Since taking power almost a year ago, Premier Doug Ford's government has made a series of changes to programs in the province about to start in April 1.
1. OHIP +
Under the Liberals, everyone under 25 received free prescriptions for a list of 4,400 medicines from 1 January 2018. When the Conservative Conservatives came into power, they made changes. On 1 April, those under 25 will only receive prescriptions funded by taxpayers if they are not covered by a private drugs scheme.
This means that parents may have to pay a pocket if the upper limits have been reached under their scheme or if the plan does not contain a particular drug.
Lindsay Parks' two-year-old son Malcolm struggles with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and takes an expensive chemo drug that his mother's private insurance doesn't cover. At the moment we are applying to the Trillium Drug Program, which is helping families who spend at least three to four percent of their income after tax on prescribed medication.
"There are a few gaps," Parks said.
The PC government says its change will save at least $ 250 million.
2. Ontario Autism Program
The controversial changes that Premier government Doug Ford made to the province's autism program also began in April 1.
In early February, the Minister for Children, Community and Social Services, Lisa MacLeod, announced cuts with the aim of removing the government funded treatment waiting list for around 23,000 children on the autism spectrum.
The Ford government program would fund families up to $ 20,000 a year for children under six and $ 5,000 for children aged six to 18 years. Families who make more than $ 250,000 a year would not qualify.
In the context of fierce criticism by parents who noted that the scheme does not account for seriousness, the province succeeded in:
- Delete income tests.
- Make more services eligible for that funding.
- The extension of therapy children is currently receiving six months.
- Consult on how to support children with the highest needs
"Our plan was the right one, it's still the right one. We're improving it," said MacLeod.
3. Pot shops
The state's first legal brick and mortar pot shops will open on Monday, although not all 25 license applicants appear to be ready.
Only 11 licenses have been published throughout the province. In Toronto, only one of the five proposed stores said to CBS News that it would be open to business.
CDC deputy leader Sara Singh said the computers did not give the lottery winners enough time to open. "[This is] "pushing people into the illegal market for their cannabis," he said.
Ontario is the last province to open physical shops. Following federal legalization weeds October 17. It has been legally available from the government's only online store.
4. Driving Cleaning
Clean Clean came under fire for making the government millions of dollars, although it was to be revenue neutral. Under the program, drivers had to have bi-annual emissions tests on cars and light duty lorries over seven years of age.
In September 2018, Doug Ford announced the cancellation of the program, stating that it was out of date because the car industry had adopted stricter emission standards. The government said that only five per cent of vehicles failed the test last year, compared to 16 per cent when it first came into force.
"We moved the focus of family cars to the biggest pollutants on the road," Ford said, referring to transport trucks.
The province says it expects that Drive Clean will be scrapped saving $ 40 million a year to taxpayers.
Environmental groups warned against placing drivers off the hook.
5. Carbon tax
The federal government's carbon tax – with the aim of putting a price on carbon and reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change – starts on Monday.
Backstop will apply in four provinces without their own carbon valuation system (Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Manitoba). Essentially, we pay gasoline, light fuel oil, natural gas and propan. The federal government has promised tax refunds to offset the cost.
For a year, Ford and his ministers have been fighting the carbon tax, saying it will cause a "recession."
"If we hit [the federal government’s] targets, then why do you want to set this carbon tax that is going to hurt families?
6. An environmental Commissioner
The post of environmental commissioner for the province is officially being abolished, most recently by Dianne Saxe, and is absorbed by the auditor general's office. Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner called his "tragic loss."
Saxe, who published her last report on Wednesday, said the state's energy conservation incentives were canceling unreasonably.
"It means breaking our nose to worry our face," he warned.
Environment Minister Rod Phillips said his climate plan would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent.
7. Ontario children's advocate
On the same day, the province announced that it was closing the office of the environmental commissioner, he also said that the office of the Ontario Children's Advocate (and the office of the commissioner for French services), would be introduced at the ombudsman.
Critics said the move would erode government accountability, while the PCs said that it would not put children at risk.
"I can assure everyone in the Legislation that I will be the most fierce child advocate in this province," said Social Services Minister Lisa Macleod.
Meanwhile, Irwin Elman, who was appointed in 2008 and she is the only person to hold the job in Ontario, said he was worried about the state's most vulnerable children, calling for the office's closure. lost opportunity "to build on the work done.