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Friday, November 10, 2017

Premier Takes Calls On Bayshore Broadcasting.

Regional | by Claire McCormack  

Kathleen Wynne defends her record in half hour radio appearance.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says her government wants to tackle the day-to-day pressures felt by Ontarians.

Wynne joined Bayshore Broadcasting's Open Line talk show host Bill Murdoch by phone Friday morning on AM 560 CFOS.

The Premier took questions from callers on the province's deficit, healthcare, rural resentment of the GTA, energy and jobs.

Wynne had her own message as well, "We're in a really uncertain time...what's going on with the United States and NAFTA and really, the global economy, people are not feeling really certain about what the future holds,' says Wynne, adding, "It is really important that we have conversations about these things that people are experiencing in their lives."

The Premier told listeners, "That's why we are providing free tuition for low income and middle-low income kids, for college and university. It's why were are increasing the minimum wage to $ 15 and hour because we want to tackle those things that people are feeling in their day to day lives." 

Wynne took calls during the show and on the question of rural Ontario being ignored in favour of the GTA, she compared it to much of Canada feeling ignored by Ontario. Wynne argues Ontario contributes billions of dollars to the national pot that is enjoyed by other provinces. 

She notes it's not unlike money from the larger GTA tax base going to rural areas. 

Wynne says rural Ontario and the GTA have to work together to succeed. 

"I want to be able to make sure that in the same way we've invested nearly 35 million dollars in highway infrastructure projects in Owen Sound that we can keep doing that because we've got a decent tax base in order to be able to make those investments," says Wynne.

Wynne says her government has been increasing health funding in the area with 696 more nurses working in the Southwest LHIN in 2015 than there were in 2010. 

She says the Liberal government is increasing funding to hospitals in this years budget and that over the past few years hospitals didn't see very big increases because the province was trying to balance the budget. "They always got an increase but it was in the order of 1 to 1.5 per cent and this year the increases are 2 to 3 per cent." 

Wynne called in to the show from Niagara where she meets today with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

Click on the audio to hear the full show. 

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