Don’t know who to vote for? Here is an easy platform election guide

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NDP Candidate Catherine Fife (incumbent):

Catherine Fife

Post-secondary education: 

  • Will freeze tuition
  • All government controlled student loans will be interest free (applies to future and past loans)
  • Will continue to offer 30% grant for most student
  • Will forgive medical school debt for doctors in under serviced areas
  • "The average student graduates with $37,000 in debt, it’s crippling."

Youth unemployment:

  • Will create a NDP Youth Hiring Tax Credit for small business that hire young Canadians
  • "We need to plan for a broad spectrum of employment opportunities that heighten our ability as a province to draw investment to Ontario."
 

Transit:

  • Will create a fund of $29 million over ten years for transit
  • Will get new and replacement buses on the roads (program will support 127 municipalities)
  • Will expand cycling infrastructure
  • "Metrolinx has not identified Kitchener-Waterloo as a priority project, but we see it as job creator investment, we want the funding right away… Keep in mind 10,000 people commute between Toronto and Kitchener Waterloo everyday … We believe if that corridor [between Toronto and KW] is made more accessible that Kitchener Waterloo can be that Silicon Hub that we’ve heard about for many years."
 

Liberal Candidate Jamie Burton:

Post-secondary education:

  • Will increase apprenticeship spaces
  • Will continue 30% tuition grant
  • Will build new campuses and create spaces for 15,000 more post-secondary students in Ontario
  • Ontario online will be offering courses for credit in 2015
  • “We have ensured and worked very hard to make sure that these tuition incentives and amounts of money are possible for everyone”
  • “There is a continued commitment from this government to ensure that you have every tool that you need in order to ensure the success of all of our futures”

Youth unemployment:

  • Will invest $295 million over two years in the Ontario Youth Jobs Strategy
  • Will offer incentives to businesses to hire young people
  • Will commit $45 million for a Youth Entrepreneurship fund
  • Will commit $10 million to help post-doctoral fellows acquire business skills required for private sector work
  • Will commit $20 million to universities and colleges for entrepreneurial programs
  • “The Youth Jobs Strategy has created 11,000+ jobs in the last year and that’s going to continue”
Jamie Burton

Transit:

  • Will expand KW LRT to Cambridge 
  • Will commit $15 billion to expanding GO service to more regions in the GTA
 
 

PC Candidate Tracey Weiler:

Tracey Weiler

Post-secondary Education:

  • Eliminate the 30% off tuition grant. 
  • Focus on STEM fields by working with universities to increase and provide more spaces for students.
  • No student should be denied access because of financial reasons.
  • "We have committed to essentially provide access all students to affordable post-secondary education … we don’t support the 30% off tuition grant because it only supports a small number of students … Nothing in our plan talks about increasing tuition in any way, shape or form."

Youth unemployment:

  • Implement a "College First Strategy," encouraging young people to enter into the skill trades and opening up more Apprenticeship spaces — "Build a culture of entrepreneurship in Ontario."
  • Abolish college of trades, "a new bureaucracy that creates red tape and new taxes that actually stop many young people from joining the trades," according to the Million Jobs platform document.  
 

Transit:

  • Make transit a top priority in the province’s existing annual $12-billion capital budget
  • Allocate and invest the surpluses produced once the budget is balanced, by the PCs projected goal of 2016-2017.
  • Dedicate $2 billion per year after the budget is balanced; that money will be dedicated to a set of priority projects, these projects include:
  • An East-West downtown subway relief line connecting Etobicoke and eastern parts of Toronto to downtown.
  • Expand Go-Transit, including two-way, all-day GO service from Toronto to Kitchener.
  • "We talked here about all-day, two-way GO, we have committed to investing in rail, public transit, our roads and highway. So we have said in our plan that we are committed to all-day, two-way GO, and that means we are committing to a plan that is going to invest in getting people where they need to go, and our products and services where they need to go, so we can drive our economy."
  • "We know that locally there has been a value placed on transportation in terms of job creation in our riding [Kitchener-Waterloo], we have committed as a party, across the province of Ontario, to create a transit fund so that we are committing capital dollars to investment into this area, specifically to transportation."
 

Green Party candidate Stacey Danckert:

Education:

  • The Green Party of Ontario’s platform primarily focuses on elementary and high school education.
  • "This year because we're fully aware we're very unlikely to be the governing party of Ontario, we decided to focus on point in our platform that are instantly achievable," Danckert said. "In our longer policy book though talks about our general about our fundamental ideology … one of those things is to get tuition as close to the Federal average as possible … We think the freeze is absolutely essential."

Transit:

  • Will work with other parties to implement dedicated revenue tools, such as congestion charges, gas taxes and parking fees, to raise $3 billion a year to build and operate transit in the province.

Youth unemployment: 

  • "Lay the groundwork" for a Social Innovation Fund (SIF) that will provide grants, loans, and mentorship dedicated to "young entrepreneurs."
  • In order to pay for it they will use tools such as crowd-source funding and RRSP-eligible community bonds, by starting with $300 million, which they can then build off.  
Stacey Danckert
 
<em>Photos by Lucina Lo</em>
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