A PEOPLE'S ALTERNATIVE

CREATE JOBS

  • Implement a full employment strategy for Ontario by restoring and expanding value-added manufacturing and secondary industry, public ownership and democratic operation of key resources and industries, increased publicly-owned and developed renewable energy, expanded social programs and public infrastructure.
  • Legislate a 32-hour work week with no loss in take-home pay, benefits or pensions; ban compulsory overtime, and legislate minimum four weeks of annual paid vacation.
  • Restart Ontario’s domestic steel industry by placing it under public ownership and democratic control and operation.
  • Nationalize Big Pharma to develop a publicly-owned generic pharmaceutical industry, to create jobs and as a component of public pharmacare.
  • Build a publicly-owned, democratically controlled and operated light vehicle industry in Ontario, by putting the largest auto corporations under public ownership, to produce electric cars, light industrial vehicles, and mass public transit vehicles.
  • Rebuild, upgrade and expand provincial and municipal infrastructure, on a publicly-owned and operated basis, through public oversight and control, so that it is safe, accessible, environmentally sustainable, and reliable.
  • Expand apprenticeship programs and invest in youth employment.
  • Rebuild the northern Ontario economy by placing energy and natural resources under public ownership and democratic control, and developing them based upon the full consent, agreement and participation of Indigenous communities, in an environmentally responsible manner.
  • Ban private temporary employment agencies and expand government-provided employment services as part of a provincial full employment strategy.
  • Regulate workplaces to ensure that part-time and casual workers receive the same wages and benefits as regular and full-time employees, to provide sufficient work hours, fair scheduling, access to 14 employer paid sick days, and to enforce health and safety responsibilities to all workers at the work site.
  • Halt and cancel all P3 developments, projects and contracts in Ontario, and replace them with publicly owned and democratically controlled processes and institutions.
  • Legislate longer layoff notice periods and increase employer-paid severance and retraining. 

RAISE WAGES AND INCOMES

  • Increase the provincial minimum wage to a liveable wage of $23/hr and maintain this wage relative to the cost of living.
  • Enforce pay equity laws to eliminate the gender wage gap, and introduce employment equity for Indigenous people, women, people with disabilities, and people from racialized and 2S/LGBTiQ communities.
  • Ensure that all workers receive equal pay for work of equal value, to eliminate the wage gap for temporary, part-time and migrant workers.
  • Re-enact Employment Equity legislation for equal consideration for and treatment in employment, requiring positive and supportive measures by employers and enforcement by an Employment Equity Commission and an Employment Equity Tribunal.
  • Provide a universal, defined benefit public pension plan that guarantees a liveable retirement income, with a voluntary full pension age of 60.
  • Introduce a guaranteed liveable income program, to raise social assistance and disability payments to a living level well above the poverty line.
  • Expand Employment Insurance to cover all unemployed for the duration of unemployment at 90% of previous earnings, reduce eligibility requirements to provide full coverage, based on a living wage, to first-time job seekers and precariously employed workers. 

PROGRESSIVE TAX REFORM

  • Enact progressive tax reform based on ability to pay, to shift the tax burden onto corporations and the very rich.
  • Double the corporate income tax rate, to 23%, to restore $18 billion in lost annual public revenue.
  • Restore Ontario’s corporate capital tax, which provided over $1 billion per year until it was eliminated in 2010.
  • Abolish the provincial/harmonized sales tax.
  • End market-based property tax assessment (“Current Value Assessment”) and remove education from the property tax.
  • Introduce wealth and inheritance taxes on estates over $1 million.
  • Eliminate taxes on personal incomes under $40,000.
  • Amend the capital gains tax so that it applies to 100% of the gain.

