Tag Archives: Kathleen Wynne

Uncategorized

Budget Remains the Same, but Now Governing Liberals will Ensure its Passage

By George Christidis
Director, Government Affairs
Canadian Nuclear Association

On July 14, 2014, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government retabled, as promised, its previous budget. This is the same budget that triggered the last Ontario election.

The government had indicated its intention to reintroduce the previous budget, which attracted the support of many labour and union groups.

The budget focuses on strategic investments to enable growth in the Ontario economy while at the same time seeks to review Crown assets as a means of maximizing provincial returns.

Key investments and initiatives include $130 billion in infrastructure investments over 10 years and a mandatory provincial pension plan that will build on the Canada Pension Plan.

The Minister of Finance, Charles Sousa, indicated that the government of Ontario is seeking to move forward with more than 80 per cent of Don Drummond’s recommendations for increasing efficiencies in the public sector.

The political context of the budget’s reintroduction has changed. The governing Liberals now have a majority that will ensure its passage.

However, since the election, some external factors have arisen that the government will be watching closely. This includes the recent credit rating warnings issued by Moody’s bond rating agency. The bond credit rating issues and upcoming labour negotiations will be very important factors in government’s planning moving forward.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Nuclear Policy Uncategorized

Speech from the Throne Reaffirms Key Elements of Pre-Election Budget

By George Christidis
Director, Government Affairs
Canadian Nuclear Association

On July 3, 2014, the recently re-elected Liberal government opened the 41st Ontario Parliamentary session with a new Speech From the Throne (SFT) titled ‘Building Ontario Up.’ Premier Wynne’s government outlined the priorities that will flow into the next provincial budget. The government has announced it will table this budget on July 14, 2014.

The key messages in the SFT reaffirm the key elements of the pre-election budget that triggered the last provincial election. Premier Wynne has publicly stated that the Ontario government will be re-tabling the previous budget which formed the basis of the provincial Liberal election platform. This included a commitment for strategic investment to create jobs and opportunities while eliminating the debt by 2018. External factors such as the provincial credit rating and public service union negotiations will be important factors to monitor in future government  initiatives and policies.

Key messages in the SFT included:

Education

  • The building of new university campuses to meet enrollment demands
  • The expansion of the Youth Jobs Strategy to help connect young people to jobs

Infrastructure

  • A 10-year $29 billion investment in transportation infrastructure, with $15 billion dedicated to the Greater Toronto – Hamilton region

Business Climate

  • A predictable, stable corporate tax rate
  • Participation in trade missions to create access and new markets for Ontario products and attract investment

Fiscal Outlook

  • The elimination of the deficit in three years
  • An increase in income taxes for the top 2% of income earners, and no increase in the HST or gas tax
  • No additional money for compensation
  • Actions to get returns from Crown assets

Natural Resource Development

  • The establishment of a Ring of Fire development corporation within 60 days and the commitment of $1 billion for infrastructure to support development, as well as a search for federal participation (outside the New Building Canada Fund)

Energy and the Environment

  • The appointment of the new Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to work on adaptation measures
  • The development of a Canadian Energy Strategy in conjunction with other provinces
  • The desire to export knowledge and products associated with renewables and energy innovation in order to take advantage of opportunities created by climate change initiatives in other provinces and other countries around the world

Social Policy

  • The introduction of a poverty reduction strategy
  • The introduction of legislation to increase minimum wages and link future increases to the rate of inflation

The House is adjourned until Monday, July 7, 2014.

On July 14, 2014, the budget that was originally tabled on May 1, 2014, will be re-introduced.

Uncategorized

New Cabinet Includes Bob Chiarelli, Glenn Murray

By George Christidis
Director, Government Affairs
Canadian Nuclear Association

On June 24, 2014, the newly-elected Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, announced the post-election cabinet. It includes some key ministers staying in the same portfolios as well as some senior ministers moving to new roles.

Of significance to the Canadian nuclear industry is the reappointment of Bob Chiarelli as Minister of Energy and the appointment of Glenn Murray, the former transportation minister, to Environment and Climate Change.

Charles Sousa was reappointed to Finance while Minister Michael Gravelle remains at  Northern Development and Mines. Minister David Zimmer continues at Aboriginal Affairs.

Bill Mauro was appointed to Natural Resources. Minister Mitzie Hunter was appointed Associate Minister of Finance with responsibility for the new Ontario Retirement Pension Plan.

As well, former Health Minister Deb Matthews was named President of the Treasury Board.

The legislature will reconvene next Wednesday with a Throne Speech marking the beginning of Ontario’s 41st Parliament. The CNA will monitor and assess the new Throne Speech and will provide a broad blue print to where the government intends to focus its priorities. Given the recent election, the previously tabled budget, which was also the key election platform for premier Wynne, is expected to be the basis of the new Throne Speech.

The CNA will be seeking an opportunity to reconnected with the key ministers and their staff as part of its on going efforts in re-enforcing the message that nuclear plays an important role in Ontario’s economic and social well being.

Please feel free in contacting us if you have any questions.