Here are all of Doug Ford’s promises in Ontario election 2018

Voting day in Ontario has come and gone, and Doug Ford’s PCs have won a majority government. Here’s what they have planned—and what the opposition wants, too
Jeremiah Rodriguez, Jason Kirby, Nick Taylor-Vaisey
Doug Ford, Ontario PC Party leader. Chatham, Ontario, April 20, 2018. (Photograph by Cole Burston)


On June 7, Doug Ford was elected the next premier of Ontario, with a resounding majority. Here’s a look at what Ford promised during the campaign and what the opposition will be pushing for.


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In contrast to his opponents, Ford was the only leader campaigning on a promise to quickly balance the books and keep them that way.

  • Would run deficit in his first and second year, but hasn’t provided a timetable to balance the budget
  • Ford vowed to cut $6 billion from Ontario’s budget without laying off any public employees but hasn’t specified which “inefficiencies” he’d eliminate
  • Convene an “outside audit” to probe spending under the Liberal government of Kathleen Wynne at an estimated cost of $1 million and give more funding to the office of Ontario’s Auditor General

Work and taxes

The PCs under Doug Ford have vowed to shrink government and cut taxes along with the following:

  • Scrapping the Liberals’ planned minimum wage hike from $14 to $15 next year, would introduce an income tax credit for workers earning minimum wage so that anyone making less than $28,000 a year would pay no income tax.
  • Cut corporate tax rates from 11.5 to 10.5 per cent in an effort to attract new businesses to Ontario
  • Use a tax rebate program to cover up to $6,750 for childcare costs—lower-income families would receive 75 per cent of child-care costs back
  • May abolish the 15 per cent non-resident buyer tax on real estate introduced last year
  • Cut middle-class income taxes by 20 per cent for those earning $42,960 to $85,923 annually, but Ford unclear how it will be paid for
  • Cut gasoline taxes by 10 cents a litre by ending the 4.3 cent a litre carbon tax along with a 5.7-cent reduction in the province’s fuel tax
  • Cut the small business tax rate from 3.5 per cent to 3.2 per cent


Doug Ford said he’d fire the CEO of Hydro One. Since the utility’s privatization, however, that power no longer rests with the provincial government. Other highlights:

Health care

On the health care front, Ford and the Ontario PCs’ platform are promising to:

  • Add 15,000 new long-term care beds over the next five years and 30,000 new beds over the next 10 years
  • Put an end to “hallway medicine” (when hospital overcrowding leads to patients being treated outside of more private rooms), although Ford hasn’t provided specifics as to how
  • Spend $1.9 billion over the next decade on mental health and addiction support, estimated at approximately $190 million per year for a decade, with costs shared with federal government,
  • Encourage more doctors to move to northern Ontario by cutting their provincial taxes down to as low as zero per cent
  • Opposed to planned safe-injection sites for Ontario, particularly “in neighbourhoods”
  • Increasing autism funding by an additional $38 million to a total of $100 million over five years mandate
  • Spend $98 million a year to provide dental care to low-income seniors

Drugs and alcohol

Doug Ford previously said he’d consider privatizing the sale and distribution of weed and alcohol but later softened his stance:

  • Ford: “I don’t believe in the government sticking their hands in our lives all the time. I believe in letting the market dictate
  • He also said “we got to be super, super, super careful” in regulating the cannabis market
  • Expand sales of beer, wine, cider and coolers into corner stores
  • Lower the minimum price that beer can be sold for to $1 (plus deposit) per bottle, the level it was at prior to 2008.


Doug Ford said he wants to “review the curriculum in all core subject areas thoroughly“:

  • “Scrap Kathleen Wynne’s ideological sex-ed curriculum and replace it with one that is age-appropriate, and only after real consultation with parents occurs”
  • Scrap discovery math, and replace it with proven methods of teaching.”
  • Expand the mandate of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario to include a complaints and investigations process to evaluate violations of free speech

Environment and energy

Ford has said his platform will have neither a cap-and-trade system nor a carbon tax (despite the $10-billion hole it would leave in the Tory fiscal plan). Highlights:

