people powered change


platform 2018

Hi, I’m Mike Schreiner,

Every day I meet people like you who know that politics is broken.

Backroom deals. Political games. Accounting gimmicks.

I know we can do better.

I want to work with you to build a better future, one fueled by people powered change.

It’s time to do politics differently. We can change the political status quo in Ontario.

Like elected Greens across Canada, I’m on a mission to bring honesty, integrity and policies that put people first to Queen’s Park.

It’s time to leap into the future now with confidence, compassion and a bold new vision for Ontario. We need to skate where the puck is going, not where it’s been.

Together, we can show the world what Ontario can do. Vote Green on June 7.

Mike Schreiner,
Leader, Green Party of Ontario

Mike Schreiner and the Green Party of Ontario have a plan to move Ontario forward by delivering people powered change to Queen’s Park.

In the next session of the legislature, your Green MPPs commit to fighting to uphold these commitments for all of us:

  • Leap into the future now by creating jobs in the clean economy
  • Make our homes and businesses more energy efficient
  • Support jobs in your community by lowering payroll taxes on local businesses
  • Unlock housing so everyone has a place they can afford to call home
  • Provide everyone access to mental health services
  • Make sure no one falls through the cracks by implementing a basic income
  • Get the basics right by protecting air, water and farmland
  • Set Ontario on a pathway to 100% renewable energy
  • Get you home faster by investing in transit infrastructure and operations

Greens are honest about the challenges we face. Our goal is to deliver real solutions that put people first – solutions that address your concerns.

All of our commitments are costed, and we show where the money will come from.

All of our commitments will make Ontario a better place to live, work and raise your family.

You can also read our comprehensive Vision for Ontario: real solutions to a wide range of issues and challenges facing our province.

jobs

We all know the economy is changing.

Work, jobs, how we make a living–it’s all been turned upside down.

Instead of clinging to the past, Greens have our eye on creating the jobs of the future now.

Cleantech is growing, generating well-paid jobs with good middle class incomes.

Jobs to install solar shingles, retrofit our homes and businesses to lower our energy bills and protect our water.

Jobs in clean innovation, waste reduction, advanced manufacturing, systems management and design.

Jobs in caring for people, local food, arts and culture.

The future economy is here and we’re ready to make the transition.

Here’s our plan to leap into the economy of the future now.

1. Leap into the future now

Creating jobs in the new clean economy.

Ontario must stop subsidizing yesterday’s jobs.

We need to skate to where the puck is going, not where it is.

The winners in the new economy will be those who embrace innovation and jobs in the clean economy.

This is the best way to create jobs and prosperity for the 21st century.

Today, more Canadians work in clean energy than in the tar sands.

Globally, the clean economy is a $6 trillion opportunity that is only trending upward.

That’s a lot of opportunity for Ontario businesses to generate jobs and prosperity.

Your Green MPPs will build a bridge to the clean economy. Steering today’s and tomorrow’s businesses and workers towards good sustainable jobs.

How will we pay for it?
Redirect the $3.1 billion 1 per year in existing business support programs in the right direction, targeting cleantech innovation, advanced manufacturing and bio-products. We’ll stop subsidizing businesses that pollute and instead provide incentives to work towards clean products and change government procurement rules to support low carbon products and services.

What does it mean for me?
Good jobs.

Today, 274,000 Canadians work in clean energy with an average salary of $92,000. These are good jobs that we want everyone in Ontario to access, building a prosperous green middle class and reducing pollution.

Ontario’s Financial Accountability Office (FAO) reports Ontario’s “business support programs” totals $4.9 billion in the 2017-18 fiscal year. The FAO’s figure includes the Small Business Tax Deduction, which lowers the amount of corporate tax small businesses pay and makes up 36% of business support in Ontario.

2. Make our homes and businesses more energy efficient

It’s simple, save money by saving energy.

We can keep Ontario businesses competitive by being energy efficient. Lower costs = higher profits.

Investing in efficiency works. You can put money in your pocket while increasing the value of your home and business. This creates jobs and reduces pollution.

Every dollar invested in energy efficiency creates 7 times more jobs than the same dollar invested in oil and gas.

