Moving Forward The Ontario Way
Speech From The Throne Highlights Plan For Progress, Commitment To Stand Up for Ontario
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said his government will move the province forward the Ontario way -- by working, building and dreaming together with hard-working Ontarians.
"Ontarians have spoken, and their message is clear -- they want us to build on everything we've achieved over the last four years to move our province forward, together," said Premier McGuinty. "We will deliver -- by building opportunity for all and by making progress in our schools, our economy, our health care and our environment."
The Honourable David Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, opened the first session of the 39th parliament of Ontario today with a Speech from the Throne.
The speech highlights how the McGuinty government will build on the progress it has made with Ontarians to keep moving the province forward:
A Better Educated, More Highly Skilled Ontario: An Early Learning Advisor has been appointed to help implement full-day learning for four- and five-year-old children. The government will also continue to improve the funding formula for schools, investing an additional $3.1 billion annually in education by 2011 and requiring that the formula be reviewed by 2010.
Opportunity For All: A new cabinet committee will be created to focus on reducing poverty in Ontario. The government will introduce legislation that would provide children's dental benefits to low-income parents. It will also boost the minimum wage to $10.25 by 2010, increase child care spaces and fully implement the new Ontario Child Benefit to $1,100 per child.
A More Prosperous Ontario: The government will partner with the private sector to help create jobs by expanding the Next Generation Job Fund. It will support innovation and the good, high-paying jobs of the future through the new $165-million Ontario Venture Capital Fund.
A Healthier Ontario: The government will continue reducing wait times by shortening waits for emergency room visits, children's surgery and general surgery. The government will hire 9,000 more nurses and work to ensure that 500,000 more Ontarians have access to a family doctor.
A Greener Ontario: The government will double renewable energy production and conservation to replace coal generation. It will also invest in more rapid transit through MoveOntario 2020, a historic expansion of public transit.
A Stronger Relationship with Ontario's First Nations: Through the new Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, the government will work with First Nations to act on the Ipperwash Inquiry Report's recommendations. It will also continue to work with the federal government to accelerate the settlement of land claims.
The Speech from the Throne also outlined the McGuinty government's commitment to stand up for fairness for Ontario when it comes to Employment Insurance, and support for manufacturers, forestry workers and farmers.
"Our government is inspired by the people of Ontario and we are honoured to be able to serve them over the next four years," said Premier McGuinty. "We're going to keep moving Ontario forward by working and building and dreaming together -- because that's the Ontario way."