The provincial election has kicked off and party leaders are doing their best to sway voters with promises and by calling out opponents. There is no clear front-runner at this point either, which makes for an exciting campaign. Ahead of last week’s debate, the Tories were holding steady as the favored party. Andrea Horvath of the NDP, seems to be closing the gap since she impressed during the debate while joining Premier Wynne by taking aim at Doug Ford. Most recently, it’s the Green Party that has earned the attention of voters after unveiling a tiered platform consisting of 9 parts. Leader Mike Schreiner has high hopes that the platform will lead to the Green Party’s first seats in legislature.
On Monday, Schreiner shared the 9-part plan, named “People Powered Change.” The platform focuses on the environment, transit, affordable housing and the expansion of health care, while also including the implementation of province-wide basic income.
“Greens are showing people that we can do politics differently,” he said. “Greens in Ontario are ready. We are ready to lead, we are ready to elect our first MPP. We believe it is time to end red tape for the most vulnerable in Ontario and ensure that everyone has a basic income guarantee,” he said.
One inclusion in the platform is to implement road tolls on all 400-series highways. Schreiner insists that tolling could raise over $1.4 billion for the province. He also intends to raise over $100 million in land value taxes and expand transit across the GTA
The 9- tier plan includes developing a clean economy, making homes and business more energy efficient, lowering payroll taxes on small businesses and non-profits, requiring all new developments include a minimum of 20 per cent affordable housing, putting mental health services under OHIP, implementing a basic income guarantee province-wide, protecting the environment, moving Ontario toward 100 per cent renewable energy, and expanding transit across the GTA.
Although the Green Party is focused on making big moves this election, Schreiner was left out of the recent debate between NDP, Conservative and Liberal leaders. The election is on June 7. Until voters take to the polls, it’s anyone’s game.