Ontario's Federal PrioritiesPublished on September 23, 2020
Premier Ford is calling on the federal government to lay out a clear plan to fund urgent provincial priorities, including responding to future waves and surges of COVID-19, strengthening health and long-term care, increasing testing and quarantine enforcement at the border, and making strategic investments in infrastructure projects to spur long-term recovery.
Along with Canada’s Premiers, Premier Ford is asking the federal government to increase its annual contribution to the federal Canada Health Transfer to 35 per cent. This funding would help Ontario enhance its fall preparedness plan and end hallway health care.
The province is making an unprecedented investment of $67 billion in health care this year, including an additional $7.7 billion in response to COVID-19. We need the federal government to come to the table on health care and fund its fair share to strengthen Ontario’s health care system and others across the country.
The pandemic further underscored the need for increased investment in the long-term care sector. Ontario is calling on the federal government to provide immediate and ongoing supports to long-term care residents and those who care for them, including investments for staffing, infection prevention and control, and infrastructure funding to help us build new beds and redevelop existing ones to provide quality homes for our most vulnerable seniors.
We need the federal government to play a more active role in testing and quarantine enforcement at the border. That includes ramping up testing at the border, expediting Health Canada approvals of point-of-care testing, and hiring additional staff to enforce the quarantine rules.
To accelerate economic recovery, Ontario is also calling on the federal government to invest an additional $10 billion per year over 10 years to move critical shovel-ready infrastructure projects forward.
Ontario alone has nearly $10 billion in shovel-ready infrastructure projects over and above the 750 submissions to the federal Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.
These projects include four nationally significant subway projects in the Greater Toronto Area that will support 22,400 jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over one million tonnes annually.
More funding for broadband projects will help improve access to high-speed Internet and reliable cellular service in rural, remote and Northern communities, which will allow schools, businesses, and families adapt and stay connected during these unprecedented times.
Ontario also has over 360 shovel-ready projects awaiting federal approval. The province is looking to the federal government to help quickly remove roadblocks to these projects and expedite approvals so communities can start building right away and get people working again.
Ontario stands ready to work with the federal government and provincial and territorial partners to advance these important priorities for the people of Ontario and all Canadians.
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