You know we’re having an election… when news organizations start keeping track of promises….

And the promises start to multiply

Here is a synopsis this week as of May 6th from Barrie 360 (and the Canadian Press)


A running list of election promises announced by the Progressive Conservatives, NDP, Liberals and Greens in Ontario since late March:


May 6: Expand GO train service to Bowmanville.

May 4: Build Highway 413 across Halton, Peel and York regions.

April 28: Spend $158.8 billion over 10 years for highways, transit and hospitals, with $20 billion promised this year alone. Highway projects include Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass, widening Highway 401 east from Pickering, and improving the QEW Skyway. Hospital investments include $1 billion each for projects at the Scarborough Health Network and Unity Health. Transit projects include continuing Ontario Line work, a Sheppard subway extension, the Eglinton Crosstown West extension to the airport, weekday GO trips between London and Union Station, and passenger rail service to northeastern Ontario.

Balance the budget in 2027-28.

Implement a new Ontario Seniors Care at Home tax credit that would refund up to 25 per cent of eligible expenses up to $6,000, for a maximum credit of $1,500.

Enhance the Low-Income Individuals and Families Tax Credit, boosting the maximum benefit from $850 to $875 and allowing people making up to $50,000 to qualify, up from a limit of $38,000.

Move some provincial agencies out of Toronto in a bid to save on real estate costs and bring jobs to other regions.

Make film and television productions distributed exclusively online eligible for a credit. Scrap a rule that limited tax credits to books with more than 500 hard copy editions published.

Invest an additional $114.4 million over three years in a Skilled Trades Strategy. Provide an additional $268.5 over three years to Employment Ontario.

April 27: Invest an additional $15.1 million over three years to improve and expand the Immigrant Nominee Program.

April 26: Move the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board head office from Toronto to London, Ont.

April 25: Invest an additional $1 billion in home care over three years.

April 20: Introduce a legislative amendment to raise compensation for workers injured on the job.


May 6: Build 1.5 million homes in 10 years with a mix of starter homes, rental homes and affordable housing. Build at least 250,000 affordable and non-market rental homes operated by public, non-profit and co-op housing providers. Bring back real rent control and scrap vacancy decontrol. Mandate universal design for accessibility. Allow first-time buyers with household incomes under $200,000 to access home equity loans of up to 10 per cent of the purchase price to help with their down payment.

Expand Peel Memorial Hospital to include a 24-hour emergency department, build a new full-service hospital and establish a dedicated cancer centre.

May 5: Make dental care free for households earning less than $90,000 and make it cheaper – on a sliding scale – for households earning between $90,000 and $200,000.

May 2: Guarantee quick job offers for 2,000 internationally educated nurses by investing $60 million to expand the Nursing Graduate Guarantee Program.

April 26: Reform lobbyist legislation so every meeting is publicly reported. Restore the cap on annual political donation limits to $1,600 from $3,200. Restore the auditor general’s power to veto government advertising as partisan. Allow an all-party committee to review every government appointee. Ban public board chairs from engaging in partisan activity.

April 25: End exclusionary zoning. Bring back rent control. Create a portable housing benefit.

Begin working immediately on pharmacare for Ontario, instead of waiting for a federal plan, and strengthen and accelerate the expansion of dental care.

Hire 10,000 personal support workers, give them a raise. Hire 30,000 nurses, expedite recognition of nursing credentials of 15,000 internationally trained nurses. Scrap Bill 124, which limits public sector compensation increases.

Hire 300 doctors in northern Ontario, including 100 specialists and 40 mental health practitioners. Fund travel accommodations for medical residents to take elective rotations in rural and northern communities. Create more residency rotation positions to help retain doctors in the north.

End health-care user fees, such as doctors’ notes.

Create a mixed-member proportional voting system designed by an independent group of citizens.

Freeze taxes for low- and middle-income families.

Hold a public inquiry into the COVID-19 response.

Establish provincial standards for home and community care services. Establish a caregiver benefit program to provide $400 a month to informal caregivers who don’t qualify for existing federal tax credits or respite care. Build a new public and non-profit home and community care and long-term care system. Build 50,000 new and modern beds.

Raise the minimum wage to $20 in 2026, with $1-an-hour increases annually. Legislate 10 permanent personal emergency leave days.

Implement a four-day work week pilot project.

Reduce Ontario’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Establish a new cap-and-trade system. Offer up to $10,000 incentives for zero-emission vehicles, excluding luxury vehicles. Expand the Greenbelt. Ban non-medical single-use plastics by 2024.

Introduce an energy-efficient building retrofit program to help families and businesses with the cost of retrofitting their homes and lowering electricity bills.

