Tracking the Candidate Commitments in the Ontario Liberal Leadership Race

Theresa Lubowitz
44 min readJul 16, 2023

Like many reading this, I will be a voter in the upcoming Ontario Liberal Party Leadership Election. Despite all my years of involvement in the party, it will be the first time I get to cast a ballot for party leader.

In 2013 and 2020, I served on ‘Team Neutral’, the team of volunteers who carry out the electoral process of the leadership election without taking a side, commenting on the race, or casting a vote for a candidate. There has only been one other OLP leadership election held in my lifetime — in 1996 when I was just ten years old.

Me (right) on the floor at 6:00AM at the 2020 Leadership Convention with fellow Team Neutral volunteer Brooke Crewson (left).

The stakes are so high this time around that I’ve decided to come off the sidelines and participate as a vocal member in this race. So far I have no intention of campaigning as a volunteer for any candidate. My only goal is to become as informed as possible about the choices in front of us and help others do the same.

In service of that goal, I plan to track the candidate commitments from both a party-building and policy perspective in this piece. I’ll update it as we move forward so that it can hopefully be an easy reference point to other members as you weigh how to rank your own ballot in November.

Note: The candidates and policy topics are listed in alphabetical order. To learn more about a specific commitment, simply click on the commitment heading to be redirected to it on the candidate’s website.

Other Content: To learn how the voting process works, watch my four-minute explainer video here. To get the highlight version of this policy tracker, visit my leadership policy cheat sheet here. To follow along with media engagement and recordings of the candidate debates, check out my leadership communications tracker here.

Bonnie Crombie

Bonnie is a three-term mayor of the City of Mississauga and a former federal Liberal MP. You can visit her website here.

AGRICULTURE

Support Food and Farms Plan (October 23):

Protect prime farmland and champion a sustainable agri-food sector:

  • Protect prime farmlands of Ontario through the creation of a ‘food and water belt’, and focus on infill development and intensification instead of urban sprawl in accordance with my Housing Plan.
  • Support supply-management to avoid wide fluctuations in supply and prices, and support farmers’ incomes.
  • Enhance the Risk Management Program so Ontario’s agricultural sector has the tools to deal with challenges from inflation, supply chain disruptions, climate change, geopolitical instability, and other local and global factors.
  • Monitor soil health and water quality in priority watersheds, test the efficacy of best management practices in collaboration with farmers, and establish a network of demonstration farms.
  • Increase procurement of locally grown food by at least 10 per cent in the broader public sector, in partnership with Supply Ontario.

Build a resilient supply chain to bolster food security and strengthen local economies:

  • Introduce a right-to-repair legislation to equip farmers with appropriate tools that enhance productivity and lower cost of doing business.
  • Foster excellence and translate agricultural research into practical solutions focused on disease prevention and control for cattle and plants, animal welfare, reproduction, biosecurity, and nutrient management.
  • Establish a Local Food Development Fund to support innovative local agricultural and food processing projects, create jobs, increase value, attract new investment, and enhance awareness of and demand for foods grown and harvested in Ontario.
  • Introduce a Farming for the Future Act to enshrine a simple, flexible, local farmer-focused, succession planning framework; and review it every 5 years.
  • Establish mobile veterinary clinics and emergency facilities with 24/7 service, and explore enhancing virtual care and telemedicine to facilitate access to veterinary professionals in underserved areas.

Grow Ontario’s agri-food sector and promote it globally through enhanced innovation, commercialization, export, and value-added activities:

  • Increase Ontario’s export of crops, agri-food and value-added products by 15 per cent by diversifying the customer base and identifying New Markets through agricultural trade missions, market research, and promotional campaigns.
  • Develop a comprehensive action plan to help farms become more resilient to drought, higher intensity rainfall, and other extreme weather events from the climate crisis as well as to better predict, identify, and respond to supply chain vulnerabilities.
  • Enhance value-added food processing capacity, attract new private sector investments, and support modernization in collaboration with agri-food stakeholders.
  • Invest in farm-to-classroom learning opportunities through secondary and post-secondary education programs focused on agriculture, agri-businesses, veterinary sciences, livestock management, and dairy, poultry, and food processing so more youth can have careers in agri-food.

DEMOCRATIC REFORM:

Strengthen Our Democracy Plan (November 10):

  • Support the idea of launching a Citizens’ Assembly to receive objective, non-partisan, and independent recommendations on advancing electoral reform in Ontario.
  • Allow municipalities once again to choose a ranked-ballot system in their municipal elections and potentially introduce electronic voting.
  • Raise the refundable nomination filing fee and the number of endorsements needed for a candidate to run for the position of Mayor in a municipality to facilitate healthy and constructive democratic engagement.
  • Drive regulatory and legislative changes that enhance transparency, accountability, and democratic practices while ensuring effective representation of members of racialized and marginalized communities, women, and 2SLGBTQ+ people within Ontario’s political parties.

ECONOMY

Make Life Affordable Plan (November 15):

Support small businesses and drive regional economic growth:

  • Adopt a ‘small business lens’ to streamline and modernize regulations and service to increase business competitiveness and entrepreneurship.
  • Review current tax credits and loan programs to ensure the taxes paid by small businesses do not stifle their ability to innovate or employ local labour.
  • Promote private sector investments in broadband and ensure publicly funded broadband is expanded rapidly so rural, Northern and remote communities can participate fully in our economy.
  • Enhance two-way, all-day frequent and electrified GO Train service to reflect modern working patterns and to connect workers with jobs, education and recreation.
  • Expand GO Train service to London, Peterborough, Orangeville, and Caledon to create jobs and connect southern Ontario’s labour markets.
  • Accelerate Indigenous reconciliation by increasing participation, procurement and economic opportunity for Indigenous people in planning, construction and maintenance of new and existing energy, infrastructure, mining and other relevant projects.
  • Address disruptions from construction projects on local businesses through construction mitigation plans.
  • Foster regional economic growth in northern Ontario in conjunction with our Northern platform.

Growing the workforce of tomorrow and supporting our workers today:

  • Promote skilled trades, support union-led training, apprenticeships and mentorships, and collaborate with employers and post-secondary institutions to develop flexible reskilling, upskilling, and micro-credential programs.
  • Increase the representation of women and historically marginalized communities in skilled trades, technology, and other high-growth sectors through mentorship, training, and affordable childcare services.
  • Implement the Building Better Business Outcomes Act and Pay Transparency Act scrapped by Doug Ford and the Conservatives requiring job postings to include salary ranges, banning employers from asking about compensation history, and ensuring large companies publish pay gaps by gender.
  • Remove barriers to interprovincial labour mobility.
  • Expand Francophone immigration in Ontario, reducing barriers to foreign credential recognition, and attracting and retaining skilled labour in high-demand sectors.
  • Incentivize recruitment of people with disabilities and strengthen Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
  • Deliver career exploration initiatives to address labour shortages in urban, rural, Northern and Indigenous communities.
  • Develop a bill of rights for gig workers that ensures transparency in compensation and enables workers to better advocate on their own behalf.

Leverage clean technology and ensure access to reliable, clean, and affordable energy:

  • Cut the corporate tax rate on manufacturers of zero-emissions technologies to make Ontario the lowest effective corporate tax rate in North America for cleantech manufacturing.
  • Accelerate the rollout of electric-vehicle-charging infrastructure and reinstate incentives on the purchase or lease of non-luxury electric vehicles.
  • Support energy-efficient home upgrades to make homes energy efficient, climate resilient, and keep the electricity and home heating bills low.
  • Double waste diversion rates, combat plastic pollution and support our circular economy.
  • Develop the Ring of Fire and other critical mineral-rich areas, in collaboration with Indigenous communities per our Northern platform.
  • Electrify mining operations, reduce environmental impacts on nearby communities and advance innovation in the mining sector.
  • Grow the hydrogen economy and energy storage systems.
  • Invest in low-carbon technologies such as renewable natural gas, small modular nuclear reactors, carbon capture, storage and utilization technologies for hard-to-abate industries.
  • Ensure availability of clean, reliable, and affordable energy in rural, remote, and Indigenous communities.

