taxpayer pays only for his own consumption. If the actual cost of the electricity is more than 4.3 cents, the difference is to be paid out of a fund collected by Ontario Power Generation. If there is not enough money in the fund, Ontarians will pay the difference through the taxes they pay (e.g., PST). A Liberal Party government would would keep the 4.3 cent price cap on electricity in place until 2006. It would close Ontario's coal-based electricity generators by 2007. It would require more conservation of electricity to make up for at least part of the resulting decrease in electricity. A Liberal Party government would also build more government owned and operated power generation facilities.

Municipalities - A Liberal Party government would prohibit the development of 1 million acres of land surrounding the GTA and Golden Horseshoe. It would dedicate two cents per litre of the existing gasoline tax to public transit. It would create 20,000 new "affordable" housing units. A Liberal Party government would bring back real rent control: after a tenant vacated a unit, there would be a limit on the amount for which the landlord could offer to rent the unit to a new tenant.

Taxes - Dalton McGuinty has said that a Liberal Party government would neither increase nor decrease taxes.

 


New Democrats
ONTARIO NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY


Leader: Howard Hampton

Web Site: www.ontariondp.on.ca

2003 Election Platform: Public Power (html, pdf)

Addendum: Practical Solutions for Northern Ontario (pdf)

Candidates: Team of Nominated Candidates

On the Issues:

Schools - At present in Ontario, parents are required to pay for government owned-and-operated schools (i.e., what are popularly called "public" schools) even if their children do not attend them: this is known as "universality" in education. Parents of children who attend a private school currently receive an education tax credit equal to 10% of the independent school tuition paid for their childrens' tuition. An NDP government would eliminate the 10% education tax credit. The NDP is opposed to any plan to introduce charter schools, merit pay, tax credits, voucher schools, or partial vouchers. An NDP government would allow school boards to "raise up to 10%" beyond the provincial formula. It is not clear whether "raise" refers to a raise in taxes or a raise in spending (or to both).

Health Care - At present, all taxpaying Ontarians are required to pay for a health care system operated, and largely owned, by the government, whether or not one is using health care services: this is known as "universality" in health care. Private companies are currently prohibited from competing with the government in the provision of most health care services: the government has a monopoly in health care. An NDP government would continue universality in health care, and would continue to prohibit companies from competing with the government health services monopoly. It would attempt to fund the government health care system without private sector involvement by asking the federal government to give Ontario more federal tax revenues.

Electricity - In May of 2002, the government discontinued the practice of controlling the price charged by electricity generators: this discontinuance is commonly referred to as "deregulation". In December of 2002, the government imposed a control on the price paid directly by the small-scale consumer of electricity (i.e., residences and small businesses). Under this "price cap", if the price charged by a generator 4.3 cents or less, the taxpayer pays only for his own consumption. If the actual cost of the electricity is more than 4.3 cents, the difference is to be paid out of a fund collected by Ontario Power Generation. If there is not enough money in the fund, Ontarians will pay the difference through the taxes they pay (e.g., PST). An NDP government would not sell government-owned electricity assets and would not allow power generators to raise electricity prices when a lot of electricity is being used (e.g., during a hot summer): it would re-impose a cap on the price charged by electricity generators. It would ban the construction of nuclear plants and close coal burning power generation plants. An NDP government would want 20 per cent of all electricity generation will be produced from renewable sources by 2020 (solar, wind, etc.). An NDP government would implement an extensive program of "incentives" for energy conservation. The nature of the incentives has not been disclosed but one thing can be ruled out as a possibility: because periods of high demand would have no effect on the price of electricity, prices would not be used to encourage conservation.

Municipalities - An NDP government would dedicate three cents per litre of the existing gasoline tax to transportation: 60% to public transit, and 40% to roads. Almost 50% of the money would be directed to Toronto, with smaller amounts being concentrated in other cities. It is unclear how much transportation money, if any, would be spent on transportation in smaller towns.

Taxes - An NDP government would increase corporate taxes and impose steeper income taxes for those earning more than $100,000 a year. Those earning more than $150,000 would face a 6% tax increase.

