New Ontario Premier Wynne laid out her vision for the upcoming session of the legislature yesterday.
The Ontario Liberal Speech From the Throne had a number of elements that link back to Wynne's successful leadership run and platform.
I was pleased to see that the Premier continued to discuss both innovation and health care as being core to her agenda.
In addition to discussing the importance of expanding trade corridors, the speech specifically contained the commitment of a new venture capital fund, in partnership with $300M already committed by the federal government to support innovation and technology.
Within the health space, the speech noted the importance of: "health promotion to combat smoking and obesity, and it believes strongly in patient-centred care and evidence-based health policy." It also called for renewed support for the Ontario Brain Institute through a funding partnership with the private sector, as well as an expansion of mental health services in the province, partnerships between health care providers, the development of a seniors strategy to better address aging population challenges and a commitment to expand access to home care in the province.
This is a great start for this new government, and driving toward "patient-centered and evidence based" health policy is something that I've blogged about the importance of before. How the Ontario government integrates these directives into its actual policies, regulations and legislation though will test how real these commitments are.
Of course in order for the government to move ahead with this agenda, they will need the support of some of the Opposition members in the legislature. And although the Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak has indicated that they will not vote in favour of the speech, it appears that the Provincial NDP will be supporting the Throne Speech.
I'll be watching these developments in the days, weeks and months to come.
In the mean time, you can catch additional reviews of the Speech From the Throne by the Ontario Doctors here:
And from the Ontario Nurses here: