Moving Forward The Ontario Way
McGuinty Government Continues Making Progress For Ontarians
Since it secured a second mandate from the people of Ontario, the McGuinty government has made real progress on its plan to move the province forward the Ontario way -- by working, building and dreaming together.
Working to Strengthen the Education and Skills of Our People
To ensure success for all of Ontario's students and to help each one reach his or her potential, the McGuinty government:
- Committed to invest $19 million over four years to expand the Pathways to Education program to help more students graduate from high school and move on to university, college and apprenticeship placements.
- Invested $6 million in 89 Parenting and Family Literacy Centres -- 54 existing centres in Toronto plus 35 new centres across the province, which opened their doors this past September, to help our youngest children get off to a great start at school.
- Appointed Dr. Charles Pascal as a Special Advisor to study and recommend the best way to implement full-day learning for four- and five-year-olds.
Working to Improve the Health of Our People
To help Ontarians improve their health and quality of life, the McGuinty government:
- Appointed Dr. Alan Hudson to work with health care professionals to reduce wait times in Ontario's emergency rooms, building on the success already achieved in reducing wait times for key procedures such as cancer surgery.
- Introduced a tax exemption on bicycles and bicycle helmets to help more Ontario families get active and stay healthy.
- Introduced the Healthy Foods for Healthy Schools Act, which would ban trans fat from school cafeteria menus and vending machines, and encourage healthy menus to reduce childhood obesity.
Working to Build Prosperity for All
To help build prosperity for all Ontarians, the McGuinty government:
- Created a new cabinet committee to develop poverty indicators and targets and a focused strategy for making clear-cut progress on reducing child poverty.
- Created a new Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs to work with First Nations to act on the Ipperwash Inquiry Report's recommendations and help build opportunity for Aboriginal communities.
- Partnered with investors to set up a new $165-million Ontario Venture Capital Fund that will help create the jobs of the future by boosting cutting-edge Ontario companies.
- Signed an agreement that will pave the way for increased trade between Ontario and Quebec, strengthening our economies and attracting jobs and investment.
Working For A More Prosperous Ontario
To help Ontario capitalize on its economic advantages, the government's Fall Economic statement outlined plans to strengthen Ontario's economy. Those plans include:
- A $1.1 billion-tax reduction package, for business over three years with a plan to eliminate the capital tax on January 1 for firms primarily engaged in manufacturing and resource activities .
- Boosting the tourism industry with $30 million to expand on successful domestic and international advertising campaigns and cultural festivals.
- Supporting good, high-paying jobs with $50 million in new investments into research and innovation.
- Help for workers adjusting to new competitive challenges with an additional $40 million for skills development and rapid re-employment services.
- Helping first-time homebuyers by expanding the land transfer tax refund program to include purchases of resale homes.
- Investments in strong communities with $1.4 billion for strategic infrastructure, including $500 million for transit projects.
Working for a Greener Ontario
To help protect the environment for future generations, the McGuinty government:
- Introduced a new toxic reduction strategy that will include legislation to reduce pollution and protect Ontarians from toxic chemicals in the air, water, land and consumer products.
- Announced plans to create an expert medical and scientific panel to advise which toxics should be the focus of immediate attention, including a study of Bisphenol A, widely used in plastic baby bottles and similar consumer products.
- Announced plans to develop legislation to protect Lake Simcoe, and took immediate action by placing limits on municipal and industrial sewage discharges into the lake and by strengthening requirements on stormwater facilities.
Working for Ontario Families
To help Ontario families, the McGuinty government:
- Created Family Day, a statutory holiday in February, to give families more time together.
- Introduced a new law that provides immediate access to OHIP for eligible military families who are new to Ontario and protects the jobs of reservists who are called up to duty.
- Introduced legislation that would enshrine openness in future adoption records, while providing a disclosure veto for people involved with past adoptions.
- Introduced a driver's licence card with enhanced security features to help Ontarians avoid fraud, misuse and identify theft.
- Introduced a ban on gift card expiry dates to protect consumers.