2019-10-30 Question Period


IT IS NOW TIME FOR ORAL QUESTIONS, AND I RECOGNIZE THE LEADER OF THE OFFICIAL OPPOSITION.>>Andrea Horwath: THANK YOU, SPEAKER. [ Applause ] GOOD MORNING, SPEAKER. MY FIRST QUESTION IS TO THE PREMIER. THE PREMIER RECENTLY SAID THAT HE WOULD END HALLWAY MEDICINE BY NEXT SUMMER. IS HE ON TRACK?>>The Speaker: THE QUESTION’S ADDRESSED TO THE PREMIER.>>Premier Ford: WELL, THROUGH YOU, MR. SPEAKER, WE’RE WELL ON OUR WAY. WE’RE WORKING HARD TO END THE HALLWAY HEALTH CARE. AS THE MINISTER OF HEALTH HAS MENTIONED NUMEROUS, NUMEROUS TIMES, ONE OF THE AVENUES — AND THERE’S MANY AVENUES — OF ENDING HALLWAY HEALTH CARE IS MAKING SURE THAT WE HAVE LONG-TERM-CARE BEDS. THROUGH YOU, MR. SPEAKER, WE HAVE COMMITTED TO HAVING 15,000 LONG-TERM-CARE BEDS IN THE FIRST FIVE YEARS, ANOTHER 15,000 IN THE FOLLOWING FIVE YEARS. WE’RE ALREADY, AFTER A YEAR AND FIVE MONTHS WELL ON OUR WAY WITH WELL OVER 7,500. I THINK IT MIGHT EVEN BE CLOSER TO 8,000 MOVING FORWARD. THAT IS ONE AVENUE. WORKING WITH THE DOCTORS, WORKING WITH THE NURSES, THEY HAVE THE IDEAS. WE AREN’T SUPER EXPERTS. MY MINISTER OF HEALTH HAS BECOME AN EXPERT, BUT WE LISTEN TO THE FRONT-LINE DOCTORS.>>The Speaker: RESPONSE.>>Premier Ford: AND EVERY DOCTOR I TALK TO, MR. SPEAKER, HAS NEW WAYS OF DELIVERING HEALTH CARE MORE EFFICIENTLY. HOME CARE IS ANOTHER AREA WE HAVE TO FOCUS ON. TECHNOLOGY, MR. SPEAKER. WE HAVE TO FOCUS ON TECHNOLOGY –>>The Speaker: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. [ Applause ] THANK YOU VERY MUCH. SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.>>Andrea Horwath: THANK YOU, SPEAKER. TODAY THE INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICER READS THEIR REPORT INTO LONG-TERM CARE. THEIR FINDING SHOW THE GOVERNMENT’S PLAN FOR LONG-TERM CARE WILL LEAVE THE WAIT LIST GROWING LONGER, THAT WE’LL NEED ALMOST FOUR TIMES AS MANY BEDS AS THE GOVERNMENT IS PLANNING JUST TO KEEP THE WAIT LIST AT A HORRENDOUS 37,000 PEOPLE. AND WITHOUT OTHER CHANGES IN THE HEALTH CARE SECTOR THE PROBLEM OF HALLWAY MEDICINE WILL GET WORSE OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS. THE PREMIER SAID HE WOULD END HALLWAY MEDICINE CRISIS THAT WAS CREATED BY THE LIBERALS. WHY IS HE TAKING THINGS FROM BAD TO WORSE?>>The Speaker: QUESTION’S ADDRESSED TO THE PREMIER.>>Premier Ford: MINISTER OF HEALTH.>>THANK YOU AGAIN. THROUGH YOU, MR. SPEAKER, I WOULD REMIND THE LEADER OF THE OFFICIAL OPPOSITION OF SEVERAL THINGS. ONE IS THAT WE DID NOT CREATE THE SYSTEM OF HALLWAY HEALTH CARE. THAT’S A SYSTEM THAT’S BEEN GROWING FOR 15 YEARS UNDER THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT, BUT WE DID PROMISE THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO THAT WE WOULD DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT AND WE ARE. WE HAVE STARTED — [ Applause ] WE PROMISED THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO THAT WE WOULD CREATE 15,000 NEW LONG-TERM CARE SPACES WITHIN FIVE YEARS. WE ARE ON TRACK TO DO THAT. MY COLLEAGUE, THE MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE, IS CONTINUING THE WORK THAT WAS STARTED AND DOING AN EXCELLENT JOB AT IT. WE’RE WORKING ON THAT — [ Applause ] BUT WE ALSO RECOGNIZE THAT OUR SENIORS POPULATION IS GROWING RAPIDLY. THAT’S NOTHING NEW. I THINK OF ONE IN THIS LEGISLATURE KNOWS THAT AND SO WE HAVE TO CONTINUE WITH OUR EFFORTS. WE PROMISED 15,000 NEW SPACES WITHIN FIVE YEARS, ANOTHER 15,000 IN FIVE YEARS THEREAFTER BUT WE’RE ALSO TARGETING.>>The Speaker: RESPONSE.>>NEW AND INNOVATIVE APPROACHES, WHICH I WILL SPEAK WITH IN THE SUPPLEMENTAL. [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: FINAL SUPPLEMENTARY.>>Andrea Horwath: SPEAKER, THE FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICER IS CLEAR THAT THE JOB OF TACKLING HALLWAY MEDICINE IS NOT GOING TO BE THE WALK IN THE PARK THAT THE PREMIER PROMISED. THE REPORT THAT HE RELEASED TODAY, THAT THEIR OFFICE RELEASED TODAY, INDICATES THAT EVEN IF THE GOVERNMENT KEEPS ITS PROMISE, AND THAT IS A BIG IF, THE GOVERNMENT KEEPS ITS PROMISE, WAIT LISTS FOR LONG-TERM CARE WILL CONTINUE TO GROW IN OUR PROVINCE. AND HALLWAY MEDICINE WILL GET WORSE. IS THE PREMIER READY TO ADMIT THAT HIS PLAN TO ELIMINATE HALLWAY MEDICINE IS FALLING SHORT? [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: MINISTER OF HEALTH?>>WE MADE THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO A PROMISE THAT WE WOULD END HALLWAY HEALTH CARE, AND WE ARE GOING TO DO THAT. WE ARE WORKING ON A NUMBER OF APPROACHES. THERE IS NO ONE SIMPLE APPROACH TO ENDING HALLWAY HEALTH CARE. NO ONE HAS EVER SUGGESTED IT’S GOING TO BE A WALK IN THE PARK. WE NEED TO BUILD MORE LONG-TERM CARE SPACES, THAT’S CLEAR. WE HAVE AN UNEXPECTEDLY HIGH NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO ARE ALTERNATE LEVEL OF CARE PATIENTS IN OUR HOSPITALS WHO DON’T NEED TO BE THERE BUT HAVE NOWHERE ELSE TO GO. THAT IS SOMETHING WE INHERITED BUT IT’S SOMETHING THAT WE ARE DEALING WITH. WE ALSO NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE WHO CYCLE IN AND OUT OF HOSPITAL EMERGENCY DEPARTMENTS WITH CHRONIC MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION PROBLEMS HAVE THE COMMUNITY CARE RESOURCES THAT THEY NEED. WE ARE WORKING ON THAT IN BUILDING OUR COMPREHENSIVE CONNECTED MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS PLAN. BECAUSE WHAT HAPPENS SO OFTEN IS THAT PEOPLE WHO END UP IN A CRISIS WITH THEIR MENTAL HEALTH CARE OR ADDICTIONS CARE END UP IN HOSPITAL.>>The Speaker: RESPONSE.>>BECAUSE THERE’S NO OTHER PLACE FOR THEM TO GO. WE WANT TO CREATE THOSE PLACES FOR THEM AND WE WANT TO CREATE ALTERNATE TYPES OF SPACES FOR PEOPLE IN OUR REACTIVATION CARE CENTRES WHERE THEY CAN GO, WHERE THEY CAN BE RELOCATED –>>The Speaker: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. [ Applause ] THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THE NEXT QUESTION. THE LEADER OF THE OFFICIAL OPPOSITION.>>Andrea Horwath: THANK YOU, SPEAKER. MY NEXT QUESTION IS FOR THE PREMIER AS WELL. BUT I HAVE TO SAY UNDERFUNDING HOSPITALS, FORCING THEM TO CLOSE BEDS AND LAY OFF FRONT-LINE WORKERS IS NOT GOING TO HELP WITH THE HALLWAY MEDICINE CRISIS THAT WE HAVE. [ Applause ] THE GOVERNMENT BOASTS, SPEAKER, THAT IT INCREASED SPENDING IN LONG-TERM CARE BY $72 MILLION THIS YEAR BUT THE F.A.O. REPORT SHOWS THAT.>>The Speaker: ORDER.>>WILL NOT BE ANYWHERE NEAR ENOUGH. WHEN BEDS ARE ACTUALLY BUILT, FUNDING NEEDS WILL INCREASE. BUT THE FORD GOVERNMENT IS ALREADY MOVING IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION, SPEAKER, PLANNING TO CUT $34 MILLION IN LONG-TERM CARE FUNDING BY NEXT YEAR. DOES THE PREMIER REALIZE THAT CUTTING LONG-TERM CARE FUNDING WILL MAKE THE WAIT TIME FOR LONG-TERM CARE EVEN WORSE? [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: QUESTION’S BEEN ADDRESSED TO THE PREMIER.>>Premier Ford: MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE.>>The Speaker: REFERRED TO THE MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE.>>THANK YOU, SPEAKER. AND THANK YOU TO THE MEMBER FOR THE QUESTION. YOU KNOW, WE LOOK BACK ON 15 YEARS OF LIBERAL NEGLECT IN THE LONG-TERM CARE SECTOR, 15 YEARS OF RUNWAY THAT WE WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DEVELOP THE BEDS AND MAKE THAT CAPACITY AND ACCESSIBILITY FOR THOSE INDIVIDUALS NEEDING IN THE COMMUNITY. THAT’S 15 YEARS OUR GOVERNMENT HAS COMMITTED $1.75 BILLION FOR 15,000 BEDS. [ Applause ] OVER FIVE YEARS, FIVE YEARS. THIS IS A PROBLEM THAT HAS BEEN A LONG TIME COMING, AND OUR GOVERNMENT IS COMMITTED. WE’VE SPENT $72 MILLION MORE THIS YEAR OVER LAST YEAR IN LONG-TERM CARE. WE’RE SPENDING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IMPROVING CARE IN THE COMMUNITY, AND WE’RE IMPROVING THE INTEGRATION OF HOME CARE, COMMUNITY CARE AND OUR LONG-TERM CARE SECTOR. SO THIS WAS MANY YEARS IN THE MAKING. OUR GOVERNMENT IS PUTTING THE MONEY BEHIND OUR COMMITMENT, $1.75 BILLION.>>The Speaker: RESPONSE.>>AND THAT WILL BE DONE. WE ARE COMMITTED TO DOING THAT. THANK YOU. [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: THE SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.>>Andrea Horwath: WELL, SPEAKER, THERE’S NO DOUBT THE LIBERALS LET THE WAIT LIST FOR LONG-TERM CARE BALLOON BY 78%, SPEAKER, OVER SEVEN YEARS.>>The Speaker: ORDER.