0 2014 Ontario Election - Liberal Party Platform

During the last election I reviewed the Liberal Party platform and reached out to candidates for additional information. Lots has happened since then. The Liberals won the election but not the majority, Dalton McGuinty stepped down as Premier and then there was the gas plant scandal. I feel like this election has come on fast and a lot of voters are a bit caught off guard. Here is my summary of the Liberal Party platform focusing on environment, transportation, energy, food, health care and education.

The Liberal government wants to build communities that provide safe cycling routes, access to transit, green spaces and trails. Their plan will ensure farmland is protected while promoting urban centers. They are targeting the protection of our waterways, specifically the Great Lakes, and tackling climate change.

It is unclear how their creation of sustainable communities will impact existing communities other than the promise to protect farmland and ecologically sensitive areas, under their Farms Forever Program. Meaning that your neighbourhood may not necessarily get an increase in transit but it may be protected from urban sprawl if it is surrounded by farmland or green space.

The Liberals also commit to meeting the 2014 and 2020 Greenhouse Gas Emission reduction targets. They will do this through investing $29 billion in transit to relieve gridlock and creating new rules for the use of bio-diesel in trucks and trains. 
  • Invest $30 million into clean water research
  • Plant 1 million trees in urban areas
  • Make the Great Lakes beaches clean and safe
  • Work with farmers to reduce nutrient runoff, including providing incentives. 
  • Work with municipalities to improve sewage treatment and storm water management. 

The Liberals want to ensure that all new residential developments included a variety of sustainable transportation options which will not only allow residents to opt out of driving and use other transit options but also will increase the governments revenue gained from transit.

Developing and implementing a cycling strategy called CycleOn is a main focus for the Liberal Party. The will provide funding to municipalities so they can build up to 400km of new biking lanes. The also plan to add 135km of bike lanes on provincial roads.

The Liberals aren't talking about making energy cheaper, instead they are planning to give us the tools to conserve less energy and will ensure that all new buildings are built with a higher energy efficiency.  They will however reduce the cost of electricity for larger users who commit to conservation efforts and putting new technology in place to reduce their consumption.  Energy costs will also be reduced for low income families.

A focus on the Liberals platform is ensuring that Ontario residents have access to local food, that farmland is protected against urban sprawl and that the farming industry remains a viable career choice for our youth.
  • Invest $30 million over the next 3 years to encourage innovative local food projects
  • Invest $40 million in the food processing industry to not only support local community food needs but also to increase the amount exports and create new jobs
  • Continue to mitigate the impacts of neonicotinoid treated seeds on bee colonies. 
  • Implement an insurance program for provincial beekeepers that had acute bee losses this spring. 
  • Make Crown land in the north available to farmers who commit agricultural practices on the land. 

Health Care
Their plans to expand trail networks is targeted at providing local means to keep people active and outdoors. While this is touted as an environmental plan it surely will have both short and long term benefits to our health care system if Ontarians have easier access to staying active.
  • Work to get kids active in school and seniors active at home
  • Ensure there is better access to information on chemicals and their link to cancer by working with industry.
  • Ensure children's products for sale in Ontario are as safe for kids as products in Europe
  • Continue the path towards a Smoke Free Ontario by enforcing stricter rules for marketing to minors and by increasing the tax on cigarettes. 
  • Expand funding for infertility services by funding one cycle of IVF for 4000 women 

Our children's classroom is only one part of their overall learning environment. The Liberals want municipalities to work with school boards to ensure that park space on and beside school property is preserved. This will give our children access to nature and places to play as part of their education experience.
  • Replace the current grade 10 program with one that provides more hands on experiences to encourage students to become interested in a possible career path.
  • Give students the tools needed to make them successful when they leave high school.
  • Invest $150 million over 3 years on technology and new learning tools for schools. 
  • Shift the style of learning in Ontario to be based of hands on experiences, global oriented and technology.
  • Expand the Student Nutrition Program to 340 more schools, feeding an additional 56,600 children. 

What do you like best about the Liberal Platform? What do you think is missing?

Related Posts - Check them Out
2014 PC Party Platform
2014 NDP Platform
2014 Green Party Platform

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