Championing Ontario’s brand, jobs, and investments:

  • Boost the Ontario Job Creation Investment Tax Credit to incentivize productivity and growth in the manufacturing industry.
  • Empower Ontario’s forestry and natural-resources sectors through innovation, technology and stronger Indigenous partnerships in conjunction with our Northern platform.
  • Support trade-exposed industries such as auto manufacturing, steel and mining to drive innovation, job creation and community revitalization.
  • Unlock Ontario’s life sciences, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals industries by expanding access to capital and tax incentives, advancing public-private partnerships, ensuring adequate funding for commercialization, and protecting IP.
  • Support agri-food businesses in conjunction with our agricultural policy.
  • Develop workforce strategies for advanced manufacturing, technology, agri-food, tourism, hospitality, culture and other high-growth, low-carbon sectors.
  • Support our tourism, hospitality, sporting and cultural industries who showcase the best of what Ontario has to offer at home and around the world.

Strengthen the social-safety net, empower workers, and enhance affordability:

  • Boost the Low-Income Workers and Families Tax Credit.
    Double the current rate of the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).
  • Expedite recruitment and retention for early childhood educators to ensure parents can access $10 per day childcare faster.
  • Introduce a refundable tax credit to help offset the cost of enrolling children in after-school programs.
  • Increase the Student Nutrition Program funding by 30% so students can learn in a healthy environment.
  • Repeal Bill 124 and negotiate collective bargaining agreements in good faith.
  • Lower utility bills for low-income households by indexing Ontario Electricity Support Program credit amounts, and the income brackets that determine eligibility.
  • Index Ontario Works to inflation.
  • Restore Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit and boost the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payment and eligibility.
  • Reinstate the Basic Income pilot program to understand the cost and benefits.
  • Implement my robust and comprehensive housing plan to make life more affordable.

EDUCATION

Support Ontario Students, Parents & Education Workers Plan (August 14):

  • Address the shortage of teachers and education workers in our schools by repealing punitive laws like Bill 124 and introducing a one-year teaching degree
  • Reduce the average class size, including creating a class size cap for grades 4 to 12 and lowering the existing class size cap for junior kindergarten to grade 3
  • Develop a revamped curriculum, in consultation with educators, that meets the needs of the labour market by ensuring that our students — from an early age — learn more about entrepreneurship as well as careers in skilled trades, healthcare, data science, computer science and technology, life sciences, and other sectors that are in high demand
  • Fix Ontario’s schools with a minimum doubling of the annual investment in addressing the repair backlog
  • Deliver enhanced in-person learning by creating a free, on-campus, after-school supplementary homework help program, guided by qualified teachers
  • Eliminate the online learning graduation requirement for high school students introduced by the Ford government
  • Expand skilled trades learning programs with a particular focus on enhancing participation of women, members of equity deserving groups, and racialized communities in skilled trades sector and support union-led skilled trades training initiatives

Accessible, Affordable, and High Quality Postsecondary Education Plan (August 21):

  • Eliminating the provincial portion of interest on OSAP loans, including for former students who are still paying off student loans
  • Increasing the annual income threshold for OSAP repayment to $40,000 and extending the grace period for the provincial portion of OSAP to two years, providing new graduates with time to find jobs and be in a better financial position to cover the cost of repayments
  • Increasing OSAP funding for all eligible students, with a particular focus on supporting low-income and underrepresented groups
  • Delivering academic programs that are aligned with the needs of the labour market, hands-on training and expanded experiential learning opportunities such as co-op and paid internships
  • Increasing the provincial contribution of operating revenue to better balance our cost-sharing model
  • Supporting increased tenure-stream faculty hiring and positions, while keeping tuition fees low and ensuring the sustainability and quality of Ontario’s postsecondary institutions
  • Supporting proactive measures towards addressing sexual and gender-based violence on postsecondary campuses

ENVIRONMENT

Greenbelt Plan (October 16):

No More Land Swaps

  • Legislate the boundary of the Greenbelt to enhance its legal protection against development and prevent land swaps for good.

Take Politics Out of the Process

  • Create an arms-length process to preserve and expand the Greenbelt’s area in consultation with the local residents, Indigenous communities, farmers, businesses, and other stakeholders.
  • Oversee a science-based, rigorous decennial assessment of the state of the Greenbelt taking such decisions out of political hands through a Greenbelt trust.
  • Restore the position of the Environment Commissioner and enhance its mandate to protect nature and advocate for the rights of future generations.
  • Restore and enhance the original mandates of Conservation Authorities, including to weigh in on Greenbelt expansion and to have a mandate to ensure fairness for future generations.
  • Collaborate with Indigenous communities to recognize, establish, and manage Indigenous Protected Areas, honouring both ecological and cultural significance.

Put Food and Water First

  • Explore new protections for Ontario’s agricultural land, watersheds and bodies of water, in keeping with calls for additional protected areas in the form of a “Water and Food Belt”.
  • Protect at least 30% of Ontario’s lands and water by 2030 to support cleaner air, safe supply of water, and better flood mitigation.
  • Permanently protect provincially significant wetlands, areas of natural and scientific interest, grasslands and peatlands, old-growth forests, and ecological corridors between protected areas.
  • Undertake reviews of the Great Lakes Protection Plan and the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan to urgently prioritize protection and remediation of these critical watersheds, help municipalities install microplastic filtration in drinking and wastewater systems, reduce phosphorus runoff and explore additional regulatory tools to strengthen protection for other major bodies of water.
  • Incentivize infill development to prevent urban sprawl in accordance with our detailed housing plan, which will protect farmland, minimize congestion, and improve air quality.

HEALTH CARE

Putting Healthcare First Plan (October 18):

Defend universal publicly-funded healthcare:

  • Staunchly defend the Canada Health Act and Commitment to the Future of Medicare Act
  • Eliminate loopholes that allow corporations to bypass Canada Health Act
  • Combat profiteering by abolishing predatory recruiting practices and regulating temporary nursing agencies through full implementation of Bill 67
  • Ensure all medically necessary care is covered by OHIP
    Clear the surgical backlog without resorting to private for-profit surgical centres

Look after the people who look after us:

  • Champion all healthcare workers through implementing a health human resource (HHR) strategy, passing Bill 72, Health Professionals’ Week and streamlining the accreditation process for internationally trained healthcare workers
  • Ensure fair pay by repealing the unconstitutional and wage-capping Bill 124
  • Create safer work environments in healthcare settings, give ten paid sick days for everyone, and deliver appropriate levels of care for all healthcare workers (MPP John Fraser’s Bill 54)
  • Put support in place to improve performance and retention

Primary care for all of us

  • Recruit more family doctors by adopting a data-driven provincial staffing strategy, increasing domestic training, expanding integration of internationally-trained physicians and delivering incentives to attract workers to remove, rural and underserved regions
  • Support more family doctors by prioritizing team-based care, reducing administrative red tape, integrating electronic medical records, investing in R&D and innovative technologies, and creating a centralized referral system
  • Retain more family doctors by supporting partnerships across the spectrum and modernize payment models
  • Build a comprehensive system of care, expand Nurse Practioner-led clinics, and improve access to virtual and telehealth technologies

Connect people to urgent care faster:

  • Maintain and expand hospitals to prevent hospital and emergency department closures Develop a Code Black/Zero Strategy to ensure 911 is a reliable service
  • Ensure adequate after-hour support so emergency departments are used for emergencies
  • Reduce wait lists through establishing a transparent surgical and diagnostic backlog clearance strategy, including a centralized referral system

Deliver care in the right place at the right time — at home and in the community:

  • Guarantee home care for seniors, committing to a needs-based home and community care service level guarantee for seniors and people with long-term disabilities
  • Deliver wage parity between staff in home, community, long-term, and acute care sectors
  • Raise the base minimum wage for Personal Support Workers to $25/hour and Registered Practical Nurses to $35/hour
  • Promote coordinated care by establishing an integrated model for continuity of care
  • Drive innovation through allocating funding for Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities and more

