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This will affect you - for good or bad, election or not

Wednesday, April 30, 2014   by: Rick McGee

For the third straight year, Ontario’s minority Liberal government is about to bring forward a budget needing oppsition help to ensure passage and avoid a provincial election.

Ontario Treasurer Charles Sousa will formally table his fiscal plan in the Ontario Legislature at 4 p.m. on May 1.

According to a leaked document and other reports, it's expected the 2014-15 budget will identify expenditures that include:

• $29 billion over 10 years for transportation and transit upgrades. The biggest chunk - $15 billion - will be used to ease congestion in the Toronto-Hamilton area. The remaining nearly $14 billion will be spread across the rest of the province

• $11.4 billion over 10 years for expansion and redevelopment at 40 hospitals

• $2.5 billion over 10 years for corporate grants to attract business to the province

• $2 billion for school repairs

• $1 billion for Ring of Fire development in Northwestern Ontario

• $730 million over three years to improve wait list times for Ontarians requiring developmental services

• $280 million to provide a $4-an-hour pay increase (to $16.50 ) over the next two years for personal support workers providing care for the elderly

• $269 million over two years to boost wages (by $2 an hour) for daycare workers employed in licensed settings

• $160 million to support a July 2014 Ontario Child Benefit increase of $100 (bringing the total to $1,310) and a July 2015 inflationary increase

• $85 million over three years for In-Vitro Fertilization

• $35 million to expand school breakfast programs.

It’s also expected that the Liberals want to divert 7.5 cents of the current provincial tax on gas and diesel to transit.

Further, measures to help Ontarians with “retirement security” are anticipated, as are restrictions on tax credits for big corporations and the elimination of fuel tax exemptions for construction companies.

Sousa is also likely to identify “certain asset sales” to help out on the revenue side, with possible impacts on the LCBO, Hydro One and/or Ontario Power Generation.

Tax increases for those earning $150,000 and more are intended, too.

Smokers should also get ready to pay more, if the budget is passed.

The same may apply to air travellers since the government would increase the tax on aviation fuel over the next several years.

Even with new revenues, Premier Kathleen Wynne and company would need to borrow billions of dollars and increase the provincial debt to support planned expenditures that include $5.7 billion in new spending.

Sousa has said the new deficit would be bigger than the $11.3 billion total for 2013-14.

Budget defeat means June election

With budget day at hand, considerable attention and pressure are on NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.

Without NDP support, the budget won’t be passed, the government will fall and a June election will follow.

The Liberals must survive votes on the budget motion and the budget bill to carry on.

The PCs under Tim Hudak have made it clear they won’t be providing their endorsement.

Horwath has already said the NDP will take time to review the budgetary details and consult with Ontarians before deciding how to proceed.

A year ago, the Liberals gave in to several NDP demands to ensure passage of the 2013-14 budget and remain in power.

Some pundits began referring to "the Andrea Horwath budget” because so much of the Wynne government's plan originated with the province's third party.

Key NDP initiatives adopted by the Liberals included:

• A 15 percent reduction in auto insurance rates

• Reduced home care wait times and wait time guarantees

• Funding and programs to reduce youth unemployment

• Reduced employment barriers for Ontarians receiving Social Assistance.

If an election ends up being called, June 19 has emerged as the probable date.

Recent polling suggests the PCs and Liberals have the best chances to win.

But the likelihood of a majority government of any stripe seems remote, at this point anyway.

Comments
17
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Mr. Poster 4/30/2014 8:40:43 PM Report

OK...WHERE DO I VOTE....LETS GET ON WITH THE INEVITABLE.
shorty38 4/30/2014 8:48:35 PM Report

The sooner the better, lets getter done.
Twistinwrenches 4/30/2014 9:01:30 PM Report

Time for an election to throw out the most corrupt government in Ontario`s history !!!!
Mr. Poster 4/30/2014 9:27:27 PM Report

David O is no better than McGuinty as he has been part of this corrupt government and supported it all the way
He now has to pay the price for not supporting US..
harry dick 4/30/2014 9:31:28 PM Report

More tax on fuel. this is getting ridiculous. We supply the U.S. with 60% of it's fuel and have sold off some of the oil sands to China , which means that we have a lot more than we need , and still the government keeps raising the tax on gasoline and diesel {including kerosene} .I am thankful that I live in a border town so I can save about $.90 a gallon filling up in the U.SA. It is becoming to a point where we will have to sell our boats , atv's and snow machines because we won't be able to afford gasoline for them . If I lived in a large city like Toronto I could use the subway and trains and not need a vehicle , but in the north there isn't that option available to us. We need to drop the price of fuel in this country . I know that the oil companies are making Billions on the sale of it and the Federal and Provincial governments are also making billions on it . It has to stop somewhere!!!
Mr. Poster 4/30/2014 9:40:11 PM Report

The government will never give up taxes on alcohol...cigs...and gasoline. They need them to support their spending.
harry dick 4/30/2014 9:42:32 PM Report

