Ontario drivers with winter tires on their vehicles have been promised an insurance discount starting in January, according to Finance Minister Charles Sousa.

Effective January 1, 2016, the government will require all private insurers to offer discounts to people who buy and install winter tires, the Ministry of Finance said in a release.

The announcement today reflects a plan originally introduced in the provincial budget in April.

Winter tires "enhance safety and reduce the likelihood of collisions by improving traction, braking and handling in frost, snow, slush and under cold and icy conditions," the release stated.

The provincial government has been under fire for not meeting its pledge to reduce auto insurance rates by 15 per cent this fall. 

Earlier this month, Sousa named former WSIB head David Marshall as an auto insurance adviser "to identify additional opportunities for auto insurance reform," according to a government release.