Provincial Government Initiatives Making Life in Ontario More Affordable

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Money in Wallet

Ontario is continuing to strengthen consumer rights and lower the cost of living for people across the province – especially for middle-income families and individuals, David Orazietti MPP announced today.

“Our government has established a number of initiatives that are making a real difference in the lives of Sault Ste. Marie’s working families and most vulnerable households,” said Orazietti.

The provincial government’s 2014 Pocketbook Initiatives Progress Report was recently released. It highlights what the government is doing to help people as they try to balance their household budget and save for the future.

Key accomplishments since 2003 that are helping people alleviate everyday financial pressures include:

Working towards the development of an Ontario pension plan to enhance the retirement savings of Ontarians

Strengthening consumer protection legislation. The Wireless Services Agreements Act ensures companies provide consumers with clear information and fewer surprises when they enter into wireless services contracts. The Stronger Protection for Ontario Consumers Act provides consumers with more protections in door-to-door water heater rentals and sales, debt settlement services, real estate fees and commissions and transparency in real estate transactions

Increasing the minimum wage to $11 an hour, effective June 1, 2014, and introducing legislation that would index it to inflation

Reducing auto insurance rates by an average of close to 6%, with the goal of reaching an average rate reduction of 15% by August 2015

Establishing a fairer, more consistent approach to tuition billing at colleges and universities and creating the 30% Off Ontario Tuition grant, which has already helped approximately 400,000 post-secondary students

Helping Ontario families manage energy costs as the province transitions to cleaner power through programs such as the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit, which provides a 10% rebate on applicable electricity charges, and the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit, which provides up to $973 for low-to moderate-income individuals and families and up to $1,108 for eligible seniors

Reducing generic drug prices to help families manage their health care costs

Helping seniors get the care they need by expanding access to home care for 76,000 more seniors over the past two years

Making people’s everyday lives better and more affordable is part of the government’s economic plan. The comprehensive plan and its six priorities focus on Ontario’s greatest strengths – its people and strategic partnerships.

QUICK FACTS

  • Since 2003, Ontario has invested nearly $3 billion towards affordable housing – that’s the largest investment in the province’s history.
  • In 2012-13, Ontario provided $5 million in distance grants to support the educational aspirations of 13,000 students from remote and rural areas.
  • To keep up with the rising cost of children’s activities, the province has indexed the Children’s Activity Tax Credit to inflation.