Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa has already announced that the budget will contain new spending to benefit seniors, students, parents, caregivers and patients. “Philisophically I don’t have a difficulty with it but I’d want to see what the industry wants”, Watson said in a post-budget interview”.
The Province is expanding home and community care programs, including home nursing, personal support and physiotherapy services, with an additional investment of $250 million this year.
LeMay said while increased health care spending is welcome, he is disappointed the 417 project seems to have dropped off the province’s radar for the time being. It will also create a public transit tax credit for seniors.
The province’s dementia strategy is also getting $100 million over three years to support residents with dementia and those who care for them.
A new program will offer free prescription drug coverage to anyone under 25, regardless of family income. “As a result of the Ontario Government’s action, IIROC will be able to more effectively enforce its rules and hold wrongdoers accountable if they harm investors”. We felt it was a good start.
That wouldn’t help people who are struggling, Wynne said, adding that the three main elements to her plan are creating a “fair economy”, a “fair future for Ontario workers”, and education.
The plan will be most beneficial for youth who now are not covered under private plans or the Ontario Drug Benefit program for social assistance recipients, but government officials weren’t able to say how many people that captures.
Numerous news reports pointed out that this was an election document, meant to present the government in the best light and win over voters even though the Liberals still have a year before they have to face voters.
Pembroke Mayor Michael LeMay agreed the shared funding programs with the province will be maintained for the foreseeable future, especially those which will enable the city to do more work on its infrastructure.
“We’ve been working on this for some time”.
Horwath said the Liberal’s Pharmacare plan doesn’t go far enough to create the “missing piece” of the country’s Medicare plan – a universal drug program.
Health experts say approximately four million Ontario residents will qualify for the drug plan, which begins on January 1, 2018. This plan introduces a comprehensive package of measures to help more people find affordable homes, as well as increase supply, protect buyers and renters, and bring stability to the real estate market.
The last time there was no shortfall in the provincial treasury was 2008 – just before the global financial crisis that led to the biggest recession since the Great Depression nearly 90 years ago. The Liberal plan is a “half-measure”, Horwath said.
“Ontarians are desperate for change”, she said, blasting Wynne for falling short on universal pharmacare.
“We absolutely deserve the best health care possible in Ontario, whether it’s the doctor’s office, the hospital, getting the drugs”, he told Metro Morning. They announce something without thinking it through. We need to defend them and boldly act on them.
Fedeli said the plan means children of millionaires will have their prescription drugs covered.
But a deeper look at the numbers beyond this year’s operating bottom line shows the Wynne government has thrown any semblance of spending restraint to the wind, with the effect being billions of dollars in new debt to be placed on the shoulders of future generations.
The province’s net debt has tripled since the Liberals came to power.