MASSIVE EXPANSION OF UNIVERSAL PUBLIC SERVICES

Health

  • Expand healthcare to include full coverage for dental care, vision care, pharmacare, mental health care and long-term care.
  • Put all Long-term care facilities under public ownership and operation, with funding for adequate and well-paid staff and sufficient protective equipment and procedures.
  • Restore coverage of services that were “delisted” from OHIP, including regular eye exams, physical therapy/physiotherapy services and ambulance services.
  • Provide full healthcare coverage to all residents of Ontario, including temporary foreign workers, international students, and refugees; and eliminate health premiums, co-payments and the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP).
  • Put all doctors and healthcare professionals on a provincial salary.
  • Immediately ban private clinics and labs, halt and reverse all P3 developments and contracts, and fully provide these services through publicly owned and administered institutions.
  • Abolish the Home and Community Care Support Services (renamed LHINs) and Ontario Health (the provincial health super agency), which are the main administrative vehicles for privatization of healthcare in Ontario.
  • Preserve and expand Community Care Access Centres (CCACs).
  • Put all ambulance services back under public ownership, scrap ambulance fees and provide full coverage under OHIP.
  • Restore health and hospital funding that has been cut, and halt and reverse the delisting and of services to community hospitals.
  • Stop and reverse hospital closures and enforce the Canada Health Act.
  • Introduce a provincial food and nutrition program, based in all schools and communities, to ensure that every person in the province has access to a proper diet.
  • Decriminalize drug use and treat it as a health issue by funding community centres specifically for drug users, making rehabilitation centres a public utility with services provided free of charge, and increasing peer-driven and community-focused education programs.
  • Increase the number of safe consumption sites, ensure a safe and free supply of drugs to users through prescription programs along with humane treatment plans in order to prevent further overdose deaths.

Education

  • End public funding for Catholic schools and enact a single, secular public school system in Ontario.
  • Deliver a new, needs-based funding formula to provide adequate and guaranteed funding, from provincial general revenues, to public schools and education programs.
  • Immediately fund the $16 billion backlog in maintenance for Ontario schools and Provide stable capital funding to pay for ongoing maintenance and upgrades, so that schools and educational facilities are safe, accessible, reliable and environmentally sound.
  • Halt all sales of public school lands and buildings, and develop schools as community hubs.
  • Eliminate tuition fees for post-secondary education, cancel student debt and provide a living stipend to all post-secondary students.
  • Increase funding to public post-secondary education and end corporate funding and privatization.
  • End all credit-recognition schemes for corporate training programs.
  • Expand Indigenous and French-language education, including at the PSE level.

Housing

  • Recognize housing as a human right and introduce a Tenant Bill of Rights and provincial housing program to ensure adequate housing based on need is provided to all.
  • Build 200,000 units of rent-geared-to-income social housing units immediately, 550,000 units of affordable housing, 15,000 units of transitional housing (to support people leaving situations of domestic violence, incarceration, homelessness or shelters) and maintain levels of affordable housing based on need.
  • Upgrade and maintain existing units so that they are safe, secure, affordable, accessible and environmentally sound.
  • Implement democratic and sustainable planning to tackle issues of urban sprawl and environmental degradation.
  • Enact rent control legislation to cover all rental units, including vacant units, and legislate rent roll-backs across Ontario.
  • Deliver proper building inspections for rental housing, and enforce penalties for landlords who do not meet standards; make bed bugs a public health issue; introduce maximum temperatures into the Property Standards Act and require landlords provide adequate cooling systems.
  • Ban evictions or utility cut-off due to involuntary unemployment including layoff, health issues, strike or lockout.
  • Eliminate the Landlord and Tenant Board and replace it with a tenant-led agency that is responsible for administration of housing rights.
  • Develop and implement rehousing mechanisms that ensure the immediate provision of rehousing in the event of displacement (including eviction and removal as a result of domestic violence or unsafe conditions).
  • Develop expropriation policies, particularly aimed at large private landlords who own significant numbers of units, as one tool among others to confront the housing crisis and build up Ontario’s public housing stock; private buildings that fail to maintain their properties according to laws and by-laws and buildings that are left vacant for more than six months should be targeted for expropriation and conversion to publicly owned, democratically operated rent-geared-to-income housing.
  • Provide equitable standards and funding for Indigenous people living on and off reserves ensuring that all initiatives are Indigenous-led.

Childcare

  • Build a provincial system of universally accessible and quality public childcare, free of charge.
  • Introduce 24-hour childcare, for parents who work shift schedules or who have personal/family emergencies.
  • Raise wages for childcare workers and require ECE certification.

Sports, Culture and Recreation

  • Invest in amateur sports and recreation and working-class and people’s culture in Canada.
  • Increase funding to the Ontario Arts Council and TVOntario and democratize oversight and administration.
  • Eliminate admission prices and expand hours and services at public museums, sports and recreation facilities, art galleries and other public cultural institutions, and increase funding for them.
  • Restore and expand music, theatre and arts programs to all public schools, and invest in these programs to foster a thriving public culture for all students.
  • Expand funding for libraries and enhance their role as community hubs by increasing their budgets, staff, services and hours of operation.

Transportation and Transit

  • Expand municipal and regional public transit systems and eliminate fares.
  • Restore Ontario Northland’s rail service which was cut and expand GO Transit throughout Ontario, to replace bus service previously provided by Greyhound and other for-profit operators, with a publicly owned and operated bus and rail service, respecting Indigenous treaty rights.
  • Increase funding for infrastructure upgrades that facilitate bicycle transportation.
  • Increase funding for infrastructure projects that centre on the needs of pedestrians and people with disabilities.
  • Ban road tolls for personal and public vehicles.
  • Ban private auto insurance in Ontario and introduce a publicly owned and administered non-profit plan that will provide full coverage at affordable rates. 

A NEW FINANCIAL DEAL FOR CITIES

  • Provide full and adequate provincial funding for municipal services such as public transit, public health, housing, childcare, and social assistance.
  • Abolish the Local Planning and Appeals Tribunal and replace it with democratic and transparent local instruments that render municipal decisions binding, provided they don’t infringe on Indigenous rights.
  • Dismantle the District Social Service Administration Board put in place by the Mike Harris government that undermines the democratic control of municipal services in Northern Ontario. Allow northern municipalities direct control over their municipal services.
  • Bring privatized municipal services, such as waste collection, back under full public ownership and democratic control, to strip out private profit and provide quality service.

ACTION FOR CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

  • Reject all pipeline projects that enable the maintenance and expansion of the tar sands, support the shutdown of Line 5, and halt all fracking operations in Ontario.
  • Guarantee jobs for energy industry workers in the renewable energy sector and in other sectors of the economy at comparable wages.
  • Replace cap-and-trade and carbon tax schemes with strict legal limits for pollution and emissions, especially from industrial sources, impose strong penalties for corporations who break the law, and increase investment for developing sustainable industrial processes.
  • Halt and cancel corporate contracts for withdrawing freshwater for bottling and introduce strict public management of water systems.
  • Support transitions away from mass-produced meat supply and towards ecologically sustainable alternatives.
  • Protect wetlands and greenbelts from real estate and industrial development attempting to circumvent legislation with “off-setting” schemes; scrap ministerial zoning orders (MZOs) and expand environmental assessments.
  • Increase public funding for restoration projects such as those that seek to recover damaged wetland areas and other threatened ecosystems.
  • Legislate reductions in packaging for consumer items and commercial goods with the goal of phasing out plastics, both products and unnecessary packaging.
  • Respect the sovereignty of Indigenous communities and ban all unauthorized incursions into their lands and waters by extractive industries including mining, logging and oil.

PUBLIC OWNERSHIP OF ENERGY

  • Place energy resources and industries under public ownership and democratic control and operate them in a transparent manner that ensures responsible economic, social and environmental stewardship.
  • Rebuild a single, publicly-owned and democratically controlled provincial electrical utility that includes production, distribution, transmission and bulk electricity system market, that can ensure affordable, safe and reliable power supply for the provincial and municipal levels.
  • Phase out nuclear plants, while protecting jobs and shifting to sustainable energy, by developing publicly owned and operated wind, solar and hydroelectric energy production and increasing conservation. 

