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article imageOntario Liberal Premier makes 45 new promises ahead of election

By Andrew Moran     Sep 6, 2011 in Politics
Toronto - With less than one month until Ontario voters head to the polls, Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty unveiled the party's platform during a rally in Toronto Monday. What is McGuinty promising this year? Do the numbers add up?
Ontario Liberal Platform
The Ontario Liberal Party launched the “Forward. Together.” The 56-page platform Monday includes 45 new promises that will “help Ontario families stay on track.” According to the party’s news release, the election pledges will tackle the issues of education, energy and healthcare.
Speaking at the Toronto Marriott Eaton Centre hotel, where 300 Liberal supporters rallied, Premier Dalton McGuinty explained the highlights of the plan, which he says has been costed by an economist.
Highlights of pledges:
- New tuition grant of for low- and middle-income students who attend undergraduate university studies ($1,600) and college ($730) annually.
- Adding 60,000 new spaces in post-secondary facilities.
- Implement complete full-day kindergarten programs by 2014.
- Giving seniors a home renovation tax credit to ensure they stay at home.
- A goal to reduce electricity bills by 10 percent through the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit.
- All-day GO Trains.
The total cost for these new promises is $1.5 billion, which has prompted many to scratch their heads and question where that money will come from.
The Ontario Liberals are criticizing their opponents, Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak and New Democratic Party Leader Andrew Horwath, for their promises and cost.
The incumbent party states that the PC’s uncosted platform has 229 pledges but at a $14 billion price tag. Meanwhile, the NDP, which has gained some momentum in recent weeks, has 119 promises, also uncosted, but contains an alleged $9 billion tax increase.
Poll & Debate
A new Nanos Research poll conducted for CP24, CTV and the Globe and Mail, suggests that the Hudak’s PCs are still holding a small lead over McGuinty’s governing Liberals.
The telephone survey shows that the PCs have 35.4 percent support, the Liberals are sitting with 31.9 percent support and the NDP is closing the gap with 22.8 percent. Mike Schreiner’s Green Party is last with 4.1 percent support.
The Ontario TV Debate Consortium announced that they will broadcast the provincial party leaders’ election debate on Tues., Sept. 27 at 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. EST. A location and moderator have not yet been announced.
The participants are the Liberal, PC and NDP Leaders, but Schreiner will not be in the debate. An online petition has been organized to include the Green Leader in the debate.
“We started asking about the rules for being included in the debates at the beginning of this year,” said Becky Smit, Green Party campaign manager, in a news release. “We are still unclear on the criteria used to make the decision. We would welcome the opportunity to meet with the consortium to present out case.”
The TV consortium consists of CBC, CTV, Global, Sun News Network and TVO.
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