41st Parliament of Ontario Passed Landmark Legislation to Increase Care, Create Opportunity and Build Ontario Up
Premier Highlights Government Record as Parliament Dissolves After Passing 93 Bills
Ontario has taken historic action to relieve the pressure on families, provide better care for children, students and seniors, and expand economic opportunity so more people can get ahead in this uncertain period of rapid economic change.
Today, Premier Kathleen Wynne addressed the legislature, highlighting the government's record taking action to build Ontario up since taking office in 2013. In total, the government passed 93 bills during the three sessions of Parliament between June 2014 and May 2018, including:
- Investing a record amount to build new roads, transit, hospitals, schools and other public infrastructure
- Completing the roll-out of Full-Day Kindergarten across Ontario
- Helping to lower people's hydro bills by an average of 25 per cent
- Making buying or renting a home more affordable
- Putting a cap on greenhouse gas pollution and using the proceeds to help people make low-carbon choices that save them energy and money
- Cutting red tape and building a competitive, dynamic business environment
- Putting patients first with changes that increase the number of frontline health care workers
- Growing the number of licensed child care spaces to 427,000 — a 45 per cent increase since 2012-13
- Increasing the minimum wage in Ontario to $14 an hour
- Providing public funding to cover the average cost of tuition for hundreds of thousands of college and university students
- Making 4,400 prescription drugs free for everyone under the age of 25
Building on that record, the government's plan for care and opportunity made major strides in the spring 2018 sittings, with the passage of nine bills to support major new investments in health care, child care, home care and mental health. The Third Session also launched initiatives to create more jobs and make life more affordable.
Ontario's actions this spring to deliver on its plan for care and opportunity include:
- Introducing free licensed preschool child care for children from the age of two-and-a-half until they are eligible to start kindergarten, beginning in 2020
- Providing free prescription drugs for seniors
- Increasing hospital operating budgets to expand access to care and reduce wait times
- Introducing the Seniors' Healthy Home Program to provide up to $750 per year to households led by seniors 75 and over to offset costs of maintaining their homes
- Making the largest provincial investment in Canadian history in mental health and addictions supports and services
- Launching the Ontario Drug and Dental Program to help people without workplace health benefits cover the costs of prescription drugs and dental expenses
- Investing more in home care and community care to increase the number of personal support services, nursing and therapy visits and give caregivers more respite hours
- Helping to advance women's economic empowerment by making hiring processes more transparent
- Introducing a Good Jobs and Growth Plan to help students develop the skills they need to succeed and help businesses to become more competitive.
- In March 2018, there were almost 130,000 more jobs in Ontario than a year earlier, and the unemployment rate remained at 5.5 per cent — the lowest since 2000.
- Since 2014, Ontario’s real GDP has grown more than all G7 countries.
- Ontario is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, transit, roads and bridges in the province’s history. To learn more about what’s happening in your community, go to an interactive map at Ontario.ca/BuildON.
“From the moment I became Premier, I said I would build Ontario up and create real opportunity and lasting security, and that is what we have done. The bills we’ve passed have introduced big changes in Ontario, because it is our government’s mission to do everything we can to relieve the pressures people are under and make sure you can care for your family and find good opportunities in a growing economy. As the world continues to change, we are investing where people tell us it will make the most difference: health care, education, child care, seniors’ care and new roads and transit. It’s about making sure that people have the care they need for themselves and their families — and creating new opportunities for them to get ahead. And there is so much more to do.”