Last week, our government introduced the first fiscal budget in the legislature. A financial plan that will focus on what matters most to Ontarians.

The budget addresses the concerns for schools, hospitals, and the services that Ontario families rely on. We inherited a $15-billion deficit from the previous government. Our PC government has reduced this debt by $ 3.3billion in the few months we’ve been in office. Through the plan introduced last week, we estimate to reduce the deficit further by more than a billion dollars in the 2019-2020 fiscal year, lowering it to $10.3 billion.

We’ve developed a plan to restore confidence in Ontario’s finances, and return Ontario to balance on a responsible time frame. The main thing to note is that the government is providing relief and restoring balance, all without having to raise taxes.

Public services matter, and so our government’s first budget keeps the promise to protect what matters most — such as health care and education. Our plan continues to increase the health and education budget yearly.

One of the most important actions taken through this budget is that Childcare Access and Relief. Our government is proposing a plan to give parents — not the government — control over the child care decisions they make for their children. The proposed CARE tax credit will provide about 300,000 families with up to 75 per cent of their eligible child care expenses. CARE is designed to be one of the most flexible child care initiatives ever introduced in Ontario, building on existing benefits while putting more money into the pockets of families who need it most.

I was proud to see in the budget that our government will be increasing the number of lanes on Highway 401 from the Credit River Bridge in Mississauga to Regional Road 25 in Milton. I drive on the 401 every day, and have seen firsthand what a mess the 401 has become. I heard from Miltonians that they want the highway expanded and we are delivering on that.

Our government’s plan restores trust and sustainability in our province’s finances for generations to come, while bringing real relief to families and businesses today.