Ontario Election Party Profile: Liberals

An updated party profile of the Liberal party for the 2018 election.


1
133 shares, 1 point
Donate All donations go towards promoting independent journalism and this month's charity.

Click on any of the topic headings to compare to other party platforms on that topic.

The Ontario Liberal Party has been in government since 2003. Premier Kathleen Wynne has been leader since 2013, having taken over from former premier Dalton McGuinty. Highlights from this past term include the 60% sale of Hydro One, $15 minimum wage, and free prescription drugs and an expanded OSAP for youth.

In the last election, the Liberals came 1st or 2nd in all but 13 of the 107 ridings. Those 13 ridings were split roughly equally between the PCs and the NDP. Despite that, the CBC’s Ontario Poll Tracker has evaluated the Liberals’ chances of re-election at under 5% since February 11, and at under 1% since May 15.

The party has not released an official platform, and are largely running on this year’s budget.

Click on any of the topic headings to compare to other party platforms on that topic.

Government Spending

The Liberals have started a pilot project on a guaranteed minimum income, which already has thousands of participants. It involves the government giving all participants some base amount ($16,989 for single individuals) with a tax-back rate of 50%, meaning that they would only take home 50 cents for each of the first 33,978 dollars they earn.

While that research is underway, the government would go forward with “simplifying the structure of social assistance rates”, spending $2.3 billion over 3 years and increasing the maximum income individuals can earn while still receiving full social assistance.

The Liberals say they will balance the budget by 2025, more than a full term into the future. This plan prompted Moody’s Investor Services, a major ratings agency, to downgrade its outlook on Ontario’s finances from “stable” to “negative”. It also realistically requires finding $15 billion in cuts, according to this spring’s report from the Financial Accountability Office.

Taxes

Taxes in Ontario have been on an upward trend under Premier Wynne, as the interest on our public debt becomes a larger burden on the provincial budget.

The Liberal Party will use a variety of strategies, old and new, to increase government revenue. According to this year’s budget, income taxes will go up for those making more than $71,500 annually.

Environment & Hydro

The government introduced hydro bill subsidies to provide much needed relief for families. Unfortunately, almost half of the money spent on the subsidy will go to interest payments on the additional debt the province needs to incur as a result.

It also does not help that the Liberals have been blamed for having caused the skyrocketing rates in the first place.

In addition, the government announced $1.7 billon over 3 years for the Green Ontario Fund, a government agency that seeks to help companies and individuals reduce their environmental impact.

Despite joining other parties in criticizing their own Green Energy Act, the Liberals have continued to approve green energy contracts. The contracts involve green energy companies being paid for power that they generate and contribute to the grid.

Healthcare

Prescription drugs, which under Premier Wynne have become free for those under age 25, will be expanded also to those over 65.

The Liberals have pledged $19 billion towards construction and renovation over the next decade.

The government will also follow up on last year’s $2 tax hike on cigarette packs with another $4 hike, to be followed by another $4 hike next year.

Jobs & Economy

The Liberal budget claims that many other programs within the budget will create jobs. In addition, they will increase funding for the Jobs and Prosperity Fund, which is meant to invest in promoting growth.

Marijuana

Under the Liberals, legalized marijuana would be distributed by a subsidiary of the government owned LCBO. It is projected to break even and turn a profit by 2021. Part of the profits would go towards cracking down on the marijuana black market that survives legalization.

Family Care

The Liberals have promised to create 100,000 new childcare spaces. They would also introduce free preschool starting in 2020, costing $2.2 billion over 3 years.

Free daycare was a proposal by the NDP in March 2017, which was then rejected by the Liberals. A year later in March 2018, the Liberals announced that they would now be adopting the proposal.

Transportation

The Liberals would more than triple the funding for public transit projects, nearly a seventh of it being allocated to the proposed construction of a high speed rail line between Toronto and Windsor. It also included items like investing $90 million to support cycling.

Education

The Liberals significantly expanded OSAP in what they called “free tuition”. This year’s budget announced that it would be further expanded to cover post-secondary education for anyone with parental income under $90,000.

In addition, the government has earmarked $16 billion for school construction and renovation.

Seniors & Accessibility

Having created a pharmacare program for prescription drugs for youth, the Liberals announced that they would expand the program to include seniors as well. They also promised a home maintenance benefit and improvements to care services.

Political Reforms

No specific platform points on this topic.


0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Mika Ryu

Law student at Western University, and UofT graduate in economics and linguistics. Remember that your version of the world is always too simple.

Choose A Format
Story
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
Video
Youtube, Vimeo or Vine Embeds