Balanced Budget For Ontario Celebrated By Brant MPP Levac

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Finance Minister Charles Sousa recently released the 2017 Ontario Budget: A Stronger, Healthier Ontario, which includes significant investments in health care and education. This is Ontario’s first balanced budget since the global recession.

MPP Dave Levac celebrates the most significant announcement of this budget, which launches OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare, a new drug benefit program that fully covers the cost of prescription medications for everyone aged 24 and under, regardless of family income. This program — the first of its kind in Canada — will ensure that children and young adults have access to universal drug coverage.

Another healthcare highlight that MPP Levac has advocated for throughout his political career is the development of a dementia strategy for the aging population of Brant. Ontario’s new Dementia Strategy will provide more than $100 million over three years to support people with dementia and those who care for them through better coordinated and enhanced services. The strategy will help patients and their caregivers find and access the most appropriate care and supports and improve training and education in dementia care for personal support workers, physicians, nurses and other frontline workers.

The Province is also expanding home and community care programs, including home nursing, personal support and physiotherapy services, with an additional investment of $250 million this year. Family and friends caring for loved ones will be better supported through access to respite care, education and training, and a new Ontario Caregiver Tax Credit.

Education will receive new funding in this budget with an additional investment of $6.4 billion over three years. The Province continues to construct new schools and renew existing ones to create nurturing environments where children can learn and grow. Additionally, the Province’s investments are ensuring that all school boards move to an average class size in Grades 4 to 8 of fewer than 25 students.

The government is rolling out the new Ontario Student Assistance Program, which means free tuition for more than 210,000 students in post-secondary education starting this fall. OSAP debt repayment rules will be eased as well. Starting in January 2018, students will only be required to pay back loans when their income levels reach $35,000 per year.

LOCAL FUNDING

Six Nations Polytechnic Aboriginal Institute in Ohsweken: The Bachelor of Arts degree in Ogwehoweh (Cayuga and Mohawk) Languages at this Aboriginal institute started in January 2016. The Province is investing about $200 million over three years to support key initiatives that will help more First Nation, Métis and Inuit learners access high-quality postsecondary education and training opportunities. This includes an investment of $56 million over three years to enhance the capacity and sustainability of nine publicly funded Aboriginal Institutes in Ontario.

Six Nations of the Grand River: The government is helping 100,000 more children access affordable, quality licensed child care to give them the best start in life and support families across Ontario. The government will expand existing child and family programs offered on Six Nations of the Grand River.

GreenMantra: This Brantford based producer of high-value waxes from recycled plastics, received an investment from the Investment Accelerator Fund, and was recently named as one of the world’s top cleantech companies in the 2017 Global Cleantech 100 List.

QUOTE

With this budget, the Province is continuing to implement policies to ensure equity and affordability for the people of Ontario. Pharma-care for children and youth will be free, tuition will be free for families with incomes of less than $50,000 this fall, and housing measures are in place for rent control and a foreign’s buyer tax. Investments into education and healthcare are significant and I am especially thrilled to see the inclusion of a Dementia Strategy of $100 million in this budget. I am confident the lives of the people of Brant will improve with this budget.”
—MPP Dave Levac

QUICK FACTS

  • The Province’s investment in public infrastructure of more than $190 billion over a 13-year period, which started in 2014–15, is the largest infrastructure investment in the province’s history. It is supporting projects such as building child care spaces, schools, hospitals, public transit, highways and roads.
  • Over the last three years, Ontario’s real GDP growth has outpaced that of all G7 countries. Exports and business investments are increasing, household incomes are rising and the unemployment rate continues to decline — and has been below the national average for 24 consecutive months.
  • Employment in 2017 is forecast to increase by 1.3 per cent, or 94,000 net new jobs, following 1.1 per cent growth in 2016. These gains are expected to continue at 1.1 per cent annually, on average, from 2018–20. This would result in 900,000 net new jobs created between 2010 and 2020, the majority in industries that pay above-average wages, in the private sector and in full-time positions.

For the Silo,  Esther Gibbs.

3 Comments to Balanced Budget For Ontario Celebrated By Brant MPP Levac

  1. If Brown Keeps Doing It, We’ll Keep Correcting It – Facts Still Matter in Ontario
    ,
    Patrick Brown was on the radio this morning once again making the deliberate decision to mislead the public about basic information. We’ve been correcting his false claims for months but Brown still chooses to ignore it: Facts Still Matter in Ontario.

    He claimed: “They say it’s a balanced budget”

    Fact: A balanced budget has been confirmed by Fitch, the National Bank, Paul Boothe and the Independent Financial Accountability Officer.

