As we embark on a new year, Reza Moridi, MPP for Richmond Hill, would like to make sure you know of these important things happening for us.
Beginning January 1, 2018, all children and youth 24 years of age or younger will be able to get their prescription medications for free by simply showing their Ontario health card and a prescription. Coverage will be automatic, with no upfront costs. The new OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare program will improve access to prescription medications for more than 4 million children and youth, and it will help many families afford the medications their children need to stay healthy. The OHIP+ program – the first of its kind in Canada – will make a significant difference for Ontarians.
Many people are struggling to raise families on minimum wage. Some are unable to pay for the medications their children need because they don’t have access to an employee benefit plan. They’re worried about falling behind, even as they’re working hard to get ahead. Starting January 1, 2018, the minimum wage in Ontario increased to $14 an hour. It will rise to $15 an hour a year from now. Personal emergency leave and paid vacation is also being expanded, and those affected by domestic and sexual violence will now have 17 weeks of job-protected leave, including five paid days.
PRESTO Card Users
Ontario is lowering the cost of commuting for people in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) by introducing a 50 per cent discount for PRESTO card users who transfer between GO Transit or the Union Pearson Express (UP Express) and the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), in both directions. Adult, senior and youth/student TTC riders will pay a TTC fare of just $1.50 when they use a PRESTO card to transfer to or from GO Transit or the UP Express. For people whose regular commute includes GO/UP Express-TTC transfers, this step towards regional fare integration and more affordable transit options will save about $720 per year.
This 2017/2018 school year, more than one-third of all full-time college and university students in Ontario are receiving free tuition - thanks to the new Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). Ontario is making college and university more affordable for students and families in Richmond Hill, and across the province, by making tuition free for over 210, 000 students. The new OSAP will make average tuition free for students whose families make less than $50,000 a year. Students from families who earn more will also benefit from more generous grants and loans, and about 80 per cent of all OSAP recipients will graduate with less provincial debt. The new OSAP will also make average tuition free for eligible mature students and adult learners whose family income is less than $50,000 annually.
As of 1 year ago, January 1, 2017, Ontarians saw an 8% rebate on their electricity bills, which was later followed by an additional reduction of 17% on average as of July 1st under the Ontario Fair Hydro Plan. The combined average reduction of 25% applies to all residential customers and as many as half a million small businesses and farms.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact Reza's constituency office at 905-884-8080 [email protected]