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Port Stanley News RSS Feed  Regional 2018 Budget Unveils New Drug And Dental plan And Free Preschool


Office of Cambridge MPP Kathryn McGarry

MPP McGarry Announces New Investments in Health Care, Child Care and Mental Health

Toronto - The 2018 Budget includes significant new investments in health care, child care, and mental health, new measures to make life more affordable, and more initiatives that create more job opportunities for people across southwestern Ontario, announced Cambridge MPP, Kathryn McGarry.

"This budget is going to have a huge impact on the lives of families in Windsor, Stratford, and across Southwestern Ontario," said McGarry. "Through free childcare for preschoolers, expanded pharmacare for our seniors, a new drug and dental plan, high speed rail, and many other initiatives, our government has a plan to build a future for Ontario that provides opportunities for families to thrive and succeed."

If passed, the government would expand OHIP+ with free prescription drugs for everyone 65 and over, improve mental health care and addictions services, and introduce free preschool child care for children aged two-and-a-half until eligible for kindergarten.

"Ontario's economy is getting stronger, businesses are creating record numbers of jobs, and unemployment is at the lowest rate in almost two decades," added McGarry. "Our budget is currently balanced, and we have a $600 million surplus. Now, we are using that strengthened fiscal position to make life more affordable for families and create new opportunity for businesses in communities like Brantford, Woodstock and Sarnia."

Key budget initiatives include:

  • Providing quality child care by making preschool child care free for children aged two-and-a-half until they are eligible for kindergarten, saving the average family child $17,000 per child.
  • Introducing a new Ontario Drug and Dental Program, reimbursing up to $400 per single person, $600 per couple and $700 for a family of four, of eligible prescription drug and dental expenses each year, for those without benefits and not covered by OHIP+ or other government programs.
  • Introducing the new Seniors' Healthy Home Program, providing up to $750 annually for senior households 75 and over help them live independently by covering housekeeping, snow removal, minor home improvements, and more.
  • Improving hospitals by increasing funding hospitals in Southwestern Ontario on average by 4% helping to reduce wait times, address capacity issues improving access to specialists, and better meeting the needs of our community. to provide more and faster health care for people.
  • The province is also investing approximately $19 billion over 10 years to build and renovate 40 hospitals, such as the London Health Sciences Centre.
  • Investing over $11 billion to support construction on the first high-speed rail service in Canada, taking commuters from London to Toronto in 72 minutes.
  • Building a new Bus Rapid Transit System for London through an investment of $170 million to get commuters where they need to go faster, and help with congestion.
  • Planning to create and retain over 70,000 jobs by renewing and extending the Jobs and Prosperity Fund with an increase of $900 million to leverage over $9 billion in private-sector investments, like the $11 million investment at the Ferrero Canada facility in Brantford.
  • Investing an additional $50 million in the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund to create and retain approximately 19,000 jobs and attract more than $800 million in investments, like the investment of $1.5 million in Bend All Automotive in Ayr creating 30 new jobs, retaining 684 existing positions.
  • Investing in Broadband - an additional $500 million over 3 years to expand broadband connectivity in rural communities like St. Thomas and Tillsonburg.
  • Investing $52 million in the Great Lakes to help ensure the sustainability and vibrancy of the Ontario's Great Lakes.
  • Implementing a Sarnia Health Study to identify the localized impact of air pollution on First Nations and Sarnia-area residents.
  • Investing an additional $784 million in our schools, building new schools, additions, and upgrades to 79 schools, such as the new school and community hub for over 1,000 pupils in Forest.
  • Creating 30,000 new long-term care beds, in addition to the 30,000 existing beds being redeveloped – helping people who can no longer live independently and provide peace of mind for people who care for them.
  • Providing better and faster access to mental health and addictions services for hundreds of thousands more children, young people and adults across Ontario — bringing the total funding to more than $17 billion over four years.
  • Investing almost $840 million in water and wastewater infrastructure through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund, including $2.3 million for the Municipality of Chatham-Kent to upgrade water treatment and pollution control plants to improve water and wastewater treatment services

This budget focuses on initiatives that make life more affordable and provide more financial security during a time of rapid economic change.

Quick Facts

  • Since the recession, Ontario's economy has gained over 800,000 net new jobs.
  • The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low and has remained below the national average for 34 consecutive months.
  • Since 2014 Ontario's economy has grown more than Canada's and all other G7 countries.

Last Updated: Thursday, 29 March 2018 09:04:18 AM EST

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