One of the first questions a politician is asked when she or he seeks office is, “Why are you running?” This is fundamental question that really boils down to one simple answer – because they want to make life better for members of their community.
Last week, the province released its Fall Economic Statement, and I believe it highlights why so many of my colleagues entered the political sphere. Put simply, the Fall Economic Statement’s primary focus is on making life better for the people of Ontario.
How are we doing that?
We’re making housing more affordable with a proposal to double the maximum Land Transfer Tax refund to $4,000 for first time homebuyers. This means more than half of first time homebuyers in Ontario would pay no Land Transfer Tax on the purchase of their first home.
By modernizing the Land Transfer Tax, and increasing rates only for one or two single family residences with a purchase price over 2 million, we’re ensuring there is no added burden for low and middle income families.
We’re also focusing on supporting and growing local businesses which will help strengthen our economy and create jobs. Waterloo Region is a community of brilliant thinkers and innovators, and the perfect place to take advantage of the government's new scale up voucher initiative. It’s designed to help high impact companies overcome barriers which may exist as they enter their next stage of growth. These funds will help our companies recruit specialized talent, access new markets, and protect their intellectual property.
Small and medium sized businesses are also supported through the small business innovation challenge pilot program.
These investments are tailor made for communities such as ours where in just the past decade nearly 3,000 high tech companies have sprouted up in our rich, innovative tech eco-system. Each of these businesses creates jobs supporting our growing and dynamic private sector.
Finally, we’re making peoples’ lives better through our critical investments in health care. An additional $140 million in 2016-17 is being dedicated to reducing wait times, supporting better care, and improving services for patients in every hospital across the province.
Our region is seeing these investments in our own hospitals and health care system. Recently, our Minister of Health and Long Term Care, the Hon. Dr. Eric Hoskins, came to our community to announce $7 million for a new catheter lab at St. Mary’s Hospital. And, he also toured Grand River Hospital to have a look at construction underway for a $5 million radiation unit at our cancer centre. These investments are being made to support critical work at our local hospitals.
The Fall Economic Statement sets out a vision on our path to prosperity in Ontario and a balanced budget. If you would like a copy, please feel free to contact my office.
This website is provided for your convenience. If you'd prefer to call or email, my staff and I would be happy to hear from you.
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