Government for the People will respect taxpayers, protect students and restore accountability
Toronto, July 12, 2018 - Ontario's Government for the People is opening Parliament to take action
to protect students and lower electricity bills.
The Speech from the Throne, delivered today by the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell,
Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, officially opened the 42nd Parliament and set out
the government's plan to put the people first.
"We have a clear mandate from the people," said Premier Doug Ford. "We are ending
the deadlocked strike at York University so students can get back to school. We
are striking the cap-and-trade carbon tax from the books. And we are cancelling
unnecessary renewable energy projects to help lower your electricity bills."
This summer session will build on the achievements the Government for the People
has already made, such as freeing taxpayers from the cap-and-trade carbon tax scheme,
fixing OHIP+ and reining in government spending. It will continue its work to get
the province back on a healthy financial footing, so it can invest in strengthening
vital public services like hospitals and schools.
The government will focus on putting everyday workers and families first. It will
protect jobs by continuing to work with the federal government to stand up to tariffs
and ensure Ontario's best interests are reflected in the NAFTA negotiations. The
Government for the People will also send a message to the world that Ontario is
open for business, and it will back up that message by lowering taxes and reducing
"We are getting to work quickly so people can see real change fast, and get the
respect they deserve from their government," said Premier Ford. "We are restoring
accountability, so you can feel confident your government works for you — not the
insiders and elites. A new day has dawned here in Ontario."
A Government for the People Speech from the Throne
Mr. Speaker, Honourable members, ladies and gentlemen, people of Ontario:
As the representative of Her Majesty the Queen, it is my honour to open the first
session of the 42nd Parliament by delivering the Speech from the Throne.
I want to issue a special welcome to you — the elected members of the Ontario legislature,
both new and returning.
Each of you has earned your seat in this chamber by earning the confidence and trust
of your fellow Ontarians. It is a high honour and distinction that should be cherished.
For this chamber belongs to the people.
Not just in that all are welcome to witness your proceedings.
Though that should always be the case.
But also in that every seat in this chamber ultimately belongs to the Ontarians
who sent you here.
The privilege of democracy is to temporarily occupy these seats on the people's
And in so doing, to always be mindful that the power exercised here must always
be — and only be — exercised with the people's best interest in mind.
A Government for the People
In a time of global turmoil and change, maintaining and strengthening the bond between
the people and their public representatives must always be top of mind for us all.
It is very much top of mind for your new government.
A government for the people.
It is a government that has been given a clear mandate directly from Ontarians.
A government that recognizes that this mandate comes with high expectations.
Not just in the policies it advances.
But also in the manner in which it conducts itself.
Your new government does not take these responsibilities lightly.
For the fact is that Ontario is at a critical juncture.
We face mounting challenges at home and abroad.
These challenges, if left unchecked, threaten livelihoods and imperil public services.
We cannot afford to dither or delay.
To overcome these challenges, we must challenge the status quo.
Reject the old compromises.
And embrace change.
It will also require us to move past the politics of division.
We must look beyond our differences — in race, region, language, gender, religion,
lifestyle, sexual orientation or creed — and recognize that all of us are Ontarians
and Canadians first.
Because no matter where any of us come from, or how long we have lived here, it
should be clear that when Ontarians work together, there is no challenge that cannot
Together, we can create unprecedented jobs and prosperity — and send a message to
the world that Ontario is open for business.
We can once again put Ontario on a healthy financial footing — and ensure that we
can afford to maintain and strengthen our hospitals, schools and other vital public
And we can rebuild trust between the people and their government — based on a shared
and simple principle.
You should not be forced to pay more and work harder to make life easier for your
Instead, your government should be working harder, smarter and more efficiently
to make life better for you. Your government intends to take a number of immediate
and longer-term steps to meet these challenges, including, where necessary, the
introduction of legislation.
A Government That Trusts Taxpayers
Your government's plan for the people will begin by trusting the taxpayer.
Ontarians work hard for their money. They treat their hard-earned money with respect
— and are right to expect their government will do the same.
Your new government believes that no dollar is better spent than the dollar that
is left in the pockets of the taxpayer.
That is why your government will take action to reduce gas prices.
Lower your hydro bills.
And provide meaningful, necessary tax relief to parents, small businesses and the
It also includes scrapping the cap-and-trade carbon tax here in Ontario. And opposing
other carbon tax schemes in all of their forms.
These oppressive taxes make life unaffordable for families and put thousands of
Ontario jobs at risk.
In a time of economic uncertainty, a punishing carbon tax is the last thing Ontario
families and businesses can afford.
