THUNDER BAY – MPP Bill Mauro says “Over the last eight or nine years, Ontario has made gains in healthcare and in education. Those are the priorities that the government has protected in today’s budget. That is reflective of the views of people across Ontario”.
“Balancing the Budget is the most important step we can take as a government to grow our economy and create jobs—that is precisely what the Budget equips us to do today. There is no doubt that we have tough choices to make but I am pleased to see that we are taking a fair approach to these tough choices by maintaining our key Northern programs and priorities,” Michael Gravelle, MPP Thunder Bay – Superior North.
Grand Chief Stan Beardy said “The cash-strapped Ontario budget announced today does nothing significant for the First Nations people nor does it address the core issues facing First Nations”.
“In tough economic times, it is always the marginalized people that feel it the most, specifically Aboriginal people,” said Grand Chief Beardy. “Ontario is pinching its dollars in places we need to see more funds flow and that’s where the marginalized people are most affected. NAN covers two-thirds of Ontario yet we don’t see much in this budget that benefits this part of the province for First Nations.”
“This is the time for tough and responsible fiscal management,” Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak said. “Yet today’s budget is a weak and disappointing response to Ontario’s jobs and spending crisis. In fact, it actually puts up roadblocks to the very economic growth its assumptions are pinned on.”
Hudak cited the cancellation of business tax cuts, “At just the time we need to be making Ontario more competitive and restoring business confidence to create jobs, Dalton McGuinty is taking $1.5 billion out of the economy over the next three years to pay for his over-spending.”
The PCs have stated they plan to vote against the budget. Nippising MPP Vic Fedeli states, “It all shows that the Premier does not grasp the seriousness of Ontario’s situation – having failed to move off the path toward a $30 billion deficit with his uncontrolled spending: Instead he has made long-term commitments to pet projects with no way to pay for them, while grabbing for short-term revenues through one-off asset sales like Ontario Northland and fee increases.”
New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath says “The budget falls short on the challenges facing families but says New Democrats will be talking to Ontario families about the McGuinty Liberal Budget tabled today. For families worried about their jobs, their health and the growing cost of living this Budget falls short. We’re going to be listening to the everyday people who will be affected by the Budget and we’ll be putting their interests first in the days ahead,” said Horwath. “We’re committed to making this minority government work as long as it provides results for people.”
Horwath adds, “For families focussed on jobs, healthcare and the growing cost of everyday life, this Budget fails on key fronts. It lacks a plan to target tax relief to real job creators and will lead to the direct layoff of thousands of people in communities across Ontario. The budget does not make investments in home care, or outline a plan to control the growing costs of everyday essentials like electricity”.
The Liberals state, “The 2012 Ontario Budget includes a deficit elimination plan that reduces program spending growth and contains costs by $17.7 billion over the next three years, while increasing revenues by $4.4 billion without raising taxes. For every additional dollar in new revenues outlined in the 2012 Budget there are 4 dollars in savings and cost containment measures.
“This is serious action for a serious time and puts Ontario on track to eliminate the deficit by 2017–18. A balanced budget will make the economy stronger and better able to create jobs while protecting the gains we have made in education and health care”.
In a release from the Ontario Government it states, “Our government will continue our plan to have the world’s best educated workforce by:
- continuing to implement full-day kindergarten;
- maintaining small class sizes;
- continuing to provide 30% Off Ontario Tuition grant for families.
“We are committed to increased access to quality healthcare for all Ontarians and will build on Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care by:
- enhancing community based care to treat patients in alternative settings such as non-profit clinics and at home;
- moving to patient centred funding models to improve the value and quality of care;
- implementing our new Seniors Strategy that will expand house calls and increase access to home care.