Green Party receives D- best grade of bad overall grades in Report Card on Ontario Parties’ Good Government Platforms — Conservatives receive an E, NDP an F and Liberals an Incomplete

News Release

Green Party receives D- best grade of bad overall grades in Report Card on Ontario Parties' Good Government Platforms -- Conservatives receive an E, NDP an F and Liberals an Incomplete

Despite high voter concern about democracy and trust, all parties fail to promise many needed changes to have effective democracy, government ethics and accountability in Ontario

Friday, September 30, 2011

OTTAWA - Today, Democracy Watch released its Report Card on the 2011 Good Government Election Platforms of the five main Ontario political parties, the only election report card on these issues.

The Green Party received the best overall grade (still bad) of D-, with the Conservatives second with E, the NDP with F and the Liberals with Incomplete.  A Dishonesty Downgrade of one full grade is also shown in the Report Card results -- usually only half of all promises are kept because of the lack of an honesty-in-politics law which is needed to effectively penalize promise-breakers and misleaders.

"All the Ontario parties have failed to respond to high voter concern about democracy and trust issues, but voters focused on these issues should still come to the polls and at least exercise their legal right to decline their ballot and vote none of the above to show their concern," said Duff Conacher, Founding Director of Democracy Watch and chairperson of its four nation-wide coalitions.  "The party leaders should not be surprised by the lack of support they will receive from voters on election day.  One can only hope that the parties will actually address these concerns when the legislature opens again so that everyone in Ontario politics will, finally after 144 years, be effectively required to act honestly, ethically, openly, representatively and to prevent waste."

The Report Card grades the four main parties' platform pledges based upon 16 sets of key changes in five areas that Democracy Watch and its coalitions believe are the changes that will most effectively require everyone in the federal government to act honestly, ethically, openly, efficiently, representatively and, if they don't act in these democratic ways, easily and thoroughly held accountable.  In total, the 16 sets of changes add up to 100 key changes needed to the Ontario government's democracy, ethics and accountability system.

The measures are a compilation of the proposals of the five nation-wide coalitions Democracy Watch coordinates (Government Ethics Coalition, Money in Politics Coalition, Open Government Coalition, Corporate Responsibility Coalition, Canadian Community Reinvestment Coalition).  A combined total of more than 140 citizen groups with a total membership of more than 3 million Canadians belong to the coalitions, groups that work on anti-poverty, bank accountability, community economic development, consumer, corporate responsibility, environment, labour, social justice, women and youth issues.

Many national surveys over the past several years have shown that a large majority of Canadians support the 100 democracy, ethics and government accountability reforms set out in the Report Card, as do many commentators on democratic reform.  The federal government, and every province and territory and municipality across Canada, all have a similar list of 100 loopholes and flaws in their government systems (each with a slightly differect set of loopholes flaws, depending on which have been closed or corrected in the past).

The 16 sets of changes, divided into five areas, all reflect the following five key elements for ensuring that large, powerful government institutions act responsibly and follow rules: 1. strong laws with no loopholes; 2. requirement to disclose details of operations and violations; 3. fully independent, fully empowered watchdog agencies to enforce laws; 4. penalties that are high enough to encourage compliance; and 5. empowerment of citizens to hold governments and watchdog agencies accountable.

The parties were given a grade ranging from A (Platform makes clear promise to implement proposal) to I (Platform does not mention proposal), with grades B for a vague or partial promise to implement the proposal, C and D for clear to vague promises to explore the proposal, E for mentioning proposal and F for mentioning the theme of the proposal.  Grades were averaged for each of the five sections, and the averages of section grades were used to calculate the overall grade for each party.

"Given the lack of a provincial honesty-in-politics law, and the lack of a clear pledge by any of the parties to pass such a law, voters should be wary of trusting any political promises," said Duff Conacher, Coordinator of Democracy Watch.  "However, if they want their concerns addressed, voters should always turn up and at least exercise their legal right to decline their ballot to send a message to the parties."

