QUEEN’S PARK – Did Tuesday’s Speech from the Throne, delivered on Wednesday at Queens’s Park signal change from Queen’s Park? It does not appear to have done so fully according to the leaders of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives or the Ontario New Democrats.
“Dalton McGuinty just doesn’t get it. Instead of bringing forward new ideas to take Ontario down the right path, he is doubling down on the failed policies that put Ontario at the back of the pack,” stated Tim Hudak, the Ontario PC Leader. “The same tired solutions we’ve been trying for ten years are going to produce the same results, said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath. “We need a new approach. It’s time to make life more affordable for households that are scrambling to make ends meet.”
“Working together, we’ll tackle the challenges ahead to keep Ontario on track by building on our advantages and seizing new opportunities that make Ontario a leader in the new economy,” said Michael Gravelle, MPP for Thunder Bay-Superior North. “Slower growth in the global economy means the government will look for ways to deliver services more efficiently and effectively. Proposals will come from several areas, including the report from the Commission on the Reform of Public Services, chaired by economist Don Drummond, in the coming months. And all members of the legislature were encouraged to bring their ideas forward”.
Horwath said she’s hoping to pierce partisan differences and work towards solutions that put people first. “As the Legislature begins, New Democrats will focus on the priorities that are on the top of mind of families: creating jobs, making life more affordable, and strengthening health care,” said Horwath. “The government’s making the right sounds about working together, but the proof will be in the pudding. It’s clear we’ve put some issues on the agenda. Households are facing unprecedented challenges and the cost of living has grown too high,” said Horwath. “We’ve been raising the issues of families who want to tackle waiting lists for homecare that has reached 10,000 and relieve stress on our hospitals.”
Hudak said “Dalton McGuinty has failed to stem Ontario’s jobs and debt crisis with today’s Speech from the Throne. What we heard today was more of the same, including $2.5 billion in brand new spending commitments and no plan on how to pay for it. Ontario is facing a $16-billion deficit, which is twice as large as every other Canadian province’s deficit combined. Coupled with a pummeled jobs crisis, Dalton McGuinty still doesn’t get that his policies are failing. Aside from more new spending, Dalton McGuinty offered no new ideas today on how to reduce government spending or waste”.