Salvaging the Ontario PC wreckage

Queen's Park
Queen's Park building seat of the Ontario Provincial Government. The Ontario Legislative Building which houses the viceregal suite of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, and offices for members of the provincial parliament
Queen's Park
Queen’s Park building seat of the Ontario Provincial Government. The Ontario Legislative Building which houses the viceregal suite of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, and offices for members of the provincial parliament

Five clear policy ideas that will resonate with the province’s voters and make a party leadership candidate stand out

By Maddie Di Muccio

It’s difficult to keep up with the implosion that has become the Ontario Progressive Conservative party.

Four new leadership contenders showed how confused they are about their party’s People’s Guarantee policy document – which promises all sorts of expensive goodies paid for by a carbon tax these contenders reject – during their first televised debate. (I previously wrote about the former leader – and now leadership contender again – Patrick Brown’s flawed campaign policy.)

With a provincial election less than 16 weeks away, the candidates need to get serious about campaign promises instead of regurgitating tired old talking points, promising the moon and stumbling when a reporter scrutinizes their expensive, nonsensical policies.

But here are five practical campaign promises guaranteed to impress voters:

Reduce car insurance rates and repeal no-fault insurance.

Conservatives know that the only way to effectively reduce car insurance is to allow free-market competition again.

Under the Liberal government, the car insurance industry has consolidated with six or seven large insurance companies writing approximately 80 percent of all insurance through their call centres. Instead of making insurance rates cheaper, this has driven the cost of insurance up and made these few companies record profits.

There’s a simple way to correct this and make insurance affordable again.

Repealing no-fault insurance is a no-brainer. When it was introduced, the aim of no-fault was to reduce waste and speed up payments for injured motorists. But under the Liberals, accident benefits have been slashed and injured motorists can’t get the money they need for rehabilitation.

Ontario needs a fairer insurance system that gives injured motorists their rights to full indemnity.

Improve education by repealing Regulation 274.

Parents and taxpayers want the best possible education for children, in a cost-effective way.

But Regulation 274 forces school boards to overlook a teacher candidate who may be more qualified in favour of the teacher who has more seniority. The Liberal government refuses to stand up to unions and do the right thing for children.

If we want the very best teachers, this unfair practice must end. Hiring must be based on merit.

Speed up the justice system by building more courthouses and appointing more judges.

The foundation of a fair and lawful society is an effective court system. But after years of neglect by the Liberals, Ontario’s courts and tribunals have become bogged down by too many cases heard by too few judges. This causes unnecessary delays and creates havoc for those seeking justice.

Ontario needs a strong commitment to building more courtrooms and appointing more judges to speed up the process.

Improve accountability in health care by providing the patient a copy of the invoice to the province after each visit to a doctor.

After visiting your general practitioner or specialist, the patient should see exactly what services the doctor billed the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) for.

This would give the public some idea what health care actually costs, and prevent erroneous or wasteful billing.

How can taxpayers truly understand health-care issues if they don’t understand what drives the costs?

Allow brewers and producers to market a $1 beer and a $7 bottle of wine.

The Liberals mandated that wine and beer be sold at higher cost, prohibiting previously popular ‘buck-a-beer’ promotions.

Since when was it the government’s responsibility to discourage your enjoyment of beer or wine by driving the costs up unnecessarily? If brewers and wine producers want to sell beer at more affordable prices, why is the government getting in their way?

These campaign promises don’t require spending a great deal of tax money, just tenacity and leadership.

On the other hand, watching these leadership hopefuls stumble over how they would make Ontario a better province, tenacity, and leadership seem to be lacking.

Columnist Maddie Di Muccio is a former town councillor in Newmarket, Ont., and former columnist with the Toronto Sun.

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