The 2011 Report Card is an updated version of the Report Card issued by Democracy Watch during the 2007 (archive website) Ontario election, and reflects changes that have occurred in Ontario laws since 2007.

Democracy Watch graded the parties' election platforms by reviewing the platforms.  Statements by party leaders or representatives were not taken into account as they are not fully accessible to all voters, nor are they binding in any way on the party (as admitted by many party leaders) and as a result are even less reliable than promises made in the parties' platforms.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Duff Conacher, Coordinator of Democracy Watch
Tel: (613) 241-5179
info@democracywatch.ca

Democracy Watch's Ontario Election 2011 (archive website) webpage

Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario platform webpage
Green Party of Ontario platform webpage
Liberal Party of Ontario platform webpage
NDP of Ontario platform webpage


Report Card on the 2011 Good Government
Election Platforms of the Ontario Political Parties
(Set out below are quotations from the Ontario parties' platform documents upon which the Report Card grades were based for each of the 16 sub-categories graded in the five issue areas categories)

GRADING SYSTEM
A - Platform makes clear promise to implement proposal
B - Platform makes vague or partial promise to implement proposal
C - Platform makes clear promise to explore proposal
D - Platform makes vague or partial promise to explore proposal
E - Platform mentions proposal
F - Platform mentions theme of proposal
I - Platform does not mention proposal

Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario platform webpage
Green Party of Ontario platform webpage
Liberal Party of Ontario platform webpage
NDP of Ontario platform webpage


OVERALL REPORT CARD GRADES
best to worst

Party

Grades

Dishonesty Downgrade*
(one full grade)

Green Party

D-

E-

Conservative Party

E

F

New Democrat Party

F

I

Liberal Party

I

inexcusable

* Dishonesty Downgrade applied because past performance of all parties shows that they usually break half their promises, and the lack of an honesty-in-politics law means they can't be held accountable.


I. Honest, Ethical Government Measures
1. Requiring honesty-in-politics
2. Strengthening ethics standards . . . and ethics enforcement
3. Making the political donations system democratic
4. Closing down the revolving doorII. Open Government Measures
5. Strengthening access-to-information system
6. Exposing behind-closed-door communications
7. Strengthening lobbying disclosure and ethics, and the enforcement system
III. Efficient Government Measures
8. Increasing powers of Auditor General
9. Restricting government and campaign advertisingIV. Representative, Citizen-Driven Government Measures
10. Increasing meaningful public consultation
11. Restricting power of Cabinet to make appointments
12. Making the legislature democratic
13. Ensuring free, fair and representative elections

V. General Government Accountability Measures
14. Facilitating citizen watchdog groups over government
15. Ensuring effective whistleblower protection
16. Ensuring loophole free laws and strong penalties for wrongdoers


I. Honest, Ethical Government Measures

SECTION I OVERALL GRADES
Conservative Party - E
Green Party - D
Liberal Party - I
New Democrat Party - I


1. Requiring honesty-in-politics - Pass a law that requires all Cabinet ministers, MPPs, political staff, Cabinet appointees and government employees (including at Crown corporations, agencies, boards, commissions, courts and tribunals) nomination race and election candidates to tell the truth, with an easily accessible complaint process to a fully independent watchdog agency that is fully empowered to investigate and penalize anyone who lies. (Go to Honesty in Politics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - B-
- " We will give citizens more direct control over politicians who break their promises.  We will make it the law that the provincial government cannot raise taxes without a clear mandate.  The new law will not allow for any exceptions, loopholes, or end runs around it. That way, we will make it nearly impossible for future governments to repeat the Dalton McGuinty government’s disregard for the Taxpayer Protection Act - first with the Health Tax, then with the HST, and, if they’re re-elected again, with more tax hikes."

