Platform Builds On Progress Underway To Strengthen Ontario Families And
The Public Services They Depend On
TORONTO, Sept. 6 /CNW/ - Earlier today, Premier Dalton McGuinty launched
the next major step in the Ontario Liberals' plan to strengthen the public
services families count on.
It's a plan to keep moving Ontario forward, and people are already talking
about it. Here's what some Ontarians are saying:
A Stronger Ontario
"The Liberal platform throws down the gauntlet on poverty reduction.
Following on the heels of the Ontario Child Benefit, the platform further
demonstrates the Liberals' on-going commitment to reducing hunger and poverty.
Daily Bread challenges John Tory and Howard Hampton to match or exceed this
strong commitment with a poverty reduction strategy of their own."
Gail Nyberg, Executive Director, Daily Bread Food Bank
"The Ontario Child Benefit was a significant step forward for low-income
children in Ontario. The commitment to the creation of a poverty reduction
strategy is a very promising development in ensuring that all children across
the province have the opportunity to succeed. This is a program which deserves
the support of all political parties in this province."
Rabbi Arthur Bielfeld, Campaign Against Child
"These proposals are consistent with the recommendations in the MISWAA
Task Force Report and will have a significant impact on the lives of
low-income people in this province."
Susan Pigott, Co-Chair, Task Force on Modernizing
Income Security for Working Age Adults
"Setting targets and on-going measurement are a critical element for a
real anti-poverty strategy. The commitment to measure poverty will be a
powerful new tool in the fight against poverty and injustice in Ontario."
Michael Mendelson, Caledon Institute of Social
"This commitment to full day preschool imbeds the key recommendations of
the Early Years Study for universal access to quality early childhood
programming linked to public education. It is also good science. Pre-school is
when children develop the emotional and social skills needed to succeed in
Margaret McCain, Co-author, The Early Years Study,
Board Member, Council of Early Childhood
"This is good public policy. It delivers a double-barreled punch providing
a full day of early learning to all five year olds as it creates new spaces
and resources to address child care needs."
Kerry McCuaig, child care researcher and advocate
"The platform released by Dalton McGuinty today includes smart investments
in services and interventions that will enable immigrants to contribute to our
economy and will have significant payback not only for immigrants but for all
Ratna Omidvar, Maytree Foundation
"ODHA supports any measure or reforms that will help those who can't
afford to take care of their teeth and gums or have difficulty obtaining
preventive oral care services...The Liberal plan is a major step forward in
making oral care services more affordable and accessible for the public of
Melanie Doyle, President, Ontario Dental Hygienists' Association
"SEDI congratulates the Ontario Liberals with their recognition that
poverty is about more than just income it is also about opportunities to save
and build assets. The asset-building commitment signals that Dalton McGuinty
is listening to the needs of low-income Ontarians who are struggling to make a
better life for themselves and their families. Access to asset-building
opportunities for the poor is an innovative approach to poverty reduction
which recognizes that those living in poverty can transition to a more
self-sufficient lifestyle when given adequate incentives and supports."
Barb Gosse, Social and Enterprise Development Innovations
"The social venture capital fund that Dalton McGuinty committed to today
is another example of the innovative government he has led to date. It will
provide a powerful new tool to support social innovation across Ontario and
Dr. John Evans, Chairman, MaRS Discovery District
"The Liberal platform is quite promising and mirrors ONPHA's message to
create a much needed long term housing strategy. It explicitly indicates that
non-profit and co-op housing must be part of the mix. This is something ONPHA
has been advocating for a long time."
Sharad Kerur, Executive Director, Ontario Non-Profit
A Greener Ontario
"The McGuinty government is taking Great Lakes revitalization and
protection seriously. The commitment to clean up Randle Reef in Hamilton and
other polluted areas of the Great Lakes is excellent news. It underscores the
government's commitment to bringing our harbours and waterfronts back to
health and boost the economy with his environmental investment."
Dr. Gail Krantzberg Professor and Director, Dofasco
Centre for Engineering and Public Policy, McMaster
"Pesticide Free Ontario applauds Premier McGuinty and the Provincial
Liberal Government for their promise to ban the sale and use of lawn and
garden pesticides. Legislation, similar to Quebecs Pesticide Management Code,
will remove a pervasive source of toxic exposure from the environment of every
resident in Ontario. Major health organizations, such as the Ontario College
of Family Physicians, Canadian Cancer Society, Registered Nurses Association
of Ontario, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment; and Sierra
Legal Defense, fully support the elimination of pesticides used on lawns and
Susan Koswan, Pesticide Free Ontario
"The Government of Ontario is now leading the solar revolution in Canada.
The combination of a new $500 incentive and PST exemption on solar water
heaters, standard offer program on photovoltaic systems, zero-interest loans,
commitment to raise awareness of solar technologies in the province, and
100,000 solar installations target is impressive. Ontario can now say it has
seen the light, and is helping harness it. In addition, he has put in place
incentives and regulations that spark positive changes in consumer behaviour,
such as the PST rebate on Energy Star appliances, and the visionary ban on
inefficient lighting that will transform the lighting market."
