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Highlights Of The Fall Session

Archived Backgrounder

Highlights Of The Fall Session

Progress On Our Plan For Ontario

Office of the Premier

Over the course of the fall session, the McGuinty government has made real progress on its plan to strengthen the province by strengthening the education and skills, health, and prosperity of Ontarians.

Working to strengthen the education and skills of our people

  • Delivered smaller class sizes in primary grades in more than 1,300 schools. More than 1,100 new teachers are on the job this year as the government works toward its goal of capping all JK to Grade 3 class sizes at 20 students
  • Trained 8,000 additional JK to Grade 3 lead teachers in schools across the province, while beginning to train an additional 8,000 lead teachers for Grades 4 to 6
  • Introduced new measures to sustain peace and stability in Ontario's publicly funded schools by helping school boards and education workers
  • arrive at fair and workable collective agreements
  • Eliminated restrictions on child care subsidies for parents with RRSPs and RESPs, making more families eligible for subsidies
  • Appointed a special Safe Schools Action Team to implement new measures to protect students in all Ontario schools
  • Made schools healthier places for students to learn by directing school boards to remove junk food from vending machines in elementary schools as soon as possible
  • Introduced a new rural school program to help keep schools across the province open and adequately staffed
  • Passed a new, refundable apprenticeship-training tax credit of 25 or 30 per cent on salaries and wages to encourage employers to hire and train 7,000 more apprentices
  • Appointed an advisor to work with Ontario's regulatory bodies to help reduce barriers to employment for internationally trained professionals and skilled tradespeople
  • Committed to invest $4 million over three years in expanded bridge-training programs for nurses, doctors, engineers, teachers and other trades and professions.

Working to improve the health of our people

  • Introduced legislation that would prohibit smoking in all workplaces and enclosed public places in the province, part of the government's comprehensive tobacco control strategy
  • Invested $26 million in 45 hospitals to boost by 5,380 the number of cancer, cataract and hip and knee replacement surgeries performed, helping clear up surgical backlogs and reduce wait times
  • Opened four new or expanded, hospital-based MRIs, with two more slated to open in the spring -- part of an aggressive plan to open a total of nine new MRI sites that will deliver thousands of additional exams and result in shorter wait times
  • Reached a national health care agreement at the First Ministers' Meeting that will give Ontario more than $7 billion over the next six years to help shorten wait times for key services
  • Established the Family Health Team Action Group to review applications from interested health care providers. The group will help the government approve applications for 45 Family Health Teams by April 2005
  • Began providing free vaccinations for children against meningitis, pneumococcal disease and chickenpox. Over the next three years, two million children will be vaccinated without charge.
  • Supported CPR training in schools, giving every high school student the opportunity to learn life-saving skills
  • Introduced ACTIVE2010, a comprehensive new strategy to get more Ontarians physically active
  • Introduced legislation that would crack down on companies responsible for spills that damage the environment and compromise the health of Ontarians
  • Provided better senior care -- including around-the-clock nursing, more baths and an increased comfort allowance -- by increasing funding for long-term care homes
  • Introduced rules to ban the dumping of untreated hazardous waste
  • Announced a comprehensive action plan to address domestic violence that includes enhanced counselling and housing supports for victims, more training for front-line workers, improvements to the justice system and an innovative public education campaign
  • Introduced legislation to ban pit bulls and toughen penalties for the owners of any dog that poses a danger to the public.

Working to ensure prosperity for people

  • Explored strategies to strengthen Ontario's agriculture and food industry at the first-ever Premier's Agri-Food Summit
  • Launched the Northern Prosperity Plan, a major step toward the investment, jobs and opportunities that northerners want and deserve
  • Required that gasoline sold in Ontario contain an average of five per cent ethanol by 2007, helping to clear the air, strengthen agricultural and rural Ontario and boost green industries
  • Launched the $900-million Canada-Ontario Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund to assist rural communities build roads, bridges and water projects
  • Secured thousands of high-skill jobs and leveraged a $1-billion-plus investment in Ford Canada's Oakville plant using the Ontario Automotive Investment Strategy
  • Introduced the Greenbelt Act which, if passed, would protect one million new acres in the Golden Horseshoe from urban sprawl
  • Delivered on a commitment to share the provincial gas tax with municipalities to help increase ridership, improve service and expand routes in public transit systems across the province
  • Committed to add 1,000 new police officers, targeting marijuana grow-ops and Internet luring
  • Introduced legislation to strengthen Ontario's economy and society by making Ontario fully accessible for people with disabilities
  • Committed to delivering up to $138.5 million to help the cattle and related industries recover from the fallout of BSE
  • Passed a law that bans the waste of taxpayers' dollars on partisan government advertising
  • Passed a law that gives the provincial auditor the authority to audit transfer partners such as hospitals and school boards
  • Helped create 116,000 new jobs in its first year in office -- nearly three times more jobs than in the first year under the Harris government.

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