So what was in the Ontario PC Party Plan? Well we didn’t get a full plan during the election, however the information below from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce will give us a general idea. I am certain we are going to see a lot more subways in Toronto! Well maybe? Check out the details below.
Transportation and Infrastructure
The PC Party platform includes substantial spending on infrastructure, including:
- Two-way, all-day GO service, as well as supporting expansions and new projects across Southern Ontario; the platform states that they will maintain current funding.
- Upload responsibility for subway infrastructure, including the building and maintenance of new and existing subway lines, from the City of Toronto to the Province. The cost is to be amortized over the life of subway projects once operational, plus $160 million per year for existing assets.
- Explore potential for high-speed rail and highway projects, including:
- Six-laning of Highway 401 to the 416 between Toronto and Ottawa, and complete the environmental assessment for the GTA West Corridor, at a total cost of $20 million.
- Four-lane Highway 17 in eastern Ontario and Highway 3 in Southwestern Ontario, at a cost of $5 million per year over 50 years.
- Expand natural gas distribution to rural communities with private sector help
- Invest the assumed $100 million in savings in cellular and broadband infrastructure expansion.
- Cut the aviation fuel tax for the North, at a cost of $11 million per year.
- Reinstate passenger rail service to the North, at a cost of $45 million for refurbishment and operating costs.
Jobs and Economic Growth
The PC platform promises to support business by cutting regulations that hamper job creation and economic growth. They intend to reduce the Small Business Tax rate by 8.7 percent, lower the Corporate Income Tax to 10.5 percent (from 11.5 percent), and similarly reduce the manufacturing and processing rate. The platform estimates that reducing the small business tax will cost $60 million per year starting in year two, while reducing the other business taxes will cost $1.3 billion starting in year two.
They also pledge to:
- Cancel the Jobs and Prosperity Fund (estimated savings of $270 million per year).
- Maintain the current level of Regional Economic Development Funds funding.
- Improve access to apprenticeships and reform the foreign credential recognition process.
- Introduce a minimum-wage tax credit so individuals earning the minimum wage pay no tax, at an estimated cost of $558 million per year.
- Increase the agriculture sector Risk Management Program cap by $50 million annually, starting in year three.
Energy and Electricity
The PC Party intends to lower electricity prices through a series of measures, including:
- Scrap the Green Energy Act.
- Declare a moratorium on new energy contracts.
- Cut residential, agriculture, and small business electricity rates by 12 percent by:
- Returning Hydro One dividend payments to taxpayers (estimated cost: $300-400 million per year).
- Paying for conservation programs out of general government revenue rather than electricity bills (estimated cost: $433 million per year).
- Cancelling energy contracts that are in the pre-construction phase and re-negotiating other contracts.
- Stabilize industrial hydro rates through a package of reforms.
- Remove the board of Hydro One and its CEO as well as lower salaries at Ontario Power Generation and Hydro One.
The PC platform emphasizes government accountability and fiscal responsibility, with promises that include:
- Balance the Budget on a “responsible” timeframe.
- Launch an independent commission of inquiry, at the cost of $1 million, with a mandate to examine the deficit. This will include an independent audit of the Province’s finances, to be released publicly.
- Reinstate the Auditor General’s authority to approve government advertising.
- Centralize government purchasing.
- Conduct a value-for-money audit of every government program.
- Prevent government agencies, boards, and commissions from purchasing tickets/tables to political events.
- Institute a single-window access for approvals with a one-year deadline.
The PC Party promises to invest $3.8 billion in mental health and addictions supports over 10 years (a cost which they assume will be shared with the federal government), as well as introduce dental coverage for low-income seniors at an estimated cost of $98 million. They also pledge to build 15,000 long-term care beds over five years and 30,000 hospital beds over 10 years. They calculate that the cost per bed, per year, will be $62,000 (assuming capital costs are amortized over the duration of the bed’s lifetime).
The PC Party platform includes a promise to preserve rent control for existing tenants. They also intend to increase the supply of affordable housing in the GTA while protecting the Greenbelt.
The PC platform includes a promise to end the cap and trade system and challenge any attempt by the federal government to impose a carbon tax, including at the Supreme Court. They estimate that ending cap and trade will cost $1.9 billion per year, which they intend to offset by eliminating the funds collected from previous auctions. As for challenging the federal government, they estimate the cost to be $30 million over the course of their mandate. In order to address climate change, the PC Party pledges to set up a fund to invest in new, emissions-reducing technology in Ontario.
Inclusive of that fund, their platform includes $500 million in spending for environmental initiatives such as:
- Enforce air quality programs and protect waterways.
- Hire more conservation officers to improve enforcement of “major polluters”.
- Commit resources to reduce litter.
They also pledge to move forward with resource revenue sharing for Northern and Indigenous communities, from mining, forestry, and aggregate activity, at an estimated cost of $30 million per year starting in year two.