Doing More For Ontario Women, Who Do So Much

    Expanded Caregiver Grant, New Family Day Holiday, Full-Day Kindergarten,
    Fertility Testing Highlight Platform

    TORONTO, Sept. 21 /CNW/ - The province needs to be there for women who
are so consistently there for their families, their workplaces and their
community, says Premier Dalton McGuinty.
    "What we're saying to Ontario women is: You do so much to strengthen our
families, our economy and our society. We want to do what we can do to help
you," McGuinty said in a luncheon speech hosted by the Women's Executive
    "I can't possibly stand here and tell you I understand everything that
you go through. But I can tell you that it is our intention to do what we can,
to make what you do a little bit easier."
    Describing what is sometimes referred to as the "struggle to juggle"
growing children, demanding jobs and careers, and aging parents requiring
care, McGuinty said it's important that government provide appropriate
    He touched on the highlights of the Ontario Liberals' women's platform,
released today.

    They include:

    -  Phasing in all-day kindergarten, which opens more daycare spaces and
       minimizes the need for parents to "change shifts" at midday
    -  Extending a "caregivers' tax rebate" to people who care for an aging
       parent in the parent's home, and doubling the value of the rebate
    -  Increasing breast cancer screening rates from 60 per cent to 70 per
       cent of women between the ages of 50 and 69 by 2010
    -  Making fertility monitoring available as part of a woman's annual
       medical check-up
    -  Creating an expert panel to study issues around fertility treatment
       and adoption and find ways to make them more accessible and affordable
    -  Providing HPV vaccine for girls in Grade 8 to prevent cervical cancer
    -  Researching and reducing the presence of toxins in our bodies
    -  Adding an additional statutory holiday - Family Day - in February to
       give families more time to spend together
    -  Offering government services on weekends and extended family-friendly
       hours to make it easier to get birth certificates, renew drivers'
       licences and health cards
    -  Extending the land transfer rebate of up to $2,000 to all first-time
       homebuyers, not just buyers of newly constructed homes.

    McGuinty said these new initiatives build "on the stronger foundation"
Ontarians built together over the past four years.

    He said the Ontario Liberals have:

    -  Increased the number of disorders screened for in newborns from
       2 to 27
    -  Made three new vaccines available free of charge for the prevention of
       chicken pox, meningococcal meningitis and pneumococcal disease,
       resulting in the immunization of over 1.8 million kids, which has
       saved Ontario families up to $600 per child
    -  Invested $82 million in a domestic violence program restoring or
       increasing funding for women and children fleeing violence
    -  Created 22,000 more childcare spaces and increased tax deduction for
       informal childcare from $390 to $600 per month for working parents on
       social assistance
    -  Created a new Ontario Child Benefit to benefit 1.3 million kids of
       low-income families
    -  Introduced the Family Medical Leave program allowing employees to take
       up to eight weeks of unpaid leave to care for a gravely ill family

    "For four years, we've worked together to build a new foundation, and now
a tremendous opportunity lies before us, an opportunity to really move Ontario
forward," McGuinty said.

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Ontario Liberal Party Media Relations, (416)
961-3800 Ext. 386

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