- Local News
- April 28, 2017
Peterborough Benefits from Ontario Delivering Balanced Budget
Province Introduces Free Prescription Drugs for Children and Youth
Ontario is delivering on its commitment to balance this year’s budget in a fair and responsible way. With a growing economy and a balanced budget, our government is making significant investments in key services like health care and education while lowering costs for necessities like electricity and child care.
Ontario is Making Every Day Life More Affordable By:
- Introducing OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare that will provide universal drug coverage to all children and youth across the province, aged 24 years and under staring in January 2018;
- Helping 100,000 more children access affordable, quality licensed child care. In 2017–18, Ontario will support child care for 24,000 more children up to four years old through new fee subsidy spaces and support for new licensed child care spaces in schools;
- Rolling out the new Ontario Student Assistance Program, which means free tuition for more than 210,000 students in postsecondary education starting this fall;
- Ontario’s new Career Kick-Start Strategy will provide nearly $190 million over three years to create 40,000 new work-related opportunities for students and recent graduates to give them the experience they need to help land a good job;
- Lowering household electricity bills on average by 25 per cent, beginning summer 2017;
- Introducing a Fair Housing Plan to increase affordability for both buyers and renters and to support stability in the housing market;
- Proposing a new Ontario Seniors’ Public Transit Tax Credit for all Ontarians aged 65 or older, covering eligible public transit costs as of July 1, 2017. It would provide a refundable benefit of 15 per cent of eligible public transit costs, providing an average annual benefit of $130. Details about eligibility for the credit would be announced in time for the July 1 implementation date;
- The new Dementia Strategy will provide more than $100 million over three years to support people with dementia and those who care for them through better coordinated and enhanced services. This will include funding to expand province‐wide access to community programs and other investments to enhance access to care, information and support from as early as possible once a diagnosis is made;
- Increasing health care investments by $11.5 billion over the next three years including a 3.3% increase in Peterborough Regional Health Centre’s operating budget and $1.3 billion funding to further reduce wait times; and
- Providing better supports for families and caregivers by expanding home and community care programs, including nursing, personal support any physiotherapy services with an additional investment of $250 million this year. Family and friends caring for loved ones will receive support through access to respite care, education and training, and a new Ontario Caregiver Tax Credit;
Our government is delivering on its commitment to balance the budget this year, building on a successful track record of prudent fiscal management, which has made Ontario an economic leader in Canada and the world.
"Today’s budget is great news for Peterborough. Not only did our government balance the balance, we addressed serious affordability concerns for Peterborough residents. From providing free prescription drugs for children and youth, to expanding childcare spaces, increasing housing affordability and proposing a new Ontario Seniors' Public Transit Tax Credit, we are making lives easier and more affordable for Ontarians of all ages."
— Jeff Leal, MPP for Peterborough and Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Minister Responsible for Small Business
“A balanced budget is more than just the bottom line number. It’s about finding new ways to help you and your family. It’s about creating opportunities and providing the supports people need to succeed. This balanced budget is dedicated to providing young people with free prescription medications, providing free tuition and helping businesses grow. We are delivering on our commitment to ensure that everyone has equal opportunities for success.”
— Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance
- The Province’s investment in public infrastructure of more than $190 billion over a 13-year period, which started in 2014–15, is the largest infrastructure investment in the province’s history. It is supporting projects such as building child care spaces, schools, hospitals, public transit, highways and roads.
- Over the last three years, Ontario’s real GDP growth has outpaced that of all G7 countries. Exports and business investments are increasing, household incomes are rising and the unemployment rate continues to decline — and has been below the national average for 24 consecutive months.
Employment in 2017 is forecast to increase by 1.3 per cent, or 94,000 net new jobs, following 1.1 per cent growth in 2016. These gains are expected to continue at 1.1 per cent annually, on average, from 2018–20. This would result in 900,000 net new jobs created between 2010 and 2020, the majority in industries that pay above-average wages, in the private sector and in full-time positions.