Ontario legislature returns after winter break, policing legislation expected

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced to the Economic Club of Canada that his government will begin to tackle the $15-billion deficit facing the province, but provided few specific details of the plan – Jan 21, 2019

TORONTO – Ontario’s legislature resumes today with the Progressive Conservative government expected to tackle several issues this session, including changes to policing oversight.

The Tories halted laws introduced by the previous Liberal regime to strengthen oversight of law enforcement and redefine officers’ duties, and a government source says legislation on policing is expected to be introduced today.

READ MORE: Doug Ford government to announce Police Services Act, Special Investigations Unit changes

Legislation is also expected before the end of the month to create a health “super agency,” moving local health integration networks, Cancer Care Ontario, eHealth Ontario under one umbrella.

The government will also set the stage for its first budget with a stated goal of slashing a $13.5-billion deficit and providing a picture of how Ontario can get back into the black.

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READ MORE: Ontario government ‘absolutely committed’ to full-day learning, education minister says

Finance Minister Vic Fedeli has said the budget will show a path to balance, though he hasn’t specified if the government will eliminate the deficit within its four-year mandate.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Federation of Students is expected to hold a demonstration at the legislature today to protest recently announced cuts to student grants.