|On March 19th, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, delivered the Ontario government’s speech from the throne.
The throne speech, delivered ahead of next week’s budget and just months before the next election, focused on the theme of “care.” The top priorities for the government in lead up to the election include health care, home care, mental health and addictions, child care, and regional investments.
The OCC has provided a synopsis of the throne speech below. Throne speeches provide a general overview of the Government’s policy commitments rather than specific details. We will provide a detailed analysis of the government’s commitments following the release of the upcoming 2018 Budget on March 28th.
- Health Care: The upcoming 2018 Budget will make significant investments in hospital operating budgets and reduce wait times at hospitals across the province.
- Home Care: The government will invest in home care, providing more services for seniors at home as well provide financial relief for families caring for aging loved ones.
- Mental Health Care: The upcoming 2018 Budget will expand access to mental health and addictions care and help ensure Ontarians have access to support in communities and schools.
- Child Care and Education: The government will continue to address the cost of child care by making additional investments in existing programs. It will also provide free tuition to more post-secondary students through the new OSAP. The government also intends to invest in training more apprentices for the workforce, including in emerging fields.
- OHIP+ and Dental Care: The upcoming 2018 Budget will provide more Ontarians with access to prescription drugs and dental care. This will include an expansion of OHIP+.
- Economic Growth and Investments: The throne speech highlighted that the upcoming 2018 Budget will include support for regional investments and job funds. As part of the government’s engagement strategy, it will continue to advocate for Ontario businesses abroad including for the auto, steel, and agriculture sectors. The government will also continue to make significant investments in infrastructure.