Liberals and NDP vote against alternatives to public sector layoffs and program cuts

For immediate release:
June 7, 2012

QUEEN’S PARK — A union of NDP and McGuinty government members blocked Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett’s attempts to provide alternatives to public sector layoffs and program cuts in the Ontario Legislature this afternoon.

Barrett’s Bill 94 was shot down by the joint Liberal – NDP voting bloc, outnumbering MPP Barrett’s Progressive Conservative colleagues.

Preceding the vote, Barrett led debate on his private members bill titled, An Act to address Ontario’s debt through alternatives to public sector layoffs and government program cuts while reducing the fiscal pressure on the people of Ontario who are having trouble paying their bills.
“We are at a crossroads in Ontario – the road of unconstrained spending is running headlong into the road of fiscal and economic reality, paving the way toward the predicted $411.4 billion debt,” Barrett noted as he made the case for Bill 94. “It’s time to hit the brakes before we slam head-on into this massive wall of debt….turn around, your children and grandchildren are in the backseat!
“Ontarians have always been conflicted – railing that their taxes are too high but demanding the broadest possible and highest-quality services,” continued Barrett. “and politicians of all stripes have exploited this conflict by making sweeping promises to provide all things to all, and then gaming the system to postpone payment of the inevitable bill. That bill is coming due.”
Bill 94 would have amended the Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act, 1993 to allow government to act immediately to address compensation paid to the Ontario Public Service and the broader public sector, including health and education. The bill also recognizes government’s legal duty to consult fully with those employees and the bargaining agents representing them, and to negotiate with them constructively and in good faith
“Politicians have for years approved generous contracts for their public employees in exchange for support at the polls and campaign contributions from the unions that represent those employees,” Barrett argued. “It’s been a mutually-beneficial symbiotic relationship, but as we see in headlines and our bottom lines, the chickens have come home to roost.
“The people of Ontario understand this, they are calling for action, they are calling for a plan,” concluded Barrett. “It’s time to take a stand on behalf of the people we work for – because the voters and the taxpayers are ahead of the politicians on this one!”
Given the government directed vote, the politicians continue to lag behind in Ontario.
For more information, please contact MPP Toby Barrett at: (416) 325-8404,
(519) 428-0446 or 1-800-903-8629