Promises Made, Promises Kept: Ontario's Government for the People Marks One-Year Anniversary
Working for you to make life more affordable and protect frontline services
TORONTO — Today, Premier Doug Ford renewed the government's commitment to respect taxpayers, encourage job creation, and put people first on the one-year anniversary since taking office.
Over the past year, the government has kept the promises it made to the people of Ontario. They include restoring trust, accountability, and transparency; putting more money in people's pockets; cleaning up the hydro mess; cutting hospital wait times; and making Ontario open for business and open for jobs.
"Every day since June 7, our government has been working non-stop to deliver real change and keep our promises to the people of Ontario — and the results are clear," said Ford. "Since we took office, more than 190,000 jobs have been created and we have a reasonable and responsible plan to balance our budget, while protecting core services like healthcare and education. Looking ahead, we know our work is far from done and we will seize this opportunity to build a bright future for our province."
To date, 85 per cent of the total commitments the government made to the people of Ontario have been completed or put into action. As a result, Ontario's Government for the People has delivered unprecedented results for Ontario families, seniors, students, individuals, and businesses in the following key priority areas:
Put more money in your pocket by scrapping the province's cap-and-trade carbon tax, saving Ontario families about $260 per year and cutting gas prices by 4.3 cents a litre; scrapping the Drive Clean program to save time and reduce vehicle service costs for consumers; freezing driver and vehicle fees; introducing one of the most generous tax cuts for low-income workers in a generation, the Low-income Individuals and Families Tax credit (LIFT) so those on minimum wage pay no Ontario Personal Income Tax; introducing one of the most flexible child care initiatives in Ontario history, the Ontario Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) tax credit, to put parents and children first; challenging the constitutionality of the federal government's job-killing carbon tax and joining Saskatchewan's similar court challenge; and helping students get the skills they need to succeed with an unprecedented 10 per cent reduction in college and university tuition fees and the modernization of skilled trades and apprenticeships.
Cleaned up the hydro mess by overseeing the renewal of Hydro One, including the departure of the previous CEO and Board of Directors, and installing a new Board backed up by real accountability and transparency measures; cancelling and winding down more than 750 unnecessary and expensive renewable energy contracts to save ratepayers $790 million; and repealing the Green Energy Act to stop approvals for wasteful energy projects that would add unnecessary costs to electricity bills, as part of the government's commitment to lower hydro bills by 12 per cent.
Created the environment for good jobs by helping businesses and entrepreneurs create more than 190,000 new jobs; improving broadband and cellular service in unserved and underserved areas in Ontario with $71 million in new funding and a commitment of $315 million in funding; helping businesses make investments and create jobs by providing $3.8 billion in corporate tax relief through the Ontario Job Creation Investment Incentive; cutting red tape and stifling regulations that were hindering job creation and growth by passing the Making Ontario Open for Business Act and Restoring Ontario's Competitiveness Act; making life easier by increasing GO service in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, providing free rides for kids, and making the largest investment in subways in Canadian history to help get families and commuters moving; investing $1.3 billion in our highways to relieve congestion, improve road safety, and get people and goods moving; helping to build more affordable homes and create jobs through More Homes, More Choice: Ontario's Housing Supply Action Plan; and introducing our Made-in-Ontario Environment plan to reduce our emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, without imposing a job-killing carbon tax on Ontario families and businesses.
Restored accountability and trust by keeping our promises and taking action on 50 out of 59 campaign commitments in the government's first 12 months in office; launching a line-by-line review to shed light on past public spending; earning a clean audit on the province's books for the first time in three years from Ontario's Auditor General; reducing the inherited deficit of $15 billion from the previous government down to a projected $11.7 billion for the 2018-19 fiscal year; addressing urgent issues by passing 20 bills in an unprecedented year of activity, including a rare summer sitting; enhancing ServiceOntario's top 10 transactions, including the issuing of driver's licences, health cards and vehicle permits to make life easier for people; increasing education funding by $700 million this year and unveiling the government's vision for putting students and parents first in Education that Works for You, informed by the largest consultation on education in Ontario's history; and restoring respect for police officers by passing the Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act.
Cut hospital wait times by increasing healthcare funding by $1.3 billion this year allocating more than 7,000 new long-term care beds, nearly half of the 15,000 new beds to be built over the next five years; helping the healthcare system and communities support those struggling with mental health and addictions by providing a historic investment of $3.8 billion over ten years; and providing free dental care to low-income seniors.
"We inherited a massive credit card bill and broken healthcare and education systems from the previous government, but we are moving quickly to turn this province around," said Ford. "We have the best team with the know-how and experience to tackle these challenges together. As we build for our future, our government will continue to put the people first."