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../Morning Post
Posted December 12 2011

Wrapping Up

Government Wraps-Up Year

Ontario Focuses On Creating Jobs, Strengthening Economy

Ontario is moving forward to address the most important priority for Ontario families: jobs and the economy. The fall session of the Ontario Legislature wrapped up yesterday with a number of important initiatives and bills being introduced including:

- The Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit that will, if passed, help seniors stay in their homes longer and help create jobs.

- The Accepting Schools Act that will, if passed, help make Ontario schools safer and more accepting places to learn by requiring all school boards to create policies for bullying prevention and intervention, progressive discipline, and equity and inclusive education.

- The Attracting Investment and Creating Jobs Act that will, if passed, create new opportunities with a proposed development fund for southwestern Ontario and make the Eastern Ontario Development fund permanent.

- The Family Caregiver Leave Act that will, if passed, build on the existing Family Medical Leave to expand protected leave from work for caregivers so they can spend more time with family members who cannot care for themselves because of serious injury or illness.

- An amendment to the Residential Tenancies Act that will, if passed, set Ontario's annual Rent Increase Guideline between one and 2.5 per cent beginning in 2013 to ensure affordable rent increases for tenants and fair return for landlords.

The Speech from the Throne was passed earlier this week providing a road map to creating a stronger, more competitive economy that protects and creates jobs for families. Working together, Ontarians are moving the province forward in a number of areas including:

Education — Our students are ranked among the best in the world. Results from the 2010 Pan-Canadian Assessment Program Report show our Grade 8 students are among the highest achievers in the country. Ontario students scored significantly higher than the Canadian average in all three subjects — math, science and reading — and were number one in reading.

Tax Reform — Ontario’s Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth is lowering income taxes for families and businesses. Tax changes are making the province an attractive place for businesses to invest. Since the Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth was introduced in July 2010, investment in machinery and equipment has increased by 22 per cent or $9 billion.

Infrastructure — The province’s long-term infrastructure plan, Building Together, will create and preserve 300,000 jobs, strengthen the economy and help meet the needs of local families.

The latest Statistics Canada numbers show employment in Ontario has grown by 1.9 per cent (+124,800) so far in 2011 — higher than the national average of 1.6 per cent. And 16,600 jobs were created in Ontario in November. ranked Canada as the number one country to do business in and credited an improved tax standing for making Canadian businesses more competitive

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