Restore faith and trust in long-term care:

  • Expand the availability of beds through working with community groups, not-for-profit organizations, and municipalities
  • End the Ford government’s coercive Bill 7
  • Implement all 76 recommendations from Ombudsperson Paul Dubé
  • Ensure stricter oversight and inspections of LTC homes
  • Modernize the design guidelines of LTC homes
  • Deliver coordinated care for LTC to partner with local healthcare providers
  • Ensure a minimum amount of direct care for each resident
  • Deliver culturally appropriate care for seniors
  • Harmonize standards of care with the new national standards with the federal government
  • Ensure better staffing ending the exodus of Personal Support Workers and nurses from the LTC sector by paying them fairly and equitably
  • Require emergency planning for outbreaks, pandemics and emergencies

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure:

  • Prioritize public health
  • Create healthy living spaces
  • Address food insecurity
  • Implement timely Cancer Care making Ontario a leader in prevention, screening, early detection, and treatment
  • Develop chronic disease strategies for prevention, early detection and treatment strategies

Supporting Healthcare Workers Plan (August 2):

  • Legislating ten paid sick days for all healthcare workers
  • Fair and equitable pay for all nurses and PSWs whether they work in hospitals, long-term care, or home and community care
  • Streamlining the licensing and accreditation process for internationally trained doctors, nurses, and other health care workers
  • Collaborating with Ontario’s post-secondary institutions to boost the supply of domestic talent by adding seats and residency positions
  • Investing in our hospitals to so they can recruit and retain nurses and other health care professionals
  • Creating a centralized referral system to make the process less time consuming for doctors and faster for patients

Mental Health and Addictions Plan (Friday, October 14):

Expand and enhance mental healthcare under OHIP:

  • Introduce universal access to mental healthcare under OHIP
  • Increase the number of and expand access to mental health-service providers
  • Create dedicated pathways to address the unique challenges of stress, mental-health issues and burnout through OHIP-funded and not-for-profit programs such as peer-to-peer support, counseling, group-therapy sessions, and wellness initiatives
  • Improve the inpatient-care experience through increasing the number of psychiatric and addictions bed-based treatment options

Develop targeted, community-oriented approaches to support those most vulnerable to mental-health & addictions issues:

  • Implement a dedicated youth mental health strategy, recognizing suicide is the number one health-related cause of death for young people in Canada
  • Adopt community-oriented approaches with support centres and Youth Wellness Hubs
  • Support targeted programs responsive to marginalized and vulnerable groups, along with victims and survivors of trauma
  • Deliver better crisis response through expanded Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Teams, diverting individuals from unnecessary involvement with the criminal-justice system and helping them access treatment, recovery and rehabilitation services instead

Respond swiftly to the opioid crisis using a whole-of-government approach:

  • Introduce a data-driven response to close the gaps in provincial data collection related to the opioid crisis
  • Restore provincial leadership by restoring the Opioid Emergency Taskforce.
  • Commit to compassionate and timely care through committing to provide everyone access to treatment, recovery and rehabilitation services complemented by evidence-based harm-reduction services
  • Ensure easy points of access through launching a 24/7 Opioid Assistance & Referral Line
  • Establish Community Support Teams who are experienced in harm reduction, and addiction treatment, recovery, and rehabilitation
  • Expand Pharmacological treatment through expanded access to Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) and Opioid-Agonist Therapy with a particular focus on vulnerable populations
  • Keep people alive by adequately funding the Ontario Naloxone Program (ONP) and distributing naloxone kits free of charge for Ontarians at risk of opioid overdose, as well as their friends and families
  • Be tough on organized crime by acting decisively against organized crime groups involved in the illicit drug market
  • Hold pharmaceutical companies accountable who produce these opioids and ensure they pay their fair share of healthcare costs incurred due to their deceptive marketing practices
  • Support urban and rural Indigenous communities to integrate culturally-sensitive and traditional approaches to mental health and addictions treatment, along with providing adequate funding for MAT, suicide prevention, and intensive case management for Opioid Use Disorder

HOUSING

Build More Housing Plan (September 20):

Incentivize the housing developments we need:

  • Require home builders to include at least 20% long-term affordable units as a condition of sale of all provincial surplus lands for housing development, including GO Station parking lots.
  • Introduce provincial rebates for Development Charges for purpose-built rental housing.
  • Remove the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) on the construction of purpose-built rental housing retroactive to the recent federal announcement.
  • Create an as-of-right zoning framework to unlock more rental homes on existing rental sites and offer a density bonus so purpose-built rental projects can compete against condo developments.
  • Adopt a whole-of-government approach to mobilize departments responsible for housing, municipal affairs, infrastructure and transportation to improve coordination and remove unnecessary barriers to building more homes.
  • Call an Emergency Housing Summit with all three levels of government and home builders to find solutions and leverage the province’s financial and legislative authority to tackle the housing crisis.
  • Make it easier to turn existing plazas and strip malls into mid-rise residential buildings while keeping shops at street level as part of a “reimagining the mall” strategy.
  • Build complete communities by aligning intensification with the building of hospitals, schools, community centers, public transit, and arterial roads and highways and other community infrastructure.
  • Reward towns and cities with progress-based, top-up funding for community infrastructure tied to housing starts.
  • Support union-led apprenticeship and skilled trades training programs for all people, with a focus on women, newcomers, and people from racialized and marginalized communities.
  • Welcome more skilled newcomers in construction-related fields to bolster our workforce and build homes.
  • Help universities and colleges build affordable places for students to live, on and off campus by providing them with low-cost financing options, in conjunction with our postsecondary plan.

Eliminate NIMBY delays:

  • Limit the right to third-party Ontario Land Tribunal appeals of planning application decisions to federal and provincial agencies and entities such as conservation authorities.
  • End exclusionary zoning to create gentle density by allowing up to four units and four storeys on every residential lot.
  • Permit construction of six-plexes if the project meets the affordable housing funding criteria set by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
  • Set provincial standards and/or prohibitions for angular planes, setbacks, minimum parking requirements, stepbacks, and other local rules that prevent building more homes.

Stop ignoring and start listening:

  • Implement ALL recommendations of the Ontario Housing Affordability Task Force within two years of winning the 2026 provincial election in consultation with municipalities and stakeholders.
  • Depoliticize the planning process by delegating technical planning approvals such as draft plans of subdivisions, lifting of holding provisions, consents, minor variances, and minor zoning bylaw amendments to expert planning staff.
  • Change the Ontario Building Code to build more infill and missing-middle housing, including the revision of onerous egress requirements that hinder the feasibility of smaller-scale developments.
  • Drive innovation in the home construction sector through grants, tax credits and other incentives for factories that build modular or prefabricated homes.
  • Pre-approve off-the-shelf designs to speed up infill housing projects.
  • Set up new rules for collecting and sharing housing data to make the process clear and open. This includes making MPAC more open and accessible.
  • Update Ontario’s Building Code to make building energy-efficient, sustainable, and climate-resilient homes more feasible.
  • #4 Simplify planning rules and streamline approvals
    Build more homes in existing urban boundaries instead of building on prime farmland, Greenbelt, and ecologically and environmentally sensitive areas.
  • Promote and incentivize mid-rise buildings on our main roads and near transit corridors by allowing six to eleven storey buildings.
  • Encourage building high-rises around major transit stations by removing height limits.
  • Protect renters from rent gouging through a phased-in rental control system.
  • Invest in the Landlord-Tenant Board to streamline its processes, clear the backlog of cases expeditiously, and set a target of resolving disputes within 6–8 weeks.
  • Tax vacant homes in urban areas so property owners use, rent, or sell them.