>>Andrea Horwath: AND I THINK EVERYBODY IN THIS CHAMBER AND EVERYBODY IN ONTARIO WOULD AGREE. BUT CUTTING $34 MILLION NEXT YEAR IS NOT GOING TO HELP THE PROVE PROBLEM, SPEAKER. THEY IGNORED THE HALLWAY CRISIS. NO DOUBT THE LAST GOVERNMENT DID, BUT NOW THE FORD GOVERNMENT IS CARRYING ON THE SAME TRADITION, SPEAKER. THE F.A.O. REPORT IS CLEAR THAT THE WAIT LISTS FOR LONG-TERM CARE ARE GOING TO KEEP GROWING AND THAT THE CHALLENGES OF HOSPITAL MEDICINE WILL GO FROM BAD TO WORSE. WHEN WILL THIS GOVERNMENT ADMIT THAT THEY NEED TO DO MUCH, MUCH MORE? [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE.>>THE REPORT FROM THE F.A.O. STATES THAT BETWEEN 2011 AND 2018, THE NUMBER OF LONG-TERM-CARE BEDS IN ONTARIO INCREASED BY ONLY .8%, WHILE THE POPULATION OF ONTARIANS AGED 75 AND OVER GREW BY 20%.>>The Speaker: GOING TO ASK THE MINISTER OF LABOUR, TRAINING AND SKILLS DEVELOPMENT TO COME TO ORDER. EVEN WHEN YOU HAVE YOUR HAND OVER YOUR MOUTH LIKE THAT, I CAN STILL HEAR YOU. [ Laughter ] BECAUSE YOU’RE SITTING VERY CLOSE TO ME. [ Continued laughter ] I APOLOGIZE TO THE MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE FOR HAVING TO INTERRUPT HER.>>SO I AM ACTUALLY VERY PLEASED THAT THE F.A.O. RECOGNIZES OUR GOVERNMENT’S INVESTMENTS IN LONG-TERM CARE, QUOTE, IS THE LARGEST NEW HEALTH CARE SPENDING COMMITMENT IN THE 2019 BUDGET AND IS A CRUCIAL PART OF THE GOVERNMENT’S PRIORITY TO END HALLWAY HEALTH CARE. OUR GOVERNMENT IS COMMITTING TO MAKE SURE WE CAN HAVE RESIDENTS IN THOSE LONG-TERM-CARE BEDS WHEN THEY NEED IT AND WHERE THEY NEED IT, AND WE ARE INVESTING IN THAT. I AM WORKING WITH THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND CROSS MINISTRIES TO MAKE SURE THAT HAPPENS AND STREAMLINING PROCESSES TO –>>The Speaker: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. [ Applause ] FINAL SUPPLEMENTARY.>>Andrea Horwath: WELL, SPEAKER, HERE’S WHAT FAMILIES SEE. HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOMS ROUTINELY OPERATING AT OVER 100% CAPACITY. WAIT LISTS FOR LONG-TERM CARE THAT HAVE MORE THAN DOUBLED OVER THE TERM OF THE LIBERAL GOVERNMENT AND HAVE CONTINUED TO GROW UNDER THE FORD GOVERNMENT. THE F.A.O. WAS VERY, VERY CLEAR TODAY, SPEAKER. THIS GOVERNMENT’S PLAN HAS US ON TRACK FOR LONGER WAIT LISTS FOR LONG-TERM CARE. IT’S IN BLACK AND WHITE. IT’S IN THE REPORT. AND HE ALSO SAYS IT’S PUTTING US IN A POSITION TO HAVE EVEN MORE HALLWAY MEDICINE. SPEAKER, WHY DOES THE PREMIER THINK THAT THIS IS ACCEPTABLE? [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE.>>THANK YOU. TO DATE — THANK YOU FOR THAT QUESTION AND THANK YOU, SPEAKER. TO DATE, OUR GOVERNMENT HAS ALLOCATED ALMOST 8,000 NEW BEDS. WE ARE WELL ON OUR WAY — [ Applause ] TO CREATING THE CAPACITY THAT IS NEEDED, BUT IT’S MORE THAN SIMPLY BRICKS AND MORTAR. LONG-TERM CARE, PEOPLE NEED IT WHEN THEY NEED T.WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THEY GET IT WHEN THEY NEED IT BUT WE’RE ALSO BUILDING CAPACITY IN THE COMMUNITY WITH HOME CARE, AND PEOPLE WANT TO STAY IN THEIR COMMUNITY. THEY WANT TO RECEIVE CARE IN THEIR COMMUNITY SO OUR CAPACITY IS BUILDING. WE’RE ALREADY AT 50% OF WHAT WE HAD PROMISED TO COMMIT TO AND WE ARE GETTING THERE SO WE LOOK AT THE F.A.O. REPORT, ESTIMATED TIMING IN MARCH OF 2021 IS WHEN OUR CALL FOR APPLICATIONS IS DESIGNED TO ADDRESS THOSE REMAINING BEDS. SO WE ARE MAKING REALLY, REALLY IMPORTANT PROGRESS AND I MUST ADMIT, AGAIN, WE’VE LOST 15 YEARS.>>The Speaker: RESPONSE.>>OF RUNWAY. OUR GOVERNMENT IS COMMITTED TO MAKING SURE THAT THE CAPACITY IS BUILT AND I’M WORKING AGAIN WITH MULTIPLE MINISTRIES TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ACHIEVE OUR GOALS. [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: THANK YOU. THE NEXT QUESTION, AGAIN THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION.>>Andrea Horwath: THANK YOU, SPEAKER. MY NEXT QUESTION’S ALSO FOR THE PREMIER. YESTERDAY THE “GLOBE AND MAIL” REVEALED MORE CONCERNING NEWS ABOUT THE CLOSE TIES BETWEEN MARIO Di TOMMASO THE PERSON HIRED BY THE PREMIER TO OVERSEE THE APPOINTMENT OF THE NEW O.P.P. COMMISSIONER AND RON TAVERNER THE PERSON WHO Di TOMMASO ULTIMATELY HIRED. WE KNOW BASED ON THE INTEGRIT COMMISSIONER’S REPORT, AN EXTENSIVE ONGOING MEDIA INVESTIGATION THAT THE PROCESS BY WHICH MR. TAVERNER WAS APPOINTED WAS FLAWED FROM DAY ONE. INCLUDING THE FACT THAT TAVERNER WAS LITERALLY PLANNING A PARTY FOR THE MAN WHO WOULD HIRE HIM. WHEN WILL THE GOVERNMENT START PROVIDING BASIC ANSWERS ABOUT WHAT APPEARS TO BE A GLARING CONFLICT OF INTEREST ON THE PART OF THE PERSON THE PREMIER APPOINTED TO A SENIOR ROLE AS A CIVIL SERVANT?>>Premier Ford: MINISTER OF SOLICITOR GENERAL.>>The Speaker: REFERRED TO THE SOLICITOR GENERAL.>>THANK YOU, SPEAKER. [ Applause ] I UNDERSTAND THAT THE MEMBERS OPPOSITE OF THE N.D.P. WANT TO CONTINUE TO BUILD A NARRATIVE ABOUT AN INDIVIDUAL WHO HAS SERVED IN THE O.P.S. AND IN THE TORONTO POLICE SERVICE. BUT I WANT TO REMIND PEOPLE THAT WE HAVE AN EXCELLENT COMMISSIONER IN COMMISSIONER CREEK WITH THE O.P.P. THE LEADERSHIP THAT HE HAS SHOWN ON MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES, ON ENSURING THAT THE INDIVIDUALS WHO SERVE IN OUR COMMUNITIES, PROTECTING OUR FAMILIES AND OUR PROPERTY, IS DOING INCREDIBLE WORK. AND I ONLY HOPE THAT AS THE MEMBER OPPOSITE CONTINUES TO SEE THE EXCELLENT WORK THAT IS COMING OUT OF THE O.P.P..>>The Speaker: RESPONSE.>>AND THE LEADERSHIP THERE, THAT THEY WILL EMBRACE THE COMMISSIONER AND ASSIST HIM IN HIS WORK IN OUR COMMUNITY. THANK YOU. [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: THANK YOU. SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.>>SPEAKER, THIS IS NOT ABOUT A NARRATIVE. IT’S ABOUT A GOVERNMENT THAT HAS BEEN TERRIBLE.>>The Speaker: ORDER.>>THAT HAS BEEN TERRIBLE WITH ITS APPOINTMENTS PROCESS, WITH THE FISHY APPOINTMENTS THAT IT’S MADE, WITH THE LACK OF DUE PROCESS, THE LACK OF TRANSPARENCY. THAT’S WHAT THE QUESTIONING’S ALL ABOUT, SPEAKER. THIS IS JUST ONE OF MANY CONCERNING INSTANCES WHERE THE FORD GOVERNMENT HAS APPOINTED FRIENDS AND INSIDERS TO KEY GOVERNMENT ROLES. BUT THIS IS ESPECIALLY TROUBLING BECAUSE IT CONCERNS ONTARIO’S TOP POLICING JOB AND THE HIGHEST RANKS OF THE CIVIL SERVICE. YESTERDAY THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER CLAIMED THE GOVERNMENT WELCOMED SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO IMPROVE THE PROCESS BY WHICH PEOPLE ARE APPOINTED TO IMPORTANT PUBLIC OFFICES, IN HOPES OF MAKING IT MORE, YOU KNOW, TRANSPARENT AND OPEN FOR THE PUBLIC. WELL, WE WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THEM UP ON THIS OFFER, SPEAKER. SO WILL THE PREMIER BACK OUR MOTION TO HAVE THE JUSTICE COMMITTEE –>>The Speaker: QUESTION. REVIEW THE APPOINTMENT PROCESS FOR THE O.P.P. COMMISSIONER AND ENSURE THE COMMITTEE HEARS DIRECTLY FROM DEPUTY MINISTER Di TOMMASO?>>The Speaker: THE SOLICITOR GENERAL. [ Applause ]>>GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.>>The Speaker: GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SPEAKER. [ Applause ] LOOK, I THINK THE SOLICITOR GENERAL WAS QUITE CLEAR, AND I SHARE HER SENTIMENTS WITH RESPECT TO COMMISSIONER KARIC. I KNOW THE YORK REGION CAUCUS ARE INCREDIBLY PROUD OF HIS SERVICE TO THE PEOPLE OF YORK REGION AND OF COURSE THE CONTINUING SERVICE HE’LL PROVIDE THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO WITH THE O.P.P. AS I SAID YESTERDAY, MR. SPEAKER, THERE WAS MORE COMING WITH RESPECT TO IMPROVING OPENNESS AND TRANSPARENCY FOR OUR PUBLIC APPOINTMENT PROCESS. I WOULD SUSPECT ALL MEMBERS OF THIS LEGISLATURE WOULD WANT THAT. SO WE HAVE MADE SOME IMPORTANT CHANGES. WE’VE LOOKED AT SOME OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS THAT THE AUDITOR GENERAL BROUGHT FORWARD. WE’VE ADDED SOME COOLING OFF PROVISIONS WITH RESPECT TO SPECIAL ADVISORS AS COLLEAGUES WILL KNOW. THAT’S SOMETHING THE AUDITOR GENERAL BROUGHT FORWARD. WE’VE — WE’RE INCREASING TRANSPARENCY, ENHANCING CONFLICT OF INTEREST ASSESSMENTS. SOME OF THESE APPOINTMENTS WILL BE REFERRED TO THE INTEGRITY COMMISSIONER, MR. SPEAKER. SO THESE ARE ALL.>>The Speaker: RESPONSE.>>APPOINTMENTS. OF COURSE SPECIAL ADVISORS WILL BE POSTED PUBLICLY. THESE ARE IMPORTANT CHANGES AND I HOPE THE OPPOSITION WILL SUPPORT THEM.