Huge Investments In Health Care & Services Promised

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Ontario Lt.-Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell, left, and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne enter the Legislative Chamber before the Throne Speech at Queens Park, in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Ontario Throne Speech Outlines Drugs & Dental Coverage, Free Tuition, Public Infrastructure

TORONTO: The Ontario government is investing more in the care and services that people across the province rely on, easing the mounting pressures families are facing and giving them every opportunity to care for their loved ones and get ahead.

The government’s priorities were outlined in the Speech from the Throne delivered today by the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor. The speech opened the third Session of the province’s 41st Parliament.

The government’s upcoming Budget will focus on doing more for people in health care, home care, mental health care and child care services. It will also expand a number of other programs that support people to care for their loved ones and help them to succeed in a changing economy.

“Ontario’s economy remains strong, with the unemployment rate at its lowest in almost two decades. Yet between the rising cost of living and stable, long-term jobs becoming harder to find, many people are struggling to take care of themselves and their families. As the changing economy widens the gaps within our society, the government has a plan to build a fairer, better Ontario by supporting everyone in the province with the care and opportunity they need to get ahead”, the goivernment said.

Priorities include:

• Reducing wait times for health care by significantly increasing hospital budgets

• Expanding home care to provide more services for seniors choosing to stay at home, and to provide financial relief for families who are caring for aging loved ones

• Making historic investments in mental health and addictions services so people of all ages across the province can get the care they need

• Ensuring more people without a drug and dental benefits plan will have access to affordable prescription drugs and dental care

• Providing more college and university students with free tuition through the new OSAP

• Making investments to train more apprentices for the workforce, including in emerging fields

• Focusing on regions that are struggling to achieve economic growth by investing in workers and businesses

• Continuing to make record-breaking investments across Ontario in public infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, roads, bridges and transit systems.

The Throne Speech builds on measures the government brought forward during the first two sessions of the 41st Parliament as part of its plan for fairness, and providing care and opportunity in a time of rapid economic change. – CP