Building Ontario Up banner

: Investing in a Fair Society for All Ontarians

Backgrounder April 23, 2015

The government is committed to ensuring that all Ontarians have the support they need to realize their full potential.

Ontario’s 10-year plan for a fair society is a blueprint for making the province a better place for everyone. The government is continuing to enhance critical supports for Ontarians, with a focus on:

Effective health care for all: The Province’s recently released Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care will help ensure that all Ontarians get the high-quality health care services they need and rely on.

Renewed Poverty Reduction Strategy: Through its renewed Poverty Reduction Strategy, the Province is investing in initiatives that create the conditions to help lift people out of poverty and provide new opportunities for all Ontarians, including the most vulnerable.

Assistance for the vulnerable and enhanced safety for all Ontarians: It’s Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment and enhancements to the Youth Action Plan will both lead to a safer province and help bring permanent social change to those at risk.

QUICK FACTS:

In 2015, Ontario plans to contribute to the costs of one in vitro fertilization cycle per patient for all eligible forms of infertility, improving affordability and access for an estimated 4,000 more patients, while protecting the health and safety of mothers and their babies.

94 per cent of Ontarians have a primary care provider as a result of recent primary care reforms.

About 1.46 million people per year, mostly seniors, receive community support services, such as meals, transportation and caregiver support.

Ontario is raising the hourly wage of publicly funded personal support workers to at least $16.50 by April 1, 2016.

Effective Health Care for All

$750 million

Ontario will invest more than $750 million over the next three years to support people of all ages who require care in their home, at school or in their community.

$40 million

Ontario is investing more than $40 million over four years to enhance coordinated rehabilitative services for complex-needs seniors who have recently lost strength or mobility due to an injury or long hospital stay.

$4 million

Ontario is investing about $4 million to expand access to physiotherapy services in primary care settings for approximately 71,000 people across the province.

$138 million

Ontario is investing $138 million through Local Health Integration Networks over three years, starting in 2014–15 for community organizations across the province to improve mental health and addictions services.

QUICK FACTS:

The Ontario Child Benefit (OCB) is an income-tested, non-taxable, provincial payment that is provided monthly to low- to moderate-income families to help with the cost of raising children. This year, the OCB will support about one million children in more than 500,000 families.

Starting in 2014, the Healthy Smiles Ontario program was enhanced, allowing approximately 70,000 more children and youth to receive the dental care provided under this program.

The Employment Service has helped more than 684,000 Ontarians look for a job at over 400 points of service across the province.

October 2015 will see the hourly minimum wage rise to $11.25.

Since last fall, the government has provided direct funding to 8,000 more children with developmental disabilities and their families through the Special Services at Home program.

Renewed Poverty Reduction Strategy

$1,336

July 2015 will see the maximum annual Ontario Child Benefit per child rise to $1,336, as a result of indexing to inflation for the first time.

Ontario Works

Ontario will increase social assistance rates in 2015 by one per cent for adult Ontario Works clients and people with disabilities receiving Ontario Disability Support Program benefits. The government will provide a further top-up for those with the lowest incomes, namely single adults without children receiving Ontario Works.

$80 million

The government is contributing $80 million annually over five years, cost-matched by the federal government, to the investment in the Affordable Housing for Ontario program.

Assistance for the Vulnerable and Enhanced Safety

$14 million

The government will implement the next phase of the Youth Action Plan — an annual, cross-government investment starting at $14 million in 2015–16 and growing to almost $21 million in 2016–17.

$2 million

The Seniors Community Grant Program is doubling to $2 million per year.

QUICK FACTS:

Since the launch of the government’s Auto Insurance Cost and Rate Reduction Strategy, approved rates have declined by more than seven per cent on average for Ontario’s 9.4 million drivers.

The government is moving forward with removing the Debt Retirement Charge from residential electricity users’ bills after December 31, 2015, which would save a typical residential user about $70 a year.

Fairness for Ontario Consumers

Auto insurance

Ontario is introducing a number of additional reforms to reduce the cost of auto insurance for consumers. Ontario is also taking action to increase consumer protection by:

  • Lowering the maximum interest rate charged on monthly auto insurance premium payments.
  • Prohibiting premium increases for minor at-fault accidents that meet certain criteria.
  • Requiring that insurers offer a discount for use of winter tires.
  • Working to ensure that insurer claims management practices are fair, protect consumers and ensure affordable premiums.

Ontario Electricity Support Program

In March 2015, the government announced details of the Ontario Electricity Support Program to provide a monthly benefit of $20 to $50 directly on the electricity bills of Ontario’s most vulnerable citizens. The size of the benefit would be assessed based on income level and household size, and the program would begin on January 1, 2016.