Green Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

2. Strengthening ethics standards for politicians, political staff, Cabinet appointees and government employees, and ethics enforcement - Close the loopholes in the existing ethics rules (including closing the loophole that allows Cabinet ministers, MPPs, their staff and Cabinet appointees to be involved in decisions in which they have a financial interest, and including requiring resignation and a by-election if an MPP switches parties between elections) and apply them to all government institutions (including all Crown corporations), and as proposed by the federal Department of Finance place anyone with decision-making power on the anti-corruption watch list of the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (Fintrac) so deposits to their bank accounts can be tracked, and; strengthen the independence and effectiveness of all the newly created politician and government employee ethics watchdog positions (the Integrity Commissioner for Cabinet and MPPs and lobbyists, the Conflict of Interest Commissioner for government employees) by giving opposition party leaders a veto over appointees, having the legislature (as opposed to Cabinet) approve their annual budgets, prohibiting the watchdogs from giving secret advice, requiring them to investigate and rule publicly on all complaints (including anonymous complaints), fully empowering and requiring them to penalize rule-breakers, changing all the codes they enforce into laws, and ensuring that all their decisions can be reviewed by the courts.  (Go to Government Ethics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in party platform

Green Party - B-
"1. Ensure open, transparent and accountable government
a) End backroom deals and no-bid contracts
. . .
3. Ensure public officials are held to the highest standards
a) Strengthen conflict of interest rules for provincial and municipal officials."

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

3. Making the political donations system democratic - Prohibit secret, unlimited donations of money, property or services by anyone for any reason to nomination and party leadership candidates (only such donations are now only prohibited if given to election candidates); limit loans, including from financial institutions, to parties and all types of candidates to the same level as donations are limited; require disclosure of all donations (including the identity of the donor's employer (as in the U.S.) and/or major affiliations) and loans quarterly and before any election day; limit spending on campaigns for the leadership of political parties; maintain limits on third-party (non-political party) advertising during elections; lower the public funding of political parties from $2 per vote received to $1 per vote received for parties that elect more MPPs than they deserve based on the percentage of voter support they receive (to ensure that in order to prosper these parties need to have active, ongoing support of a broad base of individuals) and; ensure riding associations receive a fair share of this per-vote funding (so that party headquarters don't have undue control over riding associations).  (Go to Money in Politics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - I

Green Party - B-
- "3. Ensure public officials are held to the highest standards
. . . c) Eliminate corporate and union donations to political parties"

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

4. Closing down the revolving door - Prohibit lobbyists from working for government departments or serving in senior positions for political parties or candidates for public office (as in New Mexico and Maryland), and from having business connections with anyone who does, and close the loopholes so that the actual cooling-off period for former Cabinet ministers, ministerial staff and senior public officials is five years (and three years for MPPs, senators, their staff, and government employees) during which they are prohibited from becoming a lobbyist or working with people, corporations or organizations with which they had direct dealings while in government.  Make the Integrity Commissioner and Conflict of Interest Commissioner more independent and effective by by giving opposition party leaders a veto over their appointment, by having the legislature (as opposed to Cabinet) approve their annual budget, by prohibiting the Commissioners from giving secret advice, by requiring the Commissioners to investigate and rule publicly on all complaints (including anonymous complaints), and by fully empowering and requiring the Commissioners to penalize rule-breakers, by ensuring all decisions of the Commissioners can be reviewed by the courts. (Go to Government Ethics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Green Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform


II. Open Government Measures

SECTION II OVERALL GRADES
Conservative Party - D-
Green Party - D-
Liberal Party - I
New Democrat Party - I


