Throne Speech Launches Open Ontario Plan

Five-Year Plan will Strengthen Water Expertise, Higher Education

(LONDON) – Deb Matthews, MPP for London-North Centre says her government’s new five-year Open Ontario Plan will create jobs and build a stronger economy.

"Our government has a plan to open Ontario to new opportunities, new jobs, and new growth," said Matthews. "We’ll make Ontario a North American leader in clean-water technology, expand post-secondary education, and create an online university to help Ontarians get the training they need for the good jobs of the future."

The plan was unveiled in the Speech from the Throne, opening the second session of Ontario’s 39th parliament. Highlights include:

  • A new Water Opportunities Act to take advantage of the province’s expertise in clean-water technology to create more, good jobs for Ontario families

  • 20,000 more student spaces in colleges and universities this year
  • A new Ontario Online Institute to give students access to the best professors in top university programs from their home computers
  • New legislation to improve accountability in our publicly-funded health care system
  • Improving services for patients by encouraging health professionals to work together
  • Capitalizing on Northern Ontario’s chromite deposits, while working with Northerners and Aboriginal communities and continuing to protect half of the northern Boreal Forest (chromite is a key ingredient in stainless steel)

The five-year plan includes several initiatives already underway:

  • A tax reform package, which will create nearly 600,000 new Ontario jobs
  • The Green Energy Act, which will create up to 50,000 jobs
  • $32-billion investment in roads, bridges, public transit and energy retrofits for schools that is creating and sustaining over 300,000 jobs
  • Full-day learning for four- and five-year olds, starting at schools across the province this September
  • A strategy to make Toronto one of the world’s leading financial centres

"The choices we make during the next five years will be decisive in the life of our province," said Premier Dalton McGuinty. "Growing our economy — growing stronger — requires Ontario to be open to change, open to opportunities and open to our new world."

For more information, please contact:

Deb Matthews, MPP

Tel.: (519) 432-7339

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