Here’s our daily look at what’s making news in the lead-up to the next provincial election.
- The NDP released a 97-page campaign platform entitled “Change for the Better” on Monday. It includes a slew of promises, including daycare that’s free for those who earn $40,000 or less and an average of $12 a day for everyone else, $19 billion for hospitals over 10 years, full dental coverage for all workers, and a pharmacare plan that would cover 125 of the most commonly prescribed medications for everyone in the province. To pay for all this, the party would raise the corporate tax rate to 13 per cent from 11.5 per cent; raise income tax on money earned above $220,000 by one percentage point and money earned above $300,000 by two percentage points; and slap a 3 per cent surcharge on cars costing more than $90,000. The NDP would also run deficits. Former federal parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page has reviewed the party’s numbers and concluded that the costing of individual measures is “reasonable.”
- The Progressive Conservatives are committing to eliminating the provincial income tax for anyone making minimum wage. The measure would come in the form of a tax credit and would cost the Ontario treasury about $500 million a year. A full-time worker paid minimum wage would save an estimated $817 a year under the plan. However, economist Sheila Block says raising the minimum wage to $15 — something the Tories oppose — would be of greater benefit, as it would increased a full-time worker’s earnings by $1,950 before taxes.
- While visiting Toronto, California Governor Jerry Brown criticized the PCs for their vow to kill Ontario’s cap-and-trade system, which is aimed at reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. When asked about the Tory plan, Brown said that avoiding carbon pricing only increases costs down the line, and that scrapping the cap-and-trade system may leave Ontario behind as other jurisdictions transition to greener economies. California, Ontario, and Quebec hold joint cap-and-trade auctions through the Western Climate Initiative.
What to watch for
- Premier Kathleen Wynne is scheduled to make an announcement with Labour Minister Kevin Flynn at the United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters, Local 46, in Scarborough at 9:30 a.m. She will then attend Question Period at 10:30 a.m. She wraps up her official schedule at a 4:30 p.m. signing ceremony with Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler of Nishnawbe Aski Nation.
- Ford will be in Cornwall this morning for a breakfast meet-and-greet. He'll make an announcement in Brockville at 12:30 p.m. and wrap up his day with a 6 p.m. rally at Minos Village Restaurant in Kingston.
- Will the Liberals’ ad war against Ford damage the Tories’ lead in the polls? TVO’s John Michael McGrath explores that question.
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