Today I am reviewing the Liberal Party platform. You can view the PC Platform here, the NDP platform here and the Green Party platform here.
The Liberal Party platform focuses on education, job creation, health care, transportation and energy. It highlights what they have achieved in the last 8 years and the programs they will continue to work on in the next term if they are re-elected. You can find their Platform Costing Plan here, which outlines the costs over the next 4+ years.
I interviewed Ken Schmidt who is the Liberal Party candidate in the Essex riding. You can see his answers below.
* Continue with the Water Opportunities and Water Conservation Act
* Develop clean water technologies that will create jobs and protect the environment
* Work with municipalities to expand the Greenbelt and protect land from urban sprawl
* Create a Stewardship Program to help farmers protect natural resources
* Will create 50,000 jobs in the clean energy field
* Will replace coal plants with clean energy by 2014
* Clean Energy benefit is saving families 10% on every bill until 2015
* Work with Federal government to fund green energy projects
What is your plan to support clean energy in the province?
Ken explains that the Liberals have a Long Term Energy Plan to make Ontario a global leader in clean energy. Ontario has attracted over $20 billion of the private sector investment in clean energy that has created over 22,000 jobs. By 2018 we will have 10,700 MW of clean energy online. Coal use was down 90% in the first half of 2011 vs 2003. The Long Term Energy Plan sets the course for a clean energy revolution that will ensure our homes, schools, businesses and hospitals have clean power supply now and into the future by doubling investments to build new clean energy. By adding more clean renewable sources to the system, shutting down coal, creating jobs and promoting conservation the Liberal plan will create a brighter, healthier and more prosperous future for our children and grandchildren.
* Develop Local Food Act that will support and promote local food
* Increase amount of local food bought by schools and hospitals
* Help to secure new markets and create new manufacturing opportunities for ON food
* Create a Bio-Economy Fund that will allow farmers in biofuel markets
Do you have plans to help support local farmers so Ontario can continue to buy local?
Ken explains that the Liberals support local food because it is good for our farmers, local communities and the environment. They have invested $4 million to make it easier for people to buy direct from Ontario farmers. The results of this investment was a 69% increase in on-farm markets and farmers market membership growing from 136 to 150.
* 5% of all new cars will be electric
* Invest $80 million in charging stations and infrastructure
* Expand GO service to full day 2 way service on all corridors
* Money back guarantee for GO customers whose train is 15+ minutes late
Can you explain the rebate program proposed for the purchase of electric cars?
Ken explains that the Liberals vision is that 1 in 20 cars will be electrically powered by 2020. Ontarians can received between $5000 and $8500 for purchasing an electric vehicle and can also get green license plates that will allow users to use the HOV lanes.
* Implement the Family Caregiver Leave - 8 weeks paid protected leave
* Access to an online Personalized Cancer Risk Profile
* Double Child Activity Tax Credit to $100
What is your stance on supporting birth centers in Ontario and how to do you plan to support midwives?
Ken states that over half of all Canada's midwives practice in Ontario and that they are an integral part of our health care team. Since 2003 the Liberals have increased midwifery funding by 300% and have increased the number of spaces in degree programs. The Liberals support piloting the birth centers in Ontario and working with Midwives to expand opportunities for their profession.
* Full day kindergarten fully rolled out by 2014
* 30% tuition grant for middle class students
* Increase Child Benefit from $1100 to $1310 by 2013
What do you think of the Liberal platform? Have you read their 2 plans? What are your thoughts?
You can follow Ken on his Twitter account.