>>The Speaker: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. [ Applause ] THE NEXT QUESTION. THE MEMBER FOR BRAMPTON WEST. [ Applause ]>>THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. MY QUESTION IS TO THE PREMIER. PREMIER, AS YOU KNOW, OUR GOVERNMENT WAS ELECTED ON A PROMISE TO HELP TURN OUR PROVINCE AROUND ECONOMICALLY. FOR FAR TOO LONG, ONTARIO WAS ALWAYS HAVING TO PLAY ECONOMIC CATCH-UP WHEN IT CAME TO THE REST OF CANADA AND EVEN NORTH AMERICA. THE PREVIOUS ECONOMIC POLICIES IN PLACE CAUSED FISCAL STAGNATION WHILE LIMITING JOB PROSPECTS AND ECONOMIC POTENTIAL FOR FAMILIES, SMALL AND MEDIUM BUSINESS OWNERS IN MY RIDING AND THROUGHOUT OUR PROVINCE. SINCE OUR ELECTION, OUR MAIN FOCUS HAS BEEN TO PUT IN PLACE POLICIES AND REGULATIONS THAT WILL LEAD THE WAY FOR EX EXPANSION. PREMIER, CAN YOU EXPAND ON THE ECONOMIC IMPACTS OUR POLICIES HAVE HAD ECONOMICALLY IN OUR PROVINCE UNDER YOUR WATCH?>>The Speaker: THE QUESTION’S TO THE PREMIER.>>Premier Ford: I’D LIKE TO THANK MY ALL-STAR COLLEAGUE FROM BRAMPTON WEST, ABSOLUTE CHAMPION. THINGS ARE BOOMING IN BRAMPTON. [ Applause ] THROUGH YOU, MR. SPEAKER, UNDER OUR WATCH, WE HAVE HELPED CREATE ECONOMIC CONDITIONS FOR 272,000 JOBS. [ Applause ] THAT’S 272,000 JOBS. THAT’S THE SIZE OF WINDSOR. THAT’S THE SIZE OF ALMOST VAUGHAN EMPLOYING PEOPLE. T.D. ECONOMICS RECENTLY PUBLISHED A GREAT REPORT THAT DESCRIBED IN DETAIL ONTARIO’S ECONOMIC OUTPUT FOR JUST A YEAR ALONE. MR. SPEAKER, ONLY FIVE TIMES SINCE 1981, ALMOST 40 YEARS HAS THERE BEEN AT LEAST THREE QUARTERS IN WHICH THE ECONOMY HAS CREATED JOBS AT A FASTER PACE THAN OUTPUT HAS EXPANDED. 80,000 NEW SELF-EMPLOYED POSITIONS HAVE CREATED THIS YEAR ALONE. SO THESE ARE TRUE ENTREPRENEURS GOING OUT THERE CREATING MORE JOBS, MR. SPEAKER.>>The Speaker: RESPONSE.>>MR. SPEAKER, THE REPORT EVEN GOES AND STATES WE HAVE HIRED 41,000 NEW PUBLIC SECTOR JOBS. SO MUCH FOR LAYING PEOPLE OFF. THERE ARE 41,000 MORE PEOPLE –>>The Speaker: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. [ Applause ] THANK YOU. SUPPLEMENTARY.>>THANK YOU, SPEAKER. BACK TO THE PREMIER. PREMIER, THOSE ARE INCREDIBLE NUMBERS AND SHOWS WHAT CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED BY THE INGENUITY AND INNOVATION OF THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO THEMSELVES. IT IS EXPRESSING THAT WE FINALLY HAVE –>>The Speaker: NOW THERE’S A VENTRILOQUIST ON THIS SIDE OF THE HOUSE. I SUSPECT IT’S THE MEMBER FOR HAMILTON EAST-STONEY CREEK. I WOULD ASK HIM TO COME TO ORDER. I APOLOGIZE TO THE MEMBER FOR BRAMPTON WEST WHO HAS THE FLOOR.>>EXPRESSING THAT WE FINALLY HAVE A GOVERNMENT THAT SUPPORTS JOB CREATORS INSTEAD OF PUNISHES THEM AND WORKS WITH THEM INSTEAD OF AGAINST THEM. I KNOW THAT BOTH YOURSELF AND THE MINISTER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, JOB CREATION AND TRADE HAVE BEEN MAJOR SUPPORTERS OF THE OPEN FOR BUSINESS STRATEGY AND WELCOMING NEW ONTARIANS TO OUR ECONOMIC SECTOR. CAN YOU ELABORATE ON THIS CONTINUING POLICY IMPACT THAT IMMIGRATION HAS HAD ON THE ECONOMIC SUCCESS EXPERIENCED IN THIS PROVINCE?>>The Speaker: PREMIER TO REPLY.>>Premier Ford: THANK YOU VERY MUCH, OUR GREAT M.P.P. FROM BRAMPTON. AS I MENTIONED, MR. SPEAKER, WE CREATED 272,000 JOBS, AND OUR BIGGEST PROBLEM RIGHT NOW, WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH PEOPLE HERE IN ONTARIO TO FILL THE ADDITIONAL 200,000 JOBS THAT ARE OUT THERE. AND IN ONTARIO ALONE, THE FIRST HALF OF THIS YEAR, OVER 65,000 IMMIGRANTS SETTLED IN ONTARIO. THAT’S 50% BEING CLASSIFIED AS COMING ON ECONOMIC GROUNDS. SO WE’RE GETTING SOME OF THE BRIGHTEST PEOPLE HERE IN ONTARIO. [ Applause ] MY CALL-OUT TO THE WORLD, YOU WANT TO WORK, YOU WANT TO CONTRIBUTE BACK TO ONTARIO, COME TO ONTARIO. WE HAVE JOBS. OUR ECONOMY WILL CONTINUE TO BOOM AS LONG AS WE HAVE THE PEOPLE TO FILL THE PRODUCTION OUTPUT OF THESE COMPANIES THAT THEY’RE FACING. WE’RE GOING TO CONTINUE ON THIS ECONOMIC GROWTH.>>The Speaker: RESPONSE.>>Premier Ford: WE’RE LEADING NORTH AMERICA. WE’RE ON POLICY BECAUSE OF THE POLICIES OF THIS GREAT PARTY. I CAN TELL YOU WHAT A GREAT ANNOUNCEMENT YESTERDAY, $100 MILLION FROM T.H.L., RIGHT IN THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION’S BACK GARDEN. [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: THANK YOU. THANK YOU. STOP THE CLOCK. [ Conversation din ] I’M GOING TO REMIND ALL MEMBERS THAT, WHEN THE SPEAKER STANDS, YOUR MICROPHONE IS CUT OFF, AND THAT’S A SIGNAL THAT YOU SHOULD SIT DOWN. BECAUSE YOUR TIME IS UP. I STOPPED THE CLOCK. PLEASE RESTART THE CLOCK. MEMBER FOR HAMILTON MOUNTAIN.>>THANK YOU, SPEAKERMENT MY QUESTION IS TO THE PREMIER. FOR PARENTS RAISING A CHILD WITH AUTISM, THE LAST YEAR OF THIS GOVERNMENT’S FAILED POLICIES HAS BEEN A NIGHTMARE. LAST NIGHT WE LEARNED THAT THE GOVERNMENT PANEL ESTIMATED THE RECOMMENDATIONS. FOR MONTHS, EVEN YEARS, PARENTS HAVE BEEN CALLING FOR A NEEDS-BASED PROGRAM, AND NOW EVEN THE GOVERNMENT’S OWN PANEL IS CALLING FOR THE SAME. WILL THE PREMIER COMMIT RIGHT NOW TO MAKE THE O.A.P. AVAILABLE BASED ON A CHILD’S NEED AND PROVIDE THE FUNDING TO ENSURE THAT NO CHILD IS LEFT TO LANGUISH ON WAIT LISTS? [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: QUESTION’S FOR THE PREMIER.>>Premier Ford: MINISTER OF COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL SERVICES.>>The Speaker: CHILDREN, COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL SERVICES. [ Applause ]>>MR. SPEAKER, IT’S AN HONOUR TO RISE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THIS HOUSE AS THE MINISTER FOR CHILDREN, COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL SERVICES. [ Applause ] AND I’LL TAKE THE QUESTION FROM MY OPPOSITION CRITIC TODAY. I WANT TO THANK THE MEMBERS OF THE EXPERT PANEL, THE ONTARIO AUTISM PANEL, WHO WORKED TIRELESSLY THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER, MR. SPEAKER. THEY MET 18 DIFFERENT TIMES FACE TO FACE. AND THESE WEREN’T JUST ONE-HOUR MEETINGS, MR. SPEAKER. THESE WERE ALL-DAY SESSIONS WHERE THEY CAME TOGETHER, FROM VARIOUS POINTS OF VIEW, PARENTS WITH LIVED EXPERIENCE, ADULTS WITH LIVED EXPERIENCE WITH AUTISM. OTHER CLINICIANS AND THERAPISTS AND PEOPLE FROM ACADEMIA, TO COME TOGETHER TO DEVELOP THE FOUNDATION FOR A NEW ONTARIO AUTISM PROGRAM HERE IN ONTARIO.>>The Speaker: RESPONSE.>>SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR FOR A LONG, LONG TIME. I’M VERY PROUD OF THE WORK THAT THEY’VE DONE. I WANT TO THANK THEM FOR THE WORK THAT THEY’VE DONE. MANY OF THEM ARE HERE TODAY, MR. SPEAKER. [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.>>THANK YOU, SPEAKER. I’M PLEASED TO HEAR THAT THE MINISTER’S HAPPY WITH THE RECOMMENDATIONS. I HOPE THAT HE’LL BE IMPLEMENTING THEM IMMEDIATELY. CHILDREN HAVE WAITED MONTHS AND MONTHS BECAUSE OF THE FORD GOVERNMENT’S FAILED AUTISM PROGRAM CUTS AND THEIR CONSTANT REFUSAL TO LISTEN TO PARENTS. THEY SHOULDN’T HAVE TO WAIT A MINUTE LONGER. EVERY DAY THAT GOES BY WITHOUT SERVICES IS A DAY THAT A CHILD WITH DEVELOPMENTAL POTENTIAL IS PUT FURTHER BEHIND. LIFE IS GETTING HARDER AND HARDER FOR FAMILIES SCROUNGING TO PAY FOR EXPENSIVE THERAPY OUT OF POCKET. HOW MUCH LONGER WILL FAMILIES HAVE TO WAIT TO GET THE HELP THEY NEED AND HAVE BEEN PROMISED? [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: MINISTER?>>THANKS VERY MUCH, MR. SPEAKER. I RECEIVED A DRAFT COPY OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE PANEL LAST NIGHT. I KNOW THAT THE PANEL’S REPORT IS NOW PUBLIC AND IT’S ONLINE FOR THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY TO VIEW. I KNOW THAT THIS PROGRAM HAS BEEN DEVELOPED BY THE COMMUNITY FOR THE AUTISM COMMUNITY. I’M VERY, VERY PROUD OF THAT AND IT’S THE FIRST TIME IN THE PROVINCE’S HISTORY THAT THIS TYPE OF CONSULTATION HAS EVER HAPPENED. SO AGAIN I WANT TO THANK THEM FOR THE WORK THAT THEY’VE DONE. [ Applause ] THE OTHER IMPORTANT PIECE OF THIS, MR. SPEAKER, AND FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE BEEN PAYING ATTENTION, BACK IN JULY I ACTUALLY GAVE THE PANEL SOME NEW GUIDELINES TO WORK WITHIN. THE PREVIOUS LIBERAL GOVERNMENT FUNDED AUTISM TO THE TUNE OF $300 MILLION, MR. SPEAKER. UNDER PREMIER FORD AND OUR GOVERNMENT, THAT HAS DOUBLED TO $600 MILLION. [ Applause ] SO I LOOK FORWARD TO LOOKING AT THE FULL REPORT LATER TODAY WITH MY TEAM. I KNOW THE COMMUNITY IS GOING TO WANT TO PROVIDE INPUT. THERE’S A LOT OF GREAT STRIDES THAT HAVE BEEN MADE.>>The Speaker: RESPONSE.>>THANKS TO THE WORK OF THIS EXPERT PANEL, AND NOI THEY’RE WAITING FOR US TO IMPLEMENT THIS AS SOON AS WE POSSIBLY CAN, MR. SPEAKER. AGAIN I JUST WANT TO THANK THE MEMBERS WHO ARE HERE AND THE MEMBERS WHO WORKED ALL SUMMER ON THIS PROPOSAL.>>The Speaker: THANK YOU. [ Applause ] THE NEXT QUESTION. THE MEMBER FOR DON VALLEY WEST.