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McGuinty government moving Ontario forward

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McGuinty government moving Ontario forward

In the second half of 2008, the McGuinty government continued moving Ontario forward with its plan to strengthen the economy by investing in people.

Office of the Premier

In the second half of 2008, the McGuinty government continued moving Ontario forward with its plan to strengthen the economy by investing in people.

STRENGTHENING THE ECONOMY

Investing in high skills jobs - The Next Generation of Jobs Fund invested $26.75 million in three projects that will retain and create over 1,080 jobs: $7.95 million for 6N Silicon (Vaughan), $13.9 million for Sanofi Pasteur (Toronto) and $4.9 million for Purdue Pharma Canada (Pickering).

Investing in manufacturing jobs - The Advanced Manufacturing Investment Strategy invested $10-million in Hanwha L&C Canada (London). 2Source Manufacturing (Mississauga) received a $5.13-million loan. Stanpac (Smithville) received a $2.85-million loan.

Securing more business - A successful trade mission to China netted more than $600 million in contracts for Ontario businesses.

Investing in infrastructure - Canada and Ontario signed a $ 6.2-billion infrastructure agreement. Priorities include improvements to Highway 11/17 in northwestern Ontario, rapid transit for the Waterloo Region, the Huron Elgin London Clean Water Project and internet broadband coverage for rural Ontario. 

Investing in municipalities - Committed an additional $1.1 billion to improve municipal infrastructure, roads and bridges, expand public transit and other municipal projects. The investment will create as many as 11,000 construction jobs in the short term and make Ontario's economy more competitive in the long term.

Taking action on poverty - Introduced the Poverty Reduction Strategy designed to build a stronger economy by creating more opportunity for low-income families and children. It sets a target to reduce child poverty by 25 per cent over five years. Meeting the target will require provincial investments, federal investments and a growing economy.

More opportunity to upgrade skills - Expanded the Second Career program to help more laid-off workers get skills training for high-demand jobs in their communities.

Protecting workers - Introduced new legislation that would ensure temporary help agency employees are being treated fairly. The law would make it mandatory for temp agencies to extend benefits and services to independent operators and other individuals who are currently not covered.

Tax exemptions for innovation - Passed a bill for a 10-year Ontario income tax exemption for new corporations that commercialize intellectual property developed by Canadian universities, colleges or research institutes. This is a first in North America.

HEALTHIER ONTARIANS

Getting diabetes under control - Investing $741 million over four years on a comprehensive diabetes strategy to prevent, manage and treat diabetes.

Expanded drug coverage - Ontarians living with diabetes and those being treated for colorectal cancer now will have six vital drugs added to the Ontario Public Drug Program, making them more affordable.

Improving patient safety - Created infection control resource teams and funded 66 more infection prevention and control practitioners to ensure the highest standards of care for hospital patients.

Opening Ontario's borders to doctors - Passed a bill to help more foreign trained doctors practice so more Ontario families can receive quality health care.

BOOSTING STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

Labour stability at schools - Education Minister Kathleen Wynne helped broker an agreement between school boards and all support workers and a majority of teacher's federations. 

Skills training for students - Expanded the Specialist High Skills Majors program to help more students graduate and prepare for good careers.

More improvement in elementary school learning - Continued making progress with Grade 3 and 6 students who improved in reading, writing and math. 

More support for students - More than 500,000 full-time community college and university students can now access a new annual grant to help pay for their books and computer costs.

CLEANER ENVIRONMENT

Protecting the Boreal Forest - Ontario will protect at least 225,000 square kilometres of the Far North Boreal region. Scientists, First Nation and Métis communities will work together to map and permanently protect a network of conservation lands.

Joining forces on climate change - Ontario united with British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec and seven U.S. States to find regional solutions to climate change.

Investing in clean energy - Directed Ontario Power Authority to put out a call for renewable energy developers to bid on contracts for new green energy supply. These projects will not only increase clean, sustainable energy sources, they will help local economies and create jobs.

Protecting Lake Simcoe - A new law now protects Lake Simcoe for future generations by calling for a plan that sets stricter environmental standards.

STRONGER, SAFER COMMUNITIES

Improving road safety - Introduced legislation that would ban using hand-held electronic devices while driving. The law would also get tougher on drunk drivers.

Delivering justice faster - Introduced justice system reforms that will move major criminal cases through the justice system faster and more effectively.

Tracking sex offenders - Made changes to the Sex Offender Registry that helps police better monitor sex offenders to keep Ontario communities safer.

Protecting animals and regulating roadside zoos - A new law with stiffer penalties for abuse and neglect of animals. It also allows for inspection of roadside zoos and other premises with animals. The law is the toughest of its kind in Canada.

LEGISLATIVE ACHIEVEMENTS

During this fall session, the McGuinty government achieved a number of important results for Ontario families. The legislature passed nine bills that strengthen the skills, health and prosperity of Ontarians. 

Bills Passed

Bill 50 Protecting Animal Welfare
Stiffer penalties for abuse and neglect of animals and inspection of roadside zoos
Minister Bartolucci
Bill 77 Developmental Services 
Modernizes services for the developmentally disabled by providing more care in community settings 
Minister Meilleur
Bill 85 Enhanced Drivers' Licences
Will enhance drivers' licenses for border crossing and establish photo ID for persons without a license
Minister Bradley
Bill 90 Colleges Collective Bargaining
Allows part-time college workers collective bargaining rights
Minister Milloy
Bill 97 International Medical Graduates
Increases access to care by getting more foreign trained medical professionals certified and practicing in Ontario
Minister Caplan
Bill 99 Protecting Lake Simcoe
Working on a plan to strengthen environmental standards for Lake Simcoe
Minister Gerretsen
Bill 100 Ideas for the Future
Refunds corporate income tax for 10 years for companies that commercialize an idea or research and develop ideas in Canada
Minister Duncan
Bill 114 Fall Budget
Implements technical items from the 2008 Budget and the Fall Economic Statement 
Minister Duncan
Bill 119 WSIB - Coverage for the Construction industry
Ensures all construction workers are treated fairly and are protected if they are hurt on the job
Minister Fonseca

Bills introduced

Bill 103 Child and Family Services Statute Law Amendment Act, 2008
Minister Matthews
Bill 108 Apology Act, 2008
Minister Bentley
Bill 115  Coroner's Amendment Act, 2008
Minister Bartolucci
Bill 118 Countering Distracted Driving and Promoting Green Transportation Act, 2008
Minister Bradley
Bill 126  Road Safety Act, 2008
Minister Bradley
Bill 133 Family Statute Law Amendment Act, 2008
Minister Bentley
Bill 139  Employment Standards Amendment Act (Temporary Help Agencies), 2008 
Minister Fonseca
Bill 141  Regulated Health Professions Amendment Act, 2008
Minister Caplan

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