Your government will use every tool at its disposal to fight those who would hurt
Ontario families and jobs by imposing such a tax on our province.
A Government That Will Help Create and Protect Jobs
Because, in the current climate, creating and protecting jobs should be something
that unites us all.
None of us are oblivious to the ominous warnings from other nations about the future
of our trading relationships.
In this time of uncertainty, we are proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our
federal government, provincial counterparts, businesses and workers to not only
protect the jobs we have today — but to also build a stronger economy for the future.
We will work cooperatively with the federal government to stand up to tariffs and
make sure Ontario's best interests are reflected in the NAFTA negotiations.
And Ontario will not be standing on the sidelines. We are a proud trading partner
to the world — including to the 28 U.S. states for which Ontario is the number-one
or number-two export destination. We will take our message to anyone who will listen.
And here at home we will also take action to protect jobs — including the thousands
of jobs across Ontario that depend on the continued operation of the Pickering Nuclear
And, by lowering taxes, reducing the regulatory burden and making life easier for
entrepreneurs, your government will make sure the world knows that Ontario is open
A Government That Will Be Accountable
Your government also intends to take immediate steps to restore faith in Ontario's
In many places this faith is shaken. Ontario's finances have been left in a precarious
And too many people are feeling excluded from a system that too often seems tilted
in the direction of insiders and the elite.
Your government intends to tackle this problem root and stem.
It will begin by calling a Commission of Inquiry into the financial practices of
government to identify ways to restore accountability and trust in Ontario's public
The era of accounting tricks and sleight of hand must end.
It will also include a thorough, line-by-line audit of all government spending that
will identify and eliminate duplication and waste.
And your government will act swiftly to restore public confidence in Ontario's electricity
system — starting with Hydro One.
And ultimately, your government intends to return Ontario to a balanced budget on
a timetable that is responsible, modest and pragmatic.
A Government That Will Respect You
Ultimately, a government for the people must also be a government of respect.
Your new government assumes responsibility with great humility. Recognizing that,
on so many issues, the people who know best live and work well outside government's
You can count on your government to respect our doctors, nurses and other health
care practitioners by working collaboratively with them to ensure we have a system
that treats everyone fairly while putting the interests of patients first.
It will be a health care system that can count on long-term stable funding. Including
15,000 new long term care beds over the next five years and a historic new $3.8
billion investment in mental health and addictions, including supportive housing.
You can also count on your government to respect parents, teachers and students
by getting back to basics and replacing failed ideological experiments in the classroom
— with tried-and-true methods that work.
It will include scrapping the failed experimental 'Discovery Math' curriculum and
focusing on the fundamentals that allow our children to succeed.
It will also include respecting parents by replacing the current sex-education curriculum
with a new age-appropriate one that is based on real consultation with parents.
And it will include respecting the parents of children with autism, by increasing
supports for the families who need it most.
Your new government will also respect our municipal partners.
Whether by partnering with Toronto and other GTA municipalities to build a world-class
Addressing the transportation needs of other Ontario urban centres.
Or respecting the wishes of rural municipalities by putting an end to unfair, unaffordable
green energy contracts that have been imposed on them over local objections.
You can also count on your government to respect our men and women in uniform.
It will include honouring the Canadian heroes of the war in Afghanistan by building
a new monument.
And creating a dedicated hotline to provide assistance to our military families
here at home.
You can count on your government to respect the men and women of Ontario's police
services — by freeing them from onerous restrictions that treat those in uniform
as subjects of suspicion and scorn.
And ensuring they have the tools, support and resources they need to enforce the
law and protect innocent families from the menace of drug, gun and gang-related
It will respect businesses and job creators in Ontario — who know, far better than
any government, what is necessary to get Ontario growing so that we can once again
be the engine of Canada's economy.
Your new government will respect consumers and trust adults to make the responsible
choices that work best for them. That's why it will expand the sale of beer and
wine to convenience stores, grocery stores and big-box stores.
And it will respect workers — across all professions and trades — by ensuring everyone
gets a fair opportunity to compete for opportunities and build their careers here
A New Dawn in Ontario
Change will not be easy.
It will require a unity of purpose. A clear vision. And a lot of hard work.
But Ontario has everything it needs to succeed.
Abundant natural resources.
World-class health care and education systems.
The good fortune to sit at the crossroads of global and continental trade.
And the greatest, hardest-working people in the world.
The challenges facing our province are real. And they will not be taken lightly.
So yes, the road ahead will not be easy.
But the path is clear.
A new day has dawned in Ontario.
A day of prosperity and opportunity.
And help is here.