Government ignores input againApril 6, 2016
QUEEN’S PARK – The Wynne government has again shown that it has no intention of listening to Ontarians by pushing Bill 173, the budget bill, through Committee unamended, Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli said today.
Specifically, amendments proposed by the Official Opposition aimed to strengthen oversight and transparency regarding the use of cap-and-trade revenue, avoid removal of tax credits that benefit children, families and seniors, avoid tax increases on wine, and ensure that Ontario seniors aren’t paying more for drug costs. No amendments were approved as the government majority on the Committee voted to defeat them.
“The budget bill contains a loophole for the use of cap-and-trade revenue, similar to the loophole allowing Hydro One revenue, earmarked for transit, to be used to lower the deficit,” said Fedeli.
“This reaffirms the Financial Accountability Officer’s assertion surrounding use of one-time money to reduce the deficit, and that it will be difficult to balance after 2017-18 – conveniently right after the next election.”
Despite receiving recommendations for changes at post-budget Committee hearings, the government introduced no amendments of their own to Bill 173, which will receive Third Reading debate and be voted on early next week. The fact the government had completed the budget prior to pre-budget consultations is well-documented, Fedeli added.
“It’s clear the Wynne government still isn’t listening. The bottom line is that life will simply get more unaffordable for Ontarians with this budget,” concluded Fedeli.