Doug Ford set to present vision for his new government's agenda, reintroduce budget

Queen's Park

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is set to present a vision today for what he hopes to accomplish with a new term of government, as well as reintroduce this year's budget.
    
A throne speech will outline the Progressive Conservative government's agenda, followed by the reintroduction of the budget, which is expected to be largely unchanged from when it was introduced but not passed in the spring before the election.
    
Ford is expected to talk about many of the same themes as during the spring election campaign, including building infrastructure such as highways, rebuilding the economy from the pandemic and getting more people into skilled trades.
    
He will also have to address a staffing crisis in the health-care system that has led to emergency departments across the province closing for hours or days at a time due to a lack of nurses.
    
Opposition parties and nursing groups have been urging him to repeal wage restraint legislation that they say is harming efforts to recruit and retain more nurses, who are leaving the sector in droves after more than two years on the front lines of fighting COVID-19.
    
The only change that Ford has signalled to the budget from when it was first introduced is a five per cent increase to disability support payment rates, which he promised during the election, but advocates say that's still far too low and the payments need to be doubled.