    (Source: https://www.fitchratings.com/site/pr/1025397, https://www.nbc.ca/content/dam/bnc/en/rates-and-analysis/economic-analysis/ontario-budget.pdf, http://www.macleans.ca/economy/economicanalysis/how-exactly-did-ontario-liberals-balance-the-budget/, http://www.fao-on.org/en/Blog/Publications/EFO_Spring_2017_876023)

    He claimed: “cap and trade…Ontario it sends 2 billion to California and Quebec by 2030”

    Fact: As noted by the independent Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, “linked cap and trade programs can have less price volatility and that linking can be beneficial for smaller jurisdictions like Ontario.”

    The Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity agrees, noting that “a linked system expands the opportunity to find the lowest cost abatement across sectors, firms and regions.”

    With buyers and sellers in each jurisdiction, revenue will flow back and forth as credits are bought and sold. This is an exchange – calling it anything else is wrong.

    (Source: https://media.assets.eco.on.ca/web/2016/11/Appendix-A-Introduction-to-Cap-and-Trade-in-Ontario.pdf, https://www.competeprosper.ca/)

    Fact: Patrick Brown’s own carbon tax scheme would cost families and businesses four times more without guaranteeing any reductions. And it doesn’t include the investments necessary to reduce costs for families and businesses.

    (Source: https://www.enviroeconomics.org/single-post/2016/05/17/Impact-Modelling-and-Analysis-of-Ontario%E2%80%99s-Proposed-Cap-and-Trade-Program)

  2. PCs Vote Against Balanced Budget That Invests In Healthcare and Education

    (Queen’s Park) This afternoon Haldimand-Norfolk MPP, Toby Barrett and the PC Party voted against the Government of Ontario’s progressive and balanced budget that focuses on the health and education of Ontarians. A balanced budget means more funding for the programs and services people rely on most, unfortunately the PC MPPs decided to oppose a plan that will help their own constituents.

    Items that the PC’s have voted against:

    · Universal drug coverage for 4 million individuals under the age of 24

    · $11 billion investment into Ontario’s healthcare

    · $1.3 billion to reduce healthcare wait times and $250 million to expand homecare

    · A strategy to enhance care for those with dementia

    · $6.4 billion in education support for kindergarten to post-secondary levels

    · $16 billion over 10 years to build new schools and renew existing ones

    · $190 million over 3 years to created 40,000 work-related opportunities for students

    · Providing support for 100,000 more children to get quality licensed child care

    PC Leader Patrick Brown promised to do things differently than his predecessor and be less partisan, unfortunately he and his party have voted against one of the most progressive budgets in provincial history.

    Patrick Brown’s PC Party seem determined to oppose any plan that helps Ontarians. Similar to the budget, when the Government of Ontario offered the Fair Hydro Plan to reduce hydro rates, the PC Party offered partisan rhetoric and no alternative.

  3. Budget fails to address the debt and ignores Opposition requests

    QUEEN’S PARK – Yesterday’s budget provides more questions than answers as the government introduces a budget that does not address Ontario’s $312 billion debt.

    And, the big question remains, is the budget really balanced or is it a case of “cooking the books”?

    With the claim the $141 billion budget is balanced, the government is saying the amount they spend is the same as the money coming in. But, the mystery is how can this be possible.

    “No one believes that Kathleen Wynne has balanced the budget. Now they’re finally starting to admit what a disaster they`ve made of the province`s books,” said Opposition Finance Critic Vic Fedeli. “The government’s promise of a false balance cannot distract from the fact that the government’s finances are still a mess. Ontario is worse off as a result of the debt burden this government created. It’s eroding the services Ontario families depend on, and placing a burden on future generations they don’t deserve.

    “We are seeing government hyperbole in advance of next year’s election. Many independent government and non-government financial officers have said a truly balanced budget isn’t possible,” said Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett. “The big question is what else will be cut and what else will be sold?”

    Although, not found in the budget, the Official Opposition continues to put forward the following five budget asks of the present government:

    · A long-term plan to get Ontario’s debt under control

    · Immediate steps to address the root of Ontario’s hydro crisis. These measures include: stop signing contracts for power we don’t need, dismantle the Green Energy Act, stop the fire sale of Hydro One, and rein in exorbitant executive compensation in the energy sector

    · Solutions to addressing Ontario’s housing crisis, including evidence-based measures to address both supply and demand, the establishment of a panel of industry experts, and an immediate review of the government portfolio

    · Immediately making cap-and-trade revenue neutral, where any money generated is returned to hard-working Ontarians

    · An immediate moratorium on school closures, and an immediate review of the flawed Pupil Accommodation Review Guideline that determines these closures.
    Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett

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