  • Repeal Ontario’s existing cap-and-trade system and oppose the federally-mandated minimum price on carbon emissions
  • End Ontario’s Green Energy Act
  • Briefly supported opening Ontario’s Greenbelt to housing development to help drive down real estate costs in Toronto and the GTA but later walked it back, saying the area would be protected in its entirety
  • Cancel energy projects initiated by the current Liberal government that are in the pre-construction phase
  • Issue a moratorium on new energy contracts and re-negotiating other energy contracts
  • Set up an emissions-reduction fund to invest in new emission-cutting technologies, though no detailed cost has been provided


Doug Ford laid out his infrastructure promises which include:

  • Commit $5-billion more funds for subways, relief lines, a two-way GO Transit to Niagara Falls as part of existing plan to build a regional transportation system
  • Open the question of Hamilton’s $1.3 billion LRT project to a vote, noting that even if voters reject the LRT, Hamilton would receive the money for other infrastructure projects
  • Develop new transportation infrastructure to open access to the Ring of Fire mining project in Northern Ontario’s James Bay lowlands
  • Cut aviation fuel taxes on interprovincial flights to and from Northern Ontario, which Ford says will cost $11 million per year

Now, here’s what the other parties had promised:

On deficits:

Ontario New Democratic Party

The party projects multi-year deficits with its heavy investment in healthcare and social services.

  • Five consecutive deficits that would see the province incur a deficit of $3.3. billion in 2018-2019, peaking at more than $5 billion in 2020-2021 before shrinking to $1.9 billion by 2022-2023
  • No clear timeline to return to a balanced budget

Liberal Party of Ontario

The Liberals have pledged a bevy of increases to social services, healthcare, and childcare—all of which will send Ontario into the red again after briefly balancing the province’s books:

  • With more than $20.3 billion in new spending planned over the next three years, as announced in Budget 2018, the Liberals project annual deficits of between $6.5 billion and $6.7 billion until at least 2020-2021
  • Under Budget 2018 Ontario isn’t projected to return to balance until 2024-2025, though the province’s auditor general has dismissed these projections and said deficits are higher than stated now, and will grow rapidly
  • The Liberals have promised to introduce legislation that would require all provincial budget surpluses to be spent on repaying the province’s debt

Green Party of Ontario

The Greens say their projected deficit will be almost one-third of the one projected by the Financial Accountability Office for the 2018 Ontario budget, with increased taxes on corporations, top one per cent earners, housing speculation, parking, roads and gas, among other measures.

On work and taxes:

Ontario New Democratic Party

The NDP says its projected deficits from its budget will be partially paid for by tax increases:

  • Increase the corporate tax rate from 11.5 per cent to 13 per cent, while keeping the Liberals’ earlier reduction to small business corporate tax rates
  • Raise income tax rates by one percentage point for those earning more than $220,000 and two percentage points on incomes greater than $300,000
  • Enacting a three per cent surcharge on luxury cars priced above $90,000
  • Implementing a speculation tax targeting Canadian and foreign home buyers similar to the model enacted by B.C. NDP government
  • Expand pension coverage by reducing potential barriers to join public jointly-sponsored pension plans, expand pension benefits guarantee fund to $3,000 per month
  • Change labour laws to guarantee all full-time workers receive three full weeks of paid vacation, up from the current two

Liberal Party of Ontario

In their most recent budget, the Liberals:

  • Ditched the provincial surtax (a tax levied on income taxes that kicks in for those earning higher incomes) and readjusted Ontario’s tax brackets
  • Tax rates for approximately 8.6 million people would stay roughly the same, but 1.8 million would pay an average of $200 more while close to 700,000 would see an average tax cut of $130
  • No change to corporate taxes
  • Expand access to private sector employer-based pension plans
  • Another tax hike on cigarettes in 2019 of $4 a carton, following two years of increases

Green Party of Ontario

The Greens are pledging to raise large corporation taxes by 1.5 per cent, implement a one per cent increase to the top one per cent of earners, lower payroll taxes for businesses and non-profits earning under $5 million, raise resource royalty rates for companies making money from mining, reduce property speculation by taxing vacant properties, add a surtax on quick turnaround real estate sales and expand the Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST) in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

On hydro:

Ontario New Democratic Party

The NDP says its plan would cut hydro bills by 30 per cent. Highlights:

