2017 budget seems to be linked to 2018 general election

The Ontario budget for 2017 was presented in the Legislature Thursday — the same day of the week that provincial general elections are held. There seems to be a connection. The Wynne government will create a free prescription drug program for everyone 24 and under. That may blunt the appeal of the recently announced NDP pharmacare program. There will be “taxing power” for Toronto to extract cash from those who buy homes and condos and leave them empty, authorization of a tax on hotel and Airbnb, but no tax for road tolls. It’s just too hot an issue with 905 voters. Recent university grads get some grace on paying back their debt. Now they can wait until they hit $35,000 a year in salary. The Liberals also promise that this budget will remain balanced. That’s a good thing because the provincial debt is still heading toward $327 billion


The new drug plan is called OHIP+ and will permit eligible Ontarians to walk into any pharmacy show their OHIP card and pick up free medicine funded through the Ontario Drug Benefit Program. The plan will cover 4,400 types of drugs. There will be no deductible and no co-payment. The program will benefit around four million Ontarians and cost $465 million. That price tag is expected to be funded by the growing economy. According to the Liberals, the GDP is expected to grow 2.6 per cent.  Duelling drug plans set stage for pharmacare election in Ontario