QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement in response to the government’s throne speech:
“The Premier mailed it in with an uninspiring throne speech that sets no vision or path forward for Ontario.
The Premier is giving himself a pat on the back all while COVID-19 cases in schools rise, the nursing shortage crisis escalates, and small businesses struggle with a poorly rolled out vaccine certificate.
People deserve a clear plan to avoid another lockdown and to put the pandemic behind us.
It is appalling that there was no mention of the climate emergency Ontarians are facing or the housing affordability crisis that has reached the breaking point. If the Premier truly wants to improve the quality of life for Ontario families then he cannot ignore the urgent need to address the climate and housing crisis any longer.
Instead, the Premier’s idea for the future is to build more highways. That is the exact opposite of what we need right now. Paving over more wetlands and farmland to supercharge urban sprawl will only make the climate and housing crisis worse.
Ontarians deserve answers and a proper plan and vision as we look towards a post-pandemic Ontario.
But what we heard today was just reannouncements of half measures that don’t go nearly far enough.
It’s more of the same.
Where is the announcement for a third round of funding for struggling small businesses or legal support to help them enforce vaccine certificates? Or a plan to make schools safer to protect our kids? Or a commitment to finally signing a $10 a day child care deal with the feds or raising the rates for ODSP and OW?
And despite acknowledging that wages have not kept up with the rising cost of living, the government failed to mention that they were the ones who delayed an increase in the minimum wage and raised it by just 10 cents last week.
That’s not the way forward for Ontario.
What Ontario needs is concrete, evidence-based solutions to the real challenges facing the people of this province. And a commitment to working across party lines to make that happen. Because the well-being of Ontarians is bigger than political games and partisanship.”