The NDP platform, published this morning, is good in parts but there are huge gaps where there should be detailed policy.

On the positive side, freezing tuition fees sounds like a good thing to me. Similarly, restoring passenger services on the Ontario Northland Rail is something crying out to be done. Other pledges too make sense. You decide.

But, curiously, there is nothing about pensions. Pensions are a big deal. Just ask anyone who has a lousy one. The last NDP platform (Plan for Affordable Change) reminded us that: “For the two out of three Ontarians who do not have a workplace pension, we will develop an Ontario Retirement Plan to provide a defined benefit pension to people who want one.” What’s changed?

The Platform is full of wishful thinking. And in the absence of detail I have no way of reassuring myself what is promised will, indeed, come to pass.

$250 million annually is to be allocated for priority transit projects including “all-day two-way GO train services to Kitchener-Waterloo and year-round daily GO train service to St Catharines and Niagara Falls”.

But what about the Barrie line? No all-day two-way GO train service promised here.

The NDP plans to spend an equivalent sum ($250 million) annually to widen 60km of highways every year. This is complete lunacy. These widened roads will simply fill up with traffic a year or two after the tarmac is laid. That $250 million should go into the GO train network if the NDP is serious about addressing gridlock.

The Liberals, tainted by scandal, are in rehab, promising to be good in future.  They are formally launching their Election Platform on Sunday afternoon in Thunder Bay. Kathleen Wynne told the Toronto Star’s editorial board earlier today that there would be no surprises. It would be a “fleshed out” version of the Budget.

Presumably it will be fatter and more substantial than the NDP's anorexic Platform. Six pages long and thin on detail and explanation.

Anyway, you pays your money and you takes your choice.

The Toronto Star has again called for more election debates – while recognising that, at this stage, it may be difficult to fit them in.

As it happens, Tim Hudak tells us what he really thinks of these debates by pulling out of the one on Northern Ontario issues. We are told it is a scheduling clash, but what is more important than participating in a televised debate? What exactly will he be doing instead?

21 days to go.


 

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