QUEEN'S PARK, ON, March 27, 2012 /CNW/ - Experts agree that today's Ontario Liberal budget makes the right choices to grow the economy and support good schools and public health care:
ONTARIO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
"The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has called for a two-pronged approach to balancing the books: deficit reduction and a clear focus on growth and transforming the Ontario economy for the 21st century. Overall, today's budget positions us to move in this direction."
PLAMEN PETKOV, ONTARIO DIRECTOR, CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS
"Overall, small business will be pleased that the 2012 Ontario budget appropriately puts a major focus on implementing many of the Drummond Commission recommendations. CFIB will support any efforts on the part of the government and opposition parties to live up to this tough mandate."
MERV HILLIER, PRESIDENT AND CEO, CERTIFIED MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTANTS OF ONTARIO
"The Province's cost-cutting and public service transformation measures, balanced carefully with investment, will spur innovation and economic prosperity and maintain Ontario's competitive advantage. The government has a unique window of opportunity to make some substantive changes in the delivery of government services and we are pleased that they are moving in that direction."
CATHERINE FIFE, PRESIDENT, ONTARIO PUBLIC SCHOOL BOARDS' ASSOCIATION
"Full day kindergarten - very happy on that front to see the government has honoured their commitment to our youngest students."
SAM HAMMOND, PRESIDENT, ELEMENTARY TEACHERS' FEDERATION OF ONTARIO
"We're pleased that the government is living up to its commitment to full day kindergarten and smaller class sizes, because that's the right thing for students in this province."
DORIS GRINSPUN, CEO, REGISTERED NURSES ASSOCIATION OF ONTARIO
"On the health care front there is some good news, it's going to increase funding for home care services and improve access to primary care which is urgent."
DAVID FRAME, DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT RELATIONS, ONTARIO GENERAL CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION
"OGCA [Ontario General Contractors Association] is extremely pleased that the government maintained its $35B commitment to infrastructure investment. Strategic infrastructure contributes to higher quality of life as well as local jobs and economic growth in Ontario."
JOE ACCARDI, CHAIR, CONSTRUCTION AND DESIGN ALLIANCE OF ONTARIO
"We are extremely encouraged by the fact that the Government of Ontario listened to the construction industry and maintained significant infrastructure investment levels."
KAREN RENKEMA, DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT RELATIONS, ONTARIO ROAD BUILDERS ASSOCIATION
"It's clear the government is focused on shrinking the infrastructure deficit, as well as the provincial deficit. A strong focus on transportation infrastructure for the next three years means jobs for Ontarians and stronger lifelines for the Ontario economy."
SAM AUDREY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ONTARIO UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT ALLIANCE
"Students were pleased to see that the Ontario Tuition Grant and the government's commitment to fund enrolment growth was preserved."
SEAN MADDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE ONTARIO UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT ALLIANCE
"The government's commitment to continue funding enrolment growth and the tuition grant are critical to creating a more accessible and affordable post-secondary education system."
STEVE HARVEY, SPOKESPERSON, ALZHEIMER'S SOCIETY OF ONTARIO SPOKESPERSON
"We're very pleased to see that the (Health) Minister's action plan that she announced in January has been carried into the budget. We think that this focused approach to investing in community care is the right initiative to relieving the alternative level of care pressure in Ontario."
SMOKEY THOMAS, PRESIDENT, ONTARIO PUBLIC SERVICE EMPLOYEES UNION
"That creation of the prosperity panel I think is a real good thing, I'm really anxious to see that."
LYNDA COLLINS, PROFESSOR, CENTRE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL LAW & GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY, UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA
"With its recognition of the polluter pays principle, the Province of Ontario has once again demonstrated its leadership in Canada's new green economy. When polluters are forced to pay the environmental and health costs of their activities, we all benefit."
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