Ontario Government Introducing Positive Change across the Province: The spring session of the Ontario Legislature wrapped up today with the passing of the 2013 Budget.
Since the session began in February, Premier Kathleen Wynne and her team moved forward on a number of measures to grow the economy and help people in their everyday lives.
In the 2013 Budget, the government unveiled new initiatives to create jobs, including:
- A new Youth Jobs Strategy that will create about 30,000 job and mentorship opportunities for young people and support their entrepreneurial efforts;
- A plan to invest more than $35 billion in infrastructure across Ontario over the next three years that will support more than 100,000 jobs on average each year;
- A proposed increase to the Employer Health Tax exemption that would provide greater tax relief for small employers and help them hire more people.
Premier Wynne and her team are also helping people in their everyday lives through measures that include:
- Increasing the Ontario Child Benefit’s annual maximum payment by up to $210 over the next two years;
- Taking steps to transform social assistance to help more recipients find jobs and improve their financial security;
- Reducing auto insurance rates by 15 per cent on average for nine million drivers;
- Investing an additional $260 million this year in home and community care;
- Proposing new rules for wireless contracts and services;
- Strengthening the rights of consumers in the areas of door-to-door sales, debt settlement services and real estate transactions.
During the spring session, the government also introduced legislation that, if passed, would help make Ontario a safer, healthier place for everyone by:
- Prohibiting the sale of tanning services to people under 18 to protect young people from skin cancer;
- Providing job protection for caregivers who take leave to care for sick or injured loved ones or to cope with the illness or loss of a child;
- Making it easier for municipalities to collect unpaid fines from Ontario drivers;
- Making more local food available in stores, schools and restaurants across the province;
- Requiring producers to take responsibility for recycling the products they sell and turning more waste into new products.
- In May, Ontario gained 50,600 jobs. Ontario has created more than 400,000 jobs since June 2009, recovering all the jobs lost during the recession.
- The government is supporting regional economic development through programs such as the Eastern Ontario Development Fund, the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.
- The government is promoting entrepreneurship and innovation by funding a new venture capital fund to help emerging start-ups, committing $100 million over five years to the Ontario Brain Institute and providing grants to support the production and distribution of Canadian music.
- The government presented the 2013 Budget on May 2. It was passed on June 11, 2013.
Office of the Premier, June 11, 2013