Hire 20,000 teachers and education workers. Cap class sizes for Grades 4 through 8 at 24 students. Cap full-day kindergarten classes at 26 students. Cancel EQAO standardized testing. Scrap the requirement for two online courses for high school graduation.

Restore the previous government’s free tuition program. Convert post-secondary student loans to grants. Retroactively erase student loan interest.

Increase Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program rates by 20 per cent and index raises to inflation. Restart a basic income pilot.

Build 100,000 units of social housing over the next decade. Update 260,000 social housing units to extend their lifespan.

Regulate gas prices.

Implement a provincial anti-racism strategy; appoint a minister responsible for anti-racism. Erect a Holocaust memorial on the grounds of the legislature. Immediately pass the Our London Family Act to combat Islamophobia.

April 22: Plant one billion trees by 2030. Establish a Youth Climate Corps. Mandate all newly built public, residential and commercial buildings to have net-zero emissions by 2030. Have 100 per cent of vehicle sales be zero emission by 2035. Introduce a new cap-and-trade program. Electrify all municipal transit by 2040. Give households $600 to install electric vehicle charging stations.

April 21: Cover prescription birth control under OHIP, including Plan B, the pill, intrauterine devices, implants, shots, patches and rings.

April 12: Implement a $25-an-hour minimum wage for registered early childhood educators and $20 for other program staff.

April 3: Establish universal mental health coverage. Establish Mental Health Ontario. Invest $130 million over three years in children’s mental health. Boost funding to Canadian Mental Health Association branches by eight per cent. Invest $10 million more in mobile crisis services. Invest an additional $7 million for safe bed programs to support mobile crisis teams.


May 6: Reintroduce an optional Grade 13. Hire 1,000 more mental health professionals for students and staff. Hire 5,000 more special education workers. Expand the Student Nutrition Program. End EQAO tests and replace them with a new assessment strategy.

May 5: Impose a hard cap of 20 students per class in all grades. Hire 10,000 teachers.

May 4: Cancel Highway 413 and use $10 billion in planned savings to build 200 more schools and repair another 4,500.

May 3: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Strengthen requirements of industrial emitters and reinvest and match all proceeds into grants, tax credits and loan guarantees through a Green Jobs Fund to support made-in-Ontario clean technology. Put $9 billion over four years into a clean economy plan, creating 25,000 new green jobs and the Green Jobs Fund. Expand the Greenbelt and designate 30 per cent of Ontario land as protected, up from 10 per cent. Provide 100,000 grants of up to $3,000 each year to people and businesses with green renovations. Ban new natural gas plants. Eliminate set-up connection fees for rooftop solar panels. Introduce a new $250 million-a-year fund to help communities become climate resilient. Divert and recycle 60 per cent of waste from landfills by 2030 and 85 per cent by 2050. Update the building code to require new buildings and renovations to be held to energy efficiency and climate resiliency standards by 2025.

Offer rebates of up to $8,000 for electric vehicles up to retail prices of $65,000 and $1,500 for charging equipment. Require all new passenger vehicles sold in Ontario to be zero-emission by 2035.

May 2: Make all transit fares across the province $1 per ride and reduce monthly transit passes to $40 until January 2024. Invest an additional $375 million in annual transit operating funding. Make public transit free for veterans.

April 29: Remove the provincial portion of the HST on prepared foods under $20.

Create a new tax bracket of 15.16 per cent on individual income above $500,000. Implement a one per cent surtax on corporations operating in Ontario with profits of more than $1 billion a year.

April 26: End for-profit long-term care by 2028. Build 30,000 new long-term care beds and redevelop 28,000 existing spaces. Introduce a home care guarantee and ensure 400,000 more seniors have access in the next four years. Boost base funding for home care by $2 billion by 2026. Build 15,000 more assisted living homes over 10 years. Expand and make permanent the Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit. Make the Ontario Caregiver Tax Credit refundable, tax-free and paid throughout the year.

Raise base pay for personal support workers to $25 an hour. Guarantee access to mental health services for all health professionals. Repeal Bill 124, which limits public sector compensation increases.

April 25: Top up the amount received by pensioners through the Guaranteed Annual Income System by $1,000 and increase the eligibility threshold to $25,000 for single seniors or $50,000 for couples.

April 22: Plant 800 million new trees over eight years.

Provide culturally competent gender-affirming health, mental health and long-term care. Fully cover medications that prevent and treat HIV, including pre-exposure prophylaxis medication and antiretroviral therapy. Reduce wait times and barriers to gender-affirming surgeries. Build 2,000 supportive homes for LGBTQ youth. Provide $20 million to LGBTQ community centres and organizations.

