The March 25 Ontario budget shows that the McGuinty Government has lost touch with the challenges facing everyday people in Ontario.
There was little in the budget to help those who are hurting in the current recession, namely, the unemployed, seniors, and people living on low incomes.
Ontario needs a comprehensive made-in- Ontario jobs plan that provides incentives to create new green jobs and revive manufacturing and that also invests in long term infrastructure renewal. We don’t need the unfair HST which will leave people paying 8% more on hundreds of basic items and services and which will discourage the average consumer from spending more money.
I am concerned that the budget has not provided enough funding for our hospitals. The 1.5% increase in hospital budgets does not meet the 3.5% annual increase in the operating costs of Ontario’s hospitals. Instead, the McGuinty Government is giving away billions of dollars in tax cuts to the big, profitable corporations who won’t commit to create jobs. The inadequate funding to hospitals will result in further layoffs and cuts to patient care in hospitals across the province, including the cash strapped Cornwall Community Hospital.
I am also deeply concerned about the McGuinty Government’s study to sell shares of Hydro One, Ontario Power Generation, LCBO, and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation to the private sector to pay down the province’s deficit. We don’t need a reckless fire sale of valuable public assets. In the long run, the province would lose more revenue than it would gain. Privatization of crown corporations would be a bad deal for Ontarians.
When it comes to spending restraint , the McGuinty Government should lead by example. It should stop spending billions on high end consultants and on corporate tax giveaways to companies making billions in profits.
We also need a plan to help Ontarians save for retirement and to make life more affordable. Unfortunately, the McGuinty Government keeps making life more expensive.
The Ontario budget fails to put people first. The people of Ontario deserve better. Ontarians need a plan for good jobs, health care, and helping with the daily costs of life.
Brian Lynch, President, SDSG Provincial NDP riding association
(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of the Cornwall Free News, their staff, or sponsors.)
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