: 2011 Ontario Budget: Highlights

FIVE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE 2011 BUDGET

  1. The economy is improving and jobs are coming back
    • Ontario and innovative private-sector partners are creating and retaining nearly 10,000 jobs through new investments of over $1.3 billion, including nearly $175 million from the Ontario government
    • Ontario’s Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth is working. Ontario has recovered 91 per cent of the jobs lost during the recession
    • Helping farmers through new and extended Risk Management Programs
  2. We are protecting the progress we have made in education
    • Over 60,000 additional college and university students by 2015–16
    • Full-day kindergarten will begin in 200 more schools in September 2011 and will be fully implemented in September 2014
  3. We are protecting the progress we have made in health care
    • 90,000 more breast cancer screening exams, expanding the program to reach women aged 30-49 at high risk and supporting more exams for women aged 50-69
    • A comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, starting with children and youth
    • More pharmacy services and support for those who receive drug coverage through the Ontario Drug Benefit Program, including seniors
  4. We are renewing our focus on eliminating the deficit
    • The 2010–11 deficit is now projected to be $3 billion lower than forecast a year ago
    • Program expense in 2010–11 is projected to be $2.6 billion lower than forecast in last year’s budget
    • We have identified planned savings of nearly $1.5 billion over the next three fiscal years
    • For example, major agencies are being asked to deliver savings of $200 million by 2013–14
    • Funding for executive offices of specific transfer payment recipients will be reduced by 10 per cent over two years. This will also apply to major government agencies
    • The size of the Ontario Public Service (OPS) will be reduced by an additional 1,500 positions between April 2012 and March 2014. This is in addition to the reduction of about 3,400 full-time OPS employees announced in the 2009 Budget
    • The Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services, chaired by respected economist Don Drummond, will advise on changes that would help us accelerate our plan to eliminate the deficit while still protecting health care and education
  5. We will eliminate the deficit while protecting key public services and economic growth
    • Other approaches, such as reducing the HST, would require deep cuts to education and health care, which would hurt Ontario families and the economy

Ontario is turning the corner to a better tomorrow.

  • Jobs are coming back.
  • The economy is improving.

We are renewing our focus on eliminating the deficit and reforming the delivery of public services.

We are protecting the progress we have made in our schools and hospitals.

ELIMINATING THE DEFICIT

  • The deficit for 2010–11 is projected to be $3 billion lower than forecast a year ago.
  • The lower deficit is largely due to the fact that program expense for 2010–11 is projected to be $2.6 billion lower than the forecast in the 2010 Budget.
  • We are reforming government and making it work better for people.

JOBS AND GROWTH

Creating and Protecting Jobs

  • Ontario has recovered 91 per cent of the jobs lost during the recession.
  • New investments with innovative private-sector partners are creating and protecting nearly 10,000 jobs.
  • Ontario’s Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth is boosting investment and creating jobs.
  • Helping cattle, hog, sheep and veal farmers by implementing a new Risk Management Program, and a Self-Directed Risk Management Program for the edible horticulture sector.

PROTECTING EDUCATION

Full-Day Kindergarten

  • In September 2011, full-day kindergarten will be available in an additional 200 schools, benefiting up to 50,000 children.
  • It is now available in nearly 600 schools for up to 35,000 children.
  • The program will be fully implemented in every elementary school in September 2014, benefiting about 247,000 children and their families.

More College and University Spaces

  • More than 60,000 new student spaces in Ontario colleges and universities by 2015–16.
  • There will be room for every qualified Ontario student.

PROTECTING HEALTH CARE

More Breast Cancer Screening

  • An additional 90,000 breast cancer screening exams.
  • Expansion of screening programs to reach more women and those who are at high risk.

Mental Health Strategy

  • The government is investing in a comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, starting with children and youth.
  • Creating a more integrated and responsive system.

Expanding Pharmacy Services

  • Expanding pharmacy services and support for people covered under the Ontario Drug Benefit Program — helping seniors and others with things like prescription follow-up consultations.