Green Party Leader sets out platform focusing on 'jobs, kids, environment'
Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner launches the party's election platform at Queen's Park in Toronto on Tuesday May 13, 2014. (Aaron Vincent Elkaim / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, May 13, 2014 11:16AM EDT
TORONTO - Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner says his party would save money by merging all Ontario's school boards into one single system.
Setting out his party's platform today at Queen's Park, Schreiner identified "jobs, kids and the environment" as the three main priorities.
He says combining the public and Catholic school boards into one single French and English system would save $1.2 to $1.6 billion every year by cutting out duplicated administration, busing and buildings.
He says the school system is long overdue for an overhaul and the move would address human rights concerns and allow more money to be invested in classrooms.
As for jobs, Schreiner says the Greens would lower payroll taxes on small businesses by doubling employers' health tax exemption and then pay for that by raising tax rates on Bay Street corporations by one per cent.
He says small businesses would benefit from having the health tax exemption doubled, because they could then double their payrolls without paying taxes on those jobs.