Promises made on key issues in the 2022 Ontario election
In the PC budget serving as the party’s platform, they promised to commit $21 billion, including $14 billion in capital grants, over the next 10 years for infrastructure renewal and expansion school and childcare projects. PCs said they are also launching a pilot project in conjunction with school boards to use rapid, modular construction methods. PCs said $6 billion would also be provided to the post-secondary education sector, including more than $2 billion in capital grants over 10 years to help upgrade classrooms, make repairs and improve the environmental sustainability.
PCs said they would introduce a new science and technology curriculum and scrap the grade 9 science course for the 2022-2023 school year.
Also included in the PC budget was $600 million to help students recover from the disruptions caused by COVID, including $175 million to expand access to publicly funded tutoring.
PCs announced an expansion of academic degree granting, including new three-year applied degrees and additional four-year degree programs.
$9 million over three years to support nine Indigenous and Indigenous-governed institutes was also included in the budget.
The Conservatives have said they will maintain the current tuition freeze for the province’s publicly funded colleges and universities for another school year.
PCs said they would invest $42.5 million over two years beginning in 2023-24 to support the expansion of undergraduate and postgraduate medical education and training.
Starting in 2022-23, with $81 million, PCs would expand the Community Engagement Program for nurses to up to 1,500 graduates each year to receive full tuition in return for a commitment to practice for two years in an underserved community. Starting in spring 2023, PCs announced they would launch the $61 million Learn and Stay Scholarship, with applications open to 2,500 eligible post-secondary students who enroll in priority programs to work in underserved communities. where they studied.
PCs also said they would “modernize clinical education for nurses,” with an investment of $124.2 million over three years. Also included in the budget was the commitment of $42.5 million over two years from 2023-24 to increase the number of undergraduate and postgraduate medical positions in the province.
“Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Modernization” was also pledged by PCs, including funding to address a surge in enrolments, support the tools grant and incentivize employers.
The Liberals promised to hire 10,000 more teachers and limit class sizes to 20 students for all grades. The party said it would restore an optional 13th grade and offer classes on mental health, taxes, financial literacy, among other topics.
The Liberals said they would end mandatory online learning while creating “high-quality online options” for high school students.
The Liberals have said they will end the academic stream, as well as EQAO’s tests, and replace them with a different assessment strategy.
Hiring 5,000 more special education workers and reducing wait times for special education were also promised by the Liberals. They would hire an additional 1,000 mental health workers for students and staff, make first-air mental health training available to staff, and provide free breakfast to every student who needs it. By canceling Highway 413, the Liberals said they would provide $10 billion to build and repair more schools, including ensuring existing schools’ ventilation systems are in good repair.
The Liberals said they would review and update the funding formula for Ontario schools.
The party also promised to update the curriculum to add more French, Indigenous, “diverse and modern” aspects, including making residential school courses mandatory.
On post-secondary education, the Liberals said they would “more than double” OSAP funding, maintain the tuition freeze, eliminate interest on student loans, provide more grants and expand the OSAP eligibility.
Under the Liberal plan, tuition would be fully covered for all early childhood education and personal support programs at Ontario colleges, as well as for medical and nursing students entering college. are committed to working in rural and remote communities.
The Liberals also said they would give $2,000 to those undertaking apprenticeships, create a $1 billion fund for new programs and increase operating grants, fund northern, rural and remote colleges and universities in transition and commit to “innovative, high quality”. online learning opportunities.
Hiring 20,000 teachers and education workers, more janitors and maintenance staff, more mental health workers, repealing Bill 124 and working to end violence against education workers make part of the NDP platform promises.
The NDP said it would cap class sizes in grades 4-8 at age 24 and reduce class sizes in secondary schools. The party said it would also cap kindergarten classes at 26 students and maintain the teacher-ECE team.
The NDP would “review and fix” the education funding formula, starting with a “comprehensive public review” that would be completed within a year. The party said it would increase funding for special education, double the Rural and Northern Education Fund, eliminate the school repair backlog within 10 years, ensure schools have “up-to-date” ventilation systems and would retrofit public schools to make them carbon neutral.
The NDP also said it would set up a task force on the shortage of teachers in the French-language system and implement the recommendations, “respect the constitutional right of French
school boards” and review the approval process for new French-language schools so that students across the province can access French learning.
The party said it would also amend the Education Act to combat racism and discrimination, ensure students learn more about the Holocaust, work with the Indigenous community to ensure the curriculum “appropriately reflects Indigenous experiences and histories,” supporting greater Indigenous representation on school boards, and increasing funding for Indigenous language education.
The NDP has said it will end EQAO’s streaming and testing. They would remove the mandatory requirement of two online courses and end hybrid models.
On post-secondary education, the NDP said it would convert student loans to grants, retroactively cancel interest on student loans. The party said it will also invest to create thousands of new paid internships for post-secondary students and double the province’s career readiness program from 2020 levels.
The Green Party has said it will conduct an independent review of Ontario’s education funding formula to ensure it “adequately reflects the needs of students” and will revise the formula every five years. The party said it would ensure an updated funding model includes “adequate funding” for ESL grants, special education assistants and counselors, among other supports, and that it “takes into account the unique needs of remote and rural schools.”
The Greens have said they will address the province’s public school repair backlog, allocate funding so schools can comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, provide funding for that schools can “make improvements in energy efficiency and ventilation” and can purchase zero-emission electric buses.
The party said it would oppose any moves to mandatory online or hybrid learning models and would limit class sizes in grades 4-8 to at least 24 students and kindergarten to at least 26 students. .
The Greens have said they will eliminate EQAO testing, along with streaming.
Increased funding for outdoor education, green spaces in schoolyards and an “enhanced curriculum” on environmental topics are also in the Green Party platform.
The Greens also said they would ‘make equity a pillar of public education’, implement mandatory racial data collection and reporting for schools and have ‘standard procedures’ for reporting racist incidents. . The party has said it will remove all resource officers from schools across the province and work with boards to ensure staff hiring and retention practices are transparent and reflect the diversity of the province’s population. .
Establishing “clearly visible” all-gender restrooms, updating the curriculum to include “informed conversations” about discrimination, restoring funding for the Indigenous Studies curriculum, and developing a mandatory curriculum on colonialism, residential schools and Indigenous histories are also part of the Green Party Platform.
The Greens said they will also tackle the Ontario Autism Program’s core service waitlist by building capacity and increasing funding each year as inflation and numbers registered children are increasing. The party said it would also establish an “ultimate wait-time benchmark” for diagnosis and access to basic services once enrolled in the program.
On post-secondary education, the Greens said they would convert OSAP loans into grants for low- and middle-income students and eliminate interest charges on student debt.
— with files from The Canadian Press