Stephanie Thorson, Associate Executive Director,
Clean Air Foundation
"I'd like to congratulate the McGuinty government for supporting a ban on
non-essential, cosmetic use of pesticides. This represents a step to ensure
the safety of children and other vulnerable groups in spirit of precaution for
real harm of uncertain magnitude. This promise heeds the recommendation of the
report of the Ontario College of Family Physicians in 2004 and by me in the
Canadian Journal of Public Health in 2005. It follow Quebec's lead and those
of Canada's largest municipalities, striking the appropriate balance between
the needs of public health. Together with movement on transportation and
energy policy in the spirit of Kyoto we hope that such measures can safeguard
the air, land and water for future generations and the health of our
Neil Arya, BASc MD CCFP FCFP, Adjunct Prof
Environment and Resource Studies University of
Waterloo Asst Clinical Prof Family Medicine
McMaster University Adjunct Prof Family Medicine
University of Western Ontario
A Healthier Ontario
"As an advocate for primary health care reform for many years, the
decision to address chronic disease management for all diabetic patients is a
proactive cutting edge approach for health care development in Canada. With
one in five Canadians suffering from diabetes, Ontario will take a leading
role internationally in addressing patient centered care through the Family
Health Team's to assist in preventing serious life threatening complications
for diabetic patients such as blindness, renal failure and cardiovascular
events. The collaborative team approach ensures advanced access to high risk
patients receiving the right treatment by the right provider in a timely
fashion. The expansion of this innovative and successful health care model is
to be commended. "
Wendy Graham, MD CCFP FCFP
President and CEO
Association of Family Health Teams of
"The Prostate Cancer Research Foundation of Canada applauds the Ontario
Liberal Party's expressed interest in supporting screening for the No.1 cancer
threat for men through insuring the PSA blood test. Prostate cancer
specialists agree that annual PSA testing for prostate cancer is the best way
of ensuring that if cancer is detected it will be at an early stage where cure
rates reach 95%. The Foundation awaits the release of details on how and when
the commitment will translate into practice."
John Blanchard, President & CEO, Prostate
Cancer Research Foundation of Canada
"The Ontario Community Support Association and our members are pleased
that this government recognizes the value of community support services and
assisted living in supportive housing programs that keep people healthy at
home where they want to be. Evidence shows that these services reduce seniors
and persons with disabilities use of hospitals, ERs and prevent premature
institutionalization - which is what this system desperately needs."
Susan Thorning, CEO
Ontario Community Support Association
A Smarter Ontario
"This platform focuses debate on what is really important to families and
communities in Ontario...We are pleased that it identifies and addresses the
real needs of students and teachers, especially those in Grades 4 to 8, in
Special Education and English as a Second Language."
Elaine Mac Neil
President, Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association
"The Liberals understand the importance of continuing to invest in
elementary education. This platform looks forward to a stronger public
education system. Our members will be particularly pleased with the plan for
full-day kindergarten and the funding to reduce class sizes in grades 4 to 8."
President, Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario
"We need long term sustainable funding for our schools and what I see here
is very, very solid. I am quite pleased. This summer we also saw the power of
community partnerships in our schools. Expanding the community use of schools
across the province is good for kids and good for neighbourhoods."
Trustee, Toronto District School Board
"We are encouraged that the Liberal Party of Ontario Platform includes
planks that will work to make post-secondary education in Ontario more
affordable and accessible. The distance grant, an increase in the Ontario
student loan "grace period", and, most importantly, the repurposing of tuition
tax credits to upfront grants have been long-standing lobby priorities for
OUSA, so we are pleased that our views have been reflected in this platform."
David Simmonds, President, Ontario
Undergraduate Student Alliance
"We applaud Dalton McGuinty for committing to the expansion of Pathways to
Education across the province. This program has achieved amazing results and
has proven to be a valuable addition to the strong public education system in
Ontario. The students who are presently in the program have demonstrated that
they can achieve tremendous success with the supports that Pathways provides.
This commitment will ensure that Pathways improves the lives of even more
students. This is a great day."
Carolyn Acker, Executive Director, Pathways to Education
"The platform represents continued investment in education. The commitment
to fund full-time pre-school is great news. Our boards have been investing
other funds to do so for many years. This will allow us to invest in other
areas, such as programming to encourage more parents to choose a
French-language education for their children."
Robert Tremblay, President l'Association franco-ontarienne des conseils
A Better Ontario for Families
"Without doubt bicycles are the most healthy, environmentally friendly and
economically efficient means for Ontarians to move themselves about. PST
relief on bicycles and helmets is simply good public policy - it gives
potential cyclists a direct financial incentive to ride while sending an
important message to all Ontarians that cycling has an important role to play
in improving human health, addressing climate change and reducing urban
congestion and smog."
Paul Nielsen, President, Bicycle Trade
Association of Canada
"The Ontario Liberal platform has a strong foundation on increasing
accessibility and affordability in post-secondary education for all Ontarians.
Students across the province are supportive of the steps taken in this
platform: the $300 textbook and technology grant, special distance grant for
students from remote areas, upfront grant to parents at the beginning of the
school year instead of tax credits at the end of the year, working with the
federal government to double the time before students repay loans."
Tyler Charlebois, Director of Advocacy for the College
"The Ontario Child Benefit is not only a new benefit that will help
low-income families in the short term. It also delivers structural reform to
our system of income security in Ontario that can be built on in the
future...we believe the OCB marks a significant turning point in Ontario."
Michael Oliphant, Director of Research and
Communications, Daily Bread Food Bank, March 22nd, 2007
Disponible en français
For further information:
For further information: Ontario Liberal Party Media Relations, (416)
961-3800, X 386