Most Ontarians will likely focus on the four parties most likely to take up seats at Queen’s Park after October 6th. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other parties out there, several with anti-Medicare platforms.
The newly formed Socialist Party of Ontario has five candidates in the coming election, three from Toronto, one from Peterborough and another from Leeds-Grenville. The SPO — as they like to call themselves – believes in expanding health coverage to include drugs, dental care and eye care. They say they would do this through increased payroll taxes and general taxes. The SPO also would end public funding to private “boutique clinics,” increase investment in health care IT, stop using the public-private partnership model to build hospitals, increase the number of chronic care beds, offer free fertility treatments (and contraception) and study the causes of cancer. For their full platform, go to: http://tumblr.socialistpartyofontario.ca/
The Reform Party of Ontario believes the Local Health Integration Networks should be abolished and local health care be operated by the municipalities. Heavily anti-tax, the Reform party would get rid of both the HST and the Health Tax. They want to go even further in cutting corporate taxes than the Tories and Liberals, taking the rate down to 8 per cent. Their health care plan includes educating many more doctors and nurses to flood the labour market and reduce wages in the health care sector. They plan to open up more health care delivery to the private sector, particularly around diagnostics. They also have something called a “Health Freedom Voucher” which individuals could use for basic eye care and dental. Less you think they are anti-union, they promise to create a “dialogue with labour to reduce the cost of such labour.” The Reformers have eight candidates in the election, scattered around the province. Their web site can be found at http://www.reformontario.com
The Community Party of Ontario is running nine candidates, pledging to expand Medicare to cover drugs, vision care and dentistry. The core of their platform is about uniting the left to block the right. Their election web site is at http://www.ontariocpc.ca/
The Ontario Libertarian Party is running 50 candidates across the province. They are campaigning to reduce government involvement in people’s lives. They believe the only role for government is national defense, the police and courts. “Getting government entirely out of health care is the only way to provide the greatest access for the most people to the best available treatment at the lowest possible cost,” the Libertarians claim. They say there is no alternative but to increasingly privatize health care. They don’t believe government should even regulate health professions, but instead it should be left to the private sector. They would phase in the dismantling of medicare, making every individual pay for their own health care. To go to their web site, follow: http://www.libertarian.on.ca/
The People’s Political Party has four candidates, three running in Toronto ridings. They claim to be about “hunger, housing, health care, law and the justice system.” They believe health care is an essential service. The party’s web site is the “official web site of Kevin Clarke.” To read more, go to: http://www.peoplespoliticalparty.com/
The People’s First Republic Party of Ontario appears to be an anti-fluoride group, although their platform is far from clear. There are many U.S. articles on their web site, and a reference to the Tea Party coming to Canada. They have also posted an article about mammograms potentially leading to unnecessary mastectomies. Their web site is: http://www.pfrpo.ca/index.php
The Party for People with Special Needs is pretty much as advertised, although there is no specific health care platform. Its not clear how many candidates they are running. Their web site is at http://www.ppsn.on.ca/
The Paramount Party is running four candidates. They have no specific health care platform, although they say they would ensure that seniors lead a happy life. They appear preoccupied with driving, wanting lower insurance premiums, lower gas prices, and government involvement in a public-private partnership oil refinery. Their web site is at http://www.paramountparty.ca/
The Northern Ontario Heritage Party doesn’t have a health care platform. The party is about expanding seats in the north and relocating Ministries there. They also want a seat for First Nations People. It’s not clear how many candidates they are running. Web site: http://www.nohp.ca
The Freedom Party is another anti-Medicare group who want the choice to buy private insurance. They believe in life, liberty and property. They are running more than 50 candidates in the election. Their web site is http://www.freedomparty.on.ca/
The Family Coalition Party is a fiscally conservative party primarily running on an anti-choice platform for abortion. Most of their policies follow this thinking, including an Act to exempt health care workers from non-emergency procedures that are in conflict with their moral values. They want to eliminate the LHINs, increase home care, and shrink government. In their first election in 1987 they ran in more than 30 ridings. Their web site is at http://www.familycoalitionparty.com/
The Canadian Choice Party is the anti-party. They don’t have a platform beyond the belief that MPPs should represent their constituents. They are running three candidates. Their web site is at: http://www.canadianschoice.com
The Ontario Confederation of Regions Party (CoR) is the last of its kind in Canada. They believe in direct democracy — holding referendums in place of representative democracy. CoR calls for more hospitals, doctors and increased training opportunities for doctors. They say hospitals and LHIN bureaucratic “ranks and file” (sic) have become “hubs of corruption,” which is a theme through much of their web site. Their web site is located at http://sites.google.com/site/ontariocorparty/home
Several parties are registered with elections Ontario but did not submit a web site address. They are the Party for Human Rights in Ontario, The Paupers Party, and The Only Party.