Sir Oliver Mowat statue at the Ontario Legislative Building in Toronto
© Leonid Andronov / 123RF Stock Photo

Ontario’s new Progressive Conservative government says it will take action to reduce gas prices and hydro bills, while providing tax relief to families and small businesses.

In his government’s first throne speech after winning a majority government last month and ending more than a decade of Liberal rule in the province, Premier Doug Ford focused on saving taxpayer money.

In addition to scrapping Ontario’s cap-and-trade carbon pricing regime, the government targeted government waste and accountability.

“Your new government believes that no dollar is better spent than the dollar that is left in the pockets of the taxpayer,” the speech said.

It pledged to “provide meaningful, necessary tax relief to parents, small businesses and the working poor,” and to oppose “carbon tax schemes in all of their forms.”

The government will return to a balanced budget “on a timetable that is responsible, modest and pragmatic,” the speech said, and will introduce a “line-by-line audit of all government spending that will identify and eliminate duplication and waste.”

The Liberal government’s spring budget projected deficits over the next six years.

For the most part, the speech provided a broad outline of government priorities based on campaign promises, rather than specific actions. It did, however, pledge 15,000 new long-term-care beds over the next five years and a $3.8-billion investment in mental health and addictions, including supportive housing.