Rinaldi excited to present balanced budget
The local Liberal MPP says the provincial budget will have a positive effect on most Ontarians, in one way or another.
Lou Rinaldi gave his reaction to Quinte News on the proposed $141 billion spending plan and says it’s exciting the party was able to present a balanced budget for the first time in a long time.
Rinaldi says the plans to spend $465 million per year on a pharmacare plan for youth and an increase in base funding to hospitals, show a strong commitment from the party, to the people of Ontario.
Smith slams spending plan
Despite the Liberals praising a balanced budget, opposition parties are slamming the newly announced spending plan as “a lot of smoke and mirrors.”
Speaking to Quinte News after the announcement Prince Edward-Hastings Progressive Conservative MPP Todd Smith says the Liberals “sold off anything that wasn’t bolted down” and didn’t really balance the budget.
Smith says if his party gets into power next year, it would “fund the priorities” like affordable housing, home care and address the root causes of the hydro issue.
Budget a mixed bag for Belleville businesses
The new executive director of the Belleville Chamber of Commerce says local business owners will be watching closely to see how the budget plays out, but says there are some good and bad points in the spending plan.
Jill Raycroft tells Quinte News, the chamber was hoping to see a re-instatement of the corporate income tax program from 2013, among other things, and there are still some issues to be addressed as far as “red tape” goes.
Raycroft says the idea of a balanced budget is not a bad thing, because businesses have been pushing the government to do that and that the planned investment in applied research could payoff for Loyalist College and other local businesses as well.
CDCQ: Pharmacare plan for youth is a big step
The provincial budget states that more than 4,400 prescription drugs will be free for anyone under 25 starting next year under the province’s new pharmacare program.
The program, dubbed OHIP+, is meant to provide universal drug coverage to children and youth regardless of family income.
It will cover all drugs currently available under the Ontario Drug Benefit program, with no co-payment or deductible.
Executive director of Community Development Council of Quinte, Ruth Ingersoll, says this is an “extremely important step for young people.”
Money is also being set aside, $8 million over three years, for “elderly persons’ centres,” which provide services such as meals on wheels and exercise classes.
The province’s dementia strategy is also getting $100 million over three years to support residents with dementia and those who care for them.
Not a bad budget as far as Quinte West Chamber of Commerce is concerned.
The General Manager of the Quinte West Chamber of Commerce believes yesterday’s provincial budget was okay.
Suzanne Andrews says there was some good news for families and others as far as healthcare was concerned and thought bringing in a balanced budget was excellent.