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/