MPP Says Ontario Budget Good for Kingston
Following Thursday's announcement of the Liberals 2017 Provincial budget, MPP Sophie Kiwala says there are lots of good things in it for Kingston.
"True to our commitment in 2014, we have not only met but exceeded our deficit targets for the eighth year in a row and we are proud to deliver a balanced budget," says MPP Kiwala.
"A balanced budget not only places the province in the best position for growth, stability, and innovation, but allows us to make significant investments in our province's future; specifically, additional investments in healthcare and education and the creation of OHIP+, a pharmacare plan for children and youth. It is important to note that these investments will be made without increasing personal or corporate taxes. This will truly lead to a stronger, healthier province."
Concerning health care, MPP Kiwala says the new OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare, which will launch in January 2018, will provide children and youth with free prescription medication up until the age of 24, regardless of their family's income.
The plan will cover all medications under the ODB Program, including drugs for cancer and rare diseases with no deductible and no co-pay required.
In Kingston, MPP Kiwala says we will benefit greatly from gas tax funding.
She says the amount will nearly double from $334 million in 2016/17 to $642 million by 2021/22 and that construction on the Cataraqui River bridge is also scheduled to begin in Spring 2017, which will include the widening of the 401 between Highway 15 and Montreal St. from four lanes to six.
"We are continuing to build a fair, just and economically sound Ontario. The 2017 Ontario Budget is not only a balanced, fiscally responsible plan, it is a plan that will create a solid path forward for a stronger, healthier Ontario. We are investing in people, their families, their health, education, and their futures.
For Kingston and the Islands specifically, I am excited about the healthcare investments, which will provide more support for our community providers that work hard to deliver exceptional services to the people of Kingston. I am anxious to see the OHIP+ implemented, as I believe it will create lasting positive impacts for many in our community. It is always a win when we invest in the health of our people and these two pieces of the 2017 budget demonstrate our commitment to providing improved care and support. There are many positive aspects to Budget 2017 and I am both thrilled and proud that we are offering Ontarians, and this community, a progressive, balanced budget."