Invest in social housing and tackle homelessness:

  • Work with local and federal governments to address the repair and maintenance backlog on social housing.
  • Build new rent-geared-to-income, below-market rental, and supportive housing.
  • Make it easier to convert vacant office buildings into mixed-use residential spaces.
  • Adopt a housing-first approach with wrap-around services to address homelessness, in collaboration with federal and municipal governments.
  • Create a comprehensive provincial plan to ensure people experiencing homelessness or domestic abuse/violence receive immediate access to emergency shelter, food, safety, and basic health services and can be connected to supportive, transition, or social housing service providers.
  • Reverse the Ford government’s cuts to emergency shelter, supportive and transitional housing, rent-geared-to-income units, Indigenous housing, and below-market rental unit construction and operations.
  • Give municipalities and service managers funding to create emergency rent banks to help tenants in crisis from falling into arrears.

INCLUSION

Protecting Francophone Ontario Plan (November 22):

Preserve and Promote French Language in Ontario:

  • Reinstate the independent French Language Services Commissioner.
    Work closely with local school boards to adequately fund French-language programs so that they can recruit and retain qualified teachers, thereby expanding French-language learning opportunities for Ontario students.
  • Develop an action plan to increase the number of early childhood spaces in the province, as well as the pool of educators.

Improve Access to French-language Education and Healthcare Services:

  • Consult with the francophone community to develop a French-language health strategy to recruit a more bilingual workforce, as well as increase the number of francophone international students in health care and social service programs.
  • Expand access to French-language post-secondary education in consultation with francophone communities, particularly northern Ontario campuses such as Laurentian University and the University of Sudbury.
  • Expand teacher training programs to address the shortage of teachers in Ontario’s French-language education system.
  • Increase funding for the Mouvement d’implication francophone d’Orléans and the Programme d’appui à la francophonie ontarienne.

Support Franco-Ontarian Communities:

  • Invest in better digital solutions for Franco-Ontarians living in non-designated areas who cannot access quality services in French.
  • Invest in highly affordable housing (rent-geared-to-earn, below-market rent, etc.) and supportive housing (with integrated services) for the Francophone community, in conjunction with our housing plan, so that Franco-Ontarians can afford to live and stay in their community.
  • Increase francophone immigration to Ontario, reduce barriers to foreign credential recognition, to better attract and retain a skilled francophone workforce in high-demand sectors.

LABOUR

Friend to Workers Plan (September 4):

  • Immediately repeal the punitive Bill 124
  • Stand up for a fair collective bargaining process
  • Legislate 10 paid sick days for all workers
  • Support union-led training and apprenticeship programs

NORTHERN ONTARIO

Plan for Northern Ontario (September 8):

Improve quality of life by investing in healthcare, education & our communities:

  • Ensure Northern communities have improved and equitable access to healthcare, including hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities and healthcare workers
  • Attract more students to acquire healthcare degrees and stay in Northern Ontario upon graduation by offering free tuition tied to a multi-year service agreement
  • Build new healthcare facilities closer to home, expand telehealth and telemedicine services to support those in remote and underserved communities
  • Strike a Task Force to identify and address the gaps that exist in the current structure of the Northern Ontario Travel Grant
  • Prevent school closures that force students to travel long distances and provide educators with economic incentives to stay in the North
  • Deliver targeted programs to improve retention and graduation rates in Northern schools by hiring guidance counselors to provide academic and career planning
  • Expand opportunities for learning Indigenous history, cultures, and languages in the caring presence of Indigenous elders and knowledge keepers
  • Expand access to Francophone education in Northern Ontario in both K-12 and postsecondary schools
  • Invest in treatment, recovery, and rehabilitation of those struggling with opioid use and drug addictions
  • Improve suicide prevention, mental health, and wellness programs to ensure the well-being of students
  • Support municipal law enforcement agencies to create Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Teams to divert individuals in crisis from unnecessary involvement with the criminal justice system
  • Strengthen and fund police service that Indigenous communities can trust and rely on
  • Partner with Northern municipalities to provide local law enforcement agencies with adequate funding for recruiting and retaining personnel, and procuring modern tools and resources to act promptly against guns, gangs, auto-thefts, human and drug trafficking, and violence

Advance sustainable economic growth:

  • Develop the Ring of Fire and attract new investments into mining
  • Expedite the process of critical minerals extraction in an environmentally responsible manner and while recognizing the rights, equity, and well-being of Indigenous peoples
  • Meaningfully involve Indigenous communities in all matters that affect their lands, resources, and rights
  • Boost the Northern Ontario Energy Tax Credit to support families and the Northern Energy Advantage Program, recognizing the higher energy costs in Northern communities
  • Strengthen the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund — a proud Ontario Liberal legacy — to foster, sustain and diversify Northern economic growth
  • Support Northern Ontario’s advanced manufacturing, clean steel, agriculture, tourism, forestry, logging, mining, arts, and culture industries to create jobs, ensure equitable resource-sharing with Indigenous and Northern communities
  • Address the labour shortage and reduce the likelihood of repeat offense by creating training opportunities and building transition housing for those leaving the criminal justice system
  • Enhance skilled-trades training opportunities to stop the out-migration of youth

Enhance and expand housing, digital & transportation infrastructure:

  • Widen the final 68 km of Highway 69 to 4 lanes and designate Highways 69, 11, and 17 as Class 1 Highway
  • Enhance intercommunity connectivity through broadband and digital infrastructure enhancement
  • Improve subsidized intercommunity bus and work collaboratively with the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission to expedite the implementation of the Ontario Northlander passenger rail service, enhancing regional transportation networks
  • Install new charging stations for electric vehicles along highways and in urban areas to allow residents and tourists to recharge their vehicles
  • Address the labour shortage in the North, reducing the cost of construction and getting more homes built faster
  • Lower the regulatory burden that makes housing unaffordable
  • Invest in developing climate-resilient infrastructure and maintaining existing ones in a state of good repair to establish a strong, reliable, and weather-proof supply chain; and to allow businesses in Northern Ontario to be able to transport goods rapidly, safely, and reliably

SENIORS

Empower Ontario Seniors Plan (November 10):

Help seniors live independently:

  • Implement measures to alleviate the financial strain on seniors who live on fixed income or are burdened with medical expenses by boosting the Guaranteed Annual Income system (GAINS) and Ontario Seniors’ Care at Home Tax Credit.
  • Invest in home accessibility grants, build supportive housing units with wraparound services, and develop Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs).

Help seniors live a healthy, active and socially connected lives:

  • Implement our comprehensive healthcare and mental healthcare plans that guarantee homecare, enhance oversight on long-term care facilities, and ensure equitable access to mental health and wellbeing support.
  • Expand accessibility to homecare services to allow seniors to age gracefully in their own homes through boosting the Ontario Caregiver Tax Credit and expanding access to house calls by healthcare providers,
  • Create a dementia care network for the 200,000+ Ontarians living with dementia by investing in existing memory clinics and expanding team-based geriatric clinics.
  • Promote the development of recreational and community programs to combat isolation and connect them to the digital world.

Help seniors live with dignity:

  • Support municipalities and public transit agencies to develop age-friendly options that allow seniors to complete trips timely with comfort and flexibility.
  • Prevent seniors from fraud and abuse by enhancing investments in the Seniors’ Safety Line and launching a consumer protection program.
  • Enhance awareness among seniors about Powers of Attorney to help them make informed choices on who can make personal care and financial decisions on their behalf.

Nate Erskine-Smith

Nate is a three-term federal Liberal MP. You can visit his website here. These are the commitments he’s made so far in this race:

CLIMATE CHANGE

A Plan to Deliver the Strongest Climate Policy in North America and Make Life More Affordable (July 25):

  • Seizing the economic opportunity of a strong climate plan to create one million well-paying jobs.
  • Building a healthier society for a livable future.
  • Making life more affordable through retrofits and clean-energy to reduce monthly energy bills.
  • Protecting our province’s nature and restoring the role of conservation authorities.
  • Helping communities adapt to the effects of climate change and investing in net-zero infrastructure.
  • Ensuring accountability when it comes to meeting our climate targets and holding corporate polluters to account.

