The Progressive Conservatives platform is very oriented around the pocketbook- consistent with some of their core fiscal beliefs you would traditionally associate with the Conservatives. They make several promises around cutting income taxes by 5% on the first $70 thousand per family; putting an estimated $258 into the pocket of a family of four. Who wouldn’t want extra money back from the government? But I find myself repeating my criticism of earlier this year: What about the single person? What about the families earning less than $70 thousand; there are a few of those around you know.
Add this one up with the fact HST would be eliminated from hydro bills under a Hudak government and you’ve got some serious savings. I’m a huge fan of tax breaks- especially when it benefits me. And I can see the logic- give people more of their money back; and they’ll spend more, which, will increase the economy and likely produce jobs. But what if this economy remains in its current “iffy” status? Always on the edge of another recession, but not quite prosperous either. This might cause people to pocket the additional savings, and that could freeze the consumer side of the economy.
There is some debate as to whether Hudak can legally exit the Samsung deal; he might have to let that one slide. It’s not readily obvious in the platform what the P.C.’s would do in its place. What I would do, is to make it easier for companies dedicated to Green energy a bit of a tax break- developing that kind of technology could be expensive. I’d look for a way to make it a bit more affordable for the consumer as well.
It becomes obvious that Ontario will need more post-secondary spots. The P.C.’s like their Liberal counterparts have plans for 60 thousand new post-secondary spots over the next four years. Their plan is to have schools compete for them- Will there be some kind of criteria the schools have to meet? If so, then what? Will it be in the form of new campuses as the Liberals have promised, or based on program, scattered across the province? Sub question to this; a fair number of high school students around age 17 find themselves heading back to school for what’s termed a “victory lap.” How do you guys plan to deal with this trend?
The P.C.’s are proposing to give more of a say to municipalities. They seem to be the only party dealing with this particular issue; and it’s something definitely pertinent to Milton. The only thing I can see on there is they would end the provincial tinkering with the official plans. What does “increased say” mean? Does it mean municipalities can say “no” to developers and for a change have it actually mean “no? Taking Milton for example again- does it mean municipalities have a bit of a say as to what can go on development charges- like say a hospital?
The Justice side of things is a little thin. Making inmates work on so-called “chain gangs” and the sex registry are both good ideas. But they also seem like populist ideas; things that can be done easier if Hudak is elected to a majority government. What about ways to clear the backlog of the court system? Or looking at tougher sentencing for provincial crimes?
They’re planning to eliminate the L.H.I.N.S (Local Health Integration Network), and invest the money in front-line health care. Great- there is no need of an extra layer of bureaucracy that really doesn’t help health care much. But how do you do define front line health care- hiring more nurses and doctors? Maybe building and expanding more hospitals? Or implementing more of the Prime-care Family health teams? Or maybe on.. dare I say it, electronic health records? There’s lots of ways to spend that money.
Potentially this platform could find the P.C.’s on the government side of the house come October 6. But some of these ideas need a little more thought put into them for it to be fully workable. To read more check out the issues section of their website.