UPDATED: Doug Ford Wins Ontario Election 2022, Promises More Spending

Published: July 01, 2022

Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC)BudgetCANADACommunity DevelopmentCoronavirus (COVID-19) PandemicCritical Infrastructure ProtectionEducationElectionsEnergy EfficiencyForecasts and SpendingGrantsHealth CareHealth ServicesInformation TechnologyInfrastructureJustice and Public SafetyMETROLINX (CANADA) (ONTARIO)ONTARIOPolicy and LegislationProfessional ServicesSocial ServicesSpending TrendsTORONTO (CITY) (CANADA) (ONTARIO)TransportationUNIVERSITY OF SUDBURY (CANADA) (ONTARIO)

Prior to Ontario's general election last month, candidates committed to investing in many high-profile programs and projects. Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservatives came out victorious and will begin implementing their spending agenda.

Please note: All monetary figures are expressed in Canadian Dollars (CAD) unless otherwise specified.

Updated on July 1, 2022:

Doug Ford and his Progressive Conservative Party won reelection with an even larger majority than in the previous legislative term. Their second majority government includes 83 Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) versus the 67 they had the last term. Ontario legislators will return to provincial parliament on August 8. The main item on their agenda will be debating and voting on the provincial budget that was introduced but not passed before the spring election. According to Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy, the budget will be largely the same as what was introduced this spring, with some changes, including an increase in Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) funding. Ford has promised to spend $425 million on a five percent increase and introduce legislation to increase ODSP rates annually.

Originally published on May 12, 2022:

Ontario will hold its next general election on June 2, 2022, to elect Members of the Provincial Parliament (MPPs) to serve in the 43rd Parliament of Ontario. The campaign period officially kicked off on May 3, when Premier Doug Ford asked Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell to dissolve the legislature. There are 124 seats in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, with 63 seats needed for a majority. Before the legislature was dissolved, Ford and his Progressive Conservative Party made up the majority with 67 seats. Generally, the leader of the party that wins a majority of seats becomes the premier. Four major candidates are running with the hope of becoming the province’s next premier and leading their party to a legislative victory:

Here’s a breakdown of the major spending promises each party has made leading up to election day:

Progressive Conservative Party

Ford is seeking a second term as Ontario’s premier. A few weeks ago, his Progressive Conservative Party introduced a provincial budget that effectively doubles as their election platform. The budget lays out $198.6 billion in spending, with billions earmarked for infrastructure this year and over the next decade. The document pledges $158.8 billion over 10 years for highways, transit, and hospitals, with infrastructure spending for this year alone nearing $20 billion. Highlights from the budget include:

  • $40B for hospital infrastructure projects, including $27B in capital funding
  • $25.1B to expand, build, and repair highways, roads, and bridges
  • $14B in capital grants to construct and repair schools
  • $4B to support high-speed internet access across the province by 2025
  • $1B to expand home healthcare services
  • $1B for programs to retain workers, attract interest in skilled trades, and address the skills gap
  • $268.5M to revamp Employment Ontario’s retraining programs
  • $29M to explore and develop a critical minerals strategy

Other major commitments along the campaign trail have included:

  • $1B to build an all-season road to potential mining sites in Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire
  • $87M to provide Toronto police with new resources for community safety and to fight gun and gang violence
  • $15.1M to enhance and expand the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

Liberal Party

  • $10B to build and repair schools across the province
  • $1B to clear surgery and diagnostic backlogs
  • $375M to fund transit operations
  • $10M in grants for black entrepreneurs and small businesses
  • $10-a-day before and after school care
  • Reforms to combat racism, including regular police training and the end of academic streaming
  • Add 30,000 new long-term care beds and redevelop 28,000 existing spaces
  • Create 3,000 new hospital beds
  • Hire 100,000 healthcare workers and train 3,000 new mental health and addictions staff
  • Expand universal access to medication that prevents HIV transmission
  • Guarantee access to mental health services for health workers
  • Permanently increase lab capacity in the province and stockpile COVID-19 tests
  • Divert and recycle 60% of waste from landfills by 2030 and 85% by 2050
  • Plant 800M trees
  • Hire 10,000 more teachers
  • Reinstate optional Grade 13 and offer classes on mental health, financial literacy, and taxes
  • Update educational curricula to include more learning on Indigenous history and more support for French and other languages
  • Build 1.5M new homes
  • Build 2,000 supportive homes for LGBTQ2 youth
  • Guarantee access to affordable, high-speed internet across the province by 2025

