A Historic New Course For Ontario
TORONTO -- Ontario's new government has set the province on a historic new course, says Premier Dalton McGuinty.
"On October 2nd, Ontarians chose change and change is what we've delivered," McGuinty said.
"After 58 days in office, we have not only changed the direction of government. We have done much more than that. We have set Ontario on a historic new course."
During the fall legislative session, the government provided help for struggling students in public schools, banned pay-your-way-to-the-front-of-the-line health care and introduced bold measures to protect our water and stop urban sprawl.
The real, positive changes include action to:
Cancel the private school tax credit so money will stay in our public schools.
Provide $112 million to help students struggling to learn, read, write and do math.
Raise the minimum wage for the first time in nearly nine years.
Expose the mess at Ontario Power Generation, including falling incomes and rising cost overruns on the Pickering "A" project.
Hire drinking-water inspectors and meat inspectors.
Turn P3 hospitals into publicly owned hospitals.
Change the Planning Act to curb sprawl.
Work with the federal government to obtain additional funding for health care, SARS relief, farmers and highways.
The government also took decisive action to tackle the $5.6 billion deficit it inherited from the Tories. The measures, which include the cancellation of irresponsible Tory tax cuts, will generate savings of $795 million in 2003-2004, $2.8 billion the following year and $3.7 billion in 2005-2006.
"We pledged to work as hard as the people we're privileged to represent, and we are working hard to deliver real, positive change," McGuinty said.
"In the new year, we're going to continue to work with the people of Ontario, engaging them in a dialogue on how we can transform government, to tackle the fiscal challenge and make public services work better for them."