May 3, 2012: 2012 Ontario Budget.
2012 Ontario Budget.
By Yasir Naqvi, MPP, Ottawa Centre.
Building a stronger Ontario requires strong action and the right choices.
The 2012 Ontario Budget lays out the government’s five-year plan to keep Ontario on track to balance the budget by 2017-18, while protecting education and health care in Ottawa. The single most important step we can take to grow our economy is to balance the budget. A balanced budget will make the economy stronger and better able to create jobs, while keeping education and health care strong.
We will keep full day kindergarten for our early learners and protect small class sizes. By making these choices, we will protect 20,000 education jobs. We remain committed to the 30 percent Off Ontario Tuition grant for eligible full-time undergraduate university and college students, and we will continue to move forward with building new libraries at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. A strong education system will keep Ontario competitive in a demanding global economy.
We will keep wait times short for key surgeries and reform our health care system to provide the right care, at the right time and in the right place. The government remains committed to health care in Ottawa and will move forward with the planned redevelopment of the Ottawa Heart Institute, expanding Queensway Carleton Hospital and the Hawksbury Hospital and building the Orleans Health Hub. A strong health care system will ensure our workforce in Ontario is healthy and productive.
To help create jobs and spur economic growth in Ottawa, the government is moving forward with planned infrastructure projects including fixing the split on the Queensway and completing the Hunt Club interchange. Our $600 million commitment to Ottawa light rail transit is firm. Additionally, the Eastern Ontario Development Fund will continue to provide essential support to entrepreneurs in our region, spurring economic development.
The status quo is not an option. We all have a role to play to meet our goals. Our government is making the right choices that speak to the needs of all Ontario families. These choices will achieve the highest value for their hard-earned tax dollars.
The plan includes $17.7 billion in savings and actions to contain costs over three years while increasing revenues by $4.4 billion without raising taxes. That means the accumulated deficit will be $22.1 billion lower in 2014-15 than if no action were taken. Our government’s five-year plan will keep Ontario on track. The McGuinty government has beaten its deficit forecasts for a third year in a row and will continue its strong record of beating fiscal targets.