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Ontario throne speech highlights key Doug Ford campaign pledges

The Canadian Press
Ontario throne speech highlights key Doug Ford campaign pledges

TORONTO — Ontario’s new Progressive Conservative government is pledging to cut taxes, provide long-term funding for the health-care system and slash government waste in a throne speech that emphasizes promises made by Premier Doug Ford during the spring election campaign.

The speech, written by the premier’s office and read by Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell at the Ontario legislature, sets out a road map for the new Progressive Conservative government’s term.

It does not introduce new promises but highlights key pledges from Ford to pull out of the cap-and-trade system and fight what his government calls “oppressive” taxes, including the imposition of a federal carbon price.

“In a time of economic uncertainty, a punishing carbon tax is the last thing Ontario families and businesses can afford,” it said. “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.”

The speech also promises the government will take action to reduce taxes for parents, small businesses and the working poor, and promises reductions in electricity bills.

It further says the government will provide stable health-care funding, including a $3.8 billion investment in mental health, addictions and supportive housing.

The speech also promises to restore faith in public institutions and highlights a Tory pledge to complete a line-by-line audit of all government spending to identify waste.

However, it makes no mention of one issue the government had said would be one of its priorities for the rare summer sitting of the legislature: ending an ongoing strike at York University.

Ford nonetheless stressed those priorities in a statement Thursday, saying his government had received a “clear mandate” from voters.

“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,” he said.

In the statement, the Tories said the summer session will build on the work their government has already undertaken, such as steps to dismantle cap and trade and measures to curb government spending.

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