Today, Premier Doug Ford issued the following statement to mark the start of the New Year:
“As we turn over the calendar to begin a new year, it’s important to take a moment and reflect on just how far we’ve all come over the past twelve months.
I have been so proud to see the Team Ontario spirit on full display as the people of this province got back together and back to business. As Premier, I’m particularly proud of the progress our government has made implementing our plan to build Ontario.
Our government passed new legislation that will help achieve our goal of building 1.5 million homes over 10 years. This next step in our plan will ensure cities, towns and rural communities grow with the mix of housing types they need, so that more families can realize the dream of home ownership.
We’ve made real progress in building highways, transit and other key infrastructure. We started construction on a bridge crossing over the future Bradford Bypass and awarded contracts to build the southern portion of the Ontario Line and to design and supply the Ontario Line fleet of trains. We are purchasing three new trainsets to bring back northeastern passenger rail service connecting Timmins and Toronto, unlocking the full economic potential of northern industries, resources and minerals. The expanded Highway 401 from Mississauga to Milton recently opened and is already helping to relieve gridlock.
Our government will never stop working for workers. We are breaking down barriers that prevent newcomers from contributing to our economic growth. We are investing in training people to enter rewarding careers in the skilled trades so that they can help build our great province, including our youth.
As all Canadians continue to struggle with inflation and the cost of living, our government is taking concrete action to put more money back into the pockets of Ontarians, including by scrapping licence plate sticker fees and permanently removing tolls from Highways 412 and 418. Most recently, we extended the gas and fuel tax rate cuts for another year, saving Ontario households $195 on average between July 1, 2022, and December 31, 2023.
Our government continues to invest in our province’s health system, including by hiring thousands of additional nurses, doctors and personal support workers. Since 2018, there are over 14,500 more nurses and over 1,060 more doctors registered to practice and work in Ontario. We also have a pipeline of talent in training, with nearly 30,000 nursing students currently enrolled in colleges and universities across the province. At the same time, the government has made investments to support the enrolment of thousands more personal support workers in public and private colleges and school board programs since April 2022.
As we enter the year 2023, our future is bright and Ontario’s best days are still ahead.
While we celebrate everything we have to be thankful for, we will never take anything for granted. As the world continues to face economic uncertainty, our government is hard at work building an economy that works for everyone and can weather any storm. For 2023 and beyond, Ontario will continue to be the greatest place to live, work and raise a family.
On behalf of the Government of Ontario, I want to wish everyone a safe, healthy and prosperous 2023!”