April 20: Create a new fund to hire more police officers from underrepresented communities. Ensure regular police training on de-escalation, anti-racism, cultural sensitivity and mental health. Require police services to disclose diversity statistics. End streaming for Grades 9 and 10. Provide $10 million in grants for Black entrepreneurs and small businesses. Provide $5 million to Black historical sites and community centres. Establish a cabinet position dedicated to fighting racism. Introduce new laws to protect places of worship from violence and intimidation. Pass an NDP bill to create safe zones around religious institutions.

April 19: Ban the sale, possession, transport and storage of handguns. Participate in a federal buyback program. Work with the federal government to stop gun smuggling across the border.

April 12: Establish $10-a-day before- and after-school care. Top up the 18-month federal parental leave program. Reintroduce the Pay Transparency Act. Require publicly listed companies to disclose how many women and people from equity-deserving groups are on boards and in senior management. Require companies bidding on government contracts to achieve equitable representation. Create an Ontario Women’s Health Strategy. Provide free menstrual products in schools, libraries, transit stations. Expand the Ontario Fertility Program to cover one cycle of egg freezing. Introduce legislation to give people the right to ask police if their partner has a history of domestic violence. Create at least 3,800 more supportive homes over 10 years for women fleeing domestic abuse.

March 28: Boost the minimum wage to $16 an hour by Jan. 1. Work to set regional living wages. Establish 10 paid sick days and reimburse businesses for costs of up to $200 per day. Create a portable benefits package. Restore equal pay provisions. Eliminate corporate taxes for two years for small businesses “deeply” hurt by the pandemic, end incorporation fees for new startups, and classify gig workers as employees.


May 5: Build 160,000 affordable community rental homes in partnership with co-op and non-profit housing providers.

May 3: Expand the number of women’s health clinics and abortion clinics in Ontario.

May 2: Amend the Greenbelt Act to make putting new highways through the protected area illegal.

April 29: Significantly expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure, including in parking lots, transit stations, highway rest stops and homes. Add 4,000 electric and fuel-cell buses by 2030. Electrify GO Transit and Metrolinx.

April 28: Double Ontario Disability Support Program rates. Ensure the rapid implementation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and update its accessibility standards. Increase high-quality home care options for people with disabilities.

April 27: Implement a multiple homes speculation tax on purchases of new homes for buyers who already own two or more homes or condos, starting at 20 per cent for the third home purchased and increasing with each additional home.

April 26: Build 60,000 supportive homes with wraparound mental health and addictions services over 10 years.

April 25: Implement time-of-day pricing on transit to make off-peak use cheaper. Cancel plans to widen Highway 417.

April 22: Double the size of the Greenbelt to include a Bluebelt of protected waterways. Implement a moratorium on new gravel mining permits to protect water and farmland.

April 21: Immediately clean up mercury poisoning in Grassy Narrows First Nation. Require the Ministry of Environment to develop and report on a strategy to address environmental racism. Establish stricter monitoring and enforcement standards for air and water pollution in areas with health risks from multiple industries such as Aamjiwnaang First Nation. Increase access to green space in neighbourhoods with larger racialized communities. Safely close the Line 5 pipeline.

April 20: Cancel Highway 413. Create a dedicated truck lane on Highway 407 that is toll free.

April 14: Expand zoning options to increase housing supply. Implement vacancy and rent controls on all units. Cut transit fares in half for three months. Launch a green retrofit program. Offer incentives to make heat pumps affordable. Protect farmland from urban sprawl and freeze urban boundaries. Implement a Grocery Code of Conduct to protect farmers, local food producers and consumers.

April 13: Implement Vision Zero, a plan to eliminate traffic fatalities. Create an $8-billion climate adaptation fund to support municipalities with green and resilient infrastructure. Restore 50 per cent provincial cost sharing for transit operations.

April 8: Implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Change the Ontario Building Code to ensure new housing in multi-unit residential buildings is accessible.

April 1: Offer rebates of up to $10,000 for electric cars, and $1,000 for e-bikes and used electric cars. Bring 60,000 diverse young people into the green workforce and provide one year of free tuition and guaranteed apprenticeship. Increase sustainable, circular and Indigenous-led access to critical minerals and metals. Scale up electric vehicle innovation and production with a $5-billion EV mobility and green technology innovation fund and a $4-billion climate bank.

March 29: Reduce children and youth mental health wait times to 30 days or less by hiring more front-line workers. Ensure students can seamlessly connect to mental health professionals located at or near schools. Invest in youth wellness hubs.

This report by The Canadian Press was last updated May 5, 2022.

Patricia Dent

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