If the government sells Ontario Power Generation and Hydro One and big business gets hold of it , we will be paying a lot more for electricity in the future . This will probably come from delivery and storage costs. {I do not believe that you can store electricity}These private companies invent ways to charge the consumer more money all the time and put billions into their pockets. Look at all the supposedly "green power installations in the Soo in the last few years . Most of this power is being sold to the U.S. market and the companies are making us pay for the building of them by higher electricity prices and delivery charges all the time. If the Ontario Government privatizes these companies , it would be better if we all quit our jobs and went on welfare . It would be a lot cheaper for all of us.
ShawnM 5/1/2014 12:02:12 AM Report

All I have to say is bring on an election... should be able to tell in the next few days if orders start coming in at work from the parties, usually means there is an election coming...
sunnie 5/1/2014 3:30:26 AM Report

Why did our community build the Solar Farms? You would think that our electricity would go down, not up. I say bring on the vote.
MYPOINT 5/1/2014 6:57:43 AM Report

is as follows .... When the promises start flooding our area, you can almost be guaranteed than an election is coming in the very near future - aka 'buying votes! The next question we have to ask ourselves is simply ... " Which party will rip us off the least?"
Personally, I believe that prior to any election being called , there must be some sort of 'recall' system in place so we can 'fire' any politician who does not keep his or her word. Will this happen in my lifetime? I seriously doubt it because no politician wants to be forced to actually keep his or her promises during any kind of election period.
Your view may differ of course :)
S.Claus 5/1/2014 7:34:44 AM Report

If the Liberals are predicting at least a 11.3 BILLION dollar deficit - better expect at least 2 or 3 times that amount. (math is not their strong suit - based on history)

How about a BALANCED budget. If the Budget is not balanced - the MPP's do not get paid.

What steps have been taken to pay off previous deficits?

Time to make those RESPONSIBLE also ACCOUNTABLE.

Remember - it is OUR money they are looking at spending or PROMISING to spend.
StrictlyConfidential 5/1/2014 12:39:49 PM Report

It is not just the price of gas that is exorbitant, but power, food, all the necessities. An election won't solve anything. The cost of living far exceeds most wages. When is enough, enough?
learningaswego 5/1/2014 1:04:48 PM Report

Relax people; unless Wynne calls an election herself, it ain't on.
HorWath and the Dippers will just delay and talk the usual bs about "we're going to ask Ontarians....." because:

a) they don't actually want an election because they can't win - AND

b) because they don't really have the solutions AND

c) HorWath and the Dippers know how to criticize, but that's ALL they know; and the thought of actually having to make the hard decisions and have others criticize THEM, scares the crap out of them.
BigDaddy 5/1/2014 1:27:50 PM Report

I'm a very high tax payer....nothing in this budget helps me. BTW, MAY 1, electricity rates also went up. What idiot policitian increases rates on the day of the budget...wow. Too stupid to even stay in power.

Bring on an Election!
Prrrrrrr 5/1/2014 2:16:55 PM Report

I just drove to Sudbury to have an extensive back surgery that took almost six hours on the table, was sent home in my vehicle the third day after surgery with no nursing care visit at all ordered, got home 6 pm Friday after being released at 1:30 pm from Sudbury. No commode, no walker....pretty sure the operation cost a bundle, why ruin it by not having some aftercare. Nobody should ever have to leave a hospital and drive that distance and have no help when they arrive. It should be mandatory for the hospital to set that all up! The people of the North can stay here and take that shit. I'm moving once I can walk freely. I'm joining the highly populated areas, where you have service and hospital personal who actually care. There's nothing to be proud of living in the North, we are a joke to the rest of the population. It's not like we are even allowed to fish or hunt to make up the difference. We pay higher fuel costs, food costs...everything including health care costs more and you get less!!!
Prrrrrrr 5/1/2014 2:19:05 PM Report

Why would Wynne call an election? That's the only way she could get that job, there is NO WAY they will get back in. I do like David and his work, I wish he would switch teams!!!!
rotciv 5/2/2014 1:34:26 PM Report

We have to stop the Liberals , the moron Sousa plans to sell our power plants to the people who run Bruce power , but do you know Bruce power is owned by Trans Canada who are American and who also own the Keystone pipeline and as well a large portion of the tar sands , all that means for people in Canada and Ontario is, pay more for hydro,gas, and heating fuel while subsidizing lower energy costs for Americans . Who is that idiot think he is . His intentions are to sell the hydro plants to pay for Toronto's transit system . The money wasted on the gas plants would have easily paid for that .What about the rest of the people in the province are we just a number to these fools.It is just a shift of money for the purpose of retaining votes . The worse part is that Americans will own the majority of the hydro companies in Ontario. The Liberals have no conscience and no idea how budget our tax dollars . They were not voted in to act like irresponsible teenagers with a fistful of money that isn't there to spend . It is not theirs to begin with.It is time to get rid of the problems in this Province the Liberals and the Conservative parties along with their two faced politicians.
Comments
17
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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