The Experts Agree: Open Ontario Plan for Jobs and Growth the Right Approach

QUEEN'S PARK, March 25 /CNW/ - Experts from all sectors agree that the Open Ontario Plan will create jobs and protect public services while reducing the deficit.

Sid Ryan, President, Ontario Federation of Labour: I see this budget as helping to create jobs... We're very very pleased that the $600 million going into Second Career funding, we're pleased that they're putting $63 million into child care. All of that is helping to protect jobs and create jobs and that's what we've asked them to do.

Canadian Federation of Independent Business: On a positive note, expanding the Second Career Fund will help Ontarians take advantage of skills training, rapid re-employment and summer jobs. Also, previously announced cuts to personal and corporate taxes (small business corporate tax rate, and small business surtax) will help Ontario to become more competitive amongst its sister provinces.

Carol Wilding, CEO, Toronto Board of Trade: Reducing business taxes, moving forward with the implementation of the HST, and following through on short-term stimulus projects will help further improve the economy and create jobs.

Peter Hume, President, Association of Municipalities of Ontario: The Budget's overall emphasis on job creation and economic development will also have spin off benefits for municipal governments. Investments in post-secondary education, water technologies and job retraining will benefit Ontario communities... We are very pleased with child-care and we are also very pleased with the strategy to deal with northern issues -specifically dealing with electricity, both for the homeowners for industry.

Merv Hillier, President and CEO, Certified Management Accountants: The government has taken some bold steps by investing in the future prosperity of Ontario through their support of emerging industries like green energy and water conservation and treatment technologies. We support the government's approach of investing in the future while bringing forward a plan to manage the deficit.

Doris Grinspun, Executive Director, Registered Nurses Association of Ontario: To put it in perspective, nursing in Ontario is actually in better shape than other provinces and that is something we have worked really closely since 2003 with the government.

Tracy Saarikoski, President, Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care: With today's announcement we are looking forward to working...to ensure the promised transitional funding for the early learning and child care sector with regard to full-day learning that creates a program the benefits all children and families.

Justin Fox, President, College Students Alliance: Today is a victory for the college and university students of Ontario. Our organization, along with other stakeholders and government, has worked tirelessly to see credit transfer enter into a budget... Ontario students are definitely pleased to see that this government continues to hold education in such high regard. Students believe strongly that their current studies and training will help Ontario's competitiveness progress on a global scale.

Dan Moulton, President, Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance: The government has demonstrated once again that it understands the importance of higher education to Ontario's social and economic future.

David Agnew, President, Seneca College: I think this is good budget for colleges, I think it's a good budget for Ontario, and frankly it's a good budget for the students... There's a plan to include a number of international students. And most importantly I think for the students of Ontario there's a plan to work on a really strong credit transfer system that's going to allow a lot of movement between the colleges and universities and really get the education system we need.

SOURCE Liberal Caucus Service Bureau

For further information: For further information: Andrew Teliszewsky, ateliszewsky@liberal.ola.org, (416) 325-3670


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