The 2011 Ontario Budget continues the McGuinty government’s support of Ontario’s economic recovery. The budget renews the focus on eliminating the deficit while protecting education and health care.
The deficit for 2010–11 is projected to be $16.7 billion — $3 billion lower than forecast a year ago. Ontario is turning the corner out of the recession and is on a steady, responsible track to growth.
The 2011 Budget’s strategic investments include:
Jobs and Growth
• New partnerships with the private sector will create and retain nearly 10,000 jobs in Ontario.
• That builds on the 91% of jobs that Ontario has already recovered from the lowest point of the recession.
• More than 60,000 new student spaces in Ontario’s colleges and universities by 2015–16. There will be room for every qualified Ontario student.
• This September, full-day kindergarten will be available in an additional 200 schools, benefiting up to 50,000 children. It will be fully implemented and available in every school in September 2014.
Protecting Health Care
• Funding for 90,000 additional breast cancer screening exams to help reach more women at high risk.
• Developing a comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy and tripling current funding levels by 2013-14.
• Expanding pharmacy services and support by $100 million for people covered under the Ontario Drug Benefit Program — helping seniors and others with things like prescription follow-up consultations.
• Increasing funding for long-term care homes and other community-based supports by approximately 3 per cent annually.
Protecting the Environment
• Investing $20 million in the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation to promote agriculture, tourism and environmental integrity.
• To help eliminate the deficit without threatening economic growth or the gains Ontarians have made in education and health care, the government must further reform the way it does business.
• Recent initiatives and those announced in this budget would help realize savings of nearly $1.5 billion over the next three fiscal years. The 2011 Budget builds on the McGuinty government’s Open Ontario plan to strengthen the economy, promote job creation and protect key public services.
“By balancing the need for deficit reduction with sustained investment in public services, we’ve charted a responsible path towards balanced budgets and laid the foundation for long-term economic growth.”
— Greg Sorbara, MPP Vaughan
“From further expanding full-day kindergarten to adding tens of thousands of new student spaces at our colleges and universities, our government maintains its commitment to investing in education. A head start in school and continued quality education means a smarter workforce and a greater quality of life for generations to come.”
— Michael Chan, MPP Markham-Unionville
“This budget builds on the strengths of our government. The expansion of Medscheck in the Ontario Drug Benefit Program gives our seniors more access to the services they need, while additional funding for the Ontario Breast Cancer Screening Program will ensure thousands more women at high-risk are screened at a younger age.”
— Reza Moridi, MPP Richmond Hill
“The introduction of a comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy will allow for an integrated, responsive system that will put children first—early intervention is essential for treatment to be effective.”
— Dr. Helena Jaczek, MPP Oak Ridges-Markham
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