Ontario Tories release full platform

By: The Canadian Press

 | May 14, 2014 - 3:24 PM |
TORONTO - Ontario's Progressive Conservatives have laid out a plan to cut program spending by six per cent over the next four years to balance the books and reach a $319-million surplus in 2016-17.

Only health-care spending will increase, with promises to expand the availability of home care and long-term care, allow specialty clinics to provide more services and ensure kids are getting 45 minutes of physical activity every school day.

But they'll eliminate a home renovation tax credit for seniors which was meant to help them stay in their homes longer by installing devices like walk-in tubs.

In education, the Tories say they'll increase class sizes, change staffing levels in full-day kindergarten classes and kill a 30 per cent tuition grant for post-secondary students.

They'll also raise targets for reading, writing and math, have a standardized test for Grade 8 science and bring in financial literacy curriculum.

Their platform also promises more use of specialized math teachers in Grades 4 to 6 and financial incentives to attract more math and science grads to teaching.

One of the biggest cuts in spending would come from an across-the-board wage freeze for the entire public sector to save about $2.1 billion a year.

The Tories say they'll review all government programs and kill the ones that don't work, in order to save about $1.2 billion over four years.

They'll also make sure union leaders are "transparent and open" with their financial information, like charities and corporations, and allow union members the right to a secret ballot in certification votes.

They'd sell off chunks of Crown corporations like the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, Hydro One and Ontario Power Generation to Canadian and Ontario pension plans to raise money for public transit and transportation infrastructure.

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