  • Return control of Hydro One to the provincial government by spending up to $4.1 billion to buy back the share of the utility that’s been sold to private investors
  • Slash rates by 30 per cent and rural electricity rates by about 15 per cent
  • End time-of-use billing; set a flat rate of 10.3¢ per kWh (Currently, rates fluctuate between 6.5–13.2¢ per kWh based on the time of day)
  • Open negotiations with the federal government to remove HST on hydro bills

Liberal Party of Ontario

With the decision to sell off 60 per cent of Hydro One and rising hydro costs, the Liberals face an uphill battle to impress voters. Highlights:

  • Through its Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan, the Liberals are offering a 25 per cent cut in hydro bills, with larger savings of 40-to-50 per cent for rural communities
  • The affordability fund, launched last October, would help Ontarians who don’t quality for low‐income conservation programs to buy items that improve home energy efficiency, including LED light bulbs, greener appliances, and better insulation

Green Party of Ontario

Cancel the Liberals’ hydro plan, transition to revenue-neutral carbon fee-and-dividend system, commit to a 100-per-cent renewable energy supply by 2050, return pollution tax revenue to people who conserve more energy, oppose the rebuilding of the Darlington Nuclear station and buy lower-cost hydro power from Quebec.

On health care:

Ontario New Democratic Party

The NDP has promised an overhaul of drug and dental care as well as a massive boost to hospital care and adding a new ministry of mental health and addictions.

  • Invest $19 billion over 10 years for hospitals, 2,000 new hospital beds and 15,000 long-term care beds by 2023
  • Fund more hospital staff to ensure shorter wait times and fewer cancellations for surgeries and remove “arbitrary annual caps” on the number of surgeries due to understaffing
  • Implement a $475-million pharmacare plan covering 125 commonly prescribed drugs including some take-home cancer medication and drugs used for those transitioning genders
  • Expand full dental to contract, full and part-time workers, as well as low-income children and retired seniors living without a pension or dental insurance, at a cost of $670 million in the first year.
  • Hire 4,500 new nurses in her first year in officeLiberal Party of Ontario

Liberal Party of Ontario

Kathleen Wynne is heavily showcasing her plans for this area in the 2018 Ontario’s budget. Highlights:

  • Invest $822 million to bolster hospital care and infrastructure—the largest annual boost in more than a decade
  • Spend $300 million over three years for registered nurses in every long-term care facility in Ontario and increase the number of hours each RN spends with patients by 2022
  • Introducing a drug and dental program to cover 80 per cent of specific drugs and dental costs
  • Expanding OHIP+ program to cover drug costs to seniors 65 and over, which is projected to cost $575 million
  • Spend $2.1 billion to “rebuild” Ontario’s mental health system
  • Hire 3,500 new nurses by the end of this year
  • Introduce the “Protecting a Woman’s Right to Choose Act,” which would create a women’s health advocate as part of their plan to protect publicly-funded abortion services

Green Party of Ontario

Implement universal dental care, invest $4.1 billion over 4 years into mental health services, create an umbrella organization to consolidate mental health and addiction programs, push for a federally funded Pharmacare program while extending the provincial system, increase the number of midwifery and birthing centres, expand the number of abortion clinics—particularly in the northand increase funding for Local Health Integration Networks especially in rural areas.

On drugs and alcohol:

Ontario New Democratic Party

The NDP has remained relatively mum on this issue, but what Horwath has said so far is:

  • The NDP favours restricting the sale of pot to adults aged 19 or older, similar to how alcohol is regulated
  • The leader has endorsed the idea of using the LCBO to distribute pot but has suggested the Liberals’ plan to roll out 40 LCBO-run pot shops by next year (150 by 2020) won’t be enough to curb the black market
  • Prime agricultural land must be preserved from being overrun by marijuana-growing operations
  • Oppose expanding sales of alcohol into corner stores\

Liberal Party of Ontario

The Liberals are pushing full-throttle on the federal plan to legalize recreational pot by this summer.

  • Plan to regulate the sale of marijuana through the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation—the LCBO for weed—which was created on Dec. 12, 2017
  • The new LCBO subsidiary is projected to gain a net income of $100 million in 2020-21 fiscal year, following $48 million in start-up costs before that
  • Expand sales of beer to a total of 450 grocery stores, and wine to 300 grocery stores

Green Party of Ontario

Enact a pilot project to test the private retailing of cannabis alongside the LCBO-run dispensaries for two years.

