TORONTO – POLITICS – The NDP has released a comprehensive election platform that outlines a plan to fix the issues that matter most to people – including expanding OHIP so people can get mental health care, dental care and prescriptions with their OHIP card, not their credit card.
“The last few years have been difficult. People are waiting in pain because our healthcare system is on its knees. And people are working harder than ever as the cost of living and the cost of homes are getting in the way,” Horwath said.
“But it really doesn’t have to be that way. Ontario is the best place in the world to live, and together we can begin to fix the things that have been broken, the things that matter most to ordinary people.
The NDP platform is committed to providing universal mental health care, as well as Canada’s first true pharmacare program. It also complements and extends the new federal dental plan. These moves will save families thousands of dollars each year and ease the pressure on Ontario’s emergency rooms.
It invests to recruit, retain and reintegrate healthcare workers with better wages and working conditions. The NDP will hire 10,000 personal support workers, 30,000 nurses and more. Horwath is also committing to hire 20,000 more teachers and education workers to reduce class sizes and give every child more support and opportunity.
The NDP platform also promises to make everyday life more affordable by restoring rent controls, stopping steep rent hikes between tenants, building more starter homes, cracking down on real estate speculators, banning user fees in health care, tackling the price of electricity bills and more.
The party’s fiscal framework includes a pledge to freeze income taxes for low- and middle-income households for four years, and instead demand that multi-millionaires and big corporations who exploit tax loopholes pay their fair share .
“Doug Ford’s cuts won’t fix it. He will continue to give his buddies whatever they want, no matter what it costs us. And people can’t trust Steven Del Duca’s Liberals to fix what they helped break. They were 15, and chose not to make things right when they had the chance. They cut health care and fired 1,600 nurses. They sold Hydro One. They made life more expensive. People always pay for their choices,” Horwath said.
“It’s a platform that works for people. We don’t promise the moon and stars. We promise we’ll work for you – and if we come together, we can defeat Doug Ford and put ordinary families back on track. It’s a practical and achievable plan that means hope is on the way.
The NDP has already released three comprehensive platforms: Homes You Can Afford, a strategy to control home prices; Climate. Jobs. Justice: A Green New Democratic Deal, a strategy to be a Net Zero province by 2050 and create hundreds of thousands of jobs; and Aging Ontarians Deserve the Best, a concrete plan to finally put home and community care and long-term care back into public, not-for-profit hands and protect the quality of life of seniors as they age. .
Repair and expand health care
- Universal and publicly funded mental health care. The NDP will expand access to counseling and therapy services across the province by integrating therapy services into OHIP.
- Pharmacy. The NDP will immediately begin work on universal pharmacare for Ontarians.
- Recruitment, retention, return and support of healthcare workers. With a comprehensive strategy that finally respects healthcare workers and improves wages and working conditions, the NDP:
- Hire 10,000 personal support workers
- Hire 30,000 nurses
- Accelerating credential recognition for 15,000 internationally educated nurses
- Create new jobs for late-career and recently retired nurses, so they can continue to play a mentoring and supervisory role
- Hire 300 physicians and 100 specialists specifically for Northern Ontario
More affordable homes and more affordable living
- Middle income tax freeze. The NDP promises a four-year income tax freeze for low- and middle-income households.
- Pay what the last tenant paid. A New Democrat government will restore true rent control to all apartments, eliminating the financial incentive for landlords to evict tenants to raise rent. We’ll also make sure you pay what the last renter paid by removing the vacancy check.
- Suppress speculation. Horwath will introduce an annual speculation and vacancy tax on speculators who own homes they do not live in. The rate will be 2% of the assessed value and will be phased in over two years. We will also close the loopholes that allow wealthy investors to get away.
- Regulate gas to stop gouging at the pump. The NDP will order the Ontario Energy Board to regulate the retail price and wholesale mark-up of gasoline to prevent big oil companies from gouging Ontarians.
- End-use fees. The NDP with health sector partners to eliminate unfair user fees for patients and their families in all areas of the health care system.
Dealing with Electricity Bills. The NPD will increase hydroelectric capacity, increase affordable renewable energy – including wind and solar power – improve grid-scale storage and establish important interconnections with Quebec and Manitoba to allow electricity imports profitable. We will also stop privatization and costly private electricity contracts, examining the best ways to restore public ownership, maintain reliability and make electricity bills affordable again.