July 12th, 2018 by

First PC throne speech read at Queen’s Park

Queen’s Park in Toronto. (Photo: Quinte News)

Ontario’s new Progressive Conservative government is pledging to cut taxes, provide long-term funding for the health-care system and slash government waste in a throne speech that emphasizes promises made by Premier Doug Ford during the spring election campaign.

The speech, written by the premier’s office and read by Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell at the Ontario legislature, sets out a road map for the new Progressive Conservative government’s term.

It does not introduce new promises but highlights key pledges from Ford to pull out of the cap-and-trade system and fight what his government calls “oppressive” taxes, including the imposition of a federal carbon price.

The speech also promises the government will take action to reduce taxes for parents, small businesses and the working poor, and promises reductions in electricity bills.

It further says the government will provide stable health-care funding, including a $3.8 billion investment in mental health, addictions and supportive housing.

The speech also promises to restore faith in public institutions and highlights a Tory pledge to complete a line-by-line audit of all government spending to identify waste.

Other highlights include:

CAP AND TRADE; The government said it would move forward with its plan to scrap the cap-and-trade system, having already revoked the regulation that governs the program. It also vowed to end “unfair, unaffordable green energy contracts” it said were imposed on rural communities.

EDUCATION REFORM; The province said it would replace “failed ideological experiments in the classroom” with “tried-and-true methods” when it comes to math and sex ed. The government announced Wednesday that schools would temporarily revert to an older version of the sex-ed curriculum rather than the updated version brought in by the Liberals three years ago.

EXPANDING BEER AND WINE SALES; The Tories said they would trust adults to make responsible choices and allow consumers to buy beer and wine in convenience stores, grocery stores and big-box stores.

HONOURING VETS AND POLICE; The government pledged to build a new monument to veterans of the war in Afghanistan and said it would create a dedicated hotline to help military families. The Tories also promised to remove restrictions on police officers they said “treat those in uniform as subjects of suspicion and scorn.” The province has already stalled the implementation of a law that would have strengthened oversight of law enforcement and redefined police officers’ duties.

(The Canadian Press)