McGuinty Government Achieving Progress For Ontarians
Second Progress Report Details Plan For Education, Health Care And Economy
QUEEN'S PARK -- Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty today released the second in a series of progress reports on the government's plan to deliver success for students, better health and a strong economy.
"Our plan is to strengthen Ontario's competitive advantage by strengthening its people," said Premier McGuinty. "Halfway through our mandate, the health care, education and skills, and prosperity of Ontarians have all been improved."
"We're pleased with the progress Ontarians are making under our plan, but we are not satisfied. We have much more work to do."
This year's Progress Report spells out what the government has accomplished in its second year in office, the key results it is working to achieve over the next two years and the strategies it's putting in place to deliver on its plan for Ontarians.
Highlights of the report include:
- To ensure success for students: more than 2,100 schools have reduced their primary class sizes. We are on track to have class sizes of 20 students in junior kindergarten to Grade 3 by 2007-08.
- To ensure better health for Ontarians: hospitals received funding to perform 40,000 or 14.5 per cent more MRI exams in 2004-05. New investments are providing for approximately 76,800 or 24 per cent more MRI exams in 2005-06. In addition, funding was provided in 2004-05 to provide capacity for 81,300 or eight per cent more CT scans per year.
- To ensure a stronger economy: the government is investing $6.2 billion over five years to increase access to college and university and the quality of education provided. The government is increasing full-time enrolment in colleges and universities by 50,000 students and is committed to increasing the number of new apprenticeship registrations by 7,000 for a total of 26,000 a year by 2007-08.
In the past two years, the government's strategic investments have attracted over $5.5 billion in new auto investment, including the first greenfield plant in Canada in over a decade, to be built by Toyota in Woodstock.
In addition, across Ontario, more than 215,000 new jobs have been created since October 2003. The current 6.1 per cent unemployment rate is the lowest in more than four years.
To strengthen Ontario's fiscal position, Premier McGuinty fought to narrow a $23 billion gap between what Ontarians send the federal government in taxes and what they get back in programs and services. In May 2005, the federal government agreed to commit $5.75 billion in additional federal funding to Ontario priorities over the next five years.
"Working with Ontarians, we're making real, significant progress on our plan," said Premier McGuinty. "We're getting there because Ontarians are striving for better results and working with our government to reach goals we all share."
The full Progress Report is available at www.ontario.ca/progress.