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SPEAKER. MY QUESTION’S FOR THE MINISTER OF HEALTH. ACCORDING TO THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, GROWING VACCINE HESITANCY IS ONE OF THE TOP-TEN THREATS TO GLOBAL HEALTH. IN CANADA, AN ESTIMATED 20% OF PARENTS ARE VACCINE HESITANT. WHAT THAT MEANS, MR. SPEAKER, IS THAT ONE IN FIVE FAMILIES MAY CHOOSE NOT TO HAVE THEIR CHILDREN VACCINATED AGAINST MEASLES, MUMPS, RUBELLA, DIPHTHERIA, WHOOPING COUGH, MENINGITIS OR CHICKENPOX. THAT IS WHAT THREATENS THE HERD IMMUNITY THAT HAS PROTECTED GENERATIONS OF CANADIANS, INCLUDING HERS AND MINE. EARLIER THIS MONTH THE TORONTO BOARD OF HEALTH ACCEPTED THE SEPTEMBER 2019 REPORT OF THE MEDICAL OFFICER OF HEALTH AND ITS STRATEGY TO ADDRESS VACCINE HESITANCY AND THE STRATEGY CALLS ON THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT TO FOLLOW THE ADVICE OF THE PREMIER’S OWN COUNCIL TO, AMONG OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS, IMPROVE IMMUNIZATION INFORMATION SHARING, SET TARGETS FOR ONTARIO HEALTH TEAMS, PROVIDE FINANCIAL INCENTIVES TO PROMOTE VACCINATIONS TO LOCAL HEALTH PROVIDERS. IN FEBRUARY OF THIS YEAR THE MINISTER SAID THAT SHE WAS CONCERNED ABOUT VACCINE SKEPTICS, AND YET IN SEPTEMBER LAST MONTH, JUST LAST MONTH SHE SAID THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS NO PLAN TO UPDATE THE PROVINCE’S APPROACH. SO I ASK THE MINISTER, WILL SHE RECONSIDER AND WILL SHE IN FACT FOLLOW THE ADVICE OF THE PREMIER’S COUNCIL, AND IF NOT, WHY NOT?>>The Speaker: THANK YOU. QUESTION IS TO THE MINISTER OF HEALTH.>>WELL, I THANK THE MEMBER VERY MUCH FOR THE QUESTION. IT IS A SERIOUS CONCERN. I AM CONCERNED ABOUT THE LOWER LEVELS OF VACCINATIONS THAT WE’RE SEEING. AS A MATTER OF FACT I JUST RECEIVED MY OWN FLU VACCINE THIS MORNING, AND WE DID SOME PUBLICATIONS, SOME ANNOUNCEMENTS ABOUT IT. WE DO HAVE A PROVINCIAL-WIDE ADVISORY THAT’S GOING OUT URGING PEOPLE TO RECEIVE VACCINATIONS. LAST YEAR WE KNOW THAT OVER 5,000 PEOPLE WERE HOSPITALIZED BECAUSE OF NOT GETTING THE FLU VACCINE AND ENDING UP IN HOSPITAL. WHAT I DON’T THINK THAT PEOPLE REALIZE IS THAT THE FLU, IN PARTICULAR, CAN BE DEADLY. PEOPLE DIE BECAUSE OF THE FLU AND WE WANT TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE. I AM ENURGE — ENCOURAGING OF ONE TO PLEASE GET THE FLU VACCINE. IT’S IMPORTANT FORR YOUR OWN HEALTH AND SAFETY AND IMPORTANT FOR THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF THOSE AROUND YOU. WE DO HAVE THAT HERD IMMUNITY. WE DO NEED TO HAVE A HIGH LEVEL OF PEOPLE VACCINATED IN THIS PROVINCE SO I URGE PEOPLE TO RECONSIDER. IF YOU HAVE ANY HESITANCY ABOUT IT, PLEASE GET THE CORRECT INFORMATION. GETTING THE FLU VACCINE, IN PARTICULAR I’M SPEAKING ABOUT TODAY, IS VERY, VERY IMPORTANT.>>The Speaker: RESPONSE.>>ABSOLUTELY SAFE. IT’S FREE AND IT’S READILY AVAILABLE.>>The Speaker: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.>>I CERTAINLY AGREE WITH THE MINISTER ON THE FLU VACCINE BUT I’M ACTUALLY TALKING ABOUT THE BROAD RANGE OF VACCINATIONS, PARTICULARLY THE CHILDHOOD VACCINATIONS THAT IS SO IMPORTANT. AND ONE OF THE WAYS IN WHICH VACCINATION RATES CAN BE IMPROVED IS TO TIGHTEN OR ELIMINATE THE RESTRICTIONS ON NONMEDICAL EXEMPTIONS AND I KNOW THIS IS HIGHLY CONTENTIOUS. I KNOW IT’S DIFFICULT, MR. SPEAKER, BUT THERE ARE OTHER JURISDICTIONS, NEW BRUNSWICK, CALIFORNIA, MISSISSIPPI, WEST VIRGINIA, MAINE, INSURING THAT ARE ALREADY MOVING TO OR HAVE ALREADY PUT IN PLACE A PROHIBITION ON NONMEDICAL EXEMPTIONS. IN OTHER WORDS A FAMILY CAN STILL GET AN EXEMPTION FROM THE VACCINATION BUT ONLY FOR MEDICAL REASONS. AND AS EVIDENCED FROM THE UNITED STATES JURISDICTIONS THAT WHERE NONMEDICAL EXEMPTIONS HAVE BEEN REMOVED, LEVELS OF IMMUNIZATION COVERAGE GOES UP. MY PERSONAL OPINION, MR. SPEAKER, IS THAT VACCINATIONS HAVE BEEN SO SUCCESSFUL.>>The Speaker: QUESTION.>>THERE ARE A GENERATION OF PEOPLE WHO DO NOT KNOW WHAT CAN HAPPEN IF YOU GET MEASLES, MUMPS, RUBELLA. OUR GENERATION JUST HAD TO GET THOSE DISEASES AND BUILD UP OUR OWN IMMUNE SYSTEM, IF WE COULD. SO, MR. SPEAKER, WILL THE MINISTER –>>The Speaker: THANK YOU. ONCE AGAIN, I WILL SAY TO THE MEMBER FOR HAMILTON EAST-STONEY CREEK, WE DON’T NEED THE BUZZER. I WOULD ASK THE MINISTER OF HEALTH TO REPLY.>>I CERTAINLY AGREE WITH THE MEMBER THERE IS A WHOLE GENERATION OF PEOPLE THAT DON’T UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF VACCINATIONS, AND THAT’S WHERE I THINK THE EDUCATION PIECE IS SO IMPORTANT. OUR PROVINCIAL CAMPAIGN WITH RESPECT TO THE FLU VACCINE BUT WITH RESPECT TO OTHER VACCINATIONS IS REALLY, REALLY IMPORTANT TO REMIND PEOPLE THAT THEY CAN BECOME VERY ILL OR THEY CAN MAKE OTHER PEOPLE VERY ILL IF THEY DON’T GET VACCINATED. SO MY PREFERENCE IS TO PROCEED WITH A MORE ROBUST EDUCATION CAMPAIGN. I UNDERSTAND THAT THE NONMEDICAL EXEMPTION HAS BEEN A VERY CONTENTIOUS BUT THERE IS A VERY SMALL NUMBER OF PEOPLE THAT RELY ON THAT. WE HAVE NO INTENTION OF SEVERING PEOPLE’S RELIGIOUS CONCERNS. THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE THAT HAVE TRUE RELIGIOUS CONCERNS WITH RESPECT TO VACCINATIONS. I BELIEVE WE SHOULD RESPECT THAT. IT IS A VERY SMALL NUMBER OF PEOPLE THOUGH AMONG THE GROUPS THAT CHOOSE NOT TO BE VACCINATED. LARGE GROUPS OF PEOPLE.>>The Speaker: RESPONSE.>>WITH A LOT OF MYTHS AND MISUNDERSTANDINGS WITH RESPECT TO VACCINATIONS. I BELIEVE IT’S IMPORTANT TO EDUCATE PEOPLE ON THE ACTUAL REALITY AND THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING VACCINATED. IT’S FOR YOUR OWN HEALTH AND FOR THE HEALTH OF –>>The Speaker: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. [ Applause ] THE NEXT QUESTION. THE MEMBER FOR KITCHENER-CONESTOGA.>>THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. MY QUESTION IS FOR THE SOLICITOR GENERAL. YESTERDAY THE SOLICITOR GENERAL INTRODUCED THE PROVINCIAL ANIMAL WELFARE SERVICES ACT OR THE PAWS ACT FOR SHORE. THIS COMES AFTER THE ONTARIO SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS ONE-YEAR-OLD ANIMAL WELFARE LEGISLATION. OUR GOVERNMENT STEPPED UP WITH AN INTERIM SOLUTION TO PROTECT ANIMALS IN THE SHORT TERM WHILE WE CONSULTED WITH ANIMAL WELFARE STAKEHOLDERS IN ORDER TO INFORM THE PERMANENT SOLUTION WE DEVELOPED. CAN THE MINISTER PLEASE TELL THIS HOUSE HOW THE PAWS ACT WILL HELP ENSURE ANIMALS REMAIN PROTECTED IN THE LONG TERM? [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: SOLICITOR GENERAL.>>THANK YOU, SPEAKER. AND THANK YOU TO THE MEMBER FOR KITCHENER-CONESTOGA. YOU KNOW, THERE’S MANY OF US IN THIS CHAMBER WHO FEEL VERY STRONGLY THAT THERE WERE OPPORTUNITIES IN ONTARIO TO STRENGTHEN THE ANIMAL WELFARE PROTECTION SYSTEM. AND I BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE DONE THAT WITH THE INTRODUCTION OF PAWS. SO WHAT WE ARE PROPOSING, IF PASSED, WILL ACTUALLY ENSURE THAT ONTARIO HAS THE STRONGEST ANIMAL PROTECTION WELFARE IN CANADA, AND I’M PROUD OF THAT WORK. I’M PROUD OF THE ASSISTANCE THAT MY PARLIAMENTARY ASSISTANTS AND OTHER COLLEAGUES IN THE CHAMBER WHO HAVE BROUGHT FORWARD PRIVATE MEMBER’S BILL HAVE PARTICIPATED IN THIS PROCESS. IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE GET THIS LEGISLATION RIGHT, AND I AM PLEASED WITH WHERE WE HAVE LANDED WITH THE PAWS ACT, AND I HOPE THAT GOING FORWARD WE CAN HAVE THE SUPPORT OF ALL MEMBERS IN THE LEGISLATURE BECAUSE I THINK WE UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE AND VALUE OF PROTECTING THE ANIMALS THAT WE LIVE AND LOVE WITH. THANK YOU. [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.>>WELL, THROUGH YOU, SPEAKER, I’D LIKE TO THANK THE SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR HER ANSWER. S IS GREAT TO HEAR THAT FPASSED THE PAWS ACT WILL IMPLEMENT THE STRONGEST FINES FOR OFFENDERS IN CANADA. WITH OVER 60% OF ONTARIO HOUSEHOLDS HAVING AT LEAST ONE PET, I KNOW THAT ANIMAL WELFARE IS A PRESSING ISSUE FOR MANY OF US. WITH SUBSTANTIAL PUBLIC INTEREST AND A DIVERSE GROUP OF STAKEHOLDERS, PUBLIC CONSULTATION IS CRITICAL FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A NEW ANIMAL WELFARE SYSTEM TO BUILD PUBLIC TRUST. ACCOUNT SOLICITOR GENERAL OUTLINE TO THIS HOUSE WHAT CONSULTATIONS WENT INTO DEVELOPING THE PAWS ACT? [ Applause ]>>THANK YOU, SPEAKER. YOU KNOW, THERE WAS AS I MENTIONED PREVIOUSLY, THERE WAS A LOT OF INTEREST IN THIS ISSUE. IN THE THREE SHORT WEEKS THAT WE HAD PUBLIC CONSULTATION OPEN, WE HAD 16,000 INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC PARTICIPATE AND GET INVOLVED. BUT IN ADDITION TO THAT, WE HAD ROUNDTABLES WITH COLLEAGUES AND CAUCUS MEMBERS. WE INVOLVED AND ENGAGED LOCAL HUMANE SOCIETIES, THE MUNICIPALITIES, THE POLICE SERVICES, VETERINARIANS. THERE ARE A LOT OF PLAYERS IN THIS FIELD WHO ARE VERY, VERY INTERESTED IN ENSURING THAT WE GET THE BALANCE RIGHT, AND I BELIEVE WHEN MEMBERS OPPOSITE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW THE PAWS ACT, THEY WILL SEE THE INPUT AND ENGAGEMENT WAS LARGE AND FULSOME AND THE INTERIM MODEL HAS BEEN A SUCCESSFUL PROCESS.