QUEEN’S PARK – Good afternoon. Thank you for being here. It’s warm outside. And these past few days it’s been warm in here. But, in the end, cooler heads prevailed. Together, we have done what Ontarians want: They want stability. And they want a strong plan of action to strengthen our economy. Over the past months, weeks and days, I have been very clear: Our Budget must pass.
It’s not just a matter of confidence in our government. It’s bigger than that. It’s a matter of confidence in our economy. Our Budget is crucial to the livelihood of our province and Ontario families. Protecting services families rely on, like health care and education, depends on it. And the confidence of credit rating agencies and markets around the world hinges on it.
I’m pleased to say that, today, we passed the Budget. That’s a step forward for Ontario families. Our Budget will help grow the economy. It sets us on a path to eliminate the deficit and, ultimately, that will lead to even better schools and health care and it will help us create jobs.
As you know, I was very concerned last week when the NDP began to deliberately dismantle our Budget Bill in committee – threatening to remove 18 schedules in the coming days. I’m glad that, in the end, they decided against that. And I’m heartened by my Finance Minister’s advice to me that our Budget still contains the tools we need to get the job done.
In the end, working together, we found a way to make our minority government work. And that’s what Ontarians want – and deserve. I want to thank everyone involved for their hard work and diligence.
Making a minority government work is not always easy. But if together we always strive to put Ontarians interests first, then we succeed for Ontarians. A strong budget is important at the best of times. And it’s absolutely critical during challenging times. These are challenging times.
That’s why, as part of our Budget, we created the Jobs and Prosperity Council. And I look forward to my first meeting with the Council, tomorrow. The Council is going to help us generate new ideas and approaches aimed at building a stronger Ontario economy. One idea I’ve asked the Council to consider is the NDP idea of a Job Creator Tax Credit. I think it deserves a close look. And we committed to doing that.
Looking ahead, my commitment is to keep finding common ground with the opposition parties, and to make our government work for Ontarians.
Premier of Ontario