EDUCATION

Plan for World Class Education (September 20):

  • Improve students’ in-class support by eliminating waitlists for special education, capping class sizes and hiring more educators, and strengthening the curriculum in collaboration with educators.
  • Support students’ out-of-class experience by expanding funding for extracurriculars, broadening access to mental health supports, and implementing a universal healthy school food program based on the work of the Coalition for Healthy School Food.
  • Deliver the best facilities for our kids by funding necessary repairs and upgrades, ensuring access to high-quality internet, proper air conditioning and filtration, expanding green retrofits, and keeping schools accessible to rural and northern communities.
  • Ensure equity and inclusion by creating space for everyone to be who they are, supporting reconciliation, strengthening French education, and improving school safety.
  • Respect for our educators by committing to fair bargaining, encouraging teacher-led professional development, delivering employment dignity for support staff, and more.
  • Ensure cost is never a barrier to post-secondary education by providing free tuition for low-income families, expanding OSAP grants, eliminating interest on student loans with more flexible repayment, and new student housing.
  • Upgrade on-campus experiences and opportunities by taking action to address sexual and gender-based violence on campuses, delivering greater access to youth mental health services, and levelling the playing field for northern institutions.
  • Support all kinds of post-secondary success by supporting the trades and work-integrated learning at the same time as we increase support for graduate research.
  • Improve conditions for international students by addressing exploitation and a lack of transparency, working with post-secondary institutions to increase operational funding, and align international enrollment with programs that lead to in-demand jobs.

HEALTH CARE

A Comprehensive Plan to Strengthen Ontario’s Public Healthcare System (August 25):

  • Urgent action to address the health human resources crisis through fair wages and better working conditions, expanded placement and training opportunities in priority areas like primary and home-care, and a clear path to credential recognition for foreign-trained professionals.
  • Family health teams for everyone through expanded scope of practice for talented health professionals and increasing public investment to bring it up to par with the national average.
  • Expanded mental health access with up to 12 hours of talk therapy for every Ontarian, better support for mental health for kids, and action to treat substance use as a health issue.
  • Support aging with dignity by adopting Canada’s new long-term care standards, making new investments in home and community-based care, and improving support systems for caregivers.
  • A dedicated northern and rural healthcare strategy that reverses the trend of emergency room closures, and takes seriously the need to attract and retain healthcare workers.
  • A resilient public health system that addresses the social determinants of health and a preventative healthy living approach.

HOUSING

Housing Plan to Deliver Generational Fairness (June 14):

Ending Exclusionary Zoning:

  • Allow fourplexes provincewide and study sixplexes
  • Pre-approve off-the-shelf plans for multiplex housing
  • Launch an Ontario design competition
  • Establish province-wide zoning standards

Building and Protecting Public-Minded and Affordable Rental Housing:

  • Protecting existing affordable rental stock
  • Create a public builder and get the province back into social housing
  • Make immediate, targeted investments in specific areas of need
  • Align on targets for student housing
  • Take a housing-first approach to chronic homelessness

Treating Housing as a Home First and an Investment Second:

  • Introduce stronger tenant protections
  • Improve transparency through a beneficial ownership registry
  • Make it harder to demolish multiple homes for luxury mansions
  • Legalize multi-tenant housing
  • Phase-in rent controls
  • Limit appeals on purpose-built rental housing
  • Increase the land transfer tax for investors that do not add housing
  • Use the revenue to support tenants at risk of eviction
  • Enable municipalities to introduce progressive property taxation
  • Pilot a system that levies different rates depending on how the land is used

Partnership with Other Levels of Government:

  • Reverse decreased density targets and ensure municipalities grow without sprawling
  • Deliver skilled trades that are needed
  • Top-up funding for municipalities
  • Create a planning auditor to de-politicize planning oversight

INCLUSION

A Plan to Support Ontario’s Social Safety Net (October 12):

  • Strengthen existing social assistance programs and support families in need.
  • End chronic homelessness and expand the availability of social and rental housing.
  • Support the organizations that serve the most vulnerable, including legal aid, food banks, urban Indigenous organizations, wraparound housing supports, and more.
  • Deliver accessibility for all by advancing inclusive design and accommodation

Supporting Indigenous Communities Plan (September 30):

  • Deliver Indigenous reconciliation by strengthening the Aboriginal Loan Guarantee Program
  • Support reconciliation in our schools by expanding access to Indigenous language education, updating the curriculum to include the positive contributions that Indigenous Peoples have made in shaping that history as well as the legacy of injustice of the residential school system
  • Legislate a UNDRIP framework and develop world-leading IESG standards in collaboration with First Nations to make Ontario a leader in responsible mining
  • Advance the Truth and Reconciliations Calls to Action that are within the responsibility of the provincial government
  • Support and fund Indigenous service organizations in recognition of the fact that a large majority of Indigenous peoples live off-reserve

LABOUR

A Compassionate Plan to Stand Up for Ontario Workers (September 4):

  • Develop a sectoral bargaining system in relevant sectors that allows workers from multiple employers to use their combined numbers to advocate for better wages, benefits and working conditions
  • Disallow employers from hiring temporary or replacement workers where the employer has locked out employees
  • Develop a bill of rights for gig workers and workers on electronic platforms that ensures transparency in compensation, allowing workers to join a union or better advocate on their own behalf
  • Increase minimum wage by $0.25 annually above inflation for a limited number of years to make up for wages that were held artificially low since 2018
  • Implement 10 paid sick days per year for all workers in Ontario
  • Strike a labour task force and act upon recommendations to better support workers, including consideration of a regional living wage, increasing paid vacation time and accommodating hybrid work
  • Conduct more workplace health and safety inspections and work with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board to fulfill its mandate to provide wage-loss benefits, medical coverage, and help workers return to the workforce following an injury
  • Modernize Ontario’s labour laws to remove barriers to unionization, building on the work done by the Federal Government’s Expert Panel on Modern Labour Standards as well as Ontario’s Changing Workplaces Review
  • Support good, safe union jobs in the trades through significant capital infrastructure investments, including those related to clean electricity, transportation, schools and hospitals
  • Introduce policies to close the gender pay gap and ensure respect in the workplace
  • Fund Ontario’s broader public service so that it is positioned to recruit and retain a world class workforce
  • Ensure that small businesses are able to absorb related costs through tax credits, staggered implementation, and other supports

NORTHERN ONTARIO

Focus on Northern Ontario Plan (August 21):

Supporting good jobs and economic opportunity:

  • Support northern municipalities with new and increased infrastructure investment in roads, broadband, and affordable housing.
  • Advance the economic opportunity in critical minerals and supply chains by investing in R&D and expediting the permitting and regulatory approvals process, in partnership with Indigenous communities.
  • Leverage northern Ontario as a destination that is affordable with employment opportunities, including through secondary and post-secondary programs, and with incentives to attract and retain workers in sectors facing labour shortages, including healthcare and the skilled trades.

Making life more affordable:

  • Deliver more affordable and reliable energy by accelerating the Clean Home Heating Program and investing in distributed energy resources.
  • Implement an ambitious housing plan that will include new investments to enable DSSABs and municipalities to develop community based housing alternatives.
  • Support affordable and reliable transportation, including expanding highways and improving maintenance, rapidly building EV charging infrastructure, and developing an integrated housing and transit strategy for the 9 northern communities served by public transit.

Investing in a public, accessible and resilient health-care system:

  • Improve wages and working conditions for frontline healthcare workers.
  • Develop and adequately fund a Northern and Rural health-care strategy to address workforce retention and ER closures.
  • Expand access to family health teams, mental health and addictions professionals, and virtual care options.
  • Treat addiction as the public health issue it is, and support the expansion of harm reduction and treatment.
  • Increase admissions at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and provide more tuition subsidies for students committed to staying in the North long-term.
  • Strengthen seniors’ care, including home, hospice and community care options alongside the quality of care in long-term care homes.

