Building Ontario Up
Government Passed Nine of Its Bills During Current Session
The current sitting of the Ontario legislature wrapped up today, with the government making significant progress on implementing its four-part plan for Ontario. Since the session began in July, the government passed nine bills to improve the quality of life for people across the province by:
- Raising the minimum wage and ensuring that it is tied to inflation going forward;
- Decreasing auto insurance fraud to help lower auto insurance rates;
- Helping kids get the best start in life by supporting their learning, health and development;
- Improving transparency and accountability by expanding the Ontario Ombudsman's role to include municipalities, school boards and publicly funded universities;
- Creating a dynamic and supportive environment for business by helping to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens and practices that cost businesses time and money.
During this session so far, the government also introduced another 10 bills that, if passed, would help the province prosper by:
- Helping to keep Ontario's roads among the safest in North America by reducing collisions, injuries and fatalities through tougher penalties for offences such as distracted driving;
- Protecting the province by acting faster to contain the spread of invasive species;
- Ensuring Ontarians have the financially secure retirement they deserve by creating a mandatory provincial pension plan.
During the house's winter break, the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs will travel across the province to hold pre-budget consultations with the public. The Committee expects to hold consultations in Cornwall, Fort Erie, Fort Frances, London, Ottawa, Sudbury and Toronto between January 19 and January 30, 2015.
When the house returns in February, the government will continue to focus on legislative priorities that support its economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- With the passage of nine bills since July, the government has now passed 14 of the 29 pieces of legislation that died on the order paper in May.
- Employment in Ontario has increased by 517,400 since the recessionary low in June 2009.
- Ontario’s action to end coal-fired electricity generation is the single largest greenhouse gas reduction initiative in North America.
- For five years in a row, the government has beaten the deficit targets it established after the 2008–09 global recession. In September, the Public Accounts of Ontario 2013–2014 reported that the deficit for 2013–14 was $10.5 billion, an improvement of $1.3 billion compared with the projection in the 2013 Budget.
- Fewer than 35 per cent of workers in Ontario currently have a workplace pension plan. Studies show that a significant portion of today’s workers will not have sufficient retirement savings to maintain a similar standard of living when they retire.
“I am proud of the progress my government has made during this very productive session. We are putting into action our economic plan, and demonstrating how the four pillars of our plan are working together to support growth, create jobs and ultimately improve the quality of life for people across the province.”