McGuinty Government Moving Ontario Forward



    TORONTO, June 18 /CNW/ -

    
                                                                BACKGROUNDER
                                                       Office of the Premier
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                 MCGUINTY GOVERNMENT MOVING ONTARIO FORWARD

                                                               June 18, 2008
    

    In the first half of 2008, the McGuinty government continued moving
Ontario forward with its plan to strengthen the economy by investing in
people.

    STRENGTHENING THE ECONOMY

    Skills to Jobs Action Plan - A new $1.5-billion investment, including the
Second Career program, Ontario's new long-term training program for laid-off
workers.

    Continuing to cut business taxes - Complete elimination of the capital
tax for manufacturers and resource industries retroactive to January 2007, and
a 21 per cent cut for other businesses.

    Tax exemptions for innovation - A 10-year Ontario income tax exemption
for new corporations that commercialize intellectual property developed by
Canadian universities, colleges or research institutes. This is a first in
North America.

    Next Generation of Jobs - A $1.15-billion investment to partner with
forward-looking businesses to create jobs and reduce pollution, save energy,
make transportation more efficient or help the environment in other ways.

    "Buy Ontario" transit - A minimum Canadian content of 25 per cent in all
transit vehicles purchased.

    Investing in infrastructure - Creating jobs and improving Ontario's
quality of life by investing $1 billion in municipal infrastructure, including
roads, public transit, water and other infrastructure projects.

    Investing in Ontario municipalities - Dedicating unexpected surpluses to
Ontario communities to use for infrastructure, such as roads and bridges,
public transit or affordable housing. This could inject up to $2 billion in
Ontario municipalities.

    Repairs to existing social housing - Helping low-income families with
$100 million to repair 4,000 affordable housing units, and $500 million
available in low-cost loans to Ontario municipalities for social housing and
other infrastructure.

    Securing Ontario's energy future - Moving ahead with our plan for clean,
safe and affordable energy with new nuclear capacity at Darlington and
refurbishing or replacing existing units at Bruce.

    Buy Ontario Food - Investing $56 million over four years to promote
Ontario food products, including $4 million for farmers' markets.

    New dental program for low-income families - Creating a dental program to
help low-income families access dental care.

    Setting measurable targets to reduce poverty - Conducted grassroots
consultations as part of our Poverty Reduction Strategy, which will set
indicators and targets focused on reducing poverty and building opportunity
for all Ontarians, with a focus on children first.

    New Venture Capital Fund - A new $205-million Venture Capital Fund will
strengthen the ability of the province's venture capital sector to support
innovative companies.

    HEALTHIER ONTARIANS

    Faster care in emergency rooms - Reducing wait times in ERs with a new
$109 million action plan to have patients seen by a nurse faster and get
ambulances back out on the street.

    More family doctors - Helping families access family health care with new
data from the Ontario Medical Association confirming 630,000 more Ontarians
now have a family doctor than in 2003.

    Improving patient safety - Requiring full public reporting on eight
patient safety indicators - including C. difficile - beginning September 30,
2008.

    International Medical Graduates - New legislation introduced to remove
barriers for international medical graduates who want to practise in Ontario.

    Banned smoking in cars with kids - Passed legislation that bans smoking
in cars when a child is present, part of one of the toughest anti-smoking
strategies in North America.

    BOOSTING STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

    More high school graduates - Continued progress with our plan to get more
students graduating high school: new results show 10,500 more students are
graduating each year.

    Support for postsecondary students - As part of our $1.5-billion Skills
to Jobs Action Plan, the province will pick up part of the travel costs for
24,000 students who commute long distances to get to college or university.

    Doubling student nutrition programs - Expanding the existing program to
thousands more Ontario kids to provide healthy snacks and meals.

    Eliminating trans fats from schools - Making schools healthier places to
learn by passing legislation to drop trans fats from lunchroom menus. This
builds on earlier action to ban junk food from elementary schools and have
20 minutes of daily exercise.

    Created Algoma University - Passed legislation granting independent
university status to Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie. The school has a
special mandate to serve Aboriginal students, including the only BA program in
the Ojibwe language.

    CLEANER ENVIRONMENT

    Banning the sale and cosmetic use of pesticides - Passed legislation to
reduce exposure to toxic chemicals by banning the sale and cosmetic use of
pesticides.

    Moving ahead on clean energy - Put the force of law behind strict, new
limits on coal plant emissions to ensure they are cut by two-thirds below 2003
levels by 2011.

    Protecting Lake Simcoe - Introduced new legislation to protect Lake
Simcoe for future generations by setting stricter environmental standards.

    LCBO ending use of plastic bags - Leading by example by phasing out
plastic shopping bags at the LCBO.

    STRONGER, SAFER COMMUNITIES

    Family Day - Celebrated Ontario's new holiday in February.

    Aboriginal New Relationship Fund - Starting with $25 million over two
years to help Aboriginal communities develop the resources, capacity and
skills to effectively represent their interests and work with governments.

    New Photo Card Act to allow Enhanced Driver's Licence - Introduced new
legislation to make it easier for people to travel to and from the U.S. with
an optional enhanced driver's licence instead of a passport.

    Independence for TfO - Passed legislation to strengthen Ontario's
francophone community by giving autonomy to TfO.

    Providing a new open adoption process - Passed legislation to give adult
adoptees and birth parents access to information they've been seeking.

    Toughened sex offender registry - Closed old loopholes to toughen the Sex
Offender Registry and help protect communities.

    Ensured transit service for GTA commuters - Took swift action to pass
legislation ending the TTC strike to ensure that millions of people were able
to get to work and businesses were able to open.

    Protecting animals and regulating roadside zoos - Introduced the
Provincial Animal Welfare (PAW) Act, the toughest of its kind in Canada.

    Reforming developmental services - Introduced legislation that would
modernize services for Ontarians with developmental disabilities and allow
more choice for services that meet their needs.

    Collective bargaining for part-time college workers - Introduced
legislation that would give part-time college workers the right to bargain
collectively for the first time, and would modernize collective bargaining in
the college sector.

    Regulating payday loan operations - Passed legislation that increases
protection for consumers by tightening regulations for payday lenders and loan
brokers, and bans controversial lending practices.

    Getting trucks to slow down - Passed legislation to require speed
limiters on large trucks to help slow down trucks and reduce pollution from
emissions.

    
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