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MPP comments on 2024 budget, touts tax relief from the province

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The Province of Ontario put out its 2024 budget last week and the MPP for the riding of Essex is touting tax cuts.


Essex MPP Anthony Leardi compared the provincial government to the federal government, stating “everywhere you go in the riding of Essex, you will hear people worried about the Liberal Carbon Tax. It makes up 28 or 29 per cent of your heating bill.”


“In a total contrast, we’re decreasing taxes,” said Leardi, stating the province is the only government that is freezing fees and lowering taxes.

Leardi credited the province for a ten cent per litre decrease at the gas pump for another six months.


“We’re actually freezing the beer tax for the sixth year in a row,” said Leardi.

The province is lowering the tax on wine by 6.1 per cent when purchased at the vineyard, he said. Leardi added the province has eliminated the fee on license plate stickers, stating that saves families $240 per year.


“We’re taking action,” said Leardi. “The Liberals increase taxes and fees. We’re decreasing your taxes and decreasing your fees.”


The region’s new mega-hospital is moving forward, he added, and the number of MRI’s in the region are doubling from two to four. A cath lab is also being added to the area, along with the province adding more doctors and nurses.


An expansion of nurse practitioner-led clinics is also happening in Essex County, including one in Kingsville that will be able to roster about 1,200 patients.


“We’re continuing to build infrastructure,” said Leardi.


The budget has a multi-million dollar fund for water infrastructure, which Leardi states will make it easier for builders to build homes.


“That means more water lines, sewer lines, and water treatment plants,” he said. “That is the infrastructure we need to build more homes in Ontario and to restore the dream of home ownerships to thousands of Ontarians.”


The province has a goal of having 1.5 million homes built over ten years in Ontario, he said.


“One of the things we need to do is build water infrastructure,” he added.

The increase of lanes from two to four on Highway 3 between Essex and Leamington continues, with Leardi stating it will make it safer for commuters and better for local producers to get products to the border.


Regarding developmental services, Leardi said people receiving funds through the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) will get more.


“ODSP gets increased every year by the rate of inflation,” he said, “on top of the five per cent we gave them last year.”


Three new schools have either been built or are under construction, citing Legacy Oak Trail in LaSalle, North Star High School in Amherstburg and Erie Migration Academy “or whatever they call it,” said Leardi, who has been critical of the name given to the new Kingsville school by the Greater Essex County District School Board.


“I am proud to say that the government of Premier Doug Ford is delivering for taxpayers in the riding of Essex,” stated Leardi. “I look forward to continued economic growth and opportunity for our region. Together we are getting it done.”


Opposition parties were not as optimistic about the budget. Liberal leader Bonnie Crombie stated “this is a do-nothing budget. It’s not worth the paper it’s printed on. The Minister concedes economic growth is down and the debt and deficit are up, but he does nothing to help families and local businesses who are struggling.”


Crombie added: “The sad reality is Doug Ford has no intention of making life better for Ontario families and businesses. He is deliberately refusing to fund healthcare, education and the public services we all rely upon. He is choosing to undercut our public institutions so he can further his privatization agenda and help his rich insider friends make more money.”


NDP leader Marit Stiles said “if you are looking for change, Ford’s budget is not for you.” She added “people are looking for better health care and homes they can afford. Instead, they got an uninspired statement from a government that is out of touch and out of ideas.”


MPP comments on 2024 provincial budget, touts tax cuts by province

By Ron Giofu

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