Turning the corner to a better tomorrow

Turning the corner to a better tomorrow: Ontario’s 2011 budget presented by finance minister Dwight Duncan recently highlights the achievements of the province.  The province’s economy is turning the corner and jobs are coming back. Statistics Canada data confirm that the province has recovered 91% of the jobs lost during the recession, compared to 14.5% in the United States. Nearly 84 % of the Ontario jobs recovered are full-time jobs.

The provisions of the budget were discussed at a lively debate at Mississauga’s Novotel hotel on March 30, with Liberal MPPs from the Peel region including Bob Delaney (Mississauga-Streetsville), Vic Dhillon (Brampton West), Kuldip Kular (Bramela-Gore-Malton), Amrit Mangat (Mississauga Brampton South) participating in explaining the nuances and highlighting the achievements of the McGunity government.  

Among the measures that the provincial government has initiated through the budget are:

· Stimulus package: Short-term measures to lessen the impact of recession on Ontarians through stimulus investments that created and preserved jobs and helped restore growth. As a result of the action taken to lessen the global recession’s impact, Ontario has a deficit.To overcome this challenge, the government must renew its focus on deficit reduction. The government has laid out a realistic and responsible plan to bring down the deficit. The 2011 budget builds on the gains Ontario has made in economic growth and job creation, which allow for strong schools and health care.
· Education: A well-educated workforce and public health care also strengthen Ontario’s economy and attract investment and jobs. The 2011 Budget announces funding to support more than 60,000 additional students in college and universities by 2015-16. Through its Open Ontario plan, the government will support raising the percentage of Ontarians who attain postsecondary education from 63 % to 70 % and ensure a college or university space is available for every qualified student.
· Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth: Ontario’s tax plan for jobs and growth includes tax cuts for people and reducing corporate income tax rates, is making Ontario businesses more competitive and is strengthening business investments.

Sheldon Leiba, CEO, Mississauga Board of Trade, moderated the discussion and the Q&A session.

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