With Andrea Horwath as premier, all Ontarians will have better health care and a more affordable life with pharmacare, dental care, more affordable education and free or low-cost child care.
Horwath released her vision for Ontario on Monday with a fully costed platform in advance of the June election.
“Now is the time for change for the better,” said Horwath. “This platform promises something completely different from the last couple decades of governments in Ontario. It lays out changes that put people at the heart of every decision.”
Horwath’s platform lays out major shifts in health care, seniors care, child care, education, transit, and more.
“For years, we’ve switched between Liberals and Conservatives, and where has that gotten everyday Ontario families? Our hospitals are overcrowded and health care wait times are painfully long. Our children’s schools are crumbling and everyday costs for families have gone up while most people’s paycheques have not.
“Let’s stop settling for that. We can do better.”
Drug and dental coverage for everyone
- The NDP’s Pharmacare for Everyone plan will give every Ontarian prescription drug coverage regardless of age, income or job status
- With Horwath’s Dental Care for Everyone plan, everyone in Ontario will have dental care benefits either through a workplace plan, or by using their health card
$12-a-day, available and affordable childcare
- Horwath’s plan makes not-for-profit child care free for those who earn less than $40,000, and an average $12 per day for all other families, based on income
- 202,000 new not-for-profit child care spaces will be added over four years
Ending hallway medicine and long wait times
- Horwath will add 2,000 new hospital beds immediately
- Hospital funding will rise 5.3 per cent every year – a $916-million investment in the first year – with per-hospital funding meeting or exceeding inflation and taking into account growing populations and the unique needs of the region around each hospital – such as an aging community
- Arbitrary caps on surgeries will be lifted
- Front-line staff layoffs will stop
- Horwath’s government will spend $19 billion over 10 years on hospital capital expansion
Fixing long-term care
- 40,000 long-term care beds will be added, including 15,000 over the next five years
- Horwath will set a minimum standard to ensure every resident in long-term care is offered four hours of hands-on care every day
- A find-and-fix public inquiry will address problems risking the safety, dignity and health of long-term care residents
- Outside of long-term care, seniors will have more support to age in place through major home care improvements and a new property-tax deferral program
Overhauling mental health care
- An investment of nearly $2.4 billion will add 2,600 new mental health care workers, including 400 new mental health care workers to provide supports in every high school
- Horwath will build 30,000 new supportive housing units
- Cutting hydro bills 30 per cent
- Horwath and the NDP have committed to a plan to bring Hydro One back into public hands
- Other changes include scrapping mandatory time-of-use billing and ending unfair deliver charges
Relieving student debt
- Any student that qualifies for a provincial student loan will now receive a non-repayable grant, instead
- Horwath’s government will stop charging interest on all outstanding loans
- Any interest already paid on an outstanding loan will be retroactively applied to the remaining principle
- Horwath will create 27,000 paid work-integrated learning jobs like co-ops and apprenticeships to help students get the experience they need to land their first good job
Easing the housing crisis
- 65,000 new affordable homes will be added
- The province will fund one-third of the costs to repair crumbling social housing units
- Horwath will add new mechanisms to crack down on above-guideline increases and renovictions
- A new Housing Speculation Tax will crack down on speculators who don’t pay tax in Ontario – speculation that’s making housing unaffordable for too many people
Protecting middle class families by having the wealthiest and most profitable corporations pay their share
- People earning less that $220,000 will see no tax or fee increases
- Income earned above $220,000 will have one percentage point of personal income tax added and incomes above $300,000 will have two percentage points of personal income tax added
- A luxury tax will be added to vehicles that cost more than $90,000
The NDP platform’s economic and fiscal assumptions, as well its individual expense and revenue measures, have been independently reviewed and found to be reasonable by Kevin Page, CEO of the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy. Page is also Canada’s former Parliamentary Budget Officer.
The full platform is available at ontariondp.ca/changeforthebetter.
Source: NDP Media Release
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