Jobs in construction and trades. Jobs in cleantech innovation and manufacturing. Jobs in architecture, management and design.

Energy retrofits can reduce costs up to 50%, saving the average homeowner about $1000 per year. It’s a win-win for people and the planet2.

Your Green MPPs will fight for a $4.18 billion 4 year Green Building and Business Program to provide grants and interest free loans to help homeowners, renters and businesses invest in energy efficiency and conservation.

How will we pay for it?
Ontario can save $1.1 billion per year by closing the Pickering Nuclear station3 on schedule in 20184. We can replace high cost nuclear power with low cost water power from Quebec, and invest the savings — $1.1 billion per year — into a Green Building and Business Program.

What does it mean for me?
Toasty Toes.

A better-insulated house with energy efficient windows, doors and caulking is warmer and cosier. And cheaper to heat and cool, saving you money. More efficient businesses are more competitive and create more jobs. What will you do with the money you save?

2  FAO report shows people spend around $2000 per year on home energy. https://www.fao-on.org/en/Blog/Publications/hespending.
3  Decommissioning and dismantling of the Pickering Nuclear Station could create 32,000 person-years of direct and indirect employment between now and 2030 according to the OCAA.
4  Economists from the OCAA estimate that Ontario would save $737 million per year by not selling excess power at a loss and $407 million per year by purchasing low cost water power from Quebec at a price that is 4.2 cents per kWh lower than price currently being paid for electricity from Pickering. We have subtracted the $220 million cost of transmission upgrades from year 1 of the program. https://www.cleanairalliance.org/close-pickering-by-2018/

3. Support jobs in your community

Lower payroll taxes on small local businesses and nonprofits.

We can create good local jobs with living wages for workers and fair taxes for small businesses. We can support local nonprofits and social enterprises.

There are more than 400,000 small businesses in Ontario. They employ over 3 million people, making up almost 70% of private sector jobs. They range from corner stores to high tech startups, from local farms to advanced manufacturing, local retailers to home builders. An additional 1 million people are employed by local nonprofits.

These businesses and organizations invest in their communities, employ local people and support other local businesses. They foster innovation. They support kids hockey and arts programs. They keep money and jobs in our communities.

Your Green MPPs will fight to support local businesses and nonprofits that benefit your local communities. Our plan will provide immediate cash flow relief for small businesses and non-profits.

We will lower payroll taxes on local businesses and nonprofits by increasing the exemption level for the Employer Health Tax from $450,000 to $1 million in payroll for businesses and organizations with payrolls under $5 million.

How we will pay for it?
Increasing the EHT exemption will help small businesses and nonprofits to keep about $1 billion each year to invest in our communities and pay workers better wages. We will pay for it by reversing the Liberal’s corporate tax cut for big businesses by 1%.

What does it mean for me?
Ice cream. Fair taxes for local businesses and better wages for workers puts more money into our local economy. This makes it easier for you to work where you live, shop locally on the way home, and take a walk to the ice cream shop after dinner.

people

How we care for those in need will define who we are. Let’s give our health care a boost with OHIP+ for mental health. Access to counselling support, one-on-one, where you live, without going broke.

And here’s a BIG idea–a Basic Income, Guaranteed. This will cut red tape for the disadvantaged and provide support for us all in times of transition.

There’s more: a roof over our heads should not be out of reach. And there is no need to chew up precious green space to do it. With transparent and fair rules, we can ensure that every fifth house, condo or apartment built is affordable.

It’s time. For equity, affordability and dignity. Here’s our plan for putting people first.

4. Unlock housing so everyone has a place they can afford to call home

Everyone needs a roof over their head.

The dream of owning a home is getting further and further out of reach for many people. And rents just keep going up, up, up.

It is unacceptable that more people are on a waiting list for social housing than the total number of homes available.

When people’s incomes are locked into making big mortgage payments or paying high rents, local communities, families and economies suffer.

The housing crisis is a complex problem that requires creative solutions. Those solutions should start with what works for people, not speculators.

Your Green MPPs will require new developments to have a minimum of 20% affordable homes. We will push for innovative solutions such as “tiny homes,” laneway housing, co-housing and secondary suites. And we will invest an additional $200 million over projected increases in the 2018 budget in funding for shelters, social, co-op and supportive housing.