On education:

Ontario New Democratic Party

The NDP has rolled out a 10-year, $16 billion capital plan which would delve into:

  • Convert all new student debt into grants and retroactively forgive interest for anyone with provincial student loan debts*
  • Create more than 200,000 new child care spaces, nearly a 51 per cent increase from current levels
  • End standardized testing
  • Impose a moratorium on school closings
  • Make child care free for families earning $40,000 or less, with the goal of child-care costs averaging $12 a day; the proposed price tag would be $375 million after the first year, $1 billion the following year and by 2023, it would cost $3 billion annually

Liberal Party of Ontario

Highlights from the Liberals’ laundry list of education promises include:

  • A $625 million boost for education funding and $300 million to improve special education programs
  • As part of a $2.2 billion investment, provide free full-day daycare for preschoolers, starting in 2020
  • Offer OSAP grants for lower-income students to cover their tuition
  • Set aside $411 million to fund a high-school apprenticeship program

Green Party of Ontario

Restrict class sizes to 22 students for grades four to eight, scrap standardized testing, revamp special education funding, expand funding to high schools in lower-income communities, provide interest-free loans for post-secondary students in financial need, enhance funding for adult education and learning tools and fund post-secondary education with public subsidies with the goal to eventually guarantee fully public tuition for all Ontarians.

On environment and energy:

Ontario New Democratic Party

The NDP plans to use revenue from Ontario’s cap-and-trade program to fund part of its environmental platform, including:

  • $50 million from cap-and-trade programs for new no-interest and on-bill home retrofitting to help residents pay for power-saving technology into their homes
  • Direct 25 per cent of cap-and-trade revenue to rural, northern and lower-income homes and trade-exposed industries
  • Clean up the mercury in the English–Wabigoon River in northwestern Ontario and commit an additional $12 million to a Mercury Disability Fund for people suffering from complications
  • Update the Environmental Bill of Rights and expand parks in consultation with First Nations

Liberal Party of Ontario

The Liberals say that the province is moving towards a more “competitive and low‐carbon economy.” To that end, the Liberals would:

  • Spend $1.7 billion over three years to support energy-saving programs under the Green Ontario Fund
  • Invest $52 million over three years for new technologies to deal with toxic chemicals, excessive algae and road salt; better manage sewer system overflow
  • Spend $15 million over the next three years to protect forests, wetlands and lakes
  • Invest more than $90 million in 2017–18 to support commuter cycling

Green Party of Ontario

The Greens are promising a $4.2-billion program to pay for energy retrofits for businesses and home owners, providing funding incentives for business to invest in low carbon equipment and products, supporting tax credits for research to create new clean technologies and services, expanding Ontario’s Greenbelt and setting “aggressive” green house gas targets for public buildings.

On transportation:

Ontario New Democratic Party

The NDP plans to invest more than $800 million in transit across the province. Highlights:

  • Cover 50 per cent of all municipal transit operating costs, which would add up to roughly $330 million in Toronto
  • Introduce all-day, two-way GO rail service between Kitchener, Waterloo and Toronto and year-around GO rail service between Niagara and Toronto
  • Immediately start construction on Hamilton’s light rail transit project and Toronto’s downtown relief line as soon as possible

Liberal Party of Ontario

When it comes to transit and transportation infrastructure, the Liberals have promised to:

  • Set aside $79 billion for different public transit projects—up $24 billion from the 2017 budget
  • $11 billion would go to set the groundwork for a high-speed rail line between Toronto to Windsor
  • The rest of the $79 billion would go to integrating municipal services to allow for broader regional infrastructure
  • Match a federal infrastructure grant of nearly $5 billion, with a $4 billion contribution from the provincial infrastructure budgets for public transit projects across Ontario between now and 2028

Green Party of Ontario

Phase out internal combustion engines so Ontario can be carbon neutral by 2050, increase funding for public transit infrastructure to $1.5 billion per year, fund half of the operating costs of municipal transit systems, support funding for the private and public purchase of electric vehicles and build better infrastructure for electric vehicles, including more charging stations on 400 series highways.