Budget Delivers Care and Opportunity for Sudbury and the North

Ontario Continuing to Invest in Health Care, Child Care and Mental Health


Monday, March 26, 2018


Through Budget 2018, the Ontario government is delivering significant new investments to
benefit the North, including in health care, child care, home care and mental health, and new
measures to create more jobs.The Budget also focuses on initiatives that make life more affordable and provide more financial security during a time of rapid economic change.

If passed, Ontario would expand OHIP+ with free prescription drugs for everyone 65 and over,
improve mental health care and addictions services, and introduce free preschool child care for
children aged two-and- a-half until eligible for kindergarten.

Today’s Provincial Budget builds on the government’s plan to support Northern Ontario. The
Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC), which plays a critical role in Northern
development and job creation, will see a budget increase of $50 million — increasing to $150
million per year in 2020/21. This will enable NOHFC to increase investments in key sectors and
create more jobs in Northern Ontario.

Since 2013, the NOHFC has delivered $621 million in funding for over 3,800 projects, creating
and retaining over 15,300 jobs and leveraging more than $2.2 billion in investment.

Microbreweries, which have taken off in the North largely because of NOHFC funding will see
increased supports. The government proposes to implement a Small Beer Manufacturers Tax
Credit to ensure small brewers in the North have continued opportunities for growth.

The Budget also makes clear our government’s commitment to development of the Ring of Fire,
with up to $1 billion committed to building roads and other strategic infrastructure. Full funding for
completion of 4-laning of Highway 69, currently well underway, is also confirmed in the
document.

Making Life More Affordable

Ontario is taking steps to make life more affordable for individuals in the North and across the
Province.
Making prescriptions completely free for everyone 65 and over through OHIP+. In Sudbury,
this means just under 20,000 seniors will save around $240 per year.

Providing more affordable quality child care by making preschool child care free for children
aged two-and- a-half until they are eligible for kindergarten. In Sudbury, this will mean
relief for parents of the nearly 8,000 children under 4 years old. (This saves a family with
one child $17,000, on average.)

Introducing the new Seniors’ Healthy Home Program. This recognizes the costs associated
with aging at home, where seniors want to be. It provides a benefit of up to $750 annually
for eligible households led by seniors 75 and over to help them live independently and
offset the costs of maintaining their homes. For Sudbury’s nearly 20,000 seniors and their
families, this will provide significant relief.

Cutting residential electricity bills as of July 1, 2017, by 25 per cent on average and up to
40 or 50 per cent for eligible Northern, rural and low-income families. For Sudburians, this
means a 25% decrease on bills in Sudbury Hydro territory and a 40-50% decrease on
bills for individuals with homes in the Greater Sudbury Region.

Investing in Care

Ontario is helping ease the mounting pressure that individuals and families are facing and giving
them every opportunity to care for their loved ones by:

Introducing the new Seniors’ Healthy Home Program. This recognizes the costs associated
with aging at home, where seniors want to be. It provides a benefit of up to $750 annually
for eligible households led by seniors 75 and over to help them live independently and
offset the costs of maintaining their homes. For Sudbury’s nearly 20,000 seniors and their
families, this will provide significant relief.

Introducing a new Ontario Drug and Dental Program, reimbursing 80 per cent, up to a
maximum of $400 per single person, $600 per couple and $700 for a family of four with
two children, of eligible prescription drug and dental expenses each year, for those
without workplace health benefits or not covered by OHIP+ or other government
programs.

Providing better access to care through an additional $822-million investment in 2018–19 —
the largest single government investment in hospitals in almost a decade. The province is
also investing $19 billion over 10 years to build and renovate hospitals to provide more
and faster health care for people. In Sudbury, this will mean significant increases to
community health funding.

Providing better and faster access to mental health and addictions services for hundreds of
thousands more children, young people and adults across Ontario — bringing the total
funding to more than $17 billion over four years. In Sudbury, this means life-changing
new supports will be available for the one in five individuals who struggle with mental
health concerns in their lifetimes.

Creating 30,000 new long-term care beds over the next 10 years — adding 5,000 new beds
by 2022 — to help people who can no longer live independently and provide peace of
mind for people who care for them. These new beds are in addition to the 30,000 existing
beds being redeveloped.

Building a fair society and enhancing choice and independence by investing $1.8 billion to
strengthen services for 47,000 adults with developmental disabilities and reforming the
social assistance system to focus on people rather than on rules and regulations.

Quote

“This budget is a testament to our government’s commitment to supporting Ontarians in all areas
of life. With record investments in healthcare, childcare, and support for seniors, families will see
significant relief in their daily pressures. In the North, we remain committed to growing the
economy and creating jobs, with continued support for core industries and projects that will
benefit us all.”
— Glenn Thibeault, MPP for Sudbury

Quick Facts

The government is choosing to make new investments of $20.3 billion over the next three
years to support vital public services that people in Ontario rely on, focusing on priority
areas such as health care, education, child care, seniors, social services, growing the
economy and creating good jobs.

Since the recession, Ontario’s economy has gained over 800,000 net new jobs. The
unemployment rate has steadily declined to a 17-year low in February 2018, and has
remained below the national average for 34 consecutive months.

Since 2014 Ontario’s economy has grown more than Canada’s and all other G7 countries.