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article imageOntario Premier: Budget will formally respond to Drummond Report Special

By Andrew Moran     Feb 23, 2012 in Politics
Toronto - Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty spoke in Toronto's Leaside area Thursday to promote his government's Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit. He also spoke briefly about the Drummond Report and other issues facing the province.
The Ontario government has established a new tax credit that would assist seniors in their homes. The Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit, which the provincial government claims will create and support thousands of jobs, would provide senior homeowners and tenants up to $1,500 annually.
Seniors would be eligible for the tax credit if they need instalments of handrails, ramps, elevators, walk-in bathtubs and other necessary items for seniors and those suffering mobility disabilities.
It is estimated by Queen’s Park that the tax credit would support approximately $800 million in home renovation business and maintain roughly 10,500 jobs per year.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty speaking at Home Specialties during a media event in Toronto s Leasi...
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty speaking at Home Specialties during a media event in Toronto's Leaside area.
To promote this initiative, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, alongside Don Valley West Member of Provincial Parliament Kathleen Wynne, spoke in Toronto’s Leaside area Thursday at Motion Specialities, a company that sells goods to help seniors live better.
“We want to say to our parents and grandparents, who are getting on in years, we would like to make that a little more affordable for them,” said McGuinty with a background of Motion Specialties employees. “If they want to install a ramp, a grab-bar, a handrail, a stair lift or an in-home elevator those are the kinds of things we want to help them afford.”
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty speaks Motion Specialties staffers during a media event in Toronto s...
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty speaks Motion Specialties staffers during a media event in Toronto's Leaside area.
“It’s a win for our parents, it’s a win for the economy, but it’s also a win for taxpayers,” added the premier. “One of our fastest growing sectors in terms of an expenditure item in government is healthcare – it’s only natural that we have an aging population. If I can get my mom to stay longer in her home, it’s so much less expensive than a long-term healthcare setting.”
The Drummond Report
Then-Premier Dalton McGuinty standing beside his future successor  Kathleen Wynne.
Then-Premier Dalton McGuinty standing beside his future successor, Kathleen Wynne.
Last week, former TD Bank Economist Don Drummond issued his 668-page report that highlights the province’s budget, expenditures and listed 362 recommendations the Ontario Legislature must adopt to get out of the current deficit and balance the books by the year 2018.
Since the report was released, the premier has been hammered with questions during Question Period at Queen’s Park, his opponents and by reporters.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty given a tour of Home Specialties during a media event in the Toronto...
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty given a tour of Home Specialties during a media event in the Toronto Leaside area.
The Drummond Report includes a proposal to eliminate the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit, a 10 percent rebate initiative that costs the government approximately $1 billion each year. The premier noted that he doesn’t “intend to end it any sooner.”
The former economist also suggested getting rid of the full-day kindergarten program, which costs about $1.5 billion annually. McGuinty stated that in the upcoming budget there will be a response to the report.
“Our budget will constitute our formal response to Drummond, there will be all kinds of things we have to do less of, but we’re not going to do that to the expense of those things that are most important to our families,” explained the Liberal premier, who then cited the Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit and full-day kindergarten as pertinent programs.
McGuinty told reporters that the province cannot afford prime real estate offices for the LCBO in downtown Toronto and also to question the $345 million subsidy for horse racing in the city, which he thinks is not a good investment.
“We got to make a choice between full-day kindergarten and horse racing, healthcare and horse racing,” noted McGuinty. “So those are the kinds of things that we will continue to put in front of Ontarians.”
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty speaking at Home Specialties during a media event in Toronto s Leasi...
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty speaking at Home Specialties during a media event in Toronto's Leaside area.
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