Today I am reviewing the NDP platform. You can view the PC party platform from yesterday here.
The NDP platform is called the Plan for Affordable Change and it outlines making life affordable, jobs and health care. They also have an Affordable Green Choices Plan, and a Change that Works for Rural Ontario Plan.
I interviewed 2 candidates from the NDP Party. Nik Spohr from the Halton riding and Karen Gventer from the Dufferin-Caledon riding. Their answers are below and offer additional explanation of the NDP party platform.
* Ensure the burden of the cost of recycling/disposal is on the manufacturer
* Develop a cap and trade plan with revenues going to reducing carbon emissions
* Strengthen regulations to reduce over packaging
What programs/incentives/penalties will be available to corporations to ensure that Ontario resources are kept in Ontario?
According to Nik the NDP party will ensure that the government is purchasing local products to build Ontario transportation, construction, local food processing, and other services. They want the government to always try to “Buy Ontario” first, and only go out of province if they can’t find that resource or product in the province.
* Merge the 3 Agencies to reduce duplication and cost in the power sector
* Fund large scale, publicly owned green energy projects (10,700 MW by 2018, 5000 by 2030)
* Target 5000 MW of combined heat and power by 2021
* Phase out coal powered electricity by 2014
* Will not proceed with plans to build any nuclear plants
What incentives do you propose for individuals choosing the more sustainable products or services?
Karen explains that the NDP party will help people who want to make their homes more energy efficient. We will offer rebates of up to $5,000 for people who want to retrofit their homes. As well, by making life more affordable for everyone, it will be easier for individuals to make more sustainable choices.
* Require Ontario government to spend more money on local produce
* Assist farmers to market/promote their local food.
* Increase Ontario grape content in 'cellared in Canada' wines
* Expand risk management program for meat and honey
Your platforms says you will ban junk food advertising that is aimed at children. Does this include fast food restaurants like McDonalds?
Nik explains that the NDP want to amend the Consumer Protection Act to prohibit commercial advertising of “unhealthy food and drink” targeting children under the age of 13. The key word here is “targeting”- so we wouldn’t be banning advertising for unhealthy food and drink outright- only the advertising aimed at children, who are in an early-developmental state and highly susceptible to the addictive nature of these products. Both Nik and Karen agree that this would indeed include advertising by companies like McDonalds.
* Freeze transit fares at current levels for 4 years
* Invest in new transit projects
* Create cycling infrastructure (bike lanes, storage and bike tourism)
What improvements in transportation systems can Ontarians expect from the NDP party?
Nik outlines the NDP platform for transportation as a transit fare freeze over four years in exchange for a 50-50 budget funding model between municipalities and the province; making sure that transit models work for the community, and not profits, first; and support a comprehensive strategy that makes roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians. Karen explains that they would support an active transport strategy to make roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians. An important principle of the NDP is to provide municipalities with more input into decisions; the NDP would work with municipalities to build public transit that makes sense for the community.
* Cut ER wait times in half
* Scrap the LHIN's and replace with local decision making
* Forgive student debt of new doctors who practice in under serviced communities
* Fund 50 new 24 hour health care clinics by 2015
What programs can we expect to support new moms?
Nik explains that the NDP party will cancel the recent cuts to the Healthy Babies Healthy Children program. They will invest in the development of a provincial breast feeding strategy and pilot 4 birthing centers that will be run by Midwives. Their plan will cost $5 million but if they cap executive salaries at $300,000 then $80 million could be diverted to programs like these to help new mothers.
Do you plan to support other health professionals? (doulas, midwives, naturopaths etc)
Karen explains that in addition to what Nik outlined above for creating birthing centers for Midwives the NDP's plan to support prescribing authority to Naturopaths as it is necessary for them to maintain access to natural or botanical substances.
Additional Commitments include:
* Removing the HST from daily essentials (hydro, gas for heating, gas for cars)
* Will set gas price ceilings at the pump each week
* Develop an Ontario Retirement Plan
* Create a 10% tax credit for companies who invest in equipment and buildings in Ontario
* Amend Mining Act so that minerals mined in Ontario are processed in Ontario
What do you think about the NDP platform? Have their 3 plans? What are your thoughts?