In just a few weeks, Ontarians will know the results of the June 12th provincial election. Current polling predicts a strong minority government led by PC Leader Tim Hudak, but recent experience in other provincial elections has shown how difficult it can be to predict general election results, even the day before Election Day. Public opinion often seems to crystallize closer to the election date and around the time of Party Leaders’ debate, which will be held relatively late in the election period, on June 3rd.
The PC and Liberal parties have offered a significant number of campaign commitments of interest to the construction industry, which are summarized below. Liberal commitments are based on the recently introduced Ontario Budget, while PC promises have been revealed as part of the party’s Million Jobs Plan. NDP commitments on these issues have not been released, but we are still in the early days of this campaign – further updates will be provided as information becomes available.
Not an explicit promise, but plan mentions an annual $12 billion infrastructure budget
Province to assume control over rail-based transit (TTC’s subway service) and highways
Plan says PC gov’t will be “…demanding better value and better service from current operators and their unions…”
Proposed Ontario Transportation Trust will fund transit projects from asset sales and future surpluses
LRT projects in GTA will be cancelled, but subways to Scarborough and Etobicoke will be funded
No tax increases to fund transit
Planned expenditure of $130 billion dollars in public infrastructure over the next 10 years
Includes $29 billion over 10 years available for transit infrastructure in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) as well as across Ontario
$11.4 billion over 10 years in major hospital expansion and redevelopment projects
Post-Secondary Education and Apprenticeship
Abolishing Ontario College of Trades
Establishing a universal apprenticeship ratio of 1:1
“…making it easier for people to get jobs as electricians, plumbers or precision machine operators bymaking trades training a community college course like any other.” – Note: this commitment is unclear and requires further review or clarification.
Expects these moves to create 200,000 new apprentice spaces — 42% of the net new jobs expected in the PC platform
No changes promised to Ontario College of Trades or process for adjusting apprenticeship ratios, or designating trades as mandatory or voluntary
Secret ballot for all certification votes
Ensure that workers are not supporting political causes they don’t support
For union leadership, financial transparency requirements similar to corporations and charities
No changes promised to date for labour legislation – recent legislation proposed shortening ICI raiding period to 60-days
*As of May 16, 2014. NDP campaign commitments will likely be made in the coming weeks.
Other Campaign Coverage and Analysis
Throughout the campaign, you may be interested in a other sources of analysis on the campaign:
Counsel Public Affairs’ Weekly Campaign Newsletter