May 8, 2018
41st Parliament of Ontario Passed Landmark Legislation to Increase Care, Create Opportunity and Build Ontario Up
Premier Highlights Government Record as Parliament Dissolves After Passing 93 Bills
Ontario has taken historic action to relieve the pressure on families, provide better care for children, students and seniors, and expand economic opportunity so more people can get ahead in this uncertain period of rapid economic change.
Today, Premier Kathleen Wynne addressed the legislature, highlighting the government's record taking action to build Ontario up since taking office in 2013. In total, the government passed 93 bills during the three sessions of Parliament between June 2014 and May 2018, including:
Building on that record, the government's plan for care and opportunity made major strides in the spring 2018 sittings, with the passage of nine bills to support major new investments in health care, child care, home care and mental health. The Third Session also launched initiatives to create more jobs and make life more affordable.
Ontario's actions this spring to deliver on its plan for care and opportunity include:
- Introducing free licensed preschool child care for children from the age of two-and-a-half until they are eligible to start kindergarten, beginning in 2020
- Providing free prescription drugs for seniors
- Increasing hospital operating budgets to expand access to care and reduce wait times
- Introducing the Seniors' Healthy Home Program to provide up to $750 per year to households led by seniors 75 and over to offset costs of maintaining their homes
- Making the largest provincial investment in Canadian history in mental health and addictions supports and services
- Launching the Ontario Drug and Dental Program to help people without workplace health benefits cover the costs of prescription drugs and dental expenses
- Investing more in home care and community care to increase the number of personal support services, nursing and therapy visits and give caregivers more respite hours
- Helping to advance women's economic empowerment by making hiring processes more transparent
- Introducing a Good Jobs and Growth Plan to help students develop the skills they need to succeed and help businesses to become more competitive.
The legislation passed this spring is part of the government's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool child care from 2½ to kindergarten.
- In March 2018, there were almost 130,000 more jobs in Ontario than a year earlier, and the unemployment rate remained at 5.5 per cent — the lowest since 2000.
- Since 2014, Ontario’s real GDP has grown more than all G7 countries.
- Ontario is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, transit, roads and bridges in the province’s history. To learn more about what’s happening in your community, go to an interactive map at Ontario.ca/BuildON.