Working in partnership with Indigenous communities:

  • Deliver economic reconciliation by strengthening the Aboriginal Loan Guarantee Program to enable Indigenous communities to better develop and acquire equity stakes in energy projects.
  • Legislate an UNDRIP framework to advance reconciliation.
  • Support and fund urban Indigenous service organizations.
  • Improve the provincial curriculum on Canada’s history, including the positive contributions that Indigenous Peoples have made in shaping that history as well as the legacy of injustice of the residential school system.

RURAL ONTARIO

Rebuilding the Ontario Liberal Party in Rural Ontario Plan (November 22):

Expand access to high-quality health-care:

  • Improve wages and working conditions for frontline healthcare workers.
  • Develop and adequately fund a Northern and rural healthcare strategy to address workforce retention and ER closures, including an examination of loan forgiveness for those who commit to practise in underserved regions for 5 years.
  • Expand access to family health teams, mental health and addictions professionals, and virtual care options.
  • Strengthen seniors’ care, including increased funding for home and community care options, as well as higher-quality standards for long-term care.
  • Explore opportunities to better work with hospital foundations to match and supplement funds raised for capital projects.

Support main streets and economic growth in rural communities:

  • Support the main street economy with standardized commercial leases, improved commercial lease dispute resolution, and a consideration of a commercial vacancy tax or other controls.
  • Address homelessness with a Housing First approach, provide a new funding stream for municipalities to build and acquire rapid housing, and better support for mental health, addiction, and wraparound services.
  • Promote and support employee ownership including work with the federal government alongside employment investment legislation modelled on BC.
  • Strengthen seniors’ care, including increased funding for home and community care options, as well as higher-quality standards for long-term care.
  • Explore opportunities to better work with hospital foundations to match and supplement funds raised for capital projects.
  • Champion a federal-provincial skilled trades strategy that lowers barriers for entry into the skilled trades in areas like home construction, and fast-track foreign trained tradespeople for the Red Seal process in Ontario.

Support affordable, livable and dynamic communities:

  • Improve the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund by providing increased and stable overall funding for rural and Northern municipalities
  • Deliver more affordable and reliable energy by accelerating the Clean Home Heating Program and investing in distributed energy resources.
  • Enhance wireless and internet connectivity across Ontario to close all remaining gaps, including satellite connectivity in remote areas and along major highways.
  • Implement an ambitious housing plan that will include new investments to enable municipalities to develop community-based housing alternatives, and establish an Ontario Housing Authority to help acquire and build non-market homes.
  • Design long-term regional transit plans to better connect municipalities, and review existing rural microtransit projects and provide sustainable support.

Provide a world-class education to all Ontario students:

  • Deliver the best facilities for our kids by funding necessary repairs and upgrades, ensuring access to high-quality internet, proper air conditioning and filtration, expanding green retrofits, and keeping schools accessible to rural communities.
  • Support creative solutions like community hubs and focus on joint-use school planning to ensure that rural communities do not lose access to school facilities. Review rural and northern education funding as part of these efforts, including the reliability of school transportation.
  • Eliminate waitlists for special education and focus on areas that are currently most underserved.
  • Broaden access to mental health supports in school by increasing the availability of mental health professionals.

Position Ontario’s agricultural economy to grow:

  • Protect agricultural land, including through a responsible land use policy that prevents sprawl, and work with farmers and conservation trusts to preserve farmland.
  • Encourage the orderly transition of farms to the next generation by providing access to top-level management expertise, through labour mentorship, recruitment, and training programs, and by enhancing the Agristability Program for new entrants.
  • Expand the mandate of the Agriculture Credit Corporation to create a beginning farmer credit line that offers working capital to new farmers.
  • Support agri-food innovation to help farmers gain additional markets and grow the agri-food sector.
  • Facilitate a “Grow Ontario” focus to assist farm producers to sell locally, and to help farmers increase productivity, including to adapt to longer growing seasons, advance climate smart practices, and develop crops more resilient to adverse weather.
  • Work in partnership and collaboration with farmers to limit emissions from livestock and fertilizers, fund carbon intensity scoring, improve alternative proteins, develop climate-resilient crops and livestock, and protect soil and water resources.

PARTY BUILDING

Empowering Candidates and Elected MPPs (July 19):

  • Hold fair and open nominations
  • Allow freer votes to empower those strong local voices

Ted Hsu

Ted is a first-term MPP and a member of the Ontario Liberal Caucus at Queen’s Park. He was formerly a one-term federal Liberal MP. You can visit his website here. These are the commitments he’s made so far in this race:

AGRICULTURE

Good Things Grow: A Sustainable Future for Ontario Agriculture Plan (September 6):

Preserving Farmland:

  • Implement a Farmland Easement Program
  • Protect Prime Agricultural Land

Succession Planning:

  • Investing in Succession Planning
  • Connect Retiring and Aspiring Farmers to Facilitate Transfer of Farms
  • Introduce Urban Youth to Farms and Farming

Climate Change Adaptation:

  • Mitigating Risks to Ensure Long-Term Viability
  • Support Research and Innovation to Adapt to Changing Conditions
  • Work with Stakeholders to Develop Region-Specific Strategies

Export Opportunities:

  • Investing in Access to Markets
  • Encouraging Value-Added Agri-Food Activities
  • Improving Rural Infrastructure

CLIMATE CHANGE

Power to the People Energy Plan (July 13):

  • Maintaining Necessary Supply
  • Providing Reliability with Flexible Power Generation
  • Promoting Energy Efficiency, Conservation, and Affordability
  • Investing in Distributed Energy Resources and Grid Modernization
  • Developing Renewable Hydrogen and Green Gas
  • Engaging Communities Proactively

Protecting Our Greenbelt Plan (July 13):

  • Champion solutions like ‘missing middle’ housing and increased density around transit hubs to cultivate vibrant, diverse neighbourhoods without impinging on our Greenbelt

ECONOMY

Empowering People, Empowering Ontario Economic Plan (June 21):

  • Investing in our people
  • Strengthening transportation and building housing
  • Supporting innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Leading the Economic Transition
  • Respecting guardrails for economic development

EDUCATION

Lifting Children Up from K-12 (September 5):

Empowering Students:

  • Nurturing and Safe Schools for All Children
  • Ending Mandatory Online Learning Requirements
  • Properly Funding the Student Nutrition Program
  • Lowering Class Sizes
  • Connecting Students and Teachers to Mental Health Professionals

Supporting Educators:

  • More Educational Assistants and Smaller Class Sizes
  • Supporting Safe and Respectful Workplaces
  • Facilitating Regional Transfers and Credentialing for International Teachers to Address Staff Shortages

Improving School Facilities:

  • Fixing Our School Buildings
  • Expanding the Modular Build Program
  • Improving the Cyber-Security of Ontario’s Education Sector

ELECTORAL REFORM

Electoral Reform Plan (October):

  • Put electoral reform in our election platform for 2026
  • Open to including a citizen’s assembly in the platform

HEALTH CARE

Better Health, Better Health Care Plan (July 18):

Better Data, Better Understanding, Better Planning

  • Collect better measures of health outcomes and population health status.
  • Collect complete, timely and standardized data on the supply of and demand for the health sector’s workforce and services.
  • Make all electronic medical records compatible and digitally linked.
  • Use the data to plan years ahead.

Address Overcrowded ERs, Overcrowded Hospitals

  • Pay attention to staff retention
  • Invest outside of acute care to relieve the pressure on hospitals
  • Invest in permanent community paramedicine as a tool for patient diversion from hospital ERs

Invest in Alternatives to Long Term Care

  • Make home and community care more accessible to reduce the cost of elder care and relieve the strain on caregivers and long term care institutions
  • Encourage physical activity and socialization in our elderly population.
  • Take advantage of naturally occurring retirement communities

Invest in Primary Care innovation

  • Primary health care is the key to lowering overall health care expenditure while improving population health and access.
  • Make primary care coverage universal through geographic health homes
  • Provide incentives to Primary Care Teams to experiment with ways to improve working conditions, better meet their patient’s needs, and manage costs to the system. This includes nurse practitioner-led teams.
  • Reinstate virtual care options.

