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Queen's Park in Toronto. (Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail)
Queen's Park in Toronto. (Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail)

Transcript

Transcript of Dwight Duncan's budget speech Add to ...

Introduction



Mr. Speaker, I rise to present Ontario's 2011 Budget.



Ontario is turning the corner to a better tomorrow.



Five consecutive quarters of growth, higher business



investment and a resurgent manufacturing sector are all



evidence that the global economic downturn is behind us.



Jobs and growth are returning to our economy as we embrace



innovation and continue building the best education system in



the world.



Strategic investments in education and health care lay the



foundation for a future with more jobs, increased productivity



and a better quality of life for all our families.



Mr. Speaker, this Budget builds on our government's plan to



return Ontario's finances to balance while protecting the gains



we have made together.



More Jobs in a Stronger Economy



Our government believes that strong public services are essential



to a strong economy.



Good schools and hospitals strengthen the economy by making our



people more productive and our businesses more competitive.



In turn, a strong economy creates jobs and supports education and



health care.



Ultimately, this results in a better quality of life.



And that, Mr. Speaker, is how we, as a government, measure



progress.



That is why we have been working so diligently to build schools,



hospitals and infrastructure.



Our job is to ensure that Ontario businesses have the tools they



need to build opportunities.



Ontario's Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth is making businesses



more competitive and is strengthening investment.



We cut the tax rate on new business investment in half, making



Ontario a much more attractive place for businesses to invest and



create jobs.



With our tax plan, a software publisher in Ontario will pay



58 per cent less in provincial corporate and sales taxes.



For a restaurant, it's 67 per cent less.



For a manufacturer, it's 89 per cent less.



This makes it easier to do business in Ontario.



Companies big and small are already responding by leading the



country in new investments in equipment and technologies.



Investments by the private sector in buildings, machinery and



equipment rose by 7.4 per cent in 2010.



At the same time, research by economist Michael Smart finds that



about two-thirds of business savings from the Harmonized Sales



Tax (HST) had been passed through to consumers within only



six months after the HST was implemented.



Mr. Speaker, Ontario has significantly decreased costs for



employers, and there is more to do to ensure we become even



more competitive.



Jobs are coming back to Ontario.



So far, we have recovered 91 per cent of the jobs lost during



the recession.



Statistics Canada tells us 84 per cent of those jobs are full time.



The United Kingdom has recovered less than 40 per cent of the



jobs lost during the recession while the United States has recovered



less than 15 per cent.



Economic Performance



Mr. Speaker, Ontario's plan for jobs and growth is working.



Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by an estimated



2.8 per cent in 2010 and all private-sector forecasters expect



sustained growth.



The average private-sector forecast calls for Ontario economic



growth of 2.6 per cent in 2011 and 2.8 per cent in 2012.



That means Ontario's economy is turning the corner.



To be prudent, our plans are based on growth assumptions



below those of the private sector.



Therefore, we are projecting GDP growth of 2.4 per cent in



2011 and 2.7 per cent in 2012.



In our first five years as a government, we worked with



Ontarians to repair and rebuild the province's neglected



schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, roads and bridges.



Our government also eliminated the $5.5 billion deficit we



inherited and delivered three balanced budgets in a row.



Mr. Speaker, we did what was necessary to put our province on



a stronger competitive footing and create more opportunities



for Ontarians.



As part of the global effort to stimulate the economy during



the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression,



our government, like those everywhere, ran a deficit.



We invested in infrastructure, created and protected hundreds



of thousands of jobs, and took steps to make our economy



more competitive.



Others would have slashed services essential to a growing



economy.



We chose to protect education.



We chose to protect health care.



We chose to protect investments in infrastructure.



Others would have cut people loose.

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