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Government Programs and Services Now More Convenient, Reliable and Accessible for People and Businesses

TORONTO — Today, Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance and Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria, President of the Treasury Board, issued the following statement about how programs and services have been improved thanks to the Ontario Onwards Action Plan:

“Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, our government has focused on protecting the health and well being of the people and businesses of Ontario. The pandemic revealed that now, more than ever, Ontario’s programs and frontline services need to be more accessible, more reliable, and more convenient.

That is why, in October 2020, we launched Ontario Onwards: Ontario’s COVID-19 Action Plan for a People-Focused Government. Through more than 30 projects and a $500 million Acceleration Fund, our goal was to put the people of Ontario and Ontario businesses at the centre of everything we do.

As a result of the Action Plan, and the dedicated Future State Modernization Committee, our progress has been sweeping and government looks much different today than when we started. For example:

  • Patients can now speak to their physicians from the comfort of their own home or book appointments on their smartphones.
  • It is now easier and more convenient for Ontarians to get a recommendation on what to do next if they have been exposed to COVID-19, have symptoms or for screening by using the province’s COVID-19 self assessment and screening tools. These tools have been used more than 58 million times by Ontarians.
  • Our government made a historic investment of nearly $4 billion to connect every community with reliable access to high-speed internet by the end of 2025. We have already committed over $900 million in provincial funding that is expanding access to high-speed internet to more than 375,000 homes and businesses across the province. This includes over 175 unique projects that are either in planning or underway.
  • People can electronically submit more than 500 types of court documents, virtually witness wills, securely pay court fees remotely, search court cases online, and verify legal and business documents from the convenience of home or a mobile device. As part of Ontario’s Justice Accelerated Strategy, new online case management platforms are helping Ontarians interact more seamlessly with courts and tribunals.
  • Information now flows more seamlessly from police to the courts through the implementation of the eIntake platform. This initiative has freed up thousands of hours for police and hundreds of hours for court staff, and allowed police officers to file over 46,000 criminal charges electronically.
  • People can get digital notices to renew common government documents, driver’s licences and health cards thanks to a digital reminders system. This convenient system is expected to save more than $29 million in postage and mailing costs over five years and reduce the need for 80 million pieces of paper (roughly 16,000 boxes, equivalent to the height of 6 ½ CN towers).
  • It is faster and easier for the people of Ontario to renew their Ontario Photo Card by using an online renewal system. Since the start of the pandemic, more than 24,000 people have renewed their cards online.
  • By eliminating red tape and simplifying policies, businesses and people in Ontario have saved approximately $373 million annually and there has been a 6.5% reduction in the number of requirements businesses must comply with to operate.
  • Supply Ontario, a new provincial agency, was established to address challenges in Ontario’s supply chain system. It will transform and move public procurement forward, leveraging Ontario’s $29 billion annual purchasing power to further advance modernization to benefit our economy, businesses, and Ontarians.

While the work of the Future State Modernization Committee has now ended, the work will continue, benefiting people and businesses for years to come.”