Queens Park – The Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services or simply, the Drummond Report, was released earlier this year on February 15th, and accompanied by a stern and prophetic warning from its namesake, “Our message will strike many as profoundly gloomy. It is one that Ontarians have not heard, certainly not in the recent election campaign, but one this Commission believes it must deliver.” Don Drummond earnestly appealed for fiscal sacrifice, “If Ontarians and their government are going to come to grips with the fiscal challenges that lie ahead, they must understand the depth of the problem and its causes. Ontario must act soon to put its finances on a sustainable path and must be prepared for tough action — not just for a few years, but at least until 2018.”
Sadly, Don Drummond’s plea has gone unheard by Premier Dalton McGuinty. This now has the Ontario Liberal Party, and their minority government, on standby election mode, and Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak and his caucus unable to support what Tim Hudak labeled as, “[a] surprisingly weak budget [which] fails to make the structural changes necessary to the way government operates and spends.” NDP leader Andrea Horwath is somewhat secretive, as she bides her time and undoubtedly seeks further concessions from Premier McGuinty beyond those already offered to her through the permanent delay on corporate tax cuts. Horwath plans on holding a convention in Hamilton, Ontario, April 13-15 where she claims she is eager to hear her supporters’ thoughts on the budget.
Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak was blunt toward the Premier and his budget, referring to its wording as, “The language of evasion.” In his Queens Park address, Hudak forcefully stated that the budget had failed jobless Ontarians in two ways. “It’s the fact” employed a passionate Hudak, “that the budget actually makes things worse for the job creators who could help get our 600,000 unemployed men and women back to work.” Hudak pegged this on the removal of the next round of business tax reductions during this current economic downturn. The second major shortfall of the budget, Hudak insists, is that, “it does far too little to steer us off the path toward a massive, $30 billion deficit and a looming $411 billion debt.” Hudak and his caucus have vowed to vote against this budget.