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5 promises for families in 2018 Ontario budget

Christine Chubb | posted Thursday, Mar 29th, 2018

The Ontario Liberals have made various promises in the 2018 budget that are meant to help families. Here are the top five:

1) The new drug and dental program will reimburse 80 per cent up to $400 per single person, $600 per couple and $700 for a family of four with two children, of eligible prescription drug and dental expenses each year, for those without workplace health benefits or not covered by OHIP+ or other government programs. However, no details have been released on what will be covered under this new plan.

2) Child care is free for children aged two-and-a-half until they are eligible for kindergarten –- saving families approximately $17,000 on average. This starts in September 2020.

3) Free preschool starting in September 2020. This investment also includes about $1 billion over three years to support reduced fees and more subsidized spaces for infants and toddlers.

4) A $1.2-billion investment to improve access to mental health and addiction services for children, youth and adults. The investment is being made over three years across the province. That money includes publicly funded psychotherapy, housing for those finished addiction treatment and counselling, therapy and walk‐in clinic services in communities for up to 46,000 young people over the next four years. This will include targeted services for Indigenous, racialized and LGBTQI2S communities.

5) An increase of $2.3 billion over three years has been earmarked for a multi‐year plan to reform income security, including increasing income support, reducing the burden of complex rules and simplifying benefits for those accessing social assistance.

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