>>The Speaker: RESPONSE.>>WE INTEND TO EXPAND THAT, AND I WOULD ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO USE THE 1-8339 ANIMAL IF THEY SEE ANY AUNTIL — ANIMAL IN DISTRESS OR HAVE CONCERNS.>>The Speaker: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. MEMBER FOR ESSEX.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH, SPEAKER. MY QUESTION’S FOR THE PREMIER. FOR MONTHS THE PREMIER HAS INSISTED HIS GOVERNMENT’S APPOINTMENT PROCESS IS ABOVEBOARD. EVEN AFTER APPOINTEE AFTER APPOINTEE HAS BEEN FORCED TO RESIGN AMIDST EVIDENCE OF CRONYISM AND SCANDAL. BUT THE PREMIER’S ATTEMPT TO MAKE HIS CLOSE PERSONAL FRIEND O.P.P. COMMISSIONER AND APPOINT HIS CLOSE PERSONAL FRIEND TO THE CIVIL SERVICE SO THAT HE COULD RUN THE HIRING PROCESS, THAT STINKS PRETTY BADLY, SPEAKER, EVEN BY THIS GOVERNMENT’S STANDARDS. SPEAKER, WILL THE PREMIER –>>The Speaker: I’M GOING TO CAUTION THE MEMBER ON HIS LANGUAGE AND ASK HIM TO REPHRASE HIS QUESTION. I AM GOING TO CAUTION THE MEMBER ON HIS LANGUAGE AND ASK HIM TO REPHRASE HIS QUESTION.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH, PREMIER — SPEAKER. THE PREMIER HAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT HERE TODAY. WILL HE LET THE JUSTICE COMMITTEE HEAR FROM THE DEPUTY MINISTER? [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: QUESTION’S ADDRESSED TO THE PREMIER. REFERRED TO THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER. [ Applause ]>>YOU KNOW, MR. SPEAKER, WHAT’S DISAPPOINTING? HEARING FROM THE MEMBERS OPPOSITE WHO ARE TRYING TO SOMEHOW IMPUGN THE WORK THAT THESE TWO INDIVIDUALS HAVE DONE. WE’RE TALKING ABOUT AN OFFICER, A POLICE OFFICER MANY, MANY YEARS OF SERVICE. TWO INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE SERVED THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO, EXCEPTIONALLY WELL FOR MANY, MANY YEARS, MR. SPEAKER. I THINK WE SHOULD CELEBRATE THOSE TYPE OF INDIVIDUALS, NOT TAKE IT TO THE FLOOR OF THE LEGISLATURE AND BRING THOSE TYPES OF INDIVIDUALS DOWN. BUT AT THE SAME TIME WE SAID WE WANT TO IMPROVE THE APPOINTMENTS PROCESS. WE TOOK A LOOK AT WHAT THE AUDITOR GENERAL HAD TO SAY AND WE ARE MAKING CHANGES. I HIGHLIGHTED SOME OF THOSE CHANGES IN AN EARLIER ANSWER, MR. SPEAKER, INCLUDING ADDING A COOLING-OFF PERIOD FOR SPECIAL ADVISORS. THAT WAS A RECOMMENDATION OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL. I HOPE THE OPPOSITION WILL SUPPORT THAT, MR. SPEAKER. WE HAVE SOME ADDITIONAL TRANSPARENCY MEASURES THAT WE’RE BRINGING FORWARD, MR. SPEAKER. WE’RE SEEKING SOME COMMENTS FROM THE CHAIRS OF THE DIFFERENT BOARDS SO THAT WE CAN UPDATE THE SKILL SETS OF INDIVIDUALS WE’RE APPOINTING.>>The Speaker: RESPONSE.>>THESE ARE PEOPLE THAT DO VERY GOOD WORK FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO AND THEY CERTAINLY DON’T DESERVE TO BE TALKED DOWN TO BY THE MEMBERS OF THE OPPOSITION.>>The Speaker: THANK YOU. [ Applause ] THANK YOU. SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.>>THANK YOU, SPEAKER. THE PURPOSE OF THIS COMMITTEE IS TO LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENED AT EVERY STEP OF THIS WIDELY CRITICIZED PROCESS. TO BE, IN THE WORDS OF THE HOUSE LEADER, OPEN AND TRANSPARENT BUT BY REFUSING TO CO-OPERATE THE PREMIER’S TELLING ONTARIANS THAT THE TRANSPARENCY THAT THEY’RE LOOKING FOR IS JUST TOO MUCH TO ASK FROM HIM. IF THE PREMIER REALLY WANTS TO CORRECT HIS DISASTROUS FIRST YEAR IN OFFICE, IT’S GOING TO TAKE MORE THAN SIMPLY THROWING HIS CHIEF OF STAFF UNDER THE BUS. WILL THE PREMIER SHOW THAT HE’S ACTUALLY COMMITTED TO THE OPENNESS AND TRANSPARENCY THAT HE LIKES TO TALK ABOUT AND ALLOW US TO HEAR FROM HIS DEPUTY MINISTER ABOUT THIS DEEPLY FLAWED PROCESS? [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: QUESTION’S REFERRED TO THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.>>, MR. SPEAKER, OBVIOUSLY COMMITTEES ARE THE MASTERS OF THEIR OWN DOMAIN, MR. SPEAKER, AND WE’LL LET THEM MAKE THAT DECISION ON THEIR OWN. AT THE SAME TIME AS I SAID, WE’VE BROUGHT IN A NUMBER OF TRANSPARENCY MEASURES. WE’RE IMPROVING THE PUBLIC APPOINTMENT PROCESS. I WOULD HOPE ALL MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATURE WANT TO CONTINUOUSLY IMPROVE THAT PROCESS. I KNOW ON OUR SIDE OF THE HOUSE WE ARE DOING THAT ALWAYS. OUR MINISTERS ARE WORKING HARDER. OUR MEMBERS OF PROVINCIAL PARLIAMENT ARE WORKING HARD TO IMPROVE THE PUBLIC APPOINTMENT PROCESS. BUT THE MEMBER OPPOSITE TALKS ABOUT A DISASTROUS FIRST YEAR IN GOVERNMENT. A DISASTROUS FIRST YEAR? TELL THAT TO THE 280,000 PEOPLE WHO ARE WORKING THAT WEREN’T WORKING BEFORE. [ Applause ] TELL THAT TO THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY OF TORONTO WHO WILL BE VOTING ON SUBWAYS AFTER YEARS AND YEARS OF NOT BEING ABLE TO DO THAT. TELL THAT TO THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE A LONG-TERM CARE BED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN GENERATIONS, MR. SPEAKER. [ Applause ] I WOULD SAY THAT THE FIRST YEAR IN GOVERNMENT, FOR US, HAS BEEN SPECTACULAR BUT IT’S BEEN MORE IMPORTANT AND IMPRESSIVE FOR THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO WHO ARE WORKING.>>The Speaker: ORDER.>>WHO HAVE BETTER SCHOOLS AND BETTER LONG-TERM-CARE FACILITIES, WHO WILL HAVE SUBWAYS, BETTER ROADS AND TRANSIT AND TRANSPORTATION. I WOULD SAY THE FIRST YEAR WAS A HUGE SUCCESS. [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: STOP THE CLOCK. [ Conversation din ] THE HOUSE WILL COME TO ORDER. RESTART THE CLOCK. THE NEXT QUESTION. THE MEMBER FOR RICHMOND HILL. [ Applause ]>>THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. MY QUESTION IS FOR THE MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE. I AM VERY CONCERNED WITH F.A.O. REPORT AS WELL. IT IS JUST RELEASED THIS MORNING. IT IS DISAPPOINTING THAT OVER THE LAST 15 YEARS, THE LONG-TERM-CARE SYSTEM WAS SIMPLY INACTIVE. IT IS REPORTED THAT BETWEEN 2011 AND 2018, THE NUMBER OF LONG-TERM-CARE BEDS IN ONTARIO INCREASED BY ONLY 0.8%. POPULATION OF ONTARIANS AGED 75 AND OVER GREW BY 20%. THIS NUMBER IS SIMPLY UNACCEPTABLE TO ME. PEOPLE IN MY RIDING ARE WAITING TO GET INTO LONG-TERM CARE AND THEY SIMPLY AREN’T ABLE TO. MINISTER, CAN YOU TELL ME MORE HOW OUR GOVERNMENT IS TAKING A DIFFERENT APPROACH AND ACTING IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF ONTARIANS TO GET THESE BEDS BUILT? [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: QUESTION’S ADDRESSED TO THE MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE.>>THANK YOU, SPEAKER. THANK YOU TO THE MEMBER FROM RICHMOND HILL FOR BRINGING THIS TO LIGHT. I ALSO WANT TO THANK THE FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICER FOR ONTARIO FOR HIS VERY COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF OUR PLAN. THIS REPORT CONFIRMS THAT THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT IGNORED THE LONG-TERM-CARE SYSTEM AND THAT OUR PLAN IS HEADED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. IN CONTRAST TO WHAT WASN’T DONE IN THE LAST 15 YEARS, OUR GOVERNMENT IS INVESTING $1.75 BILLION TO CREATE 15,000 NEW LONG-TERM-CARE BEDS AND REDEVELOP ANOTHER 15,000 TO LONG-TERM CARE MODERN DESIGN STANDARDS. AND IN ADDITION TO THAT $72 MILLION MORE THIS YEAR COMPARED TO LAST YEAR TO GO TO LONG-TERM CARE. SO THIS IS TO SUPPORT MORE BEDS MORE NURSING, MORE PERSONAL SUPPORT CARE. REALLY LOOKING AT HELPING OUR RESIDENTS.>>The Speaker: RESPONSE.>>GET THE CARE THEY NEED WHEN THEY NEED IT. MR. SPEAKER, THOSE ARE REALLY DOLLARS, A REAL VISION FOR A 21st-CENTURY SYSTEM WILL GET RESIDENTS CAPACITY AND THE CARE THEY NEED. [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: THANK YOU. SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.