How we will pay for it?
Changes to development, zoning and planning rules will not cost citizens more tax dollars. We will increase the housing speculation tax to help the most vulnerable have a place to call home.

What does it mean for me?
Peace of mind. Having a roof over your head makes life better for everyone. Young families can afford to buy a home, seniors can afford to stay in their homes, and no one should be forced to sleep on the street.

5. Provide everyone access to mental health services

Make mental health services part of OHIP+.

12,000 children are on a waitlist for mental health services. Many wait up to 18 months for help.

Ontario has experienced a 60 per cent increase in hospitalizations and 54 per cent increase in emergency department visits for children and youth seeking treatment for mental health issues.

Many adults with mental health needs are admitted, discharged and readmitted to hospital. The mental health crisis is putting undue stress on hospital and first responder services.

Improving access to better mental health services is part of our plan to transform the health care system to focus on preventing illness and promoting health in addition to treating sickness.

We need more investments in primary and community health care, home care and senior care.

Your Green MPPs will invest $4.1 billion over 4 years, an additional $2 billion above the projected increases in the 2018 budget, into mental health services as the first step to making mental health services part of OHIP+. Greens will create a new umbrella organization called Mental Health and Addictions Ontario to consolidate and prioritize mental health and addictions programs and services consistently across Ontario.

How we will pay for it?
Ontario can raise half a billion dollars each year by implementing recommendations from the 2012 government commissioned Drummond report to improve collections, reduce tax avoidance and implement cost recovery for more services.

What does it mean for me?
Hope. Help for you or your family when you need it. Keeping us in good health longer saves stress on our families, and will help our whole health system run better. We all win.

6. Implement a Basic Income Guarantee for all Ontarians.

Make sure no one falls through the cracks

Our economy is changing. Life-time employment at one company is mostly a thing of the past. Automation is eliminating many middle class jobs. Income inequality is on the rise. New economic realities require new ways to protect people.

Our current social safety nets were not designed for an economy with so many contract, freelance, precarious, and temporary jobs.

A Basic Income Guarantee will provide the economic security people need to be entrepreneurs, to be able to afford retraining or to experience gaps in work without falling into poverty. A Basic Income Guarantee is the most efficient and cost effective way to eliminate poverty, cutting red tape for the poor who now have to navigate a complex bureaucracy to find help. Your Green MPPs will invest an additional $3.4 billion in 2018-2019 to increase social assistance rates to the BIG pilot as a first step to implementing a Basic Income Guarantee for all Ontarians. We will invest an additional $6.4 billion per year by 2021-2022 to phase in a BIG at the low income cut off measure.

How will we pay for it?
We can pay for the initial phase of the BIG by cancelling the Liberal’s unFair Hydro plan that benefits the wealthiest the most. In addition, the full phase in for BIG will be paid for by raising taxes on the largest corporations by 0.5%, increasing the income tax rate of the top 1% of income earners by 1% and through a housing speculation tax. 5

What does it mean for me?
Security. It’s hard to be hopeful when you’re worried about where money to pay for rent is coming from or when your kids go hungry. A Basic Income Guarantee will provide cover in tough times.

5 Expected savings of $4-8 billion as indirect benefits from the BIG, related to child poverty and income tax (https://www.oafb.ca/assets/pdfs/CostofPoverty.pdf), are not included.

planet

Everything we do–how we live, work and play can only happen if we protect our air, water and land. It’s really that simple.

It’s good business, good for your health and honestly, it’s the only way we can secure our children’s future.

The climate challenges we face are real and require bold action. We can’t wish it all away.

But we can use cleaner power. Build connected and affordable transit. And put food, water and clean air first.

We have no Planet B. Here’s how we can take care of this one.

7. Getting the basics right for our province: Protect air, water and farmland.

We have to put food, water and air first.

Clean air, water and food are essential for life. We must protect our air, water and farmland for our needs and the needs of future generations.

Mega projects that threaten farmland and water such as Dumpsite 41 and the Melancthon Mega-quarry were stopped by citizen led and Green supported community action. Government must step up to the plate to protect our water and local food.

