Throne Speech Announces Major Investments Guided by a Commitment to Care and Creating Opportunity
Ontario’s Plan Will Take Bold Action to Enhance Health Care, Home Care, Mental Health and Child Care
The Ontario government is investing more in the care and services that people across the province rely on, easing the mounting pressures families are facing and giving them every opportunity to care for their loved ones and get ahead.
The government's upcoming Budget will focus on doing more for people in health care, home care, mental health care and child care services. It will also expand a number of other programs that support people to care for their loved ones and help them to succeed in a changing economy.
Ontario's economy remains strong, with the unemployment rate at its lowest in almost two decades. Yet between the rising cost of living and stable, long-term jobs becoming harder to find, many people are struggling to take care of themselves and their families. As the changing economy widens the gaps within our society, the government has a plan to build a fairer, better Ontario by supporting everyone in the province with the care and opportunity they need to get ahead.
The government's priorities were outlined in the Speech from the Throne delivered today by the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Ontario's Lieutenant Governor. The speech opened the third Session of the province's 41st Parliament.
- Reducing wait times for health care by significantly increasing hospital operating budgets
- Expanding home care to provide more services for seniors choosing to stay at home, and to provide financial relief for families who are caring for aging loved ones
- Making historic investments in mental health and addictions services so people of all ages across the province can get the care they need
- Ensuring more people without a drug and dental benefits plan will have access to more affordable prescription drugs and dental care
- Providing more college and university students with free tuition through the new OSAP
- Making investments to train more apprentices for the workforce, including in emerging fields
- Focusing on regions that are struggling to achieve economic growth by investing in workers and businesses
- Continuing to make record-breaking investments across Ontario in public infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, roads, bridges and transit systems.
The Throne Speech outlines the next steps to build on the government's plan for fairness, and providing care and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- In February, the unemployment rate in Ontario was 5.5 per cent, the lowest since 2000.
- The Throne Speech builds on measures the government brought forward during the first two sessions of the 41st Parliament as part of its plan for fairness, and providing care and opportunity in a time of rapid economic change.
“I hear from people every day who put caring first — whether it’s at home, caring for their families, or at work, caring for patients, students or society’s most vulnerable people. The people of Ontario are our greatest strength, and our government doesn’t accept that anyone should be left to fend for themselves, particularly in this turbulent, changing economy. We’re taking bold steps to ensure the best care for our children, our seniors and our friends and family members. Our plan will relieve pressure on families by making it easier for people to care for themselves and for each other.”