Ontario Budget on track to balance in ’17-’18
At last, at long last, the unfair, punitive Toronto Tax, also known as “GTA Pooling” instituted in the late 1990s is gone! After a six-year phase-out, Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon residents no longer contribute nearly $36 million annually from their property tax base to fund social services and other programs in Toronto. In six increments, beginning back in 2007, those programs and services were uploaded by Ontario, and taken off our municipal property tax base. And with the 2013-14 Ontario Budget, GTA Pooling is history! Goodbye, and good riddance.
As well, Ontario’s 2013-14 Budget keeps the province on its original post-recession path back to a balanced budget. Click for the entire 2013-14 Ontario Budget in PDF format. Some facts about Ontario’s climb back after the 2008-09 recession:
- Ontario remains the only jurisdiction in Canada (which means all the provinces plus the federal government) still on track with its post-recession balanced budget target. Alberta and the federal government have each postponed the date for a balanced budget several times;
- Ontario has, since 2003, always met or exceeded deficit reduction targets, and ran three consecutive surpluses in ’06, ’07 and ’08. That is more surpluses than Ontario ran during the combined years (1959 through 1985) of the Robarts and Davis administrations, and more than during the Harris-Eves years (1995-2003).
Some 600,000 Ontarians offered ideas during the most recent on-line pre-budget consultations, and plenty of our ideas, big and small, showed up in the Ontario Budget:
- A Youth Jobs Strategy of $295 million over two years to create jobs and mentorship opportunities for about 30,000 youth and promote entrepreneurship and innovation;
- Helping 46,000 more people receive home and community care quickly and in the comfort of their own home;
- Reducing auto insurance rates by 15 per cent on average for nine million drivers;
- A progress update on the implementation (60 percent done or in progress) of the recommendations in the 2012 Drummond Report on how to deliver government services more efficiently;
- Tax relief to small businesses to create more jobs by increasing their Employer Health Tax exemption from $400,000 to $450,000 of payroll;
- Steps to transform social assistance to help more recipients find jobs and improve their financial security.
There were no tax increases, and the Ontario budget deficit continues back to balance on schedule.
- To get more information, or to read the budget papers on-line or download them, visit the Ministry of Finance web site;
- To attend the 10th Annual Mississauga Post-Budget Breakfast, go to the Versailles Banquet Hall Friday morning at 7:30 a.m. The Budget Breakfast is free, and runs to 9:00 a.m. We stay on schedule, so don’t be late;
- Click to see the outcome of the western Mississauga pre-Budget consultations.
Recent statements in the Legislature
The periodic “video highlight reel” of remarks I have made about important people, companies and events in Lisgar, Meadowvale and Streetsville, all posted on YouTube. Click the individual links to see the 90-second statements.
- Why to always have third-party travel insurance when you travel, especially to the United States, even if only for a day;
- Meadowvale is becoming a Canadian aerospace manufacturing hub, with fast-growing Cyclone Manufacturing leading the way;
- The Mississauga Muslim community is running ahead of plan in its effort to raise $250,000 for Credit Valley Hospital, with its annual Family Day Walkathon as its signature event;
- Good food products, and more good jobs have come to Meadowvale with Maple Leaf Foods’ new office and consumer taste complex;
- Keeping our promise for learning- and physically-challenged kids with the expansion of ErinoakKids in Mississauga;
- Where do Ontario’s MPPs come from? We are a very diverse lot.
Experience with web site registration
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Ontario Hockey Federation Midget A Championships
Streetsville’s Vic Johnston Arena hosted the 2013 Ontario Hockey Federation Midget A Championships on the weekend of April 12-14. Host team Lorne Park Ojibwa defeated the Quinte West Hawks 2-1 Friday night in the opening game of the tournament. During warmup prior to the opening game, Lorne Park had a third goaltender to handle shots: me! In mid-season form, and coming off a shutout (in my half-game) victory with the Ontario Legiskaters two days earlier, I delivered Ontario’s greetings in my equipment, and took two rounds of warmup shots at each end. Lisgar resident Johnny Bower, the last living Maple Leaf goaltender to hoist the Stanley Cup, dropped the opening puck. Streetsville convenor Toby Gardiner and I had discussed the idea of me taking a few shots earlier, and I loved the idea. So too, apparently, did the Lorne Park team judging by their post-game tweets.
- See Bob’s Member’s Statement in the Legislature: three different Mississauga minor hockey teams brought home championships during the weekend of April 12-14.
Mayor Hazel is Ontario’s women’s hockey champion, and my niche is men’s masters hockey. Remember, all you aspiring greybeard weekend athletes, you don’t play hockey to get in shape, you get in shape to play hockey.