Ontario is losing farmland at an unsustainable rate of 360 acres per day–an area the size of Toronto every year. Multinational corporations mine our water and pollute our air.

Your Green MPPs will introduce legislation to permanently protect Ontario’s prime farmland and source water regions. We will expand the Greenbelt. We will invest $200 million over 4 years to pay farmers to protect water and store carbon. We will require an assessment of the cumulative impacts of all sources of air pollution before issuing new air emission permits, and we will push for a ban on fracking.

How will we pay for it?
We will raise water taking fees on a revenue neutral basis to a level that recovers costs for sustainable water management programs, services and science. Strengthening laws to protect the people and places we love in Ontario does not cost citizens additional tax dollars. The benefits, on the other hand, are priceless.

What does this mean for me?
Better health. Reducing pollution in our water, soil and air makes the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe healthier. Who doesn’t want to protect the people and places we love?

8. Set Ontario on a pathway to 100% renewable energy

Develop a Long-term Energy Plan for Ontario to be powered with 100% renewable energy.

Over 1,000 cities and regions around the world have committed to being powered with 100% renewable energy. Ontario can benefit big time by leading this change. We will get to the root causes of rising energy bills. Its starts by saying no to tripling electricity prices for nuclear power to rebuild outdated, overpriced nuclear plants.

Ontario should say yes to low cost water power from Quebec. Yes to investing in your home and business to save energy. Yes to taking advantage of the dramatic drop in the price of renewable energy and smart grid storage. Yes to bioenergy.

We are committed to a renewable energy plan that puts community benefits before corporate interests.

We will help you electrify your transportation options and heat your home and business with clean technology.

We need to make informed decisions about our power sources. Yet the government so far has refused to do an independent public review to evaluate energy sources available to us.

Your Green MPPs will fight for an independent public review of the costs and availability of all energy sources to make the best choices for Ontario’s energy needs. We will push for low cost energy solutions that meet Ontario’s GHG pollution targets. And we will target rate reductions for the most vulnerable, instead of across the board reductions that benefit the wealthy the most.

How we will pay for it?
An independent public review of power costs will be done within existing budgets and could save Ontario billions. Canceling the unFair Hydro Plan will save Ontario $21 to $69 billion6. Replacing high cost nuclear rebuilds with low cost water power will save another billion per year.

What does it mean for me?
Lower bills for the long term. You wouldn’t do a renovation on your house without having a good sense of what your best value for dollar is. So why don’t we do the same thing with our electricity system? Knowing the truth about real costs and alternatives helps us make the best choices and saves us all money.

6 FAO Fair Hydro Report Spring 2017 “The Financial Accountability Office (FAO) estimates that the proposed Fair Hydro Plan (FHP), consisting of the provincial HST rebate, electricity cost refinancing, and consisting of the provincial HST rebate, electricity cost refinancing, and changes to electricity relief programs, will cost the Province $45 to $93 billion over 29 years while providing overall savings to eligible electricity ratepayers of $24 billion.[1] This results in a net cost to Ontarians of $21 to $69 billion.” https://www.fao-on.org/en/Blog/Publications/Fair_hydr

9. Getting you home faster

Paying for the public transit infrastructure and services we need.

We waste months of our lives stuck in traffic. The average daily commute in the GTHA is 80 minutes — that’s equivalent to eight 40-hour work weeks per year, or about 7 years of your working life!

Gridlock now costs our economy $11.5 billion in lost productivity — that’s more than what the province spends annually on transit infrastructure.

Congestion delays in trucking deliveries costs all Canadians $650 million per year in higher costs for goods.

We need a new transportation plan for Ontario. We need to be honest about how to pay for it. And we need to implement it without expensive political games.

Your Green MPPs will increase funding for public transit infrastructure by $1 to $1.5 billion per year over projections in the 2018 budget and will fund 50% of the operating costs of municipal transit systems. We will establish a dedicated long-term fund for municipal walking and cycling infrastructure, investing $2.17 billion over 4 years on safe streets and roads.

