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Ontario budget promises billions in health care and drives up debt

Ontario budget promises billions in health care and drives up debt

With an additional investment of $6.4 billion over three years, the balanced 2017 Budget reflects the government's commitment to help learners reach their full potential by supporting them from full-day kindergarten to postsecondary education and beyond, the minister said.

"I'm proud that, we as a government, we're investing $11.5 billion more in health care generally throughout the system".

An improvement in Ontario's finances is crucial for Premier Kathleen Wynne to boost social spending and shore up support before next year's election.

The finance minister said the budget contains several measures specifically created to help seniors.

The budget also includes a few tax hikes.

"Many of them may be on contract up to until that point".

Covering people under 25 - following the United Nations' definition of youth - is a good place to start, Hoskins said. "We must make sure that the opportunities available to our people and especially our young people not only endure, but grow".

The plan will be most beneficial for youth who now are not covered under private plans or the Ontario Drug Benefit program for social assistance recipients, but government officials weren't able to say how many people that captures.

The government expects to roll out the new Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), which means free tuition for more than 210,000 students in post secondary education starting this fall.

Thurston said, overall, the Liberal's spending plan is a "great news budget for the health care sector and the hospital sector".

Sousa said the provincial government has been working on the youth pharmacare plan for months.




Sousa has said the budget will refer to the recent housing affordability measures the government announced.

Fedeli says it came as a serious shock to see that this year's budget removed all mention of the Ring of Fire.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath responded to the Liberal pharmacare plan saying that 2.2 million Ontario residents don't have a prescription drug plan and need one.

"All I can think of is that they made it up on the back of a napkin just before today", Horwath said, remarking at the fact that the cost of the Liberals' plan is not written anywhere in the 290+ page budget document. She notes dependent children and young workers typically aren't the biggest contributers of an employer's drug costs, and the formulary won't cover several high-cost medications.

Developing a new website to provide better information about careers and the labour market to students, parents and employers.

The last time Ontario, Canada's largest province, had managed to balance its books was in 2008. "Keep in mind that even with those who have plans - they still have co-pays and deductibles", he said.

The Liberal Government of Ontario thanked the growing strong economy for bringing in billions of dollars to the economy to make the budget balanced since the global recession, media reports said.

Health experts say approximately four million Ontario residents will qualify for the drug plan, which begins on January 1, 2018.

"We absolutely deserve the best health care possible in Ontario, whether it's the doctor's office, the hospital, getting the drugs", he told Metro Morning.

The plan is skilful politics (we'll get to what sort of policy it is momentarily). During Thursday's news conference, a reporter asked "Why should a millionaire's child have their drugs covered by taxpayers?"

The Liberals are selling this as a health budget and while it's true that the health portion has gone up by $2 billion this year, there are increases all across the board.

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