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


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


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


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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