JUSTICE FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

  • Recognize Indigenous self-government and self-determination and implement the recommendations of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission and the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
  • Press the federal government to immediately negotiate just settlements of all land claims without extinguishment of inherent title.
  • Implement UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) legislation in Ontario, including the right to veto any development on and near Indigenous lands, and ensure land use legislation is consistent with UNDRIP.
  • Stop corporate, private or public development on lands with Indigenous claims.
  • End the surveillance and police harassment of Indigenous activists, and the use of frivolous lawsuits designed to intimidate them into silence.
  • Guarantee Indigenous traditional hunting and farming practices.
  • Provide equitable standards and funding, at a minimum, for housing, job creation, quality education and healthcare for Indigenous people living on or off reserves.
  • Deliver the immediate clean-up of poisoned Indigenous land and water, provide just compensation to people and families who have suffered health effects, and prosecute the corporate perpetrators of this pollution.

ENHANCE FOOD SECURITY

  • Stop bank foreclosures of family farms, and ensure stability by guaranteeing long-term, low-cost loans.
  • Curb the power of agro-industrial monopolies, protect marketing boards, and roll back prices and set price controls to reduce the cost of farm inputs.
  • Expand public oversight and regulation of meat processing and packing industry.
  • Abolish factory farming and corporate controlled genetically modified food.
  • Protect provincial and federal supply management systems.
  • Support organic farming; reduce the use of antibiotics, fertilizers, pesticides, and other potentially harmful farm inputs, and ban “terminator” seeds in Ontario.
  • Preserve publicly-controlled and available seed varieties, and stop corporate control over genetic and biological material necessary for agriculture.
  • Protect farmland from urban sprawl, industrial development and landfills.

EQUALITY RIGHTS FOR ALL

  • Strengthen strict civilian control and oversight of police and replace the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) with transparent public hearings, and appoint special prosecutors dedicated exclusively to prosecuting police officers.
  • Ban racial profiling and carding by police, investigate and prosecute police violence against civilians, especially racialized people, people with mental illness and people experiencing homelessness.
  • Sharply reduce police funding, demilitarize the police, disarm most police units, eliminate tasers, and introduce de-escalation tactics and training.
  • Stop criminalization of drug users and abolish police drug squads.
  • Strengthen enforcement and penalties for hate crimes; ban hate groups.
  • Increase funding for anti-oppression and equity-seeking programs and restore funding to accessible community legal clinics.
  • Support gay-straight alliances in Ontario schools, enforce trans rights, and restore legal funding for court challenges.
  • Fight to eliminate racist immigration and refugee laws, abolish the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and similar programs in agriculture and for live-in-caregivers, and provide concrete pathways to citizenship for migrant workers.

CURB CORPORATE POWER

  • Refuse provincial government approval, implementation or adherence to destructive corporate trade deal like CETA and USMCA, which are mainly about rights of capital, not trade.
  • Introduce strong plant closure legislation that would illegalize closures for the purpose of relocating to low-wage or low-regulation jurisdictions.
  • Reform bankruptcy laws, to prevent the legalized theft of workers’ wages and pensions and the intentional liquidation of industries by private corporations.
  • Enact a Labour Bill of Rights for Ontario to protect the right to organize, free collective bargaining, picket and strike for all workers.
  • Enact anti-scab laws, bankruptcy protection for workers, and card check union certification for all workers.
  • Withdraw Bill 124 and ban legislation that would place limits on negotiated public sector wages or inhibit free bargaining.

DEMOCRATIC ELECTORAL REFORM

  • Enact Proportional Representation, based on Mixed Member Proportional (MMP), for provincial elections.
  • Dramatically lower campaign spending limits for provincial and municipal elections.
  • Introduce ‘right-to-recall’ legislation for all elected offices and introduce salaries no higher than the average workers’ wage for all elected officials.
  • Extend democratic local control for school boards.
  • Lower the voting age to 16 and allow all denizens (all occupants or inhabitants) to vote in municipal and provincial elections in Ontario.
  • Regulate political broadcasting under the Elections Act, to ensure fair and equal access to all candidates and parties.
  • Regulate the formation and campaign spending power of corporate front organizations, like the developer lobby group Ontario Proud.
  • Restore the rights of unions to fund political parties and to participate fully in elections.