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  • News
  • July 01, 2017

Daiene's Diary - July Op-Ed

When the Ontario legislature rises from the spring session and Members of Provincial Parliament return to their home ridings, I always find it amusing when people say, “So, you’re off for the summer?”

Truth be told, time spent in our ridings is often much busier than when we’re serving at Queen’s Park.  There are countless meetings with constituents and stakeholders, ribbon cuttings for new buildings and businesses, festivals, cultural events, walk-a-thons for worthy causes, and many other appointments to keep.

However, I will say that the spring session was extremely productive.  We passed 17 pieces of legislation during the spring sitting of the 41st Parliament of Ontario. These measures support good jobs, fair workplaces and better wages, prepare our workforce for the new innovation economy, and make life more affordable for workers, students, seniors and families.

Ontario’s economy is in a relatively strong position.  Our unemployment rate has dropped to a 16 year low, our growth is outpacing all G7 countries, and as promised we delivered a balanced budget.

But, even with a strong economy, there are many people who feel uncertain about their futures in a changing world.  “As a government, we can and must be a force for good,” says Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.  “That is why we are taking bold action so that everyone can feel more secure and confident about the future.”

To help people in Waterloo Region get ahead and stay ahead in a changing economy, the government brought forward a comprehensive list of actions that will make a positive difference in our lives.

These actions include: 

  • Raising the minimum wage and creating more security for employees through landmark changes to employment and labour laws. 
  • Making prescription medications free for everyone 24 years of age and younger through OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare — the biggest expansion of universal Medicare in Ontario in a generation. 
  • Launching a pilot project to assess whether a basic income can better support workers and improve health and education outcomes for people on low incomes. 
  • Making it more affordable to buy or rent a home, expanding rent control and bringing stability to the real estate market through Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan. 
  • Lowering electricity bills by 25 per cent, on average, for all residential customers and as many as half a million small businesses and farms. 
  • Providing access to affordable, quality licensed child care for 100,000 more children, including 24,000 in 2017–18. 
  • Making it easier for Ontario businesses to grow and create more jobs by cutting red tape and reducing regulatory burdens. 
  • Creating tomorrow’s jobs today, and attracting talent and investment by funding transformative technologies such as artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and 5G (fifth-generation) wireless networks. 
  • Continuing to stand up for Ontario workers and businesses by actively defending the province’s trade and investment interests with U.S. legislators and businesses.

Actions introduced this legislative sitting are part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Keep in Mind...

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