THUNDER BAY – Premier Dalton McGuinty has launched the next chapter of the Ontario Liberal Plan to strengthen Ontario, and his party’s election platform for the upcoming October 6th election. “What we’ve achieved together with Ontarians in the past eight years is nothing short of amazing,” McGuinty said, “We’ve gone from the longest surgical wait times in Canada to the shortest; our schools have been named the best in the English-speaking world, and our economy is creating jobs faster than the rest of Canada combined. But we have to keep getting stronger.”
The Liberal platform however doesn’t impress the provincial New Democrats. “After eight long years, families just don’t believe Liberal promises. The real question people are asking is not ‘what are you promising’, but ‘who can I trust to be on my side?’” said York South-Weston NDP candidate Paul Ferreira. “If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past 8 years, it’s what’s missing from the Liberal platform that matters most. Closed ERs and an unfair sales tax weren’t in the platform four years ago and families won’t be fooled again.”
The Progressive Conservatives are saying “Yesterday, in an embarrassing leak by Liberal strategists, Dalton McGuinty Senior Strategist Alicia Johnston was caught on tape bragging that the McGuinty Liberals are lying to Ontario families about the Ontario PC Platform – changebook. “The $14-billion hole is basically just our excuse to say that he (Hudak) is going to go after health care and education, because that’s the main message we want to drive.” (Alicia Johnston, Canadian Press, September 4, 2011).
“Despite being caught on tape yesterday admitting this claim is a lie, today the McGuinty Liberals repeated their lie again. No wonder Ontario families don’t believe Dalton McGuinty’s claim that he won’t raise taxes after the next election”.
The Liberal plan features 45 promises. The Liberals state it “Offers a stark contrast to the 229 uncosted promises in the PC platform and the 119 so far in the NDP platform”.
Some of the key elements of the plan include:
- A drive to completely implement North America’s first, full-day kindergarten program by 2014, followed by provincewide after-school programs for children aged 6-12;
- A new tuition grant for full-time undergraduate students from lower and middle income families that will save $1600 per student in university and $730 per student in college, annually.
- Increasing postsecondary attainment by adding 60,000 new spaces including three new undergraduate satellite campuses;
- Helping seniors stay healthy at home, with a seniors’ healthy home renovation tax credit for things like ramps and walk-in baths;
- Returning house calls for the frail and elderly and providing an additional three million hours of homecare from personal support workers;
- Creating 50,000 new, clean-energy jobs through Ontario’s world-leading FIT program; and
- Reducing electricity bills by 10% through the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit.
“These are uncertain times for the global economy. These are challenging times for our families. This is our plan to help. This is our way forward, together,” the Premier concluded.
The full platform is available at www.theontarioway.ca.
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