2016 Budget: Another Disappointment Once Again

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As we all are aware, yesterday, February 25th, the Liberal government presented their 2016 budget. In the lead up to the budget, New Democrats travelled the province and spoke to Ontarians about their primary concerns. Ontarians were hoping for a bigger and better change towards the economy, healthcare and education; unfortunately we will see the opposite. Similar to last year’s budget, the liberals made many promises for a brighter future, yet none were kept. The words look good on paper, but we know too well that their actions will not reflect any real change.

We are all hoping that this budget would make for more jobs, better healthcare, and a great support for families across Ontario. Premier Wynne, unfortunately, forgot all about those important aspects. What we will be seeing in fact are fewer jobs, day by day. How ironic is it that the budget is called “Jobs for Today and Tomorrow.” The liberals love twisting facts around to make things seem positive for us. Phrases such as “Free Education”, “Lower Costs” flood the headlines, but that is all for a price. Students’ families who make less than the projected amount will receive help to pay for their school; however what is the cost for that? Gas, wine, and healthcare costs are going to increase. The price to fill up our gas tank will increase to the point to where it is inconvenient to drive. In Northern Ontario, we have to drive, especially seeing as the province has already dismantled our rail. Many seniors have medical needs that need to be attended. Pills and treatments that are needed in order to get better will nearly double in price. Under the Ontario Drug Benefit Program, the annual deductible for most seniors will have increased from $100 to $170, as well as the co-pays will have increased from $6.11 to $7.11. Why should we, especially elders on a fixed income have to suffer and struggle to pay for their own medication? With this new budget being proposed, it is going to be more of a challenge to make ends meet.

Another huge proponent of our lives is education. Liberals are indeed cutting cuts to education, to the point where kids are freezing and uncomfortable in the classroom and have to wear their winter coats just to sit in class. Parents, myself included, want to know that when our children go to school they are in safe and comfortable learning environment. Why should schools have to cut costs to the point where heating is not available to our children when needed? Just this year alone, Liberals have cut $430 million from education, and over the past three years, cumulatively, approximately $1.1 billion has been cut out of our children’s education. Vital resources and supports that our students need are being cut out of their daily lives.

After talking to many Ontarians about Hydro-One, our nations’ largest electricity transmission and distribution utility which serves our provinces, more than 80% of people have been against the sell-off of it! However, what are the Liberals doing? Everything but that! They are doing nothing, I repeat, nothing to stop the sell-off. If we continue to let them make decisions for our government, Hydro-One could be gone in the next few years.

Yet another year where the budget has been presented, but nothing seems to change. A bunch of promises being made, but not being kept. This government has missed out on important targets that should have been key. Among those are job creations, in which instead of building the job sector in our nation, job projections are down by 60,000; GDP growth, employment growth, exports, and lastly, the business investment. What’s next for Ontario?

As always, please feel free to contact my office about this issue or any other provincial matters. You can reach my constituency office by email at [email protected] or by phone at 705-461-9710/1-800-831-1899.

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