Provincial News

Legislative Week in Review: March 26th – 29th, 2018

In the House

This week we debated:


On Tuesday, the House passed the Speech from the Throne. The Speech outlined the government’s priorities for the rest of the legislative session and laid the groundwork for 2018 Ontario Budget. The Speech called for bold action on healthcare, mental health care and child care. Both the Conservatives and NDP voted against the priorities in the Speech from the Throne.  

On Wednesday, the Minister of Finance introduced Bill 31, Plan for Care and Opportunity Act (Budget Measures), 2018. This is the 2018 Ontario Budget and it includes historic initiatives to promote care and opportunity for all Ontarians.

Key new investments include:

  • The expansion of OHIP+ to provide seniors aged 65+ with free access to 4,400 prescription drugs. 
  • Free childcare for children aged 2 ½ to when they enter kindergarten -saving families on average $17,000 per child. 
  • The new Ontario Drug and Dental Program that will cover up to 80% of prescription drug and dental costs for anyone without coverage. The program would reimburse up to $400 for an individual, $600 per couple, and $700 for a family of four annually.   
  • New healthcare investments including $2.1 billion over 4 years to improve mental health services and accessibility, and $822 million annually to improve hospitals and reduce wait times.

The Conservatives immediately tabled a delay motion on the Budget to prevent it from being debated for 3 sitting days.  


In Private Members’ Business

Motion #28, sponsored by PC MPP Toby Barrett was defeated in the House. The motion called on the government to not implement or raise any tax including a carbon tax. This is just the latest reminder that Doug Ford and the Ontario Conservatives have no plan to combat climate change.

Motion # 27 sponsored by Liberal MPP Lou Rinaldi passed in the House. The motion called on the government to build on record investments in broadband, infrastructure and natural resource development in rural Ontario. Budget 2018 includes an additional $500 million over 3 years to expand broadband connectivity in rural and northern communities. Further, with Budget 2018, the government has committed to invest a total of $230 billion over 14 years (staring in 2014-2015) on building infrastructure including hospitals, schools, transit, bridges and roads across the province. 

Bill 26, Fee Waivers (Photo Card and Birth Certificate) Act, 2018 sponsored by Liberal MPP Sophie Kiwala passed second reading in the House. The Bill would, if passed provide fee waivers for individuals who cannot afford to pay the fees required for photo cards.


In Committee

Public Hearings:

  • NA

Clause by Clause Consideration:

  • NA

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