5. Strengthening access-to-information system - Strengthen the federal access-to-information law and government information management system by applying the law to all government/publicly funded institutions, requiring all institutions and officials to create records of all decisions and actions and disclose them proactively and regularly, creating a public interest override of all access exemptions, giving opposition party leaders a veto over the appointment of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, having the legislature (as opposed to Cabinet) approve the Information and Privacy Commissioner's annual budgets, and giving the Information and Privacy Commissioner the power and mandate to order changes to government institutions' information systems, and to penalize violators of access laws, regulations, policies and rules.  (Go to Open Government Campaign and Stop Muzzling Scientists Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - B-
- " We will show you where your money goes.  We will bring forward a Truth in Government Act to mandate the public sharing of information, contracts, grants, travel costs, and expenses.  All information will be posted online, and families will be able to contribute in order to help fight wasteful spending.  The five components of the Truth in Government Act: -- Expand the scope of Freedom of Information -- Full disclosure of all goods or service contracts over $10,000 -- Full disclosure of travel and hospitality expenses -- Full disclosure of grants over $10,000 -- Full disclosure of all position reclassifications."
- " We will promote the concept of Open Government to bring forward citizens’ innovative ideas on public policy.  While protecting privacy, we will make large amounts of government data available to the public to engage people in solving important problems, and to help people become watchdogs for government waste.  We will look to the successes of similar initiatives.  In the United Kingdom, FixMyStreet.com has led to the repair of over 32,000 potholes by sending citizens’ complaints to the appropriate local council.  Right here in Ontario, SunshineOnSchools.ca allows people to compare different school boards across a number of criteria, from student performance to administrative costs.  We will enable more Open Government initiatives like these in Ontario."

Green Party - B-
- "1. Ensure open, transparent and accountable government
a) End backroom deals and no-bid contracts
b)  Open government consulting contracts up to scrutiny by posting details of all
public contracts online
c) Streamline freedom of information requests
. . .
3. Ensure public officials are held to the highest standards
. . .
b) Disclose public officials’ expenses in a timely way"

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

6. Exposing behind-closed-door communications - Require in a new law that Ministers and public officials and MPPs and their staff disclose their contacts with all lobbyists, whether paid or volunteer lobbyists.  (Go to Government Ethics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Green Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

7. Strengthening lobbying disclosure and ethics, and the enforcement system - Strengthen the Lobbying Registration Act by including in it a Lobbyists' Code of Conduct, by closing the loophole that currently allows corporations to hide the number of people involved in lobbying activities, and by requiring lobbyists to disclose their past work with any Canadian or foreign government, political party or candidate, to disclose all their government relations activities (whether paid or volunteer) involving gathering inside information or trying to influence policy-makers (as in the U.S.) and to disclose the amount they spend on lobbying campaigns (as in 33 U.S. states), and; strengthen the ethics and enforcement system by extending the limitation period for prosecutions of violations of the Act to 10 years, and; by giving opposition party leaders a veto over the appointment of the Integrity Commissioner for lobbyists, by having the legislature (as opposed to Cabinet) approve the Commissioner's annual budget, by prohibiting the Commissioner from giving secret advice, by requiring the Commissioner to investigate and rule publicly on all complaints (including anonymous complaints), by fully empowering and requiring the Commissioner to penalize rule-breakers, by ensuring all Commissioner decisions can be reviewed by the courts.  (Go to Government Ethics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Green Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform


III. Efficient Government Measures

SECTION III OVERALL GRADES
Conservative Party - I
Green Party - I
Liberal Party - I
New Democrat Party - D-


8. Increasing powers of Auditor General - Increase the independence of the Auditor General by requiring approval of appointment from opposition party leaders; increase auditing resources of the Auditor General by having the legislature (as opposed to Cabinet) approve the Auditor General's annual budget, and; empower the Auditor General to audit all government institutions and also audit projected spending (like the federal Parliamentary Budget Officer does), to make orders for changes to government institutions' spending systems, and empower the Auditor General to penalize violators of Treasury Board spending rules or Auditor General orders or requests for information.  (Go to Stop Fraud Politician Spending Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Green Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - C-
- "We will crack down on consulting and consultant expenses and give the Ombudsman oversight of hospital and health spending to ensure patients are being respected."