Support Mental Health

  • Mental health is a pillar of healthcare
  • Address the shortage of mental health professionals
  • Expand access to mental health services in schools, at-risk communities and for trauma related professions

Empower Local Decision Making, Invest in Prevention

  • Regional health authorities with global budgets
  • Restore funding for public health
  • Focus on supports requested by Indigenous communities for public health
  • Prepare for the next pandemic

HOUSING

Homeward Bound Housing Plan (June 12):

  • Use interim measures like rent-control to support and protect residents
  • Legislate the right to build medium-density housing
  • Expand transportation links in urban and rural communities
  • Allow municipalities to capture revenue from planning and infrastructure changes
  • Support diverse housing options

INCLUSION

Building a Compassionate Society Plan (November 10):

A minimum wage that reflects local cost of living and stops being a political football every time it is readjusted:

  • Set the minimum wage regionally at a rate that reflects the local cost of living
  • Any readjustment of the minimum wage system will be done in consultation with employers

Boosting support for People with Disabilities:

  • ODSP should be anchored to a certain percentage of minimum wage both over time and geographically with specific amounts determined in a costed platform
  • Ontario Works (OW) payments should be adjusted in the same way to take into account inflation and the local cost of living
  • Set aside 10% of the CA-ON Housing Strategy to make it easier for developers, developmental services agencies, and municipalities to work together on mixed market-supportive housing

Addiction, overdoses and accidental poisonings:

  • Safe consumption and drug testing kits to keep people alive, and treatment options to help them escape their addiction
  • Implement any outstanding, relevant recommendations from the federal governments’ Canadian Drug and Substance Strategy

Homelessness:

  • Upload financial responsibility from municipalities for those who are unhoused or struggling with addictions
  • Make financial support available to smaller municipalities so that people who need help can remain close to the support of family and friends and, if possible, less reliant on public support

NORTHERN ONTARIO

A Northern Way Plan (September 8):

Reconciliation:

  • No way forward without reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples

Infrastructure:

  • Ensure Safe Driving Including Widening Highways 11 and 17
  • Restore Ontario Northlander bus and train service
  • Build on Existing Programs to Deliver Reliable and Affordable High Speed Internet

Climate Change:

  • Give the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry the resources it needs to prepare for and combat extreme weather

Healthcare:

  • Increase the financial incentive to practice in the North
  • Provide more support to communities battling the epidemic of addiction, mental illness and homelessness
  • Extend OHIP to cover telemedicine

Housing:

  • Incentivize smaller, more affordable dwellings
  • Build seniors residences in the communities they live in, so they can downsize and leave behind increased housing supply for families

RURAL

Raising Up Rural Ontario Plan (September 7):

Housing:

  • Increasing Rural Housing Supply
  • Provincial Financing for Community Housing
  • Fast-Track Approvals by Pre-Approving Housing Type and Stock
  • Ensuring Homes are Safe as the Climate Changes

Connectivity:

  • Invest in Rural Infrastructure and Inter-City Transportation
  • Upgrade EV Charging Infrastructure to Help Make EVs in Rural Areas a Reality
  • Build on Existing Programs to Deliver Reliable and Affordable High Speed Internet
  • Reverse Ontario Library Services Cuts to Restore Rural Library Access

Healthcare:

  • Financial Support for the Training, Recruitment and Retention of Staff
  • Leveraging Technology to Provide Virtual Care and Telemedicine
  • Fair Incentives for Mental Health Professionals to Improve Service in
  • Rural, Northern and Underserved Areas

PARTY REBUILDING

Party Reform Plan (October):

Accessibility in the Party:

  • As Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party I will take measures so that people with disabilities can participate fully as Party members, including leadership and nomination votes, policy making and other events.
  • Email addresses will not be required in order to become a member as long as there is another, individually confirmed, method of two-way communication.
  • Debates and other Party videos will be posted on Youtube, https://www.youtube.com/@OntarioLiberalTV, where closed captioning is available.
  • Ballots will be printed in large print. Braille ballots will be available on request.
  • Accessible locations will be booked for business meetings and votes, and personal support workers and service animals will be welcome. Hybrid, in-person/online, meetings will be used, when practical, to make meetings more accessible.
  • On-line and regular mail voting will be an option, when practical, to make voting on party business more accessible.

Promise to Young Liberals:

  • Treat you like a valuable member of a team.
  • Provide you with work which includes opportunities for personal growth, such as gaining valuable workplace skills or personal contacts for future employment, inside or outside of politics.
  • Respect that you have commitments and activities (e.g. family, relationships, school) outside of politics. Supervisors will set clear and reasonable expectations with the assumption that you will decide whether these expectations fit into your life at the time and then respond clearly with your level of commitment so that all parties share an understanding.
  • Allow you the liberty of dissenting on policies or personalities. We will not pressure you, explicitly or implicitly, to be part of something you do not believe in.
  • Intervene if one team member is mistreating another. We will provide all staff with training to support a culture of mutual respect.

A more impactful policy process:

  • Emphasis on research and context: Policies must be written out with background notes explaining the current state of affairs and the rationale for the new policy, what objections there might be, why this policy hasn’t been implemented before, and what the positions of the other parties might be. Supporting statements from experts may be attached. The package would be sent to all riding association presidents and policy directors.
  • Local initiative, local control, local endorsement: Policy resolutions may be initiated at any time and need not wait for a centralized process to be initiated. Riding associations then send the information to members and hold local policy meetings with a quorum (that includes the local candidate, past candidate or elected member) to debate and vote on policy resolutions, in order to pass or reject them.
  • Province-wide support which is difficult for the leadership to ignore: Policies are passed if a majority of riding associations in each of the nine regions of the province pass the resolution. Getting this broad approval forces policy proponents to effectively communicate the policy to fellow Liberals.
  • The bar is high for passing a resolution, and a lot of work has to be done by sponsoring riding associations to communicate with other riding associations, but successful policy resolutions will have earned a broad democratic mandate which the leader and caucus cannot ignore.

Yasir Naqvi

Yasir is the former President of the Ontario Liberal Party, a former three-term Ontario Liberal MPP, and currently a first-term federal Liberal MP. You can visit his website here. These are the commitments he’s made so far in this race:

CLIMATE CHANGE

Fighting climate change by creating good jobs and making smart community-led decisions plan (August 31):

Grow the net-zero economy with a Good Paying Jobs Plan:

  • Make Ontario the premier destination for investment and a global R&D hub, to fight climate change and create good, green jobs
  • Develop a plan for good, high-paying jobs and increased prosperity as we transition to a net-zero economy
  • Increase well-paying jobs — and work in tandem with Yasir’s housing and infrastructure plan — to accelerate an Ontario electric vehicle sector, clean critical mineral extraction, energy storage, small modular nuclear reactors, clean manufacturing, and green energy production

Close all dirty natural gas plants by 2035:

  • End our dependence on dirty natural gas for power generation by 2035, while maintaining access for home heating and cooking
  • Replace dirty natural gas with clean energy, including investments in clean nuclear power, renewable natural gas, offshore wind, solar, and other renewables
  • Protect our air, fight climate change, and create quality, high-paying jobs across the province

Protect the Greenbelt and create a protected Farmbelt:

  • Protect the Greenbelt from development to ensure it is there for future generations
  • Work with farmers, and municipalities to create a Farmbelt in rural Ontario to preserve our ability to grow crops to secure our food supply and feed the world

EDUCATION

Restoring the Promise of Public Education in Ontario Plan (September 8):

Fix K-12 to restore confidence in public education:

  • Introduce hard caps in class sizes — no more than 15 for junior and senior kindergarten, fewer than 20 students in classes up to grade 8, and a maximum of 25 students per class in high school — with real enforcement
  • Commit to an early childhood educator (ECE) or a Special Educator in every classroom up to Grade 8, depending on the needs of the students
  • Address the embarrassing $16.8B backlog and bring all our schools to a proper state of repair by the end of his first four years in government
  • Bring high-speed internet and air conditioning to every school in Ontario
  • Reform the curriculum to bring real-life skills into the classroom, including civics education in every grade, real financial literacy, coding classes throughout K-12, bringing back home economics and shop classes, and more experiential learning and career counselling