 


Progressive Conservatives
PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE PARTY OF ONTARIO


Leader: Ernie Eves

Web Site: www.ontariopc.on.ca

2003 Election Platform: The Road Ahead (html, pdf) - released May 16, 2003

White Paper: Automobile Insurance Affordability Plan for Ontario: Next Steps (html, pdf)

Candidates: Nominated Candidates

On the Issues:

Schools - At present in Ontario, parents are required to pay for government owned-and-operated schools (i.e., what are popularly called "public" schools) even if their children do not attend them: this is known as "universality" in education. Parents of children who attend a private school currently receive an education tax credit equal to 10% of the independent school tuition paid for their childrens' tuition. In their election platform, the Tories say that they will "speed up" (they don't say how much) the schedule for phasing in a partial tax credit in respect of tuitions paid to independent schools. The stated plan is for a total savings of $3,500 / year when the tax credit is fully phased-in. The PC platform does not say whether eligibility for the tax credit will depend upon meeting government-dictated curriculum. What is known is that Ernie Eves has stated: "These tax credits should be available only to parents whose children are in schools that teach the curriculum set out by the Ministry of Education." (Globe and Mail, November 16, 2001), and "The Ontario government's plan to finance private education without controls over curriculum is ludicrous" (Globe and Mail, December 18, 2001). Also, the platform states that "independent schools will be required to assess students in core subjects and tell parents how progress is measured."

Other key educational proposals set out in the PC platform include: prohibiting education strikes, lockouts and work-to-rule job action during the school year; not graduating high school students who cannot read and write; requiring that every school board provide parents with an annual report on each of its schools, including staffing, salaries, enrolment, average test results and details of a plan to improve student performance; allowing outside experts to run a club, coach sports and lead other extra curricular activities; and requiring that phonics tools be made available for all teachers in all schools. (more detail: "The Road Ahead" policy paper on education).

Health Care - At present, all taxpaying Ontarians are required to pay for a health care system operated, and largely owned, by the government, whether or not one is using health care services: this is known as "universality" in health care. Private companies are currently prohibited from competing with the government in the provision of most health care services: the government has a monopoly in health care. A Progressive Conservative government would continue universality in health care, and would continue to prohibit companies from competing with the government health services monopoly. Although certain private sector MRI and CT scan services will be permitted to provide services, they will not compete with the government system: they will instead be a part of it. Health Minister Tony Clement has made it clear that, under a PC government, "queue jumping" (using ones own money to pay a non-governmental service provider for sooner service) would continue to be prohibited even in such privately owned, publicly funded clinics. A Progressive Conservative Party government would attempt to improve the quality of health care by trying to manage the government monopoly better. The Progressive Conservative Party plans to provide: more hospitals (by leasing them from private landlords, who would build and own them), more cancer research, more mental health care, more cataract and osteoporosis funding (a greater share of existing funding), more money for prostate cancer testing, more nurses, more doctors, and more. The Platform does not indicate how these additional things will be paid for though, with respect to hiring additional people, the platform does say "We will hire new employees where required, but the overall size of the public service will NOT increase": it is possible, therefore, adding doctors and nurses etc., would involve dismissing some civil servants. (more detail: "The Road Ahead" policy paper on health care)

Electricity - In May of 2002, the government discontinued the practice of controlling the price charged by electricity generators: this discontinuance is commonly referred to as "deregulation". In December of 2002, the government imposed a control on the price paid directly by the small-scale consumer of electricity (i.e., residences and small businesses). Under this "price cap", if the price charged by a generator 4.3 cents or less, the taxpayer pays only for his own consumption. If the actual cost of the electricity is more than 4.3 cents, the difference is to be paid out of a fund collected by Ontario Power Generation. If there is not enough money in the fund, Ontarians will pay the difference through the taxes they pay (e.g., PST). A PC Party government would would keep the 4.3 cent price cap on electricity in place until at least 2006, or later if thereafter there is still insufficient generation capacity to make electricity affordable. (more detail: "The Road Ahead" policy paper on energy).

Municipalities - The Progressive Conservatives would prevent municipalities from imposing new taxes, or raising old ones, without approval from the public (through a referendum). (more detail: "The Road Ahead" policy paper on municipalities)

Taxes - The Progressive Conservative platform contained one new tax cut proposal. Specifically, people still paying off their home mortgage will be able to deduct up to $5,000.00 worth of mortgage interest from their taxable income (five years from now, this would reduce taxes payable by about $500.00). This tax cut would not be immediate: it would be phased in over five years (governments usually call an election after four years in power). The PC platform also stated that municipal tax increases, or new municipal taxes, would require a successful vote in a referendum. The other main tax item was announced in March of 2003: seniors will not pay the provincial (education tax) portion of their property tax (a savings of about $475 per year on average, for seniors only). (more detail: "The Road Ahead" policy paper on taxes etc. and the policy paper on seniors)

 

Page Last updated: Saturday, September 20, 2003