>>THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER, AND THANK YOU TO THE MINISTER FOR YOUR ENCOURAGING ANSWER. WOW. 30,000 NEW AND REDEVELOPED LONG-TERM-CARE BEDS? THIS IS EXACTLY THE REAL INVESTMENT THAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR. COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE PROVINCE AND THE COUNTLESS FAMILIES WILL SEE THEIR LOVED ONES BEING CARED FOR AFTER ALL THESE LONG WAITS. AFTER THE 15 YEARS OF NEGLECT IN THE LONG-TERM-CARE SYSTEM BY THE LIBERALS, THIS IS A MAJOR IMPROVEMENT. BUILDING NEW BEDS AND DEVELOPING OLDER BEDS WILL HELP RELIEVE PRESSURES ON THE HOSPITAL SYSTEMS AND WILL WORK TO END THE HALLWAY HEALTH CARE. I KNOW THAT WE NEED REAL RELIEF IN THE LONG-TERM-CARE SYSTEM AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.>>The Speaker: QUESTION.>>MINISTER, ALONG THE INVESTMENT YOU JUST SPOKE ABOUT, WHAT FURTHER ACTION IS THE GOVERNMENT TAKING TO MAKE INVESTMENT INTO LONG-TERM-CARE SYSTEM? [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE.>>THANK YOU AGAIN TO THE MEMBER FOR THE QUESTION. TO DATE, OUR GOVERNMENT HAS ALREADY ALLOCATED ALMOST 8,000 BEDS TO LONG-TERM CARE. THAT’S MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. THAT IS TOWARDS OUR 15,000 NEW BED COMMITMENT. IN ADDITION WE HAVE STARTED ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FROM CURRENT AND FUTURE POTENTIAL LONG-TERM CARE OPERATORS TO BUILD NEW LONG-TERM-CARE BEDS AND REDEVELOP EXISTING ONES ACROSS ONTARIO. AND JUST THIS MORNING THE F.A.O. VALIDATED OUR COMMITMENT TO HAVE THESE 15,000 BEDS BUILT WITHIN FIVE YEARS. HOWEVER WE ARE ACTIVELY ENGAGING WITH OUR LONG-TERM CARE SECTOR TO MODERNIZE DEVELOPMENT PROCESSES BY REDUCING RED TAPE, STREAMLINING PROCESSES AND CREATING GREATER FLEXIBILITY IN EXPEDITING OUR PROCESSES. SO WE’RE PUTTING SHOVELS IN THE GROUND FASTER AND WE’LL GET PEOPLE INTO THOSE BEDS FASTER. WE KNOW OUR — KNOW OUR WORK HAS ONLY JUST BEGUN. OUR GOVERNMENT HAS COMMITTED TO CREATING THE CAPACITY IN LONG-TERM CARE AND TOGETHER, WE CAN IMPROVE LONG-TERM CARE FOR ALL ONTARIANS. [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THE NEXT QUESTION. THE MEMBER TO FOR WATERLOO.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SPEAKER. MY QUESTION IS FOR THE PREMIER. KITCHENER-WATERLOO IS AN ESTABLISHED INNOVATION HUB IN ONTARIO. TECH COMPANIES IN MY RIDING CREATE THOUSANDS OF GOOD JOBS AND DRIVE OUR ECONOMY. BUT ACROSS THE PROVINCE WE’VE SEEN FUNDING CUTS TO TECH AND RESEARCH GROUPS BY THIS CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT. THE LATEST ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK IS A UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO INSTITUTE FOR QUANTUM COMPUTING. THIS MOVE PUTS GOOD JOBS AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES AT RISK DUE TO SHORTSIGHTED CUTS FROM THIS CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT. THIS NOW JEOPARDIZES OUR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE AS A PROVINCE. WILL THE PREMIER REVERSE THIS HARMFUL DECISION FOR WATERLOO AND KITCHENER-WATERLOO? [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: QUESTION ADDRESSED TO THE PREMIER.>>Premier Ford: MINISTER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.>>The Speaker: REFERRED TO THE MINISTER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, JOB CREATION –>>SPEAKER, WE ARE INDEED COMMITTED TO ENSURING ONTARIO IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS AND OPEN FOR JOBS. WE HAVE ONGOING CONVERSATIONS WITH THE TECH SECTOR ABOUT CREATING THE CONDITIONS THAT WILL CONTINUE TO ALLOW COMPANIES TO SCALE UP AND GROW. AND WE CONTINUE TO WORK WITH AND SUPPORT THE TECH SECTOR, BECAUSE WHEN OUR TECH JOBS THRIVE, OUR COMMUNITIES THRIVE. IN SEPTEMBER, OUR GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCED WE ARE INVESTING NEARLY $41 MILLION IN 174 RESEARCH PROJECTS ACROSS THE PROVINCE AS PART OF ONTARIO’S OPEN FOR BUSINESS OPEN FOR JOBS PLAN. IN FACT WATERLOO UNIVERSITY RECEIVED 14 GRANTS TOTALLING OVER $2 MILLION THAT WILL GO TOWARDS FUNDING RESEARCH PROJECTS IN QUANTUM COMPUTING A OTHER HIGH-TECH SECTORS. WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK WITH THE INDUSTRY.>>The Speaker: RESPONSE.>>TO ENSURE INNOVATIVE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT PROTECTS THE WORKERS, BUILDS CAPACITY, CREATES JOBS, OPPORTUNITY AND GROWTH. [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: THANK YOU. THE SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SPEAKER. IN PART THE REASON WHY WATERLOO AND CANADA ARE ON THE MAP FOR QUANTUM COMPUTING IS BECAUSE WE INVESTED EARLY AND WE INVESTED OFTEN. ONTARIO HAS BEEN A LEADER IN THIS COUNTRY INVESTING IN AREAS LIKE QUANTUM COMPUTING, A.I. AND MEDICAL RESEARCH INCLUDING CANCER RESEARCH. BUT SINCE THIS P.C. GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN ELECTED THE RESEARCH SECTOR HAS SEEN CUT AFTER CUT AFTER CUT. AND WHEN A PATTERN OF DEFUNDING EMERGES, IT BECOMES MORE DIFFICULT TO MARKET THE PROVINCE AS A LEADER IN BUSINESS AND RESEARCH. DOES THE PREMIER OF ONTARIO REALLY BELIEVE HE IS ON THE RIGHT TRACK? [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: QUESTION REFERRED TO THE MINISTER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, JOB CREATION AND TRADE.>>SPEAKER, WE’VE SEEN JOB AFTER JOB AFTER JOB, IN FACT 272 R400 OF THEM HAVE BEEN CREATED. OUR GOVERNMENT UNDERSTANDS THE VALUE OF QUANTUM COMPUTING AND A.I. ACROSS MULTIPLE SECTORS IN ONTARIO. WE HAVE OVER 300 A.I.-ENABLED FIRMS AND INSTITUTION PS IN ONTARIO AND WE CONTINUE WITH OUR PLAN TO PROTECT GOOD JOBS IN THE TECH SECTOR TODAY, WHILE INVESTING IN THE SKILLS AND TECHNOLOGY ESSENTIAL TO REMAIN COMPETITIVE TOMORROW. WE HAVE NEARLY 300,000 TECH WORKERS IN ONTARIO TODAY. THAT PUTS ONTARIO AS THE SECOND-LARGEST I.T. CLUSTER IN ALL OF NORTH AMERICA. QUANTUM COMPUTING AND A.I. WILL HAVE ENORMOUS ECONOMIC IMPACTS THANKS TO OUR INVESTMENTS. BY 2035 IT IS ESTIMATED A.I. WILL ADD MORE THAN $13 TRILLION TO THE GLOBAL ECONOMY. SPEAKER, THAT IS WHY OUR GOVERNMENT REMAINS COMMITTED TO INVESTING IN QUANTUM COMPUTING, FACILITATING AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE THE TECH AND A.I. SECTORS CAN CONTINUE TO GROW AND THRIVE.>>The Speaker: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. [ Applause ] THE NEXT QUESTION. THE MEMBER FOR WILLOWDALE.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SPEAKER. MY QUESTION IS FOR THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORTATION. [ Applause ] YESTERDAY MARKED A MOMENTUM DAY — MOMENTOUS DAY FOR PUBLIC TRANSIT IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO. AND I WANT TO OFFER MY PERM CONGRATULATIONS TO THE MINISTER FOR RECEIVING TORONTO CITY COUNCIL’S ENDORSEMENT OF HER FOUR PRIORITY SUBWAY PROJECTS. THE MINISTER TOOK OVER THIS PORTFOLIO JUST OVER 100 DAYS AGO AND BUILT ON THE FOUNDATION BUILT BY HER PREDECESSOR. OUR FOUR PRIORITY PROJECTS WILL DELIVER RAPID TRANSIT TO FLEMINGDON PARK, THORNCLIFFE AND LIBERTY VILLAGE WHICH WILL ALL DIRECTLY BENEFIT FROM THE ONTARIO LINE AND SCARBOROUGH, WHICH WILL FINALLY HAVE THE THREE-STOP SUBWAY LINE THAT THEY DESERVE. [ Applause ] CAN THE MINISTER PLEASE EXPLAIN WHAT YESTERDAY’S CITY COUNCIL VOTE MEANS FOR THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO AND TORONTO?>>The Speaker: QUESTION IS TO THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORTATION.>>I’D LIKE TO THANK THE MEMBER FROM WILLOWDALE FOR HIS QUESTION AND HIS VERY KIND COMMENTS. I WAS HAPPY TO TAKE OVER THIS MINISTRY, WHICH WAS LEFT IN GREAT SHAPE BY MY COLLEAGUE, MINISTER YUREK. [ Applause ] I HAVE BEEN VERY LUCKY TO BE WORKING ALONGSIDE THE ASSOCIATE MINISTER OF TRANSPORTATION, MINISTER SURMA, WHO KNOWS AND UNDERSTANDS THE TRANSIT NEEDS IN THE G.T.A. [ Applause ] [ Speaking in French ]>>Voice of Translator: SPEAKER, THIS IS A DEFINING MOMENT FOR PUBLIC TRANSIT IN TORONTO. [ End of Translation ] THE CITY OF TORONTO AND PROVINCE OF ONTARIO HAVE ENDORSED ONE SINGLE UNIFIED PLAN FOR SUBWAY EXPANSION IN TORONTO. I AM GRATEFUL CITY COUNCIL HAS ENDORSED OUR PROPOSAL OF OCTOBER 10th. THIS IS A TESTAMENT TO THE COMMITMENT OF OUR PREMIER AND THE MAYOR.>>The Speaker: RESPONSE.>>TO GET TRANSIT BUILT. [ Speaking in French ].>>Voice of Translator: IN ORDER TO PARAPHRASE, THE PREMIER, WHAT IS GOOD FOR ONTARIO, GOOD FOR TORONTO IS GOOD FOR ONTARIO. [ End of Translation ] GRIDLOCK, AND WE ARE ONE STEP CLOSER TO DELIVERING PUBLIC TRANSIT –>>The Speaker: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. [ Applause ] SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.