What We’re Building in Ontario
By MPP Harinder Malhi
We all have different priorities in life and, at various stages, our priorities will change. But whatever your age or stage, a growing economy that is creating good jobs is the foundationon which opportunity and security arebuilt. This is why Premier Kathleen Wynne has made jobs and growthour government’s top priority. And our four-part economic plan is working.Ontario posted higher real GDP growth in the first three months of 2016 than Canada, the U.S. and all other G7 countries.Unemployment is at its lowest point in eight years.
Now that we are halfway through our mandate to build Ontario up, I want to show you how our government’s economic plan is delivering on this top priority and creating more opportunity and security for the people of Brampton-Springdale.
Historic investments in infrastructure
When Kathleen Wynne became Premier, it was increasingly impossible to move within our congested cities and on our highways. Our hospitals and schools were in need of repair.To support long-term growth, we quickly put into action the largest infrastructure investment in Ontario history.Now in year threeof that investment, our 2016 Budget increased it to about $160 billion over 12 years. Many projects are currently underway in Brampton-Sprindale and in the City of Brampton including the 41- expansion, Erin Oak Kids, upgrades at the Bramalea Go Stations and the Peel Memorial Hospital.
Transitioning to a low-carbon economy
The global economy is changing almost as quickly as our climate. As businesses adapt, our plan is putting Ontario in the lead by building a sustainable, more innovative and greener province.
Already, we’ve come so far.When weclosed Ontario’s coal-powered plants for goodtwo years ago, we completed North America’s single-largest climate action. We’ve growna renewables sector that is now generating market-competitive energy. And smog days are a thing of the past.
The Ontario Conservatives want you to think a low-carbon future is fantasy. The only fantasy here is their belief that our children and grandchildren will forgive us for having the evidence and tools to fight climate change but refusing to act. While the Conservatives would roll back the clock on all of our progress, we know Ontario needs to keep moving forward. That’s why our Climate Change Action Plan gives you thetools and incentives to adopt clean technologies that exist today and is helping scientists and entrepreneurs discover low-carbon solutions for an energy-hungry planet. Ultimately, by fighting climate change,we’rebuilding a globally relevant Ontario economy as we become more efficient and reduce our energy costs.
Investing in People’s Talent and Skills
The single-biggest reason businesses invest and grow here is our people. But having one of the most highly educated, innovative workforces in the world is no reason to be complacent. It is an advantage we must always be building. That’s why we are making average college and university tuition free for students from low-income backgrounds and more affordable for middle- income and mature students.Now, more young people will be able to get and create the good jobs of today and tomorrow.
Building Retirement Security for Workers
In 2014, the federal government refused to take the retirement savings gap seriously, so people gave our government a mandate to build the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan.When Justin Trudeau’s Liberals were elected last fall, we saw an opportunity to revisit our preferred path: an enhanced Canada Pension Plan (CPP). Because of Ontario’sleadership and persistence, Canada is now moving toexpand the CPP, securing the retirements of millions of Ontario workers and our fellow Canadians from coast-to-coast-coast.
Every aspect of our four-part plan builds towards our top priority — good jobs and growth that create opportunity and security for today and tomorrow. We have also laid out a responsible path back to a balanced budget, next year,in fiscal 2017-18.Every day, as we continue cutting the deficit and investing in growth, we are building confidence in a plan thatis meeting the social, environmental and economic challenges of the new century head on.
Whether you’re raising a young family, starting a business, going back to school or preparing for retirement, the foundation of opportunity and security is economic growth and good jobs. That’s what our four-part economic plan is delivering and it’s what we’re building, together.