Fair Hydro Act, 2017
This week, Minister of Energy, Glenn Thibeault introduced legislation that would, if passed, lower electricity bills by 25 per cent on average for all residential customers to provide significant rate relief and ensure greater fairness. The proposed Fair Hydro Act, 2017 would result in lower electricity bills for all residential consumers and as many as half a million small business and farms, starting this summer. Lower-income Ontarians would receive even greater reductions, as much as 40 to 50 per cent. As part of this plan, rate increases for four years would be held to the rate of inflation. These measures include the eight per cent rebate introduced in January.
Beer and Cider in Grocery Stores
Ontario announced the next 76 grocery stores across the province that can sell beer and cider, starting June 30. The winning grocery stores were selected via a competitive bidding process held by the LCBO. An additional 11 independent grocery stores and 65 stores owned by large grocers are now authorized to sell beer. This is the second round of Ontario’s commitment to make it more convenient for people to buy beer, while opening up additional opportunities for breweries and cideries. The 76 new grocery store authorizations will bring the total number of grocery stores authorized to sell beer and cider in Ontario up to 206 grocery stores.
Ontario’s High School Graduation Rate
Ontario’s high school graduation rate has reached a historic new high. In 216, the five-year graduation rate increased to 86.5 per cent - up more than 18 percentage points compared to the 2004 rate of 68 per cent. The number of students graduation in four years continues to grow and is now 79.6 per cent - an increased of more than 23 percentage points since 2004.
Supporting Mothers and Babies
Ontario is supporting mothers and babies with new and expanded health care services, including more midwives, enhanced newborn screening and increased supports for vulnerable babies. As announced in the 2017 Provincial Budget , Ontario is improving access to health care for mothers and their babies with investments in new and existing programs including newborn screening, midwifery care, care for premature babies, care for vulnerable babies, and free prescription medication.
Expanding access for Affordable Housing
Ontario is investing more than $600 million dollars over the next three years in affordable and sustainable housing in Toronto, including millions more for repairs and retrofits to social housing buildings. In 2016-17, Ontario is contributing $42.9 million to the City of Toronto for repairs and retrofits to 26 social housing buildings, with all funds committed by March 31, 2017 and repairs to be completed by March 31, 2018.
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