>>THANK YOU FOR THAT, MINISTER. OUR GOVERNMENT’S GOAL HAS ALWAYS BEEN TO IMPROVE TRANSIT AND TO GET ONTARIO MOVING. THIS REGION LOSES $11 BILLION A YEAR TO GRIDLOCK, A FACT THAT IS ALL TOO WELL KNOWN IN WILLOWDALE. WE RECOGNIZE THE URGENCY OF BUILDING THE TRANSIT NETWORK THAT OUR PROVINCE NEEDS. OUR FOUR PRIORITY PROJECTS, THE YONGE NORTH, THREE STOP SCARBOROUGH, IG EGLINTON WEST EXTENSION AND ONTARIO LINE WILL PROVIDE THE RELIEF MY CONSTITUENTS AND ALL ONTARIANS NEED AND DESERVE. YESTERDAY’S COUNCIL VOTE WAS CRUCIAL, BUT THERE’S PLENTY OF WORK AHEAD OF US. THROUGH YOU, SPEAKER, CAN THE MINISTER TELL US WHAT’S NEXT? [ Applause ]>>THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. I’M VERY HAPPY TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION. WE HAVE BEEN CLEAR FROM THE ONSET THAT OUR PLAN IS AMBITIOUS AND ATTAINABLE. WITH CITY COUNCIL’S SUPPORT, THE PROVINCE HAS BEGUN A NEW ERA OF CO-OPERATION AND PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CITY OF TORONTO THAT WILL TURN OUR GOVERNMENT’S TRANSIT PLANS INTO A REALITY. NOW THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MUST VIEW OUR TRANSIT PLANS AS THE URGENT PRIORITY THAT IT IS. I’M CALLING ON PRIME MINISTER TRUDEAU TO FULFIL HIS CAMPAIGN PROMISE AND COMMIT HIS FULL 40% FUNDING SHARE TO GET THESE PROJECTS BUILT. [ Speaking in French ]>>Voice of Translator: I’M CALLING ON THE PRIME MINISTER TO RESPECT HIS ELECTORAL PROMISE FOR HIM TO FUND UP TO 40% THIS PROJECT. [ End of Translation ] MR. SPEAKER, WE ARE MAKING SERIOUS HEADWAY ON GETTING SUBWAYS BUILT IN TORONTO.>>The Speaker: RESPONSE.>>THE TRAIN IS LEAVING THE STATION. WE ARE BUILDING TRANSIT FOR THE FUTURE. [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: THE NEXT QUESTION. THE MEMBER FOR OSHAWA.>>I’M SORRY, SPEAKER. I COULDN’T HEAR YOU. MY QUESTION IS FOR THE PREMIER. LAST YEAR, THIS GOVERNMENT VOTED AGAINST BUILDING,000 NEW NOT-FOR-PROFIT LONG-TERM CARE STATIONS IN SCARBOROUGH, WHITBY AND OSHAWA. UNDER THE PREVIOUS LIBERAL GOVERNMENT, WAIT TIMES TO ACCESS LONG-TERM CARE IN DURHAM REGION GREW TO BE AMONG THE LONGEST IN THE PROVINCE. THAT WAS THE LIBERALS. UNDER THIS GOVERNMENT, WAIT TIMES HAVE GROWN LONGER. WE’VE GONE FROM BAD TO WORSE. I HEAR IT REGULARLY FROM FAMILIES IN MY RIDING. I’VE BEEN LISTENING TO FAMILIES WHO ARE DESPERATE ON BEHALF OF THEIR LOVED ONES. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE OF WHY DOES THE PREMIER THINK IT IS ACCEPTABLE FOR SENIORS AND THEIR FAMILIES TO WAIT YEARS ON END TO FIND AN APPROPRIATE PLACE TO LIVE AND TO RECEIVE THE CARE THAT THEY DESERVE? [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: QUESTION’S ADDRESSED TO THE PREMIER.>>Premier Ford: MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE.>>The Speaker: REFUSED TO THE MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE.>>THANK YOU, SPEAKER. [ Applause ] AND THANK YOU TO THE MEMBER OPPOSITE FOR THE QUESTION. OUR GOVERNMENT IS COMMITTED TO BUILDING A 21st CENTURY LONG-TERM-CARE SYSTEM, TO MEET THE VITAL NEEDS OF OUR LONG-TERM CARE GROWING POPULATION. WE ARE INVESTING $1.75 BILLION OVER FIVE YEARS TO CREATE THAT NEW CAPACITY. 15,000 NEW BEDS, 15,000 BEDS TO BE DEVELOPED TO MODERN DESIGN STANDARDS. AND WE HAVE ALREADY ALLOCATED ALMOST 2,000 OF THOSE BEDS NEW, REAFFIRMED ANOTHER 6,085 SO WE’RE ONE STEP CLOSER TO FULFILLING THIS COMMITMENT AND OUR RECENT CALL FOR APPLICATIONS ON OCTOBER 1st FROM CURRENT AND POTENTIAL LONG-TERM-CARE HOME OPERATORS TO BUILD NEW LONG-TERM-CARE BEDS AND REDEVELOP LONG-TERM-CARE BEDS IS PART OF OUR COMMITMENT. SO WE’RE MODERNIZING LONG-TERM CARE.>>The Speaker: RESPONSE.>>AND ADDING $72 MILLION MORE THIS YEAR THAN THE YEAR BEFORE. AND WITH AN AGING POPULATION THESE NEW AND REDEVELOPED BEDS WILL HELP MORE FAMILIES AND –>>The Speaker: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. [ Applause ] SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.>>THANK YOU, SPEAKER. AND AGAIN TO THE PREMIER. AS OF THIS PAST SEPTEMBER, THERE WERE NEARLY 1,500 PEOPLE WAITING TO GET A ROOM AT THE LONG-TERM-CARE HOME HILLSDALE ESTATES IN MY RIDING OF OSHAWA. THEY WILL BE WAITING FOR OVER A YEAR AND THAT IS THE BEST CASE SCENARIO AND THAT’S FOR A SHARED ROOM. IT IS YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS FOR A PRIVATE ROOM. IN WHITBY THERE ARE OVER 1,700 PEOPLE WAITING FOR A ROOM AT FAIR VIEW LODGE LONG-TERM-CARE HOME. OVER 1,400 PEOPLE ARE WAITING FOR A ROOM AT THE VILLAGE OF TAUNTON MILLS. UNDER THE LIBERALS, WAIT LISTS SKYROCKETED DUE TO YEARS OF UNDERUNDERFUNDING AND WILLFUL NEGLECT. UNDER THIS GOVERNMENT, UNDER THIS CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT AS WE LEARNED TODAY FROM THE F.A.O. REPORT, THOSE WAIT LISTS WILL ONLY GET LONGER. WHY IS THE PREMIER ALLOWING SENIORS TO LANGUISH ON BALLOONING LONG-TERM WAIT LISTS JUST LIKE THE LIBERALS BEFORE HIM? [ Applause ]>>THE QUESTION HAS BEEN REFERRED TO THE MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE.>>THANK YOU, SPEAKER. THANK YOU TO THE MEMBER OPPOSITE FOR THAT QUESTION. I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR RAISING THAT CONCERN WITH ME. WE WANT TO HEAR FROM OUR SECTOR AND WE HAVE BEEN HEARING FROM OUR SECTOR OVER THE LAST FEW MONTHS. AND SO OUR GOVERNMENT KNOWS THAT SOME FACILITIES IN THE PROVINCE ARE FACING VERY LONG WAIT TIMES AND THEY HAVE ISSUES WE NEED TO HELP THEM RESOLVE. AND WE’RE COMMITTED TO BUILDING A LONG-TERM-CARE SYSTEM FOR THE 21st CENTURY, SO THAT OUR MOST VULNERABLE PEOPLE CAN GET THE CARE THAT THEY NEED WHEN AND WHERE THEY NEED IT. THAT MEANS ENSURING THAT EACH AND EVERY LONG-TERM-CARE HOME IN ONTARIO IS FULFILLING ITS POTENTIAL. SO I WANT TO ASSURE THE MEMBER OPPOSITE THAT I WILL BE LOOKING INTO THAT AND I WILL ENSURE THAT MY OFFICE WILL BE FOLLOWING UP WITH YOU REGARDING THAT. WE WANT TO WORK WITH OUR –>>The Speaker: RESPONSE.>>AND I APPRECIATE YOU BRINGING FORWARD THAT CONCERN. THANK YOU. [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: THE NEXT QUESTION. THE MEMBER FOR YORK CENTRE.>>THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. MY QUESTION’S TO THE ASSOCIATE MINISTER OF TRANSPORTATION. MINISTER, YESTERDAY I WAS THRILLED TO SEE THE TORONTO CITY COUNCIL VOTED TO APPROVE OUR SUBWAY PLAN. AS SOMEONE WHO TAKES THE SUBWAY DAILY, I KNOW THAT IT WILL REDUCE OVERCROWDING ON LINE ONE AND I MAY FINALLY GET A SEAT. AFTER YEARS OF POLITICAL SQUABBLING IT’S GREAT TO SEE THAT THE PROVINCE IS MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER WITH THE CITY TO FINALLY BUILD NEW TRANSIT. CAN THE MINISTER PLEASE TELL US MORE ABOUT THIS HISTORIC ARRANGEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY AND THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO? [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: THE ASSOCIATE MINISTER OF TRANSPORTATION.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH TO THE MEMBER FOR THE QUESTION.>>FOR THE PEOPLE OF TORONTO. THE CITY ANT PROVINCE CAME TOGETHER TO FINALLY BRING RELIEF FOR FAMILIES AND PROVIDE THE SERVICE THAT THE GREAT PEOPLE OF THE CITY DESERVE. CITY COUNCIL APPROVED THEIR TRANSIT PLAN, WHICH INCLUDES FOUR PRIORITY TRANSIT PROJECTS, OUR ONTARIO LINE, OUR THREE-STOP SCARBOROUGH SUBWAY, OUR YONGE EXTENSION NORTH AND OF COURSE THE EGLINTON CROSSTOWN, WHICH WILL BE PREDOMINANTLY BUILT UNDERGROUND. WITH THIS AGREEMENT IN PLACE, WE ARE MAKING A COMMITMENT TO THE PEOPLE OF TORONTO THAT WE WILL WORK TOGETHER TO BUILD SUBWAYS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. WE WILL NOW BE BUILDING AND EXTENDING SUBWAYS IN THE WEST AND EAST ENDS OF THE CITY CONNECTING THEM TO THE DOWNTOWN CORE. YESTERDAY’S COUNCIL DECISION CONFIRMED THAT WE CAN NOW HAVE DISCUSSIONS WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, WITH A TRUE PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CITY OF TORONTO. THIS IS A GREAT DAY FOR THE CITY OF TORONTO, THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO, BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, MR. SPEAKER, IT’S A GREAT DAY FOR THE TAXPAYER. [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.