After what Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill walker called “a seven-day-long soap opera involving the governing Liberals and the NDP,” the Ontario budget finally passed in the legislature yesterday.
The final vote on the budget today went exactly as the vote on second reading of the budget had gone with the governing Liberals voting in favour, the opposition Progressive Conservatives voting against it and the NDP refusing to vote.
Walker said the budget vote tally proves that the Liberal and NDP week-long posturing was all for show and scoring political points; it was not about reining in this government’s chronic overspending and kick-starting job creation.
“The vote today was identical to the vote at second reading, which confirms the two parties did it for partisan reasons; not what was in the best interest of Ontarians,” Walker said.
Walker said the budget itself is bad for Ontario as it delivered more tax hikes and no job action for Ontarians.
“This government has not saved a penny since the last election and has chosen to continue spending more than it generates in revenue. The reality of the situation is 14 of 24 ministries will realize increased spending in 2012, despite the fact the fact this will result in a $15.3 billion deficit. The Liberals are mortgaging the future of our children and grand-children in an effort to remain in power,” said Walker, adding the budget puts the sustainability of priorities Ontarians care most about - such as quality health care and excellence in education at risk.
Walker said his party’s plan as presented to Premier Dalton McGuinty at the outset demanded urgent action to stop the overspending and get the province’s economic fundamentals right – things like lower business taxes, a job creation plan, affordable energy and more flexible and responsive regulation.
Walker said the Premier and the finance minister refuse to acknowledge that over the last eight years they’ve spent Ontario into a black hole. He said: “The situation is bleak and yet the Premier continues down the same path. The budget contains more tax hikes, more spending, more deficits and more debt. Instead of actually dealing with Ontario’s looming debt situation, the government chose to kick the can down the road.”
“We, my Progressive Conservative colleagues believe there is a better way. We want to signal to investors that Ontario is again a desirable place to locate, to expand, and to create good jobs,” Walker said. “We have to change paths if we are to move Ontario forward.”
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