9. Restricting government and campaign advertising - Empower a government watchdog agency to preview and prohibit government advertising contracting out if there is no reason to have the advertising developed by a contractor, and to restrict all advertising by the government and opposition parties and third parties in the six-month period leading up to an election.  (Go to Stop Fraud Politician Spending Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal related in platform

Green Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

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IV. Representative, Citizen-Driven Government Measures

SECTION IV OVERALL GRADES
Conservative Party - E
Green Party - D
Liberal Party - I
New Democrat Party - F


10. Increasing meaningful public consultation - Pass a law requiring all government departments and institutions to use consultation processes that provide meaningful opportunities for citizen participation, especially concerning decisions that affect the lives of all Ontarians.  (Go to Democratic Voting Systems Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - C
"We will give cities and towns the power to decide what happens within their boundaries:

Our local governments have had their decision-making power chipped away in recent years. This is unfair, undemocratic, and does nothing to increase the value of services provided at the community level. We will enable more local and decentralized decision-making, and give municipalities more tools to provide better value for local families.  Local councils have been robbed of a say over what happens in their communities. This has allowed industrial wind farms to be placed in communities without any consultation with local councils or residents. We will restore the local decision making powers that were taken away by the Dalton McGuinty Liberals." . . .

“We will give Northerners a stronger voice at Queen’s Park and more control in their local communities. The North has vast potential, but decisions made at Queen’s Park are often out of touch with the reality in Northern communities.  Families in Northern Ontario deserve a strong voice in government.  They also deserve the right to be heard and to plan their own future.”

Green Party - B
- "2. Remove barriers that prevent citizens from being heard
a)  Implement a community engagement process and restore local decision making for energy projects
b)  Ensure that residents have a say in community health care decisions
c)  Give citizens a greater say in public consultations, including strengthening the Environmental Bill of Rights, reforming the Ontario Municipal Board and ending lawsuits that prevent citizen participation in planning decisions"

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - C-
- "We will scrap the LHINs and replace them with effective local decision-making."

11. Restricting power of Cabinet to make appointments - Require approval by opposition party leaders for the approximately 2,000 judicial, agency, board, commission and tribunal appointments currently made by the Premier, especially for appointees to senior and law enforcement positions, after a merit-based nomination and screening process.   (Go to Democratic Voting Systems Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Green Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

12. Making the legislature more democratic - Change the law to restrict the Premier's power to shut down (prorogue) the legislature to only for a very short time, and only for an election (dissolution) or if the national situation has changed significantly or if the Premier can show that the government has completed all their pledged actions from the last Speech from the Throne (or attempted to do so, as the opposition parties may stop or delay completion of some actions).  Give all party caucuses the power to choose which MPPs and senators in their party sits on legislature committees, and allow any MPP to introduce a private member bill at any time, and define what a "vote of confidence" is in the law in a restrictive way so most votes in the legislature are free votes. (Go to Democratic Voting Systems Campaign and Stop Muzzling MPs Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Green Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

13. Ensuring free, fair and representative elections - Change the current voting law and system (the Elections Act) to specifically restrict the Premier's power to call an unfair snap election, so that election dates are fixed as much as possible under the parliamentary system.  Change the Act also so that nomination and party leadership races are regulated by Elections Ontario (including limiting spending on campaigns for party leadership), so that Elections Ontario determines which parties can participate in election debates based upon merit criteria, so that party leaders cannot appoint candidates except when a riding does not have a riding association, so that voters can give a reason if they decline their ballot (ie. vote for "none of the above") and so Elections Ontario is required to educate voters about their legal right to decline their ballot, and to provide a more equal number of voters in every riding, and a more accurate representation in the legislature of the actual voter support for each political party (with a safeguard to ensure that a party with low-level, narrow-base support does not have a disproportionately high level of power in the legislature).  (Go to Democratic Voting Systems Campaign and Stop Fraud Robocalls Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Green Party - C-
- "3. Ensure public officials are held to the highest standards
. . . c) Eliminate corporate and union donations to political parties

