Ontario Liberals Focused on Common Ground of Strong Economy, Fair Society, Effective Legislature

TORONTO, Feb. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - (Queen's Park) Experts agree the Ontario Liberals are working toward a stronger province that will create good jobs and build sustainable communities across the province:

KEN CORAN, PRESIDENT, ONTARIO SECONDARY SCHOOLS TEACHERS FEDERATION (OSSTF)
"The new government has shown that the tide has turned and I know the Premier believes very much in collaboration and in setting forward discussions that are positive. What I heard from today's speech was a willingness to collaborate, a willingness to discuss a willingness to be fair that is what we want to pursue."

SAM HAMMOND, PRESIDENT, ELEMENTARY TEACHERS FEDERATION OF ONTARIO (ETFO)
"It was nice to hear in the throne speech from this government there will be respect, transparency going forward with collective bargaining. I was glad to hear continued commitment to full-day kindergarten and education overall as a priority for this government. I can say that this government, under the new Premier and the new Minister of Education, has taken a giant step in the right direction in terms of respecting the process, respecting us as parties and partners.

MARK WALES, PRESIDENT, ONTARIO FEDERATION OF AGRICULTURE
"I really look forward to working with Jeff as Minister of Rural Affairs and Kathleen as Premier and Minister of Agriculture and Food to make sure that we take what is the number one industry in this province - agriculture, agri-food and agri-business. So I look forward to the opportunity to work with this government and making sure that we can get things done better for everyone."

CAROL WILDING, PRESIDENT AND CEO, TORONTO REGION BOARD OF TRADE 
"Toronto Region Board of Trade is encouraged to hear the government is committed to addressing our region's infrastructure challenges. As the government said in the Throne Speech, we can no longer be mired in political rhetoric nor waste our time stuck in traffic. The question today is not if we need new revenue tools, but which ones. Toronto Region Board of Trade supports the government's view that cooperation is needed between all orders of government, and the public, and looks forward to participating in this discussion which is so vital to ensuring our economy remains globally competitive."

GEOFF WILKINSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ONTARIO ROAD BUILDERS' ASSOCIATION
"The Ontario Road Builders' Association is encouraged by Premier Wynne's understanding of the need to push forward on building modern transportation infrastructure as a means for promoting economic development in the province.  We are ready and willing to work with the government, municipalities, and all other stakeholders, to address the unique transportation needs of our province and to help realize Premier Wynne's vision for Ontario."

SID RYAN, PRESIDENT, ONTARIO FEDERATION OF LABOUR
"We'll be strongly urging the NDP not to vote against the Throne Speech. Let's see what's in the budget…Conservatives are attacking workers in the government and it's nice to see that we can actually have a government that respects workers"

SARAH WINTERTON, ACTING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE 
"We're encouraged to hear Premier Wynne emphasize the importance of energy conservation. Ontario should lead the pack in energy conservation as it has on renewable energy and closing coal-fired power plants. We urge all parties to work together to find the best ways to reduce energy consumption to make Ontario a leader in energy efficiency, and to do this in a way that supports those people most vulnerable to rising energy costs."

HARVEY COOPER, MANAGER OF GOVERNMENT RELATIONS, CO-OPERATIVE HOUSING FEDERATION OF CANADA, ONTARIO REGION
"We appreciate Premier Kathleen's Wynne's strong commitment in this afternoon's Throne Speech to working with the opposition parties to make this Minority Government work. The Premier has been a long-time supporter of co-operative housing and we look forward to our work with her and all parliamentarians."

ANGUS TOULOUSE, FORMER REGIONAL CHIEF OF ONTARIO
"I'm an optimistic person, I'm really hopeful that the Premier says she wants to approach things from a different way - which is more one I'm hopeful will talk about the historic relationships that we've always had. Good education, fairness in terms of the equity really is what First Nations have been talking about. Wanting to see the federal government match the provincial kind of resources that they spend per child is essentially what First Nations have been talking about for many years - hopefully those opportunities we're going to see."

DONNA RUBIN, CEO, ONTARIO ASSOCIATION OF NON-PROFIT HOMES AND SERVICES FOR SENIORS
"We are pleased to see this government working hard to promote partnerships at all levels and we are starting to see an integrated health care system emerging in local communities, with the needs of the individual at the core."

SOURCE: Liberal Caucus Service Bureau

For further information:

Liberal Caucus Service Bureau
416-325-9138