Improve post-secondary education by:

  • Making postsecondary tuition free for those with a family income under $90,000, cap international student tuition fees, and reinvesting in colleges and universities
  • Increasing support for everyone with a household income under $200,000 per year
  • Eliminating interest on provincial student loans, capping monthly loan servicing payments at 5 per cent of a graduate’s income and deferring repayment until the graduate earns over $50,000 per year
  • Putting a cap on international student tuition at its current rate for five years, creating regulations to curb future increases, working with federal partners to cut red tape for off-campus work and improving the system’s integrity
  • Increasing operating grants for postsecondary institutions for the first time in over ten years to make up for lost revenue from tuition caps
  • Increasing funding for undergraduate and graduate research, so that more young scholars can look to research as a sustainable pathway
  • Improving pathways from school to work with more funding for co-op programs
  • Ensuring provincial employers increase their participation and increasing incentives to employers in clean energy industries as well as in rural and northern employers to encourage students to settle in all regions

Revamp pathways and access to trades to create the workforce of the future:

  • Improve financial supports for apprentices, including looking to shift supports to up-front financial aid, instead of credits and deductions
  • Enhance training and financial support for journeypersons who take on apprentices, so they are better positioned to pass on knowledge
  • Help small businesses take on more apprentices, by making it easier for them to find, hire and support the workers they need

GOVERNMENT ETHICS

A Real Plan to Restore Public Trust (September 14):

Introduce an Ontario Accountability Act to make it clear to all Ontarians what public office holders can and cannot do. The Act would:

  • Establish new cooling off periods and lobbying bans for former public office holders, including Mayors and municipal officials
  • Mandate the registration of all communications between lobbyists and make this data publicly available under the lobbyist registry
  • Eliminate current lobbying loopholes, like those exposed in the Greenbelt scandal
  • Explicitly ban the practice of bundling large political donations from multiple related donors
  • Require the proactive publication of Ministerial mandate letters
  • Place strict limits on the gifts public office holders, including Mayors, receive

Establish an Ontario Anti Corruption Force (OACF) to investigate potential corruption in Ontario:

  • Similar to Quebec’s Permanent Anti-Corruption Unit (UPAC,) the OACF will be specialized, independent and act with a clear mandate to investigate all matters pertaining to potential corruption in the Ontario public sector, broader public sector and municipal government

Clean up municipal lobbying practices and Ministerial planning powers:

  • Clean up municipal lobbying practices and Ministerial zoning powers
  • Mandate municipal lobbyists and gift registries across all cities and towns in Ontario, including large cities like Mississauga which have to date resisted putting this layer of transparency in place
  • Additionally, Ministerial Zoning Orders will be required to be published along with supporting public service advice to ensure transparency and scrutiny

HEALTH CARE

Rebuild Our Health Care Plan (July 12):

  • Streamline the licensing process for internationally trained doctors and nurses
  • Train more doctors and nurses by increasing funding for training spaces in Ontario
  • Bring regulated health colleges under the purview of Ontario’s Fairness Commissioner to ensure colleges are moving fast enough to meet training targets

Reliable and Accessible Mental Health Care Plan (July 25):

  • Ensure universal, publicly-accessible access to mental health care and addictions support through a new OHIP-like insurance plan for those without existing coverage
  • Update Ontario’s work, health, and safety laws so that employers must promote safe and mentally well workplaces
  • Improve capacity and reduce wait-times by setting clear targets

HOUSING

A Home for You Plan (August 17):

Implement and build on the recommendations of the Housing Affordability Task Force:

  • Lower the price of a new home for buyers by as much as $135,000 in some areas and ensure those savings are passed onto renters and homebuyers
  • End development charges altogether and replacing them with outcome-based funding for cities and communities to transfer the burden of new developments from homebuyers and renters to the province
  • Include transparency and enforceable accountability mechanisms to ensure homebuilders are passing those savings onto renters and homebuyers, and rewards for municipalities that work to streamline slow approvals processes

Connect communities with a real plan for infrastructure so Ontarians can live and work anywhere they want, affordably:

  • Expand inter-regional bus and rail GO Service to key regions outside the GTA like Eastern and southwestern Ontario
  • Mandate cities and utilities work with telecom providers to install broadband infrastructure, and invest in major provincial road and transit connections between smaller urban centres
  • Support this growth by expanding hospital and community care centres
  • Make provincial and municipal land available by default for affordable non-profit housing development

Create real rent control for all of Ontario, enact a ban on renovictions, build more rental units and end the backlog at the Landlord Tenant Board:

  • Allocate surplus land to get more rental units built faster
  • End the backlog of nearly 38,000 cases at the Landlord Tenant Board
  • Bring in changes to make it easier to file and resolve complaints quickly

NORTHERN ONTARIO

Unlocking the North’s Potential (August 2):

  • Deliver quality healthcare closer to home by incentivizing doctors and nurses to work in the North
  • Grow and connect the North by reversing Ford’s cuts, building four-lane highways, increasing broadband access, and investing in Northern universities and colleges
  • Unlock the North’s potential as a world leader in critical mineral extraction and processing by working with Northern municipalities and Indigenous communities while respecting Indigenous rights as a first priority

RURAL ONTARIO

Respecting Rural Ontario Plan (August 14):

  • Ensure that every Rural community can access family and emergency health care close to home, whenever it’s needed
  • Attract newcomers and all Canadians to rural Ontario through improved connectivity and economic opportunities
  • Create the “Ontario Farmbelt” to protect & preserve farmland for future generations & encourage communities to build up, not sprawl out

PARTY REBUILDING

Building for the Next Generation of the Ontario Liberal Party Plan (September 28):

Strengthen the Grassroots:

  • Create a full-time, paid field organization team, with a specific mandate to create and maintain permanent and evergreen riding resources, training sessions and implement an onboarding process for PLA presidents to ensure they are successful.
  • Visit all 124 ridings at least once in his first year and implement Nate’s idea to meet with every riding association president annually.
  • Hold quarterly town halls around the province that are open to all members and meet with Northerners in the North every quarter.
  • Set a date for the first policy convention within 90 days, and prior to this convention, host standalone Northern and Rural policy summits to inform a dedicated Northern and Rural Election Platform in 2026.
  • Continue to attend the OYL Summer Fling and seek their policy submissions to inform our plan.

Fair and Open Nominations:

  • Open nominations and publish Nomination Rules by June 4, 2024.
    Limit candidate appointments to a maximum of 2 in any region, make all appointments or designation of ridings for appointments no later than January 1, 2026.
  • Recruit and give spotlight to a full slate of governing-ready candidates who are peers — not subordinates.
  • Prescribe transparent mechanisms and requirements for women only nominations to ensure at least half of candidates are women in each region.
  • Create a support program for candidates from equity-deserving groups, identify ridings facing recruitment challenges and only greenlight candidates who can demonstrate the ability to build a team of volunteers and raise money to run a campaign.

Modern and Principled Fundraising:

  • Utilize modern political fundraising tools and tactics that have demonstrated success including running sophisticated digital fundraising campaigns, and investing in strengthening in-house data analytics and audience segmentation capabilities.
  • Dedicate resources in the party office towards fundraising, both centrally and at a riding level.
  • Work with the party membership to develop OLP’s first fundraising policy to ensure every dollar is raised ethically and transparently.
  • Create new rules to ban paid political staff from serving on the Executive Council of the Ontario Liberal Party.

Theresa has served as the Communications Coordinator for the Ontario Liberal Party, the VP Communications for the Ontario Women’s Liberal Commission, the Director of Communications to Ontario Deputy Premier Deb Matthews, and an election-speechwriter for former Premier Kathleen Wynne. As a member of ‘Team Neutral’, she helped manage the 2013 and 2020 OLP Leadership races.

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Theresa Lubowitz

Theresa is a communications consultant working out of Toronto, Canada.