Provincial Government Highlights in Year 1

Published on August 08, 2019

The August MPP column in Our Community Voice - on health care, environment and the fiscal approach 

Our Community Voice, August 8, 2019 - The Ontario has tackled many difficult files in 2018-19. Did you realize that it has implemented over 250 initiatives and passed 20 major pieces of legislation? Here are highlights in three priority files.

 

Health

  • Restructuring to deliver effective patient-focused health care
  • $17 billion over 10 years to modernize and increase capacities in Ontario’s hospitals
  • 7,000 new long-term care spaces this year (half of the commitment to add 15,000 beds in five years)
  • $3.8 billion for a comprehensive mental health strategy
  • Publicly funded dental care for low-income seniors

In Ottawa

  • $9 million (for a total of $12 million) to the Ottawa Hospital to redevelop and expand services at Civic Campus
  • $420,000 to Ottawa Paramedic Service for a specially-equipped ambulance and a team of paramedics to transport critically-ill newborns
  • $1 million to CHEO to support a 24/7 highly-specialized team for critically-ill newborns
  • $105 million to CHEO for new children’s treatment centre for special needs services.

 

Environment

A comprehensive “Made in Ontario Environment Plan” was announced to strike a balance between protecting our environment and responsibly supporting a prosperous economy. It includes a target to reduce our province’s emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, without imposing a carbon tax. It includes the following initiatives:

  • Protecting water – such as restoring and protecting the Great Lakes, vulnerable lakes and rivers
  • Protecting the air – such as reducing emissions from heavy-duty vehicles
  • Reducing litter and waste – diverting waste from landfills and a new focus on litter cleanup
  • Conserving resources – to protect biodiversity of forests, wetlands, parks and species habitats
  • Fighting climate change – including preparing for the impacts of extreme weather events 

 

Finance

The Province has a $347 billion in public debt - over $24,000 for every man, woman and child. Interest payments on the Ontario debt is the fourth largest expense item after health care, education and social services. It is costing the province more than $1.4 million an hour, more than $1 billion a month.

So, here is the Government’s plan to address the debt.

  • The 2019 Ontario Budget introduced a reasonable and pragmatic plan to steadily decline deficits and balance the budget in five years. It projects a modest surplus by 2023-24.
  • In 2019-20 there are no new tax increases – not one – for Ontarians. The Government has also delivered substantial tax relief for low-income workers.
  • The Government is focused on its spending, cutting waste and finding new efficiencies.

 

For more details and news pertaining to Provincial Government activities in Kanata-Carleton, follow the news section on www.merrileefullerton.ca.