Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker, alongside his PC caucus colleagues last week, released their key budget requests that would give Ontarians cheaper energy rates, better frontline health-care services and put the province on a path to paying down the debt.
“All three recommendations are reasonable, responsible, and achievable. But most importantly, they are the priorities of my constituents and what the people in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound need and want this government to address immediately,” MPP Walker said.
The province’s auditor general has already slammed the Liberal government for the litany of waste and mismanagement, all mistakes that are costing Ontarians billions in lost core public services.
“It’s unjustifiable that their mistakes have translated into Ontario ratepayers paying the highest energy price in North America and that over the next 18 years, we will be essentially overcharged $133 billion above and beyond what the electricity is supposed to cost to generate and distribute,” said MPP Walker.
He also said the government’s abysmal mismanagement is resulting in unprecedented cuts to health care services, adding the impact of their decisions are starting to be seen at the frontlines.
“These recommendations are part of our effort to ensure that this government doesn’t cut another $54 million in health care funding as it did in last year’s budget, leaving patients without the care and services they need and deserve,” he said. “I sincerely hope the government will accept them and show that they took the pre-budget hearings and public consultations seriously. I would prefer to see money going to help people than to paying interest on their growing debt,” said MPP Walker.
Key Points in the PC recommendations:
Recommendation #1:A credible plan to make energy affordable, which includes halting any further sale of shares in Hydro One.
Ontario has among the highest energy rates in North America. Since the Liberal government was elected, hydro costs have increased by more than $1,000 per year for the average family, and an additional 42% increase is expected between 2013 and 2018.
Recommendation #2:A plan to properly manage Ontario’s health care system, including reversing the current and planned cuts to doctors, nurses and hospitals.
Cuts to health care in Ontario have meant that patients are not receiving the quality health care services they deserve. In Ontario we have seen a $815 million cut to physician services, $50 million in cuts to physiotherapy services for seniors, the loss of 50 medical residency positions, and a total cut of $54 million in health care funding from the 2015 Spring budget.
Recommendation #3:A credible plan to balance the budget, and immediate action to pay down the debt.
The Financial Accountability Officer’s report on the economic and fiscal outlook of Ontario found that the Liberal government has no real plan to balance the budget. If revenue and spending continue as they have for the past four years, the Liberal government will run a deficit of $3.5 billion in 2017-2018. Ontario government debt has grown by 91 per cent in less than 10 years - the highest rate of growth of any federal or provincial government in Canada. The interest on Ontario’s debt for 2015-2016 is estimated to be $11.3 billion, which is the equivalent of a year of long-term care for 222,043 seniors, 44,120 beds in a palliative care unit for one year, 40,347 hospital beds for one year, 169,052,488 MRI scans.