FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, JUNE 20, 2019
Toronto – Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith is welcoming his new assignment as Ontario’s Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, announced this morning at Queen’s Park.
“It’s the third largest ministry in government, so it’s a big, big responsibility,” said Smith. “I’m happy and honoured the Premier has chosen me to take on this really important file.”
The Ministry administers social assistance programs like Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program, developmental services and autism programming, the Family Responsibility Office and a wide range of community supports including those for women and children fleeing domestic violence and Ontario’s Indigenous communities.
Smith said he’s eager to start working on his new responsibilities.
“It’s an exciting file that’s important in the Quinte region and in communities right across the province. I’m ready to jump in head first to meet with stakeholders and families that are affected to better understand the challenges they’re facing,” said Smith. “I’m looking forward to working with all my teammates around the cabinet table and my new associate minister for children and women’s issues, Jill Dunlop, to ensure our government continues to provide for these families and ensure they have the services they need and the Province is providing those in a sustainable way.”
Looking back on the Government House Leader position, which Smith held for the duration of the 42nd session of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario alongside roles as Minister of Government and Consumer Services from June-November 2018 and Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade from November 2018 to June 2019, the local MPP was proud of the work the government accomplished while he held that position.
“What a great role that was. As Government House Leader I helped shepherd 20 different pieces of legislation to pass – which is a record. We wanted to have somebody experienced in that role in the first year as we were moving legislation through the House as quickly as we could. I was pleased to serve,” said Smith.
Smith is pleased to see six new faces join cabinet and looking forward to continuing to deliver on the government’s promises as it enters its second year.
“The shakeup that happened today is ensuring we have the right people in the right place at the right time,” he said. “Our Premier always refers to our caucus as an all-star caucus and we have some very, very bright new additions added to the good team already at the cabinet table. It’s a positive all around.”
WINDSOR — The Ontario government has announced further actions to help create and protect jobs in the auto sector. In February, the government launched its Driving Prosperity auto plan aimed at addressing challenges in the sector around competitiveness, innovation and talent. The government made it a priority to reduce red tape and restore Ontario's competitive advantage. Today, it is delivering on that promise.
"Every piece of red tape we get rid of is another dollar saved and another job created," said Todd Smith, Ontario's Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and the lead minister on reducing red tape and regulatory burden. "Our government is reducing red tape because when our job creators spend less time filling out paperwork, they spend more time creating and protecting jobs for Ontario families."
Ontario is making a series of regulatory changes to get government out of the way of job creators in the auto sector — and other manufacturing sectors across the province, including the Bay of Quinte. This includes tackling a costly and burdensome regulatory irritant in the auto sector. Currently, automakers who put a few litres of gas into a vehicle fresh off the assembly line to drive it to a distribution centre must apply for an exemption from having their plant regulated as if it were a gas station. The proposed change would exempt all auto plants from this unnecessary requirement.
"We're making it faster, easier and cheaper for companies to comply with the regulations that we do need, while at the same time removing regulations that do nothing to protect workers' health and safety," said Smith. "With less red tape, Ontario will see more investment. That means we need shovel-ready land to help attract the next Honda, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, GM or Ford. And that's why our government announced a Job Site Challenge to identify job sites ready for the next auto assembler."
The government will launch the Job Site Challenge later this summer, outlining site criteria and inviting municipalities and private land developers to bring forward site proposals. These sites will be evaluated, and those that are deemed workable will be internationally certified by site-selection professionals. The first certified sites should be available to investors in Fall 2020. They will then go through a rapid approvals process for the licences, permits and environmental approvals required to build or expand a plant.
-The auto sector employs over 100,000 people directly in Ontario in auto assembly and parts manufacturing, providing well-paying jobs across all skill levels. It contributes almost $14 billion to Ontario’s economy.
-The manufacturing sector, including the auto sector, accounts for $91 billion in GDP in Ontario and directly employs over 760,000 workers in the province.
-The government is working to reverse the serious erosion in Ontario’s industrial base. From 2003 to 2009, Ontario lost 320,000 manufacturing jobs, and it has had no net gain since then.
“The steps being taken today by Ontario will reduce duplicative and inefficient regulation, while at the same time introducing certain amendments that more accurately reflect the current business environment in which the auto industry operates. These actions will help manufacturing become more cost-effective and competitive in a global market.”
President, Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association
“The Canadian Propane Association is pleased to see the government moving swiftly to update outdated and costly regulations in our industry. The current requirements pose an undue burden on our members, and we welcome and encourage changes that bring common sense to our industry.”
President & CEO, Canadian Propane Association
“We welcome today’s announcement by the Government of Ontario, which will further reduce the regulatory burden for manufacturers. Specifically, we were pleased with measures to modernize environmental compliance practices, modernize workplace health and safety requirements, and provide employers with free and instant access to employee training verification. We look forward to working with the Government of Ontario towards achieving a world-class, agile regulatory system that supports innovation and investment, while protecting the environment, and the health and safety of Ontarians.”
