A strong plan to build opportunity, create jobs and grow the economy in Northern Ontario
July 14, 2014 The government is moving forward with a plan for the economy focused on investing in people, building modern infrastructure, and supporting a dynamic and innovative business climate. These actions will build opportunity and security, and put the province’s businesses and people in a position to create new jobs today. Transportation and Infrastructure
- Committing $1 billion to build strategic transportation infrastructure development in the Ring of Fire.
- Expanding two additional sections of Highway 11/17 between Thunder Bay and Nipigon to four lanes.
- Continuing support for strong communities by making the $100 million Small, Rural and Northern Municipal Infrastructure Fund permanent.
- Dedicating funding to make nearly an additional $29 billion available over the next 10 years for transportation infrastructure, public transit and other priority infrastructure projects — $14 billion dedicated to roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure outside of the GTHA.
- Providing more than $11 billion over the next 10 years for elementary and secondary education infrastructure.
- Planning to invest over $11.4 billion in major hospital expansion and redevelopment projects over the next 10 years.
- Establishing a new 10-year, $2.5 billion Jobs and Prosperity Fund that will improve Ontario’s ability to attract significant business investments, create jobs, strengthen Ontario’s strategic sectors and support the province’s future economic growth.
- Providing $100 million to support economic growth and job creation in Northern Ontario through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund.
- Tripling our investment to the Rural Economic Development Program, increasing funding by 10 million to a total of $14.5 million to help rural communities plan and build a foundation for economic growth and strengthen rural business.
- Investing $295 million over two years for the Ontario Youth Jobs Strategy, which gives young people the opportunity to gain a foothold in the job market. Since September 2013, it has already helped over 10,000 young people gain work experience and find jobs.
- Expanding the reach of Ontario’s exports to fast-growing emerging markets to help many small and medium-sized businesses grow and create jobs.
- Providing new and expanded programs to help manage electricity costs for businesses. These include discounts for large, growing businesses and large industrial users. The province extended the NIER program with $360 million over three years up to 2016 and will explore future expansion in the context of overall supports to the industry, including the province’s newly announced expansion of the Industrial Electricity Incentive and Industrial Conservation Initiative.
Creating Opportunities and a Fair Ontario
- Continuing to reform the social assistance system to improve income supports and reduce barriers to entering the workforce.
- Providing $810 million in community and development services over the next 3 years.
- Raising the minimum wage to $11.00 per hour and proposing legislation to index it to inflation to help ensure that workers receive a decent wage.
- Providing support for wage increases for personal support workers in the publicly funded home and community care sector, and front line child care workers.
- Making it easier for seniors to stay safe, active and engaged in their communities by doubling the size of the new Seniors Community Grant Program to $1 million per year.
- Investing over $750 million in additional funding by 2016-17 in more home and community care services, including $270 million in 2014-15, to strengthen access to care in the home and community where people want it.
- Increasing the Ontario Child Benefit by proposing to index it to inflation, to help all children reach their full potential.
- Proposing to remove the Debt Retirement Charge cost from residential users’ electricity bills after December 31, 2015, to save a typical residential ratepayer about $70 per year.
QUOTE “This is a strong plan for Northern Ontario. Unprecedented investments in infrastructure, and people, will create new jobs and grow our economy, building a strong future for Thunder Bay Superior North and all of Northern Ontario. I’m particularly proud that our government has stepped up to commit $1 billion to build transportation infrastructure in the Ring of Fire, renewed our commitment to the NOHFC, and certainly that two new sections of Hwy 11/17 have been selected as priority 4 laning projects. Clearly under the leadership of Premier Wynne our government is making the North a priority – our commitment is clear and our investments are real. I am proud to stand behind the leadership of Premier Wynne as she continues to drive economic development forward in Northern Ontario.” — Michael Gravelle, MPP Thunder Bay Superior North QUICK FACTS
- The pace of job creation in Ontario since June 2009 has been stronger than in most developed economies, including the United States, the average for member countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the rest of Canada combined.
- Ontario’s economy continues to grow, contributing to new jobs and business opportunities. Since the recessionary low in June 2009, 459,500 net new jobs have been created in Ontario.
- Over 4,000 kilometres of new or repaired Northern provincial highways since 2003.
- Full-day kindergarten will be available to all four and five year olds by September 2014 and will save families up to $6,500 a year per child on child care costs.
- Northern Ontario Energy Credit for 2014, up to $141 for single people in the north, or up to $216 for families in the north, to help with the higher energy costs they face.
- The Auto Insurance Cost and Rate Reduction Strategy has seen a total rate reduction of more than 5.6 per cent since August 2013