THUNDER BAY – New Democrat MPPs abstained from a vote on the 2012 Ontario Budget. That allowed the McGuinty Budget to pass in the Ontario Legislature. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and her team of MPPs then fanned out across the province to their ridings to gather input from their constituents. It is now appearing, according to news reports around the province that the initial support for the budget might not be as solid as originally thought.
Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan is reportly set to make a statement seeking support for his budget. Duncan is stating that the New Democrats are not holding up their end of the agreement reached between Premier McGuinty and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.
Should the budget not pass, it will mean Ontario voters will be headed to the polls in a summer election.
Duncan is reported to be suggesting that the McGuinty Liberals are willing to sit until midnight and all summer long in the legislature in order to get his budget passed.
John Milloy, the Liberal Government House Leader, says, “Last month, the Ontario government reached an agreement with the NDP to move our budget plan forward, so that we can balance the budget and protect what matters most to us — health care and education. Now, the opposition’s delay tactics are jeopardizing the budget deal by stalling the Budget Bill in the Legislature.
We need the Budget Bill to pass in order to move forward with our plan to make Ontario’s economy stronger. That includes the NDP tax on the wealthy and the freeze on corporate income tax. The Bill has been blocked in the Legislature for over a month, having gone through over 15 hours of debate, including 4 hours of obstructionist bell-ringing. There are only eight days left in the spring session.”
Milloy adds, “We are going to take whatever steps are necessary to keep our plan to balance the budget on track. That’s why I will be tabling a Time Allocation motion next week that, if passed, will ensure timely passage of the Budget Bill. It is a necessary step to get this budget passed. It is what’s required to show the credit rating agencies that this minority government can work and that we will achieve our balanced budget plan. The NDP can choose to vote against the timely passage of the Budget Bill.”
“If they do so, we are prepared to sit until midnight every night and extend the Legislative Session into the summer months. By not helping the Budget Bill progress, the NDP would be jeopardizing the budget deal and stalling legislation that will help Ontario balance the budget by 2017-18 while we grow our economy and protect the gains we have achieved in health care and education. It’s time to pass the budget and move forward, together to build a stronger economy and create jobs for Ontario families.”