Ontario – another year older and deeper in debt Bankrupt budget neglects area economy

For Immediate Release:
March 25, 2010

Queens Park – An Ontario budget announcing a $21.3 billion deficit leaves Ontario residents and business further behind the eight-ball while neglecting Haldimand-Norfolk area concerns altogether according to local MPP Toby Barrett.

“Today’s budget makes it clear that Dalton McGuinty still believes he can tax and spend
his way out of a recession,” remarked Barrett. “If there’s one thing that the last six years of McGuinty spending practices makes clear, it’s that this government’s tax and spend habits lead only one direction; down.

“From first to worst – today’s spending plan shows us just how much lower this government can go as a have-not province.”

At its current pace, the McGuinty government is on course to double Ontario’s debt by 2012-2013 meaning more unemployment and less money for health, education and other government services.

Meantime, Barrett lamented the continued refusal of government to address significant issues impacting the area.

“While over one thousand steelworkers remain on the picket line, today’s budget makes no mention at all of a strategy for primary industry, the steel industry or any other related industries – and no mention of help for our farmers,” Barrett reported. “Meantime, south of the border, ‘buy American’ provisions, ‘Country of origin labeling” and BSE related measures are putting our industries and our farmers at a further competitive disadvantage with our largest trading partner.”

Barrett noted that other initiatives noted announced in the budget raise flags in rural Ontario.

“Stakeholders tell us the new hospital funding formula in typical McGuinty fashion would choose winners and losers – and we in rural Ontario know all too well what end of the stick we end up with under this government,” stated Barrett. “And I remain concerned that the cupboard is bare when it comes to funding the government’s all-day kindergarten scheme that has the Grand Erie District School Board, for example, bracing for a $500,000 funding shortfall.”

Barrett noted that while rural needs were being ignored once more, the budget made no mention of an Opposition amendment to rescind severance payments for HST workers – as a result more than 1,250 provincial tax collectors, who will move over to the federal tax department will get up to a six month pay bonanza.

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For more information, please contact MPP Toby Barrett at
(519) 428-0446 or (905)-765-8413, 1-800-903-8629