Thank you, what a beautiful day it is today.
Your honour, distinguished guests, colleagues, family and friends… to the people of Ontario, I stand before you today, truly humbled by the trust you have put in me, and intensely aware of the tremendous task that lies ahead.
Just three short weeks ago, the people of Ontario voted for change, and you voted for change in exercising your democratic right; in delegating your authority as the electorate of this great province, by casting your ballots, you set a new course for Ontario. You voted in record numbers, and you made history.
From Windsor to Kenora, from London to Ottawa, in our cities, in our rural communities, voters all across Ontario believe that life could be better. You believed as a province we can do better. You gave us a clear mandate, and you gave us the tools to deliver on a plan.
A plan that puts you first, a plan for the people of Ontario. A plan that will turn this province around and deliver on our collective vision. A vision for a brighter future, for hope and prosperity; not just for the privileged few, but for every person in Ontario. A vision for a better life. You have trusted us to keep our word, to work tirelessly every day on your behalf with integrity and transparency, and that is exactly what we’re going to do.
To our newly sworn-in Cabinet, and to our skilled team of all-star MPPs, we have a critical task ahead of us. It will mean long days, hard work, and personal sacrifices, but I know our team is ready. We are ready to roll up our sleeves, ready to get the job done, and no matter what, we must never forget that we owe this opportunity to the people of Ontario!
We owe this opportunity to you. You have entrusted us with the highest responsibility. You have trusted us to govern, to respect your tax dollars, to recognize that every dollar the government spends belongs to you. To represent your interest above all others, to make decisions that will make life easier, better, and more affordable. Decisions that will alter the course of our great province and impact the future of our children. It is a tremendous responsibility, and we must never lose sight of this. We must never lose sight of the duty we owe to Ontario. And above all, we must always listen; we must always respect the will of the people. And to the people of Ontario, I say this: Our government, our team, will never… we will never take this responsibility lightly. We will never forget the trust you have put in us. We will never forget who put us here and who we are accountable to.
And today, I chose to break with convention. I wanted to confirm my oath of office here with you. Out here with you. Out here in the open before all of you, before the people, to set the stage for a government that will always be accountable to you. A government that will only answer to you. A government that is for all the people. And those who did not vote for us, all I ask is for a chance to show you that life will be better with a government that is for all the people. That life will be more affordable, that we can stand united as a province. We must cross party lines. We must put aside political differences, no matter if it’s red, blue, green, or orange. It doesn’t matter, because this is about the people—from every walk of life, from every part of Ontario, from every race, religion, colour and creed, coming together under a singular purpose, under a united vision, a vision shared from every corner of our province, a vision of prosperous Ontario, an Ontario that works for you. My friends, a new day will dawn in Ontario! A day of prosperity and opportunity! Opportunity for all to succeed and prosper, for our communities to thrive. We will make sure that our children won’t have to leave home to find a good-paying job. We will make sure our children, our families, will stand right here in Ontario.
But we all know the challenges before us are real, and they are serious. Our province is at a critical juncture. We must not underestimate the gravity of this situation we face. We face an increasingly challenging global environment. We are living in an era marked by unprecedented change, great upheavals and economic instability, and following years of fiscal mismanagement, record levels of debt, and crippling interest payments, crumbling infrastructure, and a broken health care system. Needless to say, the task before us is truly immense. But together, together we stand together, and we can fix it. We will fix it, my friends. Because we are strongest when we stand together, and we stand united. And I have full confidence in our team, and full confidence in the resiliency of our great people. And together with your help, with our incredible team and the help of our dedicated workers, we’re going to turn this province around. And the work is well underway. I promised you we would get to work right away, and that’s what we’re doing. We’re eliminating the cap-and-trade carbon tax. The first steps to lower gas prices. We’re initiating a full audit of the government’s spending, line item by line item. A review that will result in billions, that’s billions of dollars of savings, for Ontarians, and we have sent a clear message about our position on NAFTA. The world knows that Ontario will stand united, shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with all Canadians. We will protect good jobs in Ontario. We will protect our rural communities. We will protect our agriculture, manufacturing, and resource industries. We will stand up for every Ontarian. And, my friends, we are just getting started. We will open Ontario for business, open Ontario for investment and trade, and we will return Ontario to its rightful place as the economic engine of this great country.
Together we will blaze a new trail. We will be the envy of the world, because as a people, as a province, our potential is limitless. We are blessed with an abundance of natural resources, blessed with the smartest and hardest working people in the entire world. Blessed with a culture of tolerance and openness, and we should always be proud of the incredible province we inherited from our forefathers. We must never forget where we came from, and never lose sight of where we can go. And we must work every day as a province, as a people, to create a better Ontario for our children and for their children. And our government, the team you see here today, will create the environment for a province to prosper; prosperity, the likes of which this province has never seen before. We can’t do it alone, but together we can achieve greatness. We will deliver real change. My friends, I’m reminded of a proverb, an old proverb which says, if you want to go fast, you go alone, but if you want to go far, go together. My friends, together we will go far. I want to thank you, and God bless the great people of Ontario.