Highlights Of The Winter/Spring Sessions
Over the course of the winter and spring legislative sessions, the McGuinty government has made real progress for Ontario families by strengthening the education and skills, health and prosperity of Ontarians.
Working to Strengthen the Education and Skills for People
To ensure Ontario families are getting the best public education for their children, the McGuinty government is:
- Investing an additional $600 million -- for a total of $17.5 billion -- in Ontario schools to reduce class sizes in the early grades, boost test scores in reading, writing and math, and help more high school students graduate.
- Investing in jobs and skills training for the people of Ontario with $2.1 billion in annual funding by 2008-09.
- Encouraging students to stay in school by introducing legislation that would ensure students keep learning to age 18 or graduation through creative incentives that realize students' individual potential, and unique enforcements to prevent them from dropping out.
- Improving student performance with legislation that will provide orientation and mentoring for all new teachers, more meaningful assessments for new teachers and increased professional development and training for teachers in areas such as literacy and numeracy.
- Investing $15 million in school libraries to help improve reading skills so that every student can reach their full potential.
- Ensuring high quality postsecondary education with a new tuition framework and expanding student assistance with a student access guarantee and a chair for the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario.
- Expanding opportunities for medical students by creating an additional 160 first-year medical school spaces in Ontario schools by 2008-09.
Working to Improve Health for People
To ensure Ontario families are receiving the best health care, the McGuinty government is:
- Increasing health care spending by $1.9 billion.
- Increasing funding to our hospitals by more than $619 million in 2006-07 to improve access to better hospital care.
- Investing nearly $40 million in 2005-06 to increase opportunities and support for more than 300 international medical graduates currently in training and assessment programs.
- Opening Canada's most comprehensive newborn screening lab at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario -- investing $7 million annually to expand the number of disorders newborns are screened for in Ontario.
- Strengthening health care by reaching the government's goal of creating 150 Family Health Teams across Ontario.
- Launching a new $45-million multi-year HealthForceOntario strategy to ensure Ontario has the right medical professionals available now and in the future to meet the health care needs of Ontarians.
- Improving the health of Ontario families by passing the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, which makes enclosed public places and workplaces 100 per cent smoke free.
Working to Ensure Prosperity for People
To help build opportunity and increase prosperity for all Ontarians, the McGuinty government is:
- Encouraging strong job creation, with almost 288,000 net new jobs since the McGuinty government was elected.
- Attracting almost $7 billion in new investments in the auto sector.
- Investing $1.2 billion this year through Move Ontario in new or improved public transit, municipal roads and bridges across Ontario, including $838 million to expand and modernize public transit in the GTA.
- Continuing to foster a culture of innovation in Ontario by investing nearly $1.7 billion in research and commercialization over five years to 2009-10.
- Funding the Southern Ontario Highways Program -- a $3.4-billion, five-year plan including more than $1 billion to expand and repair highways and bridges in southern Ontario.
- Investing a record $357 million in northern highway rehabilitation and expansion.
- Helping commuters by introducing legislation to create the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority that would bring the province, municipalities and transit agencies together to create an integrated, multi-modal transportation plan for road, rail and transit in the GTA and Hamilton.
- Giving all Ontarians a fair shot at success by investing almost $14 million in 24 new bridge training programs to help more than 3,000 skilled newcomers make the most of their education and abilities.
- Supporting newcomers by introducing the Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act that would help break down barriers so more internationally-trained professionals have the opportunity to work in their field.
- Protecting tenants and landlords while ensuring Ontario's rental housing market remains strong with the new Residential Tenancies Act.