The Ontario NDP’s leader Andrea Horwath released her party’s campaign platform—Change that Puts People First—on Saturday. The platform focuses on health care, with promises to cut hospital wait times and increase spending to provide 2,750 new long-term care beds and one million hours per year of home care.
The Ms. Horwath also promises an additional 50 new family health-care clinics she says will reduce the number of people without a family doctor. But there’s bad news for corporations, free-traders, foreign investors and Ontario’s economy in general.
Some of the non-health care planks in platform:
- Cap executive salaries in the public sector at twice the premier’s salary, and cut the number of consultants in half.
- Start removing HST from gasoline (one per cent per year), and take it off electricity and home heating.
- Strengthen the Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund and implement a new Ontario Retirement Plan for those who want one.
- Work with municipalities to freeze transit fares at current levels for four years.
- Cut to the small business tax rate to four per cent from the current rate of 4.5 per cent, but restore the regular corporate tax rate its 2009 level of 14 per cent, while implementing a refundable investment tax credit for corporations that create jobs.
- A promise to balance the budget by 2017-18. [smile, chuckle]
This is probably the most anti-business, investment-killing political platform I’ve seen in years. And this certainly does hang the “Socialist” tag round the neck of Ontario Dippers. I’m not really surprised after Andrea Horwath’s recent comments regarding her love of socialism.
To begin with, the New Democrats will increase the corporate tax from 11.5 per cent (effective July 1, 2011) to 14 per cent. Premier Dalton McGuinty was finally persuaded to reduce corporate tax to 10 per cent and had a plan to do so in stages ending July 1, 2013. Horwath will scrap this, and chase away future investment and further slow job creation.
Horwath also plans to increase the minimum wage and index it to the cost of living. This is a proven job killer, especially for our youth.
Further, Horwath seems intent on declaring war on free trade with the United States and foreign investment in general.
Under an NDP government, “Buy Ontario” will become law. U.S.-based Municipal and State governments will quickly retaliate and implement their own “Buy America” policies and it’ll be hard times for Ontario-based industries.
Moreover, foreign investment in our resource industries will decline under a proposed NDP law to force mining companies to process their ore in Ontario. Other foreign investors will see a “Do not enter” sign hanging on Ontario if Horwath has her way with policies such as not approving foreign takeovers like that of the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Finally, Horwath promises to work with municipalities to freeze transit fares at current levels for four years. She does not, however, promise to freeze wages of transit workers, so those organizations will operate at a loss and ordinary Ontarians will be stuck with the bill. Socialist crap!
The NDP never learns: when you attack those who risk their hard-earned capital to provide jobs, the average Ontario resident will suffer the consequences. And this platform does a lot of that.
My guess is that Andrea Horwath will attract more attention from Ontario voters than Howard Hampton did. And the recent success of the federal NDP might well help Horwath in next October’s election. But I believe most voters will see the folly of this platform and vote Liberal or PC—hopefully the latter.