THUNDER BAY – Today the Ontario Liberal Party released its plan to build Northern Ontario up by continuing to grow the economy, lowering costs for people and businesses and making sure everyone has every opportunity to get ahead.
Ontario Liberals know that a one-size-fits-all approach does not work in the north. Northerners need continued leadership that recognizes the realities of northern living. Ontario Liberals will continue to deliver for our families by:
- Investing in more home care by adding 5,500 personal support workers, prioritizing Northern and remote communities;
- Protecting consumers by creating an independent gasoline-price watchdog to ensure there is no price fixing on transportation fuels anywhere in our province;
- Increasing NOHFC funding to a total of $150 million in the next three years and expand its programs to better support infrastructure projects and large-scale investment opportunities;
- Committing to completing the twinning of Highway 69 between Parry Sound and Sudbury and permanent annual funding to four-lane the TransCanada highway until the project is fully completed and call on the federal government to match the investment; and
- Building a year-round access road and making upgrades to existing highways and bridges as part of a $1 billion commitment to the Ring of Fire.
The Liberals claim that the Doug Ford Conservatives will cut billions from the services people depend on — like health care, education and transit — while rewarding the rich with unnecessary corporate tax cuts. The Liberals also say that the NDP have no plan to strengthen Ontario’s economy — which supports the services people depend on — and they would slam businesses with a huge tax hike. Only the Ontario Liberals will build a stronger economy that supports strong public services.
The Liberal plan expands publicly funded prescription drugs to one-in-two people in Ontario, makes the largest mental health care investment in Canadian history, builds a record amount of transit, boosts hospital funding, helps more people go to college or university with publicly funded tuition and lets more parents go back to work by funding preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten. Ontario’s economy is the strongest it has been in two decades, but that growth and the care and services it funds are at risk this election.
“We know that Northern Ontario is a distinct part of our province with unique needs. That’s why our plan invests in more of the things Northern families need: better home care, more affordable public transportation, reduced electricity rates, and more economic opportunity for every family,” says Premier Kathleen Wynne.
“I am proud that we continue to build up the north and that the Ontario Liberal platform speaks so clearly to the needs of northerners and constituents in my riding. Our continued commitment to four laning highway 11/17, forestry, mining, and unprecedented investments in the healthcare sector speak directly to the issues that matter most to Northern Ontarians,” enthused Michael Gravelle, Thunder Bay- Superior North
“Our platform announced today, builds on the results that we have delivered to the riding and Northwest Ontario. Together we have brought angioplasty to Thunder Bay Regional — expanding to full cardiovascular surgery by 2020, we have started the process to make improvements to the Thunder Bay expressway and continue to enhance services in our community,” stated Bill Mauro, Thunder Bay-Atikokan
- In the last five years alone, we’ve increased the number of nurses in the North by 14% to 1000 and increased the number of practicing physicians in the North by 25% to 300.
- Ontario Liberals have created over 430 new long-term care spaces, created and expanded primary care teams across Northern Ontario, and connected over 68,000 patients who previously did not have access to a family doctor.
- Ontario Liberals are renovating the Thunder Bay Regional Health Centre to house a new cardiovascular surgery program that will provide care closer to home for approximately 1,000 patients in Northern Ontario each year. Ontario Liberals are also supporting Health Sciences North with a planning grant to expand NEO Kids.
- Construction has begun on the Sudbury PET Scanner, utilizing $4.6 million in provincial capital funding, with an additional $1.6 million per year dedicated to operations.
- Since Kathleen Wynne became Premier, seven new mines have opened in Northern Ontario. Expansion projects are currently underway at Bell Creek Gold Mine in Timmins, Musselwhite Gold Mine in Kenora District, and Island Gold Mine near Wawa.
- Since 2013, Ontario Liberals have invested more than $654 million through the NOHFC in over 4,003 projects, leveraging more than $2.3 billion in direct economic activity and creating or sustaining over 15,200 jobs in Northern Ontario.
- As part of a $630M commitment to expand and repair northern highways, Ontario Liberals will complete the four-laning of Highway 69 to Sudbury and of Highway 11/17 between Nipigon and Thunder Bay and make annual funding to twin the TransCanada highway permanent.
- Environmental assessment work and engineering studies are underway as progress continues to deliver on two First Nation-led access roads linking the Ring of Fire and their communities to the provincial highway system.