OTTAWA (Reuters) - Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, will hold an election on June 7, with the center-right Progressive Conservative Party headed by Doug Ford leading in opinion polls.
While Ford has yet to reveal his entire platform, the following are some of the promises from the campaign trail so far:
Ford said last month he would cut Ontario’s corporate tax rate to 10.5 percent from 11.5 percent to boost job growth and the economy.
Ford said he would introduce an income tax credit so that low-income workers would not pay income tax. He plans to scrap the current provincial Liberal government’s planned minimum wage increase that would bring wages up to C$15 ($11.57) an hour from C$14 next year.
The Conservatives also plan to introduce a new childcare rebate for parents with children under the age of 15 that will cover expenses of up to C$6,750 per child a year, with the benefit weighted toward low-income families.
Ford plans to eliminate the province’s current carbon cap-and-trade system that puts limits on how much pollution companies can emit and allows them to trade credits in auctions.
Ford has also vowed to fight the federal government’s planned nationwide tax on carbon emissions, expected to take effect next year for provinces that do not already have acceptable regimes in place.
Ford has promised to cut spending by at least C$6 billion a year by finding efficiencies, but said he would not be able to balance Ontario’s budget in his first year in power. He has also said he would launch an independent inquiry into the Liberal government’s books.
The Liberal government said in its March budget it will return to deficit in the current fiscal year before getting back to balance in 2024-25.
Ford has suggested he is open to privatization when it comes to the sale of recreational marijuana, though he later appeared to back away from that, saying the province has to be careful in regulating the market.
Canada is on track to legalize marijuana later this year and Ontario currently plans to sell the drug through government-run stores and online.
During the provincial party leaders debate earlier this week, Ford pledged C$5 billion in new money to go toward subways and other regional transportation systems.
Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Jonathan Oatis