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Cutting Ontario’s Services?

Last week, Premier Dalton McGuinty proved he does have a sense of humor, when his Government’s hand-picked “cut-meister” Don Drummond, published a set of ideas for ways the Government could save money and avert a financial apocalypse that is predicted for Ontario.

The list of cuts is broad in spectrum, and heavy-handed at best, and at worst it is Big “C” Conservatism (if not totalitarianism), but will these cuts actually transpire as they have been laid out?

A simple cursory view of the carnage that is predicted, will be no, for several reasons, but a few that I can think of would be:

  • It recommends ending all day kindergarten (recommendation 6-11), which is Dalton McGuinty’s baby, so that is not going anywhere (unless the conservatives get into power).
  • Cut funding of education system which would force more parents to have to pay for more supplies (recommendation 6-17). Seriously? We are going to make parents pay more for PUBLIC schools?
  • Cutting school bus funding (recommendation 6-16), I think that is a great idea, since I have had to pay for my kids’ busing costs for years (8 to be exact).
  • Plenty of really interesting discussions about alternate care ideas in the medical system and how to cut costs (Section 5 of the recommendations). There are so many, I don’t dare mention them. The best quote I can give you is:
    • The quality of care can and should be enhanced despite the need to restrain increased spending; the objectives of quality care and cost restraint must go hand in hand.
      WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? We should have a great system, even though we are going to cut the hell out of it?!?
  • Section 7 for post secondary institutions is effectively fantasy, imploring Universities to break existing bargained agreements with staff ( 7-2 ) and also to fire incompetent teachers (7-10), it’s fun to read.
  • Social Programs you ask? Section 8 starts with:
    • Hold growth in social programs spending to 0.5 per cent per year.
      And the best of British luck to you on that one.
  •  Get to Section 12 about Infrastructure and real estate and you are treated to the following tid bits:
    • Implement full cost pricing for water and wastewater services.
    • Eliminate the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit as quickly as possible.
    • etc., etc., etc.,

As can be read, this is a broad axe cutting across the board. The tactic is quite simple, scare the living hell out of everyone, so they all start fighting for their programs, and then implement modest cuts, in areas already known and look less nasty because of it.

The only wrinkle here is that Heir McGuinty does not have a majority, so he is going to need to find some accomplices for his little farce. Wonder who will walk across the floor to join in?

Anyone care to disagree?

Feel Free to Comment

  1. It is true that there is no democracy in here. For example, toronto want subway. However, the council does not. It does not matter how much we who live in toronto want subway instead of LRT, as long as the councils are the one who vote, we have no subway. It is funny because those people probaby do not even take the subway! For me, may be just me. I would rather to have dirty washroom and platform in the station and have new subway line built. We have all the time in the world to clean the washroom, but the cost for building subway is going to go up every year for sure. Once the crappy LRT is build and is slowing down all the traffic, it is already too late to take it out and build the subway.
    I think the health system in ontario is crappy. I feel that it is a scam. We pay so much in it. For instance, when I have one tiny hair got into my ear, and my family doctor told me he saw the hair and think it may be the cause of I hearing noises when I rub my ear. He still manage to take 3 tubes of blood from me and test. The only reason I can think of is he is going to get some money for that. At one point, I was thinking he is going to sell my blood. The health system is just so abused that the doctor will tell you to check this and that for no obvious reason. People do not care because they do not need to pay for this. Instead, they pay for it in the tax dollars.
    Also, I think the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit is a joke. The home owner renovate their home using tax payer’s money. We are going to use more expensive energy source to generate hydro.
    It is all for political reason, not to create a greener world. For example, in the green energy show, we are promoting all the green products. When I get to the food court, they are using polystyrene cups and plates. And you say that it is a green energy show?!
    The governement get reward by spending more money. For example, department A will have their budget cut next year if they do not finish all the money they have because people will find out they do not need so much money. Under this circumstance, how can the structure of government be efficient?
    Also, there’s so much secretacy in Canada. We have a hard time finding out how the tax payer’s money was spent. It is a norm for them to use our money to go for a vacation and good good, or party. We just won’t be able to find out about it.

  2. The signs of change are looming on the horizon like thunderclouds…..but why is it always at the cost of the “little guy.” Did no one else find it ironic that the last words that were uttered at the tail end of the recommendations were “there were to be no cuts across the board,” which says to me “let’s leave the government alone to continue to waste our money.” How can they still not be held responsible for wasting millions of health care funds on the e-health scandal? How can our doctors continue to be the highest paid in Canada, yet we don’t have enough doctors for everyone? Here in the Niagara region, a lot of people have died from chronic outbreaks of C. Difficile and nothing is done except excuses for trying to find a better way of cleaning. This chronic condition continued for months!

    From all the parents I’ve talked to, they’d be happy for their 4 year old’s NOT to have to attend full day kindergarten yet McGinty is determined to make it work. There’s definitely no democracy in all this. I think it should be made totally democratic and allow the taxpayers to make the recommendations for the cuts….:-) Just my humble opinion.


  3. It’s called “living within your means” and not spending what you don’t have (by borrowing).

    Herr McGuinty will see the glory when the credit rating agencies come calling. I wonder if he knows how to spell “Greece”.

    No, it doesn’t take a village. Just mom & dad.

  4. This is scary. I do think there are major areas of inefficiencies though that need to be examined. Apparently our doctors are the highest paid in the country. As soon as this was brought to light, commercials on behalf of the Doctor’s Unions started airing during every commercial break. I do think Dr’s need to be paid well- their compensation needs to fall in line with the crappy hours they (are supposed to) work as well as the high cost and time commitment of education that they are required to have. However, Ontario doesn’t cost the most to live in so why are our Dr’s the highest paid in the country? How are the Doctors in Vancouver able to live? This is just one area that I’ve thought about recently and obviously I’m no expert. I am intrigued by the budget cuts as I would like to see our province’s financial situation improve but I am scared about how they will affect me.

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