Liberals to inject $1.5B into Skills to Jobs Action Plan

Laid-off workers, the poor and manufacturers are getting a helping hand from the provincial government.

Ontario’s economy "is being buffeted by a number of challenges," Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said yesterday as he unveiled the Liberal government’s first budget since its re-election in October.


"We know certain sectors, some communities and too many families are not sharing in Ontario’s prosperity," Duncan said. "A slowing U.S. economy, rising oil prices and a higher-than-anticipated Canadian dollar are reducing growth forecasts and creating greater uncertainty here in Ontario."

So, Duncan introduced a three-year $1.5-billion Skills to Jobs Action Plan. The plan will train unemployed workers for new careers, expand apprenticeships, build more spaces in colleges and universities and help students with education costs.

Duncan proposed other measures to encourage a "more productive, competitive and greener economy" in the face of economic growth in the province projected to be only 1.1 per cent this year.

He confirmed the government will introduce a $1-billion infrastructure program already announced by Premier Dalton McGuinty, including $497 million for public transit in the GTA.

taxes not raised

  • The $96.2-billion spending plan tabled in the legislature neither raised any taxes nor offered tax relief for most individual Ontarians.

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