What Ontario election hopefuls are promising for business and the economy

Party platforms on housing, inflation, taxes and more

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The Ontario election is just days away and already one million have voted in advance of June 2.

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Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives continue to lead in the polls by a wide enough margin to win another majority government, according to the CBC poll tracker.

Monday the PCs were at 36.6 per cent, Liberals at 27.1 per cent, NDP at 23.5 per cent and Green at 7 per cent.

Here’s a look at how each party stands on issues that could affect businesses and the economy.


Ontario is one of the two most expensive provinces for housing in Canada and with home prices soaring over the past two years, affordability is a top issue.


  • Target the construction of 1.5 million new homes over 10 years by reducing red tape to make it faster and more affordable to build homes.
  • Province-wide rent control.
  • Tax on vacant homes as well as on developers sitting on undeveloped land.

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With inflation at last count soaring to 6.8 per cent, Ontario voters have been keen to find out what candidates would do to fight rising prices and make life more affordable.


  • Eliminate the HST on prepared food under $20, including meals at restaurants and to-go counters.
  • Cut transit fares to $1 per ride for one year.
  • Increase Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) rates by 20 per cent, bring back the Basic Income Pilot, and increase Old Age Security top ups by $1,000 a year.

Progressive Conservatives

  • Temporarily cut the gasoline tax by 5.7 cents per litre for six months starting in July.
  • End licence-plate renewal fees saving people $120 per vehicle.
  • Increase eligibility for the Low-Income Individuals and Families tax credit from $38,000 to $50,000 and create a tax credit aimed at seniors who still live at home and receive home care.

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What business says

Small business owners feel the election has overlooked many of the issues they are grappling with.

“From what we’ve heard, there’s disappointment right across the board,” Dan Kelly, head of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, told the Financial Post’s Larysa Harapyn, adding that only 13 per cent of small business owners feel that economic and small business issues are featured in this year’s election campaign.

He said concerns, such as tax burdens, rising costs and labour shortage, do not seem to resonate significantly despite parties’ talk of building and “being open for business.”

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Bigger businesses, especially manufacturers, are “generally happy” with the Progressive Conservatives leading the polls, said Alex Bishop, managing partner at Concierge Strategies, citing Ford’s previous funding of projects that he said have created jobs across the province.

“One of the things we should see and ask for from our leaders is how can we create policies to help drive business,” said Bishop, adding that there could be better funding to help startups and scale-ups beyond grants.

Additional reporting by National Post, Canadian Press and Postmedia

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