How we will pay for it?
We will implement expert recommendations for dedicated revenue tools that are fair and progressive–such as congestion charges, parking levies and land value taxes–to raise over $3.9 billion per year. We will dedicate 5% of the transportation budget for walking and cycling infrastructure.

What does this mean for me?
Free time. Time to do what you want. Time for family, friends and community. Time to read a book, watch a hockey game or take a nap. Free time. You deserve it.

Fiscal Plan

The GPO’s fiscal plan supports expansion of pharmacare, dental care, child care, tuition support, health care, home care, long-term care and other programs outlined in the 2018 provincial budget. Below, we outline our proposed changes and additions to these programs.

Even with a better range of public services, our projected deficit will be almost one third of the deficit projected by the Financial Accountability Office for the 2018 Ontario Provincial Budget. No other party has accounted for these higher budget deficits.

2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 4 Year Total
Reallocated expenses
Redirect Business Grants to Support Clean Economy 3.10 3.17 3.23 3.30 12.80
Redirect Transportation Infrastructure Spending 10.51 10.75 10.97 11.18 43.41
Transit Infrastructure 8.41 8.60 8.78 8.94 34.73
Walking/Cycling Infrastructure 0.53 0.54 0.55 0.56 2.18
Provincial Highways 1.58 1.61 1.65 1.68 6.52
Additional Expenses
Increase EHT Exemption to support Small Business and Nonprofits (1.00) (1.02) (1.04) (1.06) (4.12)
Increase support for Mental Health services (0.50) (0.50) (0.50) (0.50) (2.00)
Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) (3.45) (4.13) (4.81) (6.30) (18.69)
Increase Funding for Shelters, Social, Co-op and Supportive Housing (0.05) (0.05) (0.05) (0.05) (0.20)
Fund 50% of Net Transit Operating Costs for Municipalities (0.80) (0.83) (0.85) (0.86) (3.34)
Support Farmers to Protect Water and Store Carbon (0.05) (0.05) (0.05) (0.05) (0.20)
Increase Funding for Electricity Support Program (0.03) (0.03) (0.03) (0.03) (0.12)
Savings
HST costs of the unFair Hydro Plan 0.81 0.85 0.9 1 3.56
Auditor General est. Unaccounted Additional Costs of the unFair Hydro Plan 2.40 2.60 2.80 2.86 10.66
Follow ECO Recommendation to Cancel Jet Fuel Subsidy 0.32 0.33 0.33 0.34 1.32
Adjustment for Funding Building Retrofits from Ratepayer Savings 0.19 0.19 0.19 0.57
Adjustment for Already Budgeted Increases for Social Assistance 0.33 0.73 1.25 1.28 3.59
Additional Revenue
Large Corporation Income Tax @ 1.5% Increase 1.33 1.36 1.95 2.13 6.77
Income Tax Increase on Top 1% Earners 0.38 0.38 0.39 0.40 1.55
Savings via Drummond Report Recommendations 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 2.00
Tobacco Tax 0.23 0.24 0.24 0.25 0.96
Housing Speculation Tax 0.17 0.67 0.67 0.67 2.18
Mining Public Return and Aggregate Levies* 0.45 0.46 0.96 1.22 3.09
Parking Levy 2.00 2.04 2.09 2.13 8.26
Gas tax 0.33 0.34 0.34 0.35 1.36
Road Pricing 1.40 1.43 1.46 1.49 5.78
Land Value Capture 0.10 0.10 0.10 0.10 0.40
Total Difference from 2018 Provincial Budget Projections 4.87 5.61 6.84 6.06 23.38
Budget Adjustments
Provincial Budget Deficit using FAO projection (excluding pension adjustments) (9.20) (9.40) (9.50) (8.46) (36.56)
Total Including FAO Adjustments (4.33) (3.79) (2.66) (2.40) (13.18)

(in $ billions)
Note: Numbers may not add due to rounding.
*Sharing of revenue with First Nations and northen municipalities approximately $1.23 billion over 4 years
**Expected savings of $4-8 billion as indirect benefit from the Basic Guaranteed Income, related to child poverty and income tax not included (https://www.oafb.ca/assets/pdfs/CostofPoverty.pdf)