Thank you to everyone who attended my annual New Year’s Levee and Volunteer Recognition Event, which gives me the opportunity to recognize outstanding volunteers who give their time and talents to make our community better.

I would like to take this opportunity to update you on two pieces of key legislation, which came into effect on January 1:  OHIP+ and The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017.

With OHIP+ Children and Youth Pharmacare, Ontario has undertaken the most significant expansion of medicare in the province, since its creation 50 years ago. Providing medication at no cost for children and youth will make a difference in the lives of Ontario families, including many vulnerable groups such as low-income families, large families, single parents with children, students, young people in the workforce, and unemployed and underemployed young people. 

Ontario will provide free prescription drug coverage for children and youth, 24 and under.  Under OHIP+, over four million Ontario children and youth will have access to over 4,400 medications and other drug products. This will help many families access medications their children need to stay healthy at no cost – no co-payment or annual deductible.  Since the beginning of 2018, more than 220,000 young people have had prescriptions filled through OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare. 

Over the past three years, Ontario’s economy has outperformed all G7 countries in real GDP growth, and employment is up by 86,000 net new jobs over the past 12 months.  While Ontario is prosperous, not everyone is sharing in this prosperity.  Our government has responded by creating greater fairness and opportunity for all and supporting the right conditions for families and businesses to succeed.

The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 raises the minimum wage to $14/hour, expands personal emergency leave, provides a leave of absence when an employee or their child has experienced domestic or sexual violence, mandates equal pay for part-time, temporary, casual and seasonal employees doing the same job as full-time employees, brings Ontario’s vacation time in line with the national average and makes employee scheduling fairer.

To assist businesses, the corporate income tax rate for small businesses decreased from 4.5 percent to 3.5 percent  and provided incentives of up to $2000 to employers and small businesses that hire and retain young workers. 

These changes build Ontario up in ways that help people in their everyday lives, bring more fairness to Ontario workplaces and create more security and opportunity for vulnerable workers and their families. 

My staff and I are here to support you by answering your questions and resolving issues related to provincial government services. Please do not hesitate to contact my Constituency Office in person at 300 Kingston Road, Pickering, Unit 7, by phone at 905-509-0336 or by email at  Please subscribe to my e-newsletter by email, phone or on my website