Dennis A. Darby
President and CEO, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, JUNE 7, 2019
Bay of Quinte – Today, MPP Todd Smith, also Ontario’s Government House Leader and Minister of Economic Development and Trade, joined with his colleagues in government to celebrate an accomplishment-filled first year on the anniversary of their election.
Since taking office, the Ontario PC team has shown its commitment to respecting taxpayers, encouraging job creation, and putting people first through the implementation of over 250 initiatives. Those actions chart a reasonable and responsible path to a balanced budget protecting core services the people of Ontario depend on every day.
“It has been an unbelievable year in Ontario. We have accomplished so many things,” said Smith. “We’ve passed 20 pieces of legislation, putting money back into the pockets of the people of Ontario, something that we promised we would do. We’re continuing to fulfill our promises. As of this week, we will have either fulfilled or are on the way to fulfilling 50 of the 59 election promises that we made – and we’re not done yet.”
Smith stated the government has worked hard to reduce red tape, undo the job-killing policies of the previous government, invest in health-care and education, and make Ontario more attractive to businesses and job creators. He also was pleased to share news that Ontario has seen over 190,000 jobs created in the past year.
Hastings-Lennox and Addington MPP and Government Caucus Chair Daryl Kramp added that by a conducting a line-by-line review of expenditures and seeking responsible efficiencies, the government has begun to restore the public’s faith in the Province’s finances.
“The positive indicators are clear: employment is up, the deficit has been shrinking and Ontario is again open for business,” said Kramp. “Our Government for the People has been both active and impatient. We want to put Ontario back on track as fast as possible and we are working hard to do so.”
Just last month, the government received a favourable credit outlook upgrade from Fitch which illustrated the ratings agency’s confidence in the government’s five-year path to balance and the early steps it has taken toward fiscal sustainability.
Steve Clark, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP, echoed Smith and Kramp in their assessments and in a commitment to continue the course.
“I’m proud of the accomplishments we have made as a government over the past year for the people of Ontario and those I represent. We have kept our promises to make life more affordable, create good-paying jobs and put our province on a responsible path to balance to protect vital public services like health care and education,” said Clark. “But we know the job is not finished and if there’s one thing this government has province, it’s that we’ll work hard on behalf of all Ontarians until it’s done.”
Over the past year, the government has delivered on campaign commitments to put more money back in people’s pockets, including:
- Cancelling the punishing cap-and-trade carbon tax, saving the average family $260 a year and 4.3-cents-a-litre at the gas pumps;
- Ensuring minimum wage workers pay no personal income tax in Ontario, saving them up to $800 a year;
- Introducing one of the most flexible childcare tax credits for low- and middle-income families in Ontario’s history;
- Scrapping the outdated Drive Clean program and freezing driver and vehicle fees.
- Improving choice and convenience for consumers by expanding the sale of beer and wine to corner stores, big-box stores, and more grocery stores, and;
- Scrapping the Green Energy Act, which ignored the voices of local communities and cancelling expensive future renewable energy projects that would create excess power.
The government continues to work on delivering effective patient-focused health care. It has committed to $17 billion in investments over 10 years to modernize and increase capacities in Ontario’s hospitals and has allocated 7,000 new long-term care spaces in the past year – fulfilling nearly half of its commitment to add 15,000 beds in five years. It also will be investing $3.8 billion in a comprehensive mental health strategy with the first $174 million flowing this year. The provision of publicly funded dental care for low-income seniors will also ease emergency room visits, while treating 100 million seniors with the respect and dignity they deserve. In Bay of Quinte alone, $1.2 million will go toward a new residential hospice facility in Bayside.
After consulting with over 72,000 stakeholders – the largest such consultation in the Province’s history – the government created a new vision that puts students and parents first and prepares students for the new economy. The vision priorities skilled trades and STEM education, while broadening career education that identifies transferrable skills and introduces financial literacy training. It has increased overall education funding and committed to invest a further $13 billion over the next decade to repair and build schools. The government will continue to ensure a bright future for Ontario students.
In support of job growth and public safety in Eastern Ontario, the government has also announced it will be committing $71 million to the Eastern Ontario Regional Network project to strengthen cellular communications networks across the region. Through a $213-million public-private partnership, it is expected 3,000 new jobs will be created over the next decade.
The government has also announced it will create a new hotline to help military families moving to Ontario connect with community services and resources.
- Since taking office, the government has implemented over 250 initiatives to date.
- The government is implementing a plan to achieve a balanced budget by 2023–2024.
- Ontario’s economy is expected to grow at a steady pace from 2019 to 2024.
- Ontario’s employment is forecast to rise at an average annual pace of 1.1 per cent over the same period.
2019 Ontario budget – budget.ontario.ca/2019/