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OCC Rapid Policy Update New Ontario Government Speech from the Throne

On July 12th, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, delivered the Speech from the Throne laying out the priorities of the new PC government.

Yesterday’s Speech from the Throne officially opened the first session of the 42nd Parliament of Ontario, with the new government calling itself “Ontario's government for the People.” Many of the commitments made were previously announced by the PC Party during the election campaign.

The OCC has provided a synopsis of the Speech from the Throne below with key highlights most important to business. Throne speeches provide a general overview of the government’s policy commitments rather than specific details.

Highlights

  1. Job Creation and Business Competitiveness: The Ontario government is committed to reducing the regulatory burden businesses are facing and reiterated its commitment to creating and protecting jobs. 
     
  2. Trade: The government has committed to standing “shoulder to shoulder” with the federal government on trade, standing up to U.S. tariffs and ensuring Ontario’s best interests are represented in NAFTA renegotiations.
     
  3. Energy and the Environment: The throne speech highlighted the government's commitment to reducing gas prices and lowering hydro bills as well as “restor[ing] public confidence in Ontario’s electricity system” by implementing management reform at Hydro One. The government reiterated its commitment to cancel Ontario’s cap-and-trade program and oppose all other carbon tax proposals. It also indicated it will be ending all green energy contracts.
     
  4. Transit: The government indicated its commitment to addressing the transportation needs of Ontario’s urban centres, with an intention to partner with Toronto and other GTA municipalities to improve transit services. 
     
  5. Government and Fiscal Accountability: The government intends to take immediate steps to “restore faith” in Ontario’s public institutions and committed to returning Ontario to a balanced budget. 

Health Care: The government intends to work in collaboration with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare practitioners to ensure the health care system puts the interests of patients first.