>>THANK YOU, SPEAKER. I AGREE WITH THE MINISTER WHEN SHE SAYS THAT IT’S A GATE DAY FOR TORONTO AND IT’S A GREAT DAY FOR OUR ENTIRE REGION. WHEN I TALK TO PEOPLE IN YORK CENTRE THEY DON’T WANT TO HEAR MORE EXCUSES OR DELAYS WHEN IT COULDS TO BUILDING TRANSIT. ALL THEY WANT IS TO SEE PROGRESS, SHOVELS IN THE GROUND AND ULTIMATELY NEW STATIONS BUILT. SPEAKER, COULD THE MINISTER PLEASE SHARE MORE ABOUT HER PROPOSED PROJECTS AND HOW THEY’LL BENEFIT LOCAL TRANSIT RIDERS? [ Applause ]>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION. MR. SPEAKER, AS I MENTIONED BEFORE WE WILL FINALLY BE BRINGING RELIEF TO FAMILIES IN THE WEST END AND THE EAST END OF THE CITY. OUR ONTARIO LINE IS 15 KILOMETRES IN LENGTH AND IT IS DOUBLE THE DISTANCE OF THE PREVIOUSLY PROPOSED CITY DOWNTOWN RELIEF LINE. ANYONE THAT TAKES THE SUBWAY KNOWS HOW BUSY THE YONGE LINE IS, MR. SPEAKER. THAT’S WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO HIGHLIGHT THAT THE ONTARIO LINE WILL BE REDUCING CROWDING ON THE YONGE LINE BY 14%, REDUCING CROWDING AT BLOOR AND YONGE STATION BY 17% AND REDUCING CROWDING AT UNION STATION BY 13%. THE ONTARIO LINE WILL ALSO RUN NORTH OF PAPE TO THE SCIENCE CENTRE, SERVING COMMUNITIES ALONG THE WAY. MR. SPEAKER, IT’S BEEN AN ABSOLUTE PLEASURE TO WORK AT THE MINISTRY OF TRANSPORTATION ON THIS INITIATIVE.>>The Speaker: RESPONSE.>>AND I LOOK FORWARD TO CONTINUING THE GREAT WORK. [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THE MEMBER FOR SCARBOROUGH SOUTHWEST.>>THANK YOU, SPEAKER. MY QUESTION IS TO THE PREMIER. LAST YEAR, THIS CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT VOTED AGAINST BUILDING 2,000 NEW NOT-FOR-PROFIT LONG-TERM SPACES IN SCARBOROUGH AND DURHAM REGION. YOU ALL KNOW THIS. YOU VOTED AGAINST IT LAST YEAR. WE LEARNED THAT TODAY THAT BY THE F.A.O. REPORTED THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WAITING FOR LONG-TERM-CARE BEDS GREW BY NEARLY 78% UNDER THE PREVIOUS LIBERAL GOVERNMENT AND THAT WAIT LIST –>>The Speaker: ORDER.>>AND THAT WAIT LIST IS EXPECTED TO GROW UNDER THIS CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT. PREMIER, MY PEOPLE IN SCARBOROUGH HAVE WAITED LONG ENOUGH. SO UNDER THE LIBERAL GOVERNMENT AND NOW THEY’RE GOING TO WAIT UNDER THIS CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT. WHY IS THIS CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT TAKING IT FROM BAD TO WORSE? [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: QUESTION’S BEEN ADDRESSED TO THE PREMIER.>>Premier Ford: MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE AGAIN.>>The Speaker: REFERRED TO THE MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE.>>THANK YOU TO THE MEMBER OPPOSITE FOR DRESS ADDRESSING THAT ISSUE. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ONTARIO’S HISTORY, WE ARE PRIORITIZE THE LONG-TERM CARE SECTOR AND MAKING LONG-TERM CARE RESIDENTS AND CAREGIVERS A PRIORITY. SO WE RECOGNIZE THAT THERE HAS BEEN A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN THE NEED FOR LONG-TERM-CARE BEDS, AND THAT’S WHY WE’RE INVESTING $1.75 BILLION OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO THE LONG-TERM-CARE SYSTEM BY CREATING 15,000 NEW LONG-TERM-CARE BEDS AND REDEVELOPING ANOTHER 15,000 BEDS TO MODERN DESIGN STANDARDS AND WE’RE ADDING $72 MILLION MORE THIS YEAR THAN LAST YEAR, BUILDING MORE BEDS, REDEVELOPING OLDER BEDS WILL HELP ADDRESS THE PRESSURES IN HOSPITAL. THE HALLWAY HEALTH CARE ISSUE IS GROWING. WE UNDERSTAND THAT. BUT THIS IS AN IMPORTANT STEP TO ENDING HALLWAY HEALTH CARE AND ENSURING THAT EVERY ONTARIAN WHO NEEDS IT CAN ACCESS OUR LONG-TERM-CARE SYSTEM. THANK YOU.>>The Speaker: SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.>>THANK YOU, SPEAKER. NO, MINISTER. YOU’RE MAKING A CUT OF $35 MILLION. SPEAKER, MY QUESTION IS BACK TO THE PREMIER. DOES THE PREMIER KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SOMEONE FALLS IN A LONG-TERM-CARE HOME, IN THE WASHROOM FOR EXAMPLE? THEY WAIT ABOUT FIVE TO 10 MINUTES LYING ON THE FLOOR BECAUSE THERE’S NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE IN THOSE LONG-TERM-CARE HOMES TO HELP WHEN THEY PRESS THAT BUZZER. THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED IN SCARBOROUGH. SCARBOROUGH HAS HELD THE LONGEST WAIT TIMES FOR LONG-TERM-CARE BEDS IN THE PROVINCE BECAUSE THE PREVIOUS LIBERAL GOVERNMENT’S UNDERFUNDING. WAIT LISTS WILL ONLY GET LONGER UNDER THIS CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT, AND WE KNOW THIS FROM THE F.A.O. REPORT. SPEAKER, THERE ARE ALREADY 3,000 PEOPLE WAITING FOR LONG-TERM-CARE BEDS IN THE MONTCALM LONG-TERM CARE IN SCARBOROUGH. SO WILL THIS MINISTER ADMIT AND COMMIT THAT THEY’RE NOT DOING THE SAME THING AS THE PREVIOUS LIBERAL GOVERNMENT AND THEY WILL DO A BETTER JOB, OR ARE THEY KEEPING UP WITH WHAT THE LIBERALS DID AND JUST MAKING IT WORSE? [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE.>>MR. SPEAKER, AND THANK YOU FOR THAT CONCERN. OUR GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN ABSOLUTELY TRANSPARENT ABOUT THE NEED TO INCREASE ACCESS TO LONG-TERM CARE. WE KNOW IT WILL TAKE A CROSS-MINISTRY APPROACH TO SERVE PEOPLE BETTER. WHILE WE WORK TO IMPROVE OUR SYSTEM, WE WILL CONTINUE TO INVEST. WE HAVE NOT CUT $34 MILLION FROM LONG-TERM CARE. WE ARE ALSO WORKING WITH INDUSTRY PARTNERS TO STREAMLINE PROCESSES AND MAKE SURE WE GET SHOVELS IN THE GROUND FASTER AND THOSE BEDS FILLED. THANK YOU. [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: THE NEXT QUESTION. THE MEMBER FOR PARRY SOUND-MUSKOKA. [ Applause and cheering ]>>THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. MY QUESTION IS TO THE MINISTER OF INFRASTRUCTURE. MINISTER, MUNCIPALITIES, THE FEDERAL AND PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENTS MUST WORK TOGETHER TO ENSURE OUR CONSTITUENTS HAVE SAFE ROADS, BRIDGES AND TRANSIT. THIS SUMMER I HAD THE PLEASURE OF SHARING DETAILS OF THE LOCAL INVESTMENTS OUR GOVERNMENT IS MAKING IN PARRY SOUND-MUSKOKA. $1.2 MILLION, IMPROVEMENTS TO DEL ROAD AND — [ Some applause ] WE’RE INVESTING $267,000 FOR THE REPLACEMENT OF THE ATTWELL BRIDGE AND MORE THAN 122,000 FOR PHASE ONE OF THEIR TRANSIT RIDERSHIP GROWTH PLAN. ALSO PLEASED THAT OUR GOVERNMENT IS INVESTING MORE THAN $337,000 FOR REPLACEMENT OF SCHNEIDER’S BAY BRIDGE IN GRAVENHURST. CAN THE MINISTER TELLS THIS HOUSE IF THE PROVINCE WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE THESE IMPORTANT INVESTMENTS IN OUR COMMUNITIES? [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: THE QUESTION IS TO THE MINISTER –>>THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. I WANT TO THANK THE MEMBER FROM PARRY SOUND-MUSKOKA FOR HIS HARD WORK ON BEHALF OF HIS CONSTITUENTS IN CONTRIBUTION TO OUR GOVERNMENT. OUR GOVERNMENT IS AND WILL CONTINUE TO WORK TOGETHER WITH MUNICIPALITIES, FAMILIES, BUSINESSES TO MAKE SMARTER BUSINESS IN OUR INFRASTRUCTURE AND KEEP IT RELIABLE FOR THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO. OUR GOVERNMENT IS COMMITTED TO MAKING THESE INVESTMENTS AND I CAN ASSURE THE MEMBER WE WILL CONTINUE THESE IMPORTANT INVESTMENTS. LIKE OVER $851,000 FOR THE REPLACEMENT OF BLAKE BRIDGE IN THE TOWN OF BRACEBRIDGE AND THE MORE THAN 900,000 FOR ROADS AND RECONSTRUCTION IN WASAKING FIRST NATION. ONTARIO HAS COMMITTED INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING VALUED AT MORE THAN 4.MILLION IN COMMUNITIES ACROSS PARRY SOUND-MUSKOKA. TO DATE, MR. SPEAKER, ONTARIO’S NOMINATED 144 PROJECTS OF ROAD, BRIDGE AND AIR THROUGH THE RURAL AND NORTHERN FUNDING STREAM, MR. SPEAKER. A TOTAL OF $115 MILLION OF PROVINCIAL FUNDING AND WE’RE JUST WAITING FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.>>The Speaker: RESPONSE.>>TO APPROVE THESE PROJECTS THAT HAVE BEEN NOMINATED BY THE MUNICIPALITIES AND THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT. [ Applause ]>>The Speaker: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THAT CONCLUDES QUESTION PERIOD TODAY. IS IT A POINT OF ORDER? BEFORE I ENTERTAIN ANY POINTS OF ORDER, I’M GOING TO POINT OUT THAT WE HAVE HAD AMPLE TIME TO INTRODUCE VISITORS THIS MORNING BEFORE QUESTION PERIOD. WE’RE NOT GOING TO BE ENTERTAINING POINTS OF ORDER AFTER QUESTION PERIOD TO INTRODUCE VISITORS ANYMORE. THE ASSOCIATE MINISTER FOR CHILDREN AND WOMEN’S ISSUES.>>THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. I WOULD LIKE TO INVITE ALL OF MY COLLEAGUES FROM THE HOUSE TO JOIN US FOR A PICTURE ON THE STAIRS IN HONOUR OF CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH AFTER QUESTION PERIOD. THANK YOU.>>The Speaker: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. [ Applause ] THIS HOUSE STANDS IN RECESS UNTIL 3:00 p.m.

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