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A prescription for a healthy Ontario economy

In a recent speech to the Economic Club of Canada, I presented what I’m calling my “Prescription for a Healthy Economy.”

It is a five-point plan prescription rooted in the fundamental belief that has motivated me throughout my career – the belief that got me into politics in the first place, and motivated me to run for leader of the Liberal Party of Ontario.

After finishing my medical studies at McMaster University, I spent nearly a decade as a doctor in war-torn regions throughout the world.

My experience in those regions, as well as practicing medicine here at home in Ontario taught me this fundamental belief: People are healthy when their society is healthy. They thrive when their economy is growing. They only succeed with adequate housing, reliable transit, and strong social services. They can only build a better future for their children when they are financially secure – when they have hope and opportunity.

And that applies to all people, including Ontarians. The health of our families and our communities is inextricably linked to a sustainable, healthy, growing economy.

That is why, as Premier, I would take five-immediate steps to nurture a strong, innovative and growing economy for our province. These steps include:

• Transforming health care through better primary care and more reliable chronic care;

• Investing in transportation infrastructure to create new jobs and nurture a future for Ontario where the movement of goods and people is not an impediment to growth;

• Creating jobs through innovation and research, as well as a special focus on youth employment;

• Respecting rural and Northern Ontario by investing in its future prosperity through initiatives like high-speed Internet; and by giving small business and entrepreneurs access to economic development funds; and

• Taking immediate actions to tackle poverty by moving forward on an income-tested prescription drug plan, increasing the Ontario Child Benefit and increasing the minimum wage over the course of my mandate.

These steps are just the beginning when it comes to ensuring that Ontario is ready to take on the challenges of the future.

As a doctor, I know that it’s not enough to simply write a prescription and send your patient on their way. Delivering on the promise of a healthy economy will take work – hard work – and some difficult decisions. But I am ready to make those decisions, to roll up my sleeves and get to work.

I hope that you will join me in working to make Ontario a place where all our children can have the hope that comes from growing up in a healthy society, a healthy economy. Please visit my website at www.ericforleader.ca to find out how you can be a part of making this goal a reality.

Op-Ed by Dr. Eric Hoskins    12/21/2012


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