Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller in an interview with RadioWorkz Parry Sound Friday says a balanced budget is key to providing quality delivery of vital services like healthcare and education.
Ontario’s Ford government released its first budget on Thursday vowing to reduce the budget by 2023-24 with its 5-year Path to Balance.
The government’s approach in this budget was not as severe as most critics expected, taking a not too quick and not too slow way of reducing the deficit
Predictions of massive cuts to education didn’t happen with the only real cutbacks being larger classroom sizes and the policy of not rehiring teachers to replace those that are retiring.
In addressing long-term healthcare, the government vowed to create 15,000 new beds and upgrading 15,000 existing beds over the next five years and at a cost of $1.75 billion.
In the plan to provide better healthcare, the budget outlines plans to eliminate the individual LHIN’s and create a super health agency, Ontario Health.
When asked about the plan, Miller said it would be implemented gradually and that local hospitals including West Parry Sound Health Centre could be involved as a health team member in the new agency.
Another aspect of the budget is the Ontario Childcare Access Tax Credit.
The average family can receive approximately $1,200 towards childcare with CARE.
Another important program is Lift, the Low-Income Individual and Family Tax credit for working families that has a value of up to $850.
Of great concern for the government is the dental health of Ontario seniors.
The budget will allocate money for senior individuals earning less than $19,000 and couples earning less than $32,000, providing free dental care at public and community health centres.
As part of the seniors’ dental program, the province plans on serving remote areas with a mobile dental clinic.
The province also unveiled Ontario’s new licence plate.
The new blue-backed plate features a new tag line ‘A Place to Grow’ and Ontario’s newly designed trillium.