Liberal Party - I

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform


V. General Government Accountability Measures

SECTION V OVERALL GRADES
Conservative Party - D
Green Party - I
Liberal Party - F
New Democrat Party - F


14. Facilitating citizen watchdog groups over government - Require provincial government institutions to enclose one-page pamphlets periodically in their mailings to citizens inviting citizens to join citizen-funded and directed groups to represent citizen interests in policy-making and enforcement processes of key government departments (for example, on ethics, spending, and health care) as has been proposed in the U.S. and recommended for Canadian banks and other financial institutions in 1998 by a federal task force, a legislature of Commons Committee, and a Senate Committee.  (Go to Citizen Association Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Green Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

15. Ensuring effective whistleblower protection - Require everyone to report any violation of any law, regulation, policy, code, guideline or rule, and require all watchdog agencies over government (for example: Auditor General, Information and Privacy Commissioner, Integrity Commissioner, and Conflict of Interest Commissioner) to investigate and rule publicly on allegations of violations, to penalize violators, to protect anyone (not just employees) who reports a violation (so-called "whistleblowers") from retaliation, to reward whistleblowers whose allegations are proven to be true, and to ensure a right to appeal to the courts.  (Go to Open Government Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Green Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

16. Ensuring loophole free laws and strong penalties for wrongdoers - Close any technical and other loopholes that have been identified in laws, regulations, policies, codes, guidelines and rules (especially those regulating government institutions and large corporations) to help ensure strong enforcement, and increase financial penalties for violations to a level that significantly effects the annual revenues/budget of the institution or corporation. (Go to Democracy Watch's Campaigns for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Conservative Party - B-
- "We will protect all programs that safeguard water quality."
- "We will make Ministers and senior civil servants accountable for the results we expect. Leadership accountability is essential in business. But it’s something radical for government. The entire Cabinet will have its pay docked if it misses important financial or regulatory goals. We will work with senior civil servants to set aggressive but achievable targets so that their performance is closely tied to the mandate the people of Ontario give our government."
- "We will fight fraud, focusing on those areas most important to you.  We will create a special unit of Crown Attorneys, the Office of Financial Crimes Prosecution, dedicated to fighting the fraud thaterodes our shared trust in so many places.  We will stop the organized crime schemes that drive up auto insurance rates.  What some people seem to shrug off as a harmless little ploy for cash is actually part of an epidemic that costs Ontario drivers $1.3 billion each year – money that could be keeping your premiums under control.  Ontario has the highest auto insurance rates in Canada largely because of the government’s indifference to these schemes.  The worst repeat offenders of welfare fraud will face tough penalties, up to a lifetime ban."
- "We will crack down on the sale of illegal tobacco.  Illegal tobacco sales have grown over recent years, as the Dalton McGuinty Liberals looked the other way.  This criminal tradeis bad for the young people who can easily access illegal tobacco, the honest businesses who are robbed of revenue, and every Ontario family, as we lose at least $500 million each year in tax revenue.  It is also dangerous, because illegal tobacco sales are controlled by organized crime that uses it to fund their drug and weapons trades.  We will aggressively tackle this problem by: increasing enforcement efforts including at the US border; reducing the authorized volume of unmarked tobacco produced on reserves; working with reserve police agencies and band councils to close unauthorized cigarette manufacturing facilities and prevent delivery of manufacturing materials used by illicit factories; and increasing police search and seizure authority relating to tobacco products."

Green Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Liberal Party - D+
- "We’ll increase fines on those who sell tobacco to kids to the highest level in the country. Those who repeatedly flout the law will be prohibited from selling tobacco and lottery tickets. We’ll build on our contraband strategy to choke off the supply of cheap, illegal tobacco sold to our kids by doubling our enforcement efforts."

New Democrat Party - D+
- "We will increase Employment Standards enforcement to protect people’s rights on the job.  We will also increase the minimum wage to $11 this year and index it to the cost of living so that people who work full-time aren’t trapped in poverty."


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