Ontario Government’s Throne Speech Announces Major Investments Guided by a Commitment to Care and Creating Opportunity

Government’s Plan Will Take Bold Action to Enhance Health Care, Home Care, Mental Health and Child Care

A Media Release from the Office of the Premier

Posted March 19th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

A Note from Niagara At Large – The following Media Release from Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s office will be followed below by critical statements on the Wynne Liberal government’s Throne Speech, also released this March 19th  by the Province’s NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and by recently elected PC Leader Doug Ford.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne

The Ontario government is investing more in the care and services that people across the province rely on, easing the mounting pressures families are facing and giving them every opportunity to care for their loved ones and get ahead.

The government’s upcoming Budget will focus on doing more for people in health care, home care, mental health care and child care services. It will also expand a number of other programs that support people to care for their loved ones and help them to succeed in a changing economy.

Ontario’s economy remains strong, with the unemployment rate at its lowest in almost two decades. Yet between the rising cost of living and stable, long-term jobs becoming harder to find, many people are struggling to take care of themselves and their families.

As the changing economy widens the gaps within our society, the government has a plan to build a fairer, better Ontario by supporting everyone in the province with the care and opportunity they need to get ahead.

The government’s priorities were outlined in the Speech from the Throne delivered today by the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor. The speech opened the third Session of the province’s 41st Parliament.

Priorities include:

  • Reducing wait times for health care by significantly increasing hospital operating budgets
  • Expanding home care to provide more services for seniors choosing to stay at home, and to provide financial relief for families who are caring for aging loved ones
  • Making historic investments in mental health and addictions services so people of all ages across the province can get the care they need
  • Ensuring more people without a drug and dental benefits plan will have access to more affordable prescription drugs and dental care
  • Providing more college and university students with free tuition through the new OSAP
  • Making investments to train more apprentices for the workforce, including in emerging fields
  • Focusing on regions that are struggling to achieve economic growth by investing in workers and businesses
  • Continuing to make record-breaking investments across Ontario in public infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, roads, bridges and transit systems.

Ontario’s Queen’s Park legislative building in Toronto

The Throne Speech outlines the next steps to build on the government’s plan for fairness, and providing care and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

Quick Facts

  • In February, the unemployment rate in Ontario was 5.5 per cent, the lowest since 2000.
  • The Throne Speech builds on measures the government brought forward during the first two sessions of the 41st Parliament as part of its plan for fairness, and providing care and opportunity in a time of rapid economic change.

Additional Resources

Click here to Read the Speech from the Throne

Quotes

 “I hear from people every day who put caring first — whether it’s at home, caring for their families, or at work, caring for patients, students or society’s most vulnerable people. The people of Ontario are our greatest strength, and our government doesn’t accept that anyone should be left to fend for themselves, particularly in this turbulent, changing economy. We’re taking bold steps to ensure the best care for our children, our seniors and our friends and family members. Our plan will relieve pressure on families by making it easier for people to care for themselves and for each other.”

Kathleen Wynne ,Premier of Ontario

Statement from Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on throne speech

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

Queen’s Park, Toronto  – Following the throne speech on Monday, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath issued the following statement:

“Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals have had 15 years to build the Ontario they wanted. They chose to spend those years slashing hospital budgets, closing neighbourhood schools, and selling off our vital public asset, including Hydro One. The fact of the matter is that after 15 years, anything the Liberals really wanted to accomplish would already be done.

Monday’s throne speech is a pathetic attempt to convince hard working families that, this time around, the Liberals will be different. They want Ontarians to believe they’ll invest in services instead of just cutting them – but didn’t include a single concrete change in today’s throne speech.  

This throne speech didn’t fix hallway medicine. It didn’t end the crisis in our long-term care system. It didn’t put Hydro One back into public hands or make life more affordable for people. And it didn’t commit to giving all Ontarians dental care benefits.

The Liberals are heading into this election with a legacy of cuts and broken promises. The services we all count on have been squeezed again and again. And the Ford Conservatives are heading in to this election only promising deeper cuts and more privatization – a vow to eliminate the things that families need.

On June 7, Ontarians don’t have to choose between bad and worse. The choice this time includes a change – a change for the better.”

Statement from Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford on the Wynne Liberals’ Throne Speech

Ontario Tory leader Doug Ford

“The problem with Kathleen Wynne and her Liberal government is that they will say and promise anything to stay in power. We saw this in the Throne Speech this afternoon. Today, the Premier wrote a lot of cheques. Having looked at the finances, I can tell the people of Ontario that these cheques are going to bounce.

“Kathleen Wynne has made commitments on billions in new spending for expensive re-election promises in a desperate attempt to try and save her government. The Liberals are trying to buy votes from a few of us, instead of trying to fix our province for all of us.

“Ontario is the most indebted province or state in the world. We can’t afford to further mortgage our future any longer.

“It’s time for a change in Ontario. Only the Ontario PC Party can be trusted to respect the taxpayer and bring jobs and prosperity back to Ontario.”

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space below the Bernie quote.

A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater binational Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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One response to “Ontario Government’s Throne Speech Announces Major Investments Guided by a Commitment to Care and Creating Opportunity

  1. Gary Screaton Page

    Just one response to this piece today. Where were the Liberals during the last ten years when they could have done these things? Instead, they sold hydro, increased the deficit and therefore the provincial deb t(yet promised to balance the books), wasted billions in the hydro generation fiasco and computer glitches in the health system, and wasted countless opportunities to improve infrastructure. Perhaps that’s why the Federal Liberals and others support legalization of marijuana. A stoned populace won’t care about the waste in government nor the deficiencies in its leadership.

    It’s time for a change!

    Ah, but are the other parties any better?

    Like

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