Here's a primer on what Ontario's four major parties have promised to do for jobs, education, healthcare, taxes, and transit and transportation if elected.

Jobs

Progressive Conservative

  • Cut 100,000 public sector jobs over four years.
  • A promise to create one million jobs in the next eight years
  • PC Leader Hudak vows to resign if his million-jobs plan fails
  • Abolish the College of Trade and loosen restrictions on skilled trades.
  • Cut “eco-fees” for recycling and other restrictions on businesses.
  • Develop the Ring of Fire in northern Ontario to create new jobs.
  • Put skilled foreign workers on accelerated track to permanent residency.
  • Allow private insurers into the workplace insurance market.
  • Freeze wages of public sector employees for two years.

Liberal

  • Create a Jobs and Prosperity Fund of $2.5 billion over 10 years to attract Industry and businesses to Ontario.
  • Invest $295 million in Youth Employment Strategy to create 30,000 jobs for young people.
  • Put $25 million into promoting aboriginal businesses over three years.
  • Implement a $75 million strategy to sell VQA wines at farmers markets.
  • Invest $40 million annually in agri-food sector.

NDP

  • Create a targeted tax credit, of up to $5,000 per new employee, for companies that create new jobs.
  • Fund re-training programs for workers age 55 and over.

Green

  • Double the Employer Health Tax exemption for small businesses.
  • Create a $300 million Social Innovation Foundation for young entrepreneurs.
Education

Progressive Conservative

  • Implement a standardized grade 8 science test, revise existing standardized tests to focus on math.
  • Increase class sizes
  • Fully implement full-day kindergarten and eliminate early childhood education staff.
  • Introduce 45 minutes of physical activity into the school day, including after-school sports.
  • Revise the math curriculum and introduce a financial literacy program.
  • Scrap 30 per cent tuition subsidy for post-secondary students.

Liberal

  • Invest $150 million in technology in schools (tablets, software, cameras, etc.) and professional development for teachers.
  • Replace grade 10 civics and careers courses with experiential learning (e.g. co-ops), more support for guidance councillors.
  • Commit $10 million to implement the “Experience Ontario”, a paid community work program for graduating high school students.
  • Increase salaries for elementary school teachers, non-school board childcare works.
  • Implement Full Day Kindergarten in all schools by 2014.
  • Expand Student Nutrition Program to 30 schools for $32 million over three years.
  • Revise the math curriculum and increase support for struggling students.
  • Develop an entrepreneurship specialization in high schools.
  • Merge schools with low enrollment.
  • Commit $1.25 billion over three years to existing school repair backlog.
  • Introduce 1 hour of physical activity into the school day.
  • Keep 30 per cent tuition subsidy for post-secondary students.
  • Create spaces for 15,000 more students in universities and colleges.

NDP

  • Fund up to 1,000 more educational assistant positions in schools.  
  • Keep wage increase for child care workers promised by Liberals.
  • Increase funding to daycare centres.
  • Create a $60 million fund to help keep schools open, extend after-school programs, and put into renovations.
  • Invest $15 million more per year in school nutrition programs.
  • Freeze college and university tuitions.
  • Make provincial student loans interest-free.

Green

  • Merge public and Catholic school boards.
  • Redistribute funds within the education budget to increase funding of special education.
  • Develop a healthy food program for schools.
Healthcare

Progressive Conservative

  • Build centres to treat patients with chronic conditions.
  • Increase access to home-based care and long-term care.
  • Specialty clinics will be allowed to offer more services.
  • Offer patients more choice in how they spend their allotted OHIP dollars.
  • Eliminate Community Care Access Centres and Local Health Integration Networks.
  • Create a coordinated mental healthcare system.

Liberal

  • Reduce healthcare wait times for specialists.
  • Every Ontarian will be guaranteed access to a primary healthcare provider.
  • Increase funding to Mental Health and Addictions Strategy to $220 million over three years.
  • Make vaccinations and newborn screening free.
  • Increase funding for infertility services.
  • Commit $750 million to home and community care for seniors
  • Fund 20 more hospices.
  • Invest in 25 new Memory Clinics for individuals living with dementia.
  • Establish a Patient Ombudsman.
  • Develop parking rate deals for frequent hospital visitors.

NDP

  • Cut emergency room wait times in half by hiring 250 nurse practitioners.
  • Establish 50 24-hour Family Health Clinics.
  • Ensure that patients discharged from hospital and in need of home care get it within five days.
  • Create a $1,275 family caregiver tax credit for families of seniors who live at home.
  • Forgive up to $20,000 per year in student debt for doctors who agree to work in underserviced communities.

Green

  • Focus on developing healthy communities through improving air, water, and food quality and reducing pollution.
Taxes

Progressive Conservative

  • Reduce energy prices by shrinking bureaucracy at Hydro One and Ontario Power Generation.
  • End subsidies for clean energy like wind and solar power.
  • Reduce personal income taxes by 10 per cent.
  • Bring the corporate tax rate down from 11.5 per cent to eight per cent.

Liberal

  • Raise taxes for individuals earning over $150,000.
  • Keep corporate tax rate at 11.5 per cent.

NDP

  • Raise corporate tax rate from 11.5 per cent to 12.5 per cent.
  • Cut small business tax from 4.5 to three per cent.
  • Offer a tax credit for Ontario companies that invest in buildings and equipment.
  • Negotiate a 15 per cent cut to auto insurance premiums.
  • Remove the provincial portion of HST from hydro bills. 

Green

  • Raise corporate tax rate from 11.5 per cent to 12.5 per cent.
  • Double Employer Health Tax exemption for small businesses.
  • Lower payroll taxes on small businesses.
Transit and Transportation

Progressive Conservative

  • The province will take control of all major highways and rail-based transit.
  • Cancel all above-ground LRT lines and move some underground.
  • Expand Sheppard subway and build express subway line connecting Scarborough to Etobicoke south of Bloor Street.
  • Expand GO Transit service.

Liberal

  • Put $15 billion into transit projects in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area including a downtown relief subway line in Toronto.
  • Invest $14 billion in highways, roads and bridges outside of the GTHA, including $1 billion for development Ring of Fire infrastructure.
  • Continue to support projects already underway including Eglinton Crosstown LRT, Scarborough subway, Union-Pearson Express.
  • Expand GO Transit service and support the electrification of GO Transit commuter trains.
  • Allow single-occupant cars to pay for use of car pool lanes.

NDP

  • Commit $29 billion to transit and transportation projects over 10 years.
  • Prioritize downtown relief subway line for Toronto.
  • Expand GO Train service.
  • Support the Metrolinx “Big Move”.
  • Widen 60 km of Ontario highway every year.
  • Invest $1 billion in Ring of Fire infrastructure.

Green

  • Bring in new gas taxes and parking fees to raise $3 billion per year for transit services.
  • Create incentives for ride-sharing and tax credits for public transit users.
Raise corporate tax rate from 11.5 per cent to 12.5 per cent.
Cut small business tax from 4.5 to three per cent.
Offer a tax credit for Ontario companies that invest in buildings and equipment.
Negotiate a 15 per cent cut to auto insurance premiums.
Remove the provincial portion of HST from hydro bills.