THE GREEN LINE
2022 ontario election
A breakdown of each party's platform to help you make an informed vote
Aspiring film photographer who studies journalism, communication and design at Toronto Metropolitan University. Visits beaches at 6 a.m. to clear her head.
May 23, 2022
Ontario's 2022 provincial election is coming up, and there's a ton of information going around on who to vote for. But where do each of the parties really stand on the key issues affecting Ontarians the most?
We decided to do our research and here's what we found. So, before hitting the polls, here are some things for you to consider to help you make the best decision for election day on June 22.
The following guide compiles each party's platforms on everything from employment, mental health, and climate change to housing and Indigenous reconciliation.
Let's get started.
Three of the parties advocate raising minimum wage to $16, while the PC wants it to be $15.50. Benefits packages, 10 sick days and a four-day workweek are also priorities. Here’s where they differ:
- Suspend corporate income tax for small businesses most impacted by the pandemic for 2022 and 2023.
- Give businesses up to $200 a day to compensate for the costs of workers taking more sick days.
- Create affordable benefits package for everyone, including self-employed, gig, contract and creative workers.
- Increase the general minimum wage to $15.50 per hour, while guaranteeing that digital platform workers (i.e. Uber, DoorDash) receive minimum wage.
- Invest $1 billion annually into employment and training programs to help people upgrade their skills.
- Expand college degree granting to build a pipeline of job‐ready graduates.
- Enforce the Employment Standards Act and strengthen it to ensure workers cannot be fired without cause.
- Ability to unionize when 55 per cent of workers sign a card stating they want to join a union.
- A four-day work-week pilot project, to be established for one year for a section of Ontario’s workers.
- Ban employers from requiring a sick note from a medical practitioner when an employee is ill.
- Make gig work count towards permanent residency applications.
- Full access to employment rights and benefits programs, as well as equal pay for equal work.
The four major parties agree on investing in the mental health sector, but not all see eye to eye on what should be prioritized. Here’s where their platforms align and where they differ:
- Train 3,000 new mental health and addictions professionals.
Hire 1,000 more professionals dedicated to ensuring no child is waiting for help.
Expand and reduce wait times for publicly covered mental health and addiction care
Ensure mental health responders are available via 911 and in emergency rooms.
- Invest $45.2 million into early intervention programs and specialized mental health services.
- Establish a Mental Health Support Unit for frontline court staff.
- Invest $1 million into Runnymede Healthcare Centre’s First Responders Post Traumatic Stress Injury Rehabilitation Centre.
- Reduce the waitlist for children’s mental health to 30 days by implementing the Make Kids Count Action Plan.
Expand access to counselling and therapy services across the province by bringing therapy services into OHIP.
Invest $10 million more into mobile crisis services.
- Increase mental health spending to 10 per cent of Ontario’s healthcare budget.
Invest in a three-digit, 24-7, province-wide mental health-crisis response line.
Fund mental health care workers to reduce youth wait times to 30 days or less.
Collect and release data on overdose epidemic.
Parties are focused on cutting carbon pollution to net zero by 2045 or 2050, planting trees and enforcing sustainability within Ontario businesses. But their tactics for dealing with the climate crisis differ:
- Plant 100 million trees a year over the next eight years.
Add five new provincial parks.
Cut fares for all public transit in Ontario to $1 per ride for one year, and to $40 for monthly passes.
Expand the Greenbelt, and designate 30 per cent of Ontario land as protected areas by 2030.
- Continue the Low‐Carbon Hydrogen Strategy to ensure clean technology and hydrogen sectors grow, and contribute to a green future.
- Invest in clean steel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in business supply chains.
- Create the province's largest low-carbon hydrogen production facility.
- Implement a climate stress test for all provincial infrastructure, and apply it to all existing and planned provincial infrastructure.
Give youth the opportunity to get hands-on skills and experience in restoring and enhancing Ontario’s natural landscape.
End drinking water advisories.
- Require all large public and private organizations to disclose and reduce their carbon footprint and climate-related financial risks.
Ban food waste from landfills or incinerators.
Protect at least 25 per cent of lands and water in Ontario by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030.
Although all four major parties recognize the importance of Truth and Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in Ontario, their commitments differ greatly. Here's what each platform says:
- Implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls.
Support the option to learn First Nations languages, and mandate the inclusion of Canada’s residential schools across the K-12 curriculum.
Invest in Indigenous-led mental health, child care, housing and infrastructure projects.
- Invest $9 million over three years to support Indigenous-governed and - operated education institutes.
Provide working capital to Indigenous‐owned businesses and entrepreneurs.
Support partnerships with Indigenous peoples through the Critical Minerals Strategy.
- Clean up the mercury in the English-Wabigoon River system, taking immediate action to find and dig up the buried mercury upstream from Grassy Narrows.
Establish a provincial strategy to address the suicide crisis among First Nations youth.
Restore the Indigenous Culture Fund.
- Make the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation a statutory holiday.
Work with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation to identify, collect and provide copies of records relevant to the history of the residential school system.
Support Indigenous land defenders in their treaty rights.
The four major parties want to build more houses, increase housing taxes and protect renters. Here’s how their platforms have similar goals, but differ in execution:
- Build 1.5 million new homes over the next 10 years.
Prevent sudden rent hikes by reinstating rent control.
Unlocking more provincial land by burying electric transmissions lines, and redeveloping underutilized strip malls and offices.
- Exploring the use of vacant home taxes, which the government is prepared to facilitate.
- Establish a working group with municipal partners to facilitate the sharing of information and best practices in housing.
- Provide nearly $1.2 billion in housing support through the Social Services Relief Fund.
- Create a portable housing benefit, in addition to basic necessities, to assist those who can’t afford rent.
Build 100,000 units of social housing, and extend the lifespan of 260,000 social housing units.
Update zoning rules to construct more affordable housing, including duplexes, triplexes and townhomes.
- Provide 182,000 affordable housing rental homes in the next decade.
Allow single-family dwellings to be divided into multiple units, creating attainable homeownership opportunities.
Utilize a "Housing First" model to ensure stable, permanent housing is prioritized when helping those in need.
With numerous issues including environmental action, labour standards, social programs, and housing prices to consider, it can be very confusing to look at each party's platforms side-by-side.
"I would say check the record; one of the best ways to determine how you would vote is to look in the last parliament," said Nash.
Nash also said that she believes young people have the most at stake in any election. As such, it's important for them to do their research so they can cast informed votes and have their voices heard.
She suggests going on parliamentary websites to search through each party's stances on key issues to see for yourself if their track record backs up their campaign promises.
"check the record; one of the best ways to determine how you would vote is to look in the last parliament."
CHAIR OF THE TED ROGERS SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT CENTRE FOR LABOUR MANAGEMENT RELATIONS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Nash further added that there's been an added focus on the working conditions, pay levels, and racial inequities facing workers, especially the frontline workers that we saluted as heroes at the onset of the pandemic.
This is part of why labour issues are so key especially in this election.
"You're seeing all parties actively courting — in their own way — actively courting working people," she said.
We hope this guide helps you make a decision on June 2. Make sure to bookmark it as a quick reference in case you want to compare the parties' platforms one last time before hitting the polls.
Make sure you're also registered to vote by checking the Elections Ontario website.
FOR THE GREEN LINE
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Check our sources yourself.