New Democratic Party

  • $680M to launch a dental coverage plan, plus $380M each year thereafter
  • $600M for the Nursing Graduate Guarantee Program
  • $20M to launch a Black Business Recovery Fund and other supports for black entrepreneurs
  • Plant 1B trees by 2030 and establish an educational “Youth Climate Corps”
  • Expand the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) to include universal mental health care
  • Create a universal ‘pharmacare’ plan
  • Hire tens of thousands of additional doctors, specialists, nurses, and personal support workers
  • Build a new public and non-profit home and community care and long-term care system
  • Build 100,000 social housing units over the next decade and update 260,000 units
    • Add 50,000 new and modern beds
  • Spur the construction of 1.5M new homes
  • Energy initiatives, such as expanding hydro capacity, increasing renewables like wind and solar power, and improving grid-scale storage
    • Make grid interconnections with Quebec and Manitoba
  • Introduce an energy-efficient building retrofit program
  • Expand the Greenbelt
  • Hire 20,000 more teachers and education workers
  • Implement a provincial anti-racism strategy

Green Party

  • $8B for a climate fund to support municipalities, build resilient infrastructure, and restore a provincial cost-sharing agreement for transit
  • $5B for a tech innovation fund to increase electric vehicle (EV) innovation
  • $4B for a climate bank
  • $1B for First Nations communities to support Indigenous-led climate solutions and Indigenous-protected and conserved areas
  • $220M to expand the Northlander passenger rail, plus $12M per year to operate it
  • Expand access to mental health services for young people and children
  • Increase the number of women’s health clinics in the province
  • Expand access to healthcare in the north by investing in nurse practitioner-led clinics
  • Build 60,000 supportive homes over 10 years with wraparound mental health and addiction services
  • Build 160,000 affordable community rental homes
  • Develop a mental health and addictions strategy that includes building thousands of additional housing units for northern communities
  • Invest in creating 14,000 Indigenous-led affordable homes
  • Update Ontario’s Building Code to guarantee that multi-unit buildings are accessible
  • Expand zoning to increase the housing supply
  • Launch a green retrofit program
  • Clean up mercury poisoning in Grassy Narrows First Nation and implement other environmental measures to benefit minority communities
  • Double the Greenbelt and create a ‘Bluebelt’ of protected waterways
  • Implement Vision Zero, a traffic safety plan, across the province
  • Create a dedicated, toll-free lane on Highway 407
  • Expand EV charging stations at parking lots, transit stops, and along highways
  • Add 4,000 electric buses by 2030 and electrify transit provided by Metrolinx
  • Improve funding for education and French language access, with particular support for the University of Sudbury

There are commonalities across the four parties’ platforms, such as green energy initiatives, investing in critical infrastructure, increasing housing supply, bolstering long-term care, and expanding access to mental health services. Regardless of which party wins, these areas can expect to see an increase in spending and opportunities in the near future. Other initiatives that have been touted by multiple parties include rebates and incentives for electric vehicles, tuition assistance, expanding disability benefits, lowering the cost of using public transit, increasing the minimum wage, and instituting tax credits for vulnerable populations.

Ontario is Canada’s largest province in terms of both spending and population. Ontario’s next premier and their legislative majority in parliament will have a significant influence on future budgets and purchasing. Where the Progressive Conservatives are looking to heavily invest in infrastructure, the New Democrats are particularly focused on expanding universal healthcare. While the Liberals want to expand the operational capacity in health care systems, the Green Party intends to build more housing for mental health and addiction support. Party leaders held their first debate on May 10, reiterating many of the spending commitments they’ve made on the campaign trail. With less than a month to go before the campaign ends, the candidates continue to make new announcements every day, with another debate scheduled for May 16.