Toronto, June 3: Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives were handed a second mandate in Ontario on Thursday night.
Members of provincial Parliament won’t officially return to the legislature until Sept. 8, but when they do they will likely hit the ground running, aiming to get as much done in their first year in office before having to think about re-election yet again.
The PCs soft-launched their election campaign with licence plate renewal fee rebate and the promise of a six-month gas and fuel tax.
In their 2022 budget, which acted as their re-election platform, they also promised to increase eligibility for the Low-Income Individuals and Families tax credit to $50,000 and create a tax credit aimed at seniors who still live at home and receive home care.
No changes will be made to coverage for medications under OHIP. Instead, the government will create an advisory table to “explore improvements” of take-home cancer drug access.
The party has also said they will spend an additional $10 billion to build hospital infrastructure and add 3,000 new beds. As part of their “plan to stay open” they will also be shoring up domestic production of personal protection equipment and vaccines.
The PCs budget promises to build 1.5 million homes over the next 10 years. Few details have been provided about how much of this housing will be considered affordable units.
The government previously implemented a 20 per cent non-resident speculation tax and will increase fines and penalties for “unethical” condominium development practices. They have also said they will make blind bidding optional.
CHILD CARE AND EDUCATION
The PCs inked a deal with the federal government to lower child care to $10 a day by September 2025 and promised to create another 71,000 new spaces if elected.
The new government would also introduce a new science and technology curriculum, which includes a de-streamed Grade 9 science course for the 2022-23 school year.
HIGHWAYS AND TRANSIT
Ford has been leaning into his new brand as a builder over the last month, committing to spending $25.1 billion over 10 years to support highway expansion projects in Ontario, including Highway 413, the Bradford Bypass and the expansion of Highway 401.
The PCs have also said they would eliminate double fares when transferring to GO Transit. This will impact most local systems, with the exception of Toronto. Ford will continue to champion the “Ontario Line,” a new 15-stop subway in downtown Toronto.
The PCs have said they will build 30,000 net new beds in long-term care by 2028. They will also spend an additional $1 billion over the next three years to expand home care.
The new government will increase minimum wage by 50 cents in October.
Prior to the election, the government also implemented legislation requiring employers with 25 or more employees to have a written policy on workers’ right to disconnect from their jobs outside of work hours. They are also looking into health, dental and vision care for gig workers.