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: Making Everyday Life Easier

Ontario is working to grow the economy, create jobs and support strong public services. The government is also making everyday life easier for people across the province by lowering costs and enhancing convenience and choice.

Lowering Costs

  • Making hospital parking more affordable for approximately 900,000 patients and visitors, including 135,000 seniors.
    • Frequent users will save 50 per cent on multiple-use passes at hospitals that charge more than $10 a day.
    • Transferable passes valid for a year with in-and-out privileges will also be offered.
  • Eliminating the $30 fee that drivers pay for their Drive Clean emissions tests in 2017─18.
  • Saving a typical residential electricity user about $70 each year with the removal of the debt retirement charge for residential consumers, as of January 1, 2016.
  • Lowering the cost of auto insurance for Ontario’s more than 9.5 million drivers.
  • Since August 2013, rates have decreased by more than seven per cent on average.
  • Lowering the fares for the Union Pearson Express (UP Express) to make it a more attractive option for passengers travelling between Union Station and Pearson Airport; PRESTO card users will pay $9 and those not using PRESTO will pay $12.
  • Investing $100 million to help about 37,000 homeowners conduct audits and identify energy-saving opportunities and complete retrofits, such as replacing furnaces and water heaters and upgrading insulation.

Investing in Health Care

  • Investing an additional $130 million in cancer care services, over the next three years, allowing for the delivery of more services and preventive programs.
  • Providing an additional $85 million over three years to ensure primary care teams can effectively recruit and retain qualified interprofessional staff. This will help clinics continue to provide services across the province, including northern, rural and fast-growing communities.
  • Increasing funding for hospitals by $345 million in response to the growing demand for highly specialized and complex services and the need to expand access in growing communities across the province.
  • Providing $12 billion over 10 years in capital grants to hospitals to continue building essential infrastructure.

Increasing Convenience and Choice

  • Introducing wine, beer and cider in grocery stores across Ontario.
  • Reducing commute times and making travel more convenient by implementing Regional Express Rail, improving GO Transit services and continuing to roll out the PRESTO fare card system on Toronto transit.
  • Working to make a wider range of vaccines, such as travel vaccines, available through pharmacists.
  • Using technology to deliver more simple and straightforward public services that are intuitive and easy to use, including improvements by ServiceOntario to align how Ontarians change their address for their health cards and driver’s licences.
  • Supporting the development of community hubs, which make public services such as recreation, child care, social and medical services more convenient and accessible.

Helping Students

  • Transforming student assistance to make average college and university tuition free for students with financial need from families with incomes of $50,000 or less, and making tuition more affordable for middle-class families.
  • Providing non-repayable grants — which will exceed average college and university tuition — to more than 50 per cent of students from families with incomes of $83,000 or less.
  • Ensuring that students from families with incomes of less than $50,000 will have no provincial student debt.
  • Increasing access to interest-free and low-cost loans for middle- and upper-income families.
  • Expanding financial support for mature and married students.
  • Ensuring all students will be the same or better off under the new Ontario Student Grant as under the Ontario Tuition Grant.
  • Improving access to postsecondary education and training for First Nation, Métis and Inuit learners through continuing the three-year, $97 million investment.

Helping Seniors

  • Investing an additional $75 million in community-based, residential hospice and palliative care, for a total investment of about $155 million over the next three years.
  • Enhancing seniors’ health by investing in home and community care, enabling 80,000 more home nursing hours for the most acute patients.
    • Initiating six interdisciplinary bundled care teams in communities across the province, to help patients transition more smoothly out of hospital and back into their home.
  • Making the shingles vaccine free for Ontario seniors between the ages of 65 and 70, saving eligible seniors about $170 in out-of-pocket expenses and reducing emergency room visits and hospitalizations.
  • Investing in long-term resident care needs with a two per cent increase in support and $10 million annually for Behavioural Supports Ontario to help long-term care residents suffering with dementia.

Helping Children and Families

  • Investing $333 million over five years to redesign and consolidate autism services for children and youth in Ontario.
  • Investing more than $1 billion in child care funding annually, supporting almost 450,000 children in Ontario, including an additional $44.5 million in child care funding for 2015.
  • Building on the Ontario Early Years Policy Framework to integrate child and family support services into Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres to ensure accessibility and quality of service levels.
  • Supporting low‐ to moderate‐income families through the inflation-adjusted Ontario Child Benefit, along with other provincial and federal tax and benefit programs, to help reduce child poverty and provide a more stable income base for those who may experience uncertain earnings.

Helping Low-Income Ontarians

  • Accelerating the goal to end chronic homelessness by investing a further $178 million over three years under Ontario’s Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy, including:
    • Supporting construction of up to 1,500 new supportive housing units over the long term;
    • Investing $2.4 million to pilot a new portable housing benefit for those fleeing domestic violence; and
    • Enhancing local funding for the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) by $45 million over three years, of which every $15 million invested in CHPI supports about 2,600 households experiencing homelessness to obtain housing, or prevents approximately 14,200 households from becoming homeless.
  • Providing up to $10 million over two years in targeted funding from the Local Poverty Reduction Fund to help prevent and end homelessness across the province.
  • Increasing social assistance rates by 1.5 per cent for adults receiving Ontario Works and people with disabilities relying on the Ontario Disability Support Program.
  • Providing a further top-up to those with the lowest social assistance rates — singles without children receiving Ontario Works — bringing their total increase to $25 per month, $100 more per month than they received in 2012.
  • Helping low-income workers and families by raising the minimum wage by 64 per cent since 2003.
  • Working with communities, researchers and other stakeholders in 2016 to design and implement a Basic Income pilot project.
  • Investing up to $1 million annually over five years to partner with Prosper Canada to provide a range of financial empowerment tools and services to more communities across Ontario.
  • Making average college and university tuition free for students with financial need from families with incomes of $50,000 or less.