Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is promising $150-million over the next three years to buy new technology for school classrooms.
She made the announcement om Monday in a speech positioning her Liberals as champions of the province’s social safety net – and the best at strengthening government services – ahead of a possible spring election.
“At the core of what we believe is our passion about education and health care, which are the services that keep us healthy, that keep our democracy strong,” she said at a Toronto seniors’ centre. “That’s what government’s about: you create a society where we can care for each other, … we can provide services and support from before we’re born until we die.”
The new education money will be used to buy tablets, netbooks and software for schools. The funds will also pay for training sessions for teachers in using the new technology.
The technology funds are part of a large cash injection the Liberals are expected to make in the province’s schools in next month’s budget. According to budget documents leaked to the opposition Progressive Conservatives and made public last week, the Grits are also planning to spend nearly $2-billion repairing schools.
And last week, the government announced that it is opening four new schools and renovating eight others in Toronto.
The Premier’s tone Monday is indicative of the way she is positioning her party in preparation for a possible vote. She has been tacking left in a bid to win over left-leaning voters who might be considering backing the NDP.
In her speech, she rattled off a long list of the government’s health and education priorities, including making postsecondary education cheaper with a grant of 30 per cent off tuition and creating community health teams to help senior citizens navigate the health-care system.
And she attacked the opposition parties, saying the Tories would damage the social safety net while the New Democrats have refused to put forward any substantive policy.
“[If the PCs are elected], there would be deep cuts in our education and health-care systems – that’s the wrong way to go,” she said. “I don’t know what the NDP would do, because they have not put forward any vision.”