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April 13, 2016

QUEEN’S PARK – Today’s passage of Bill 173, the budget bill, will mean that life will become more unaffordable for Ontarians, Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli said today.

Despite receiving recommendations for changes at post-budget Committee hearings, the government introduced no amendments to Bill 173, which received final passage without the support of the Official Opposition.

“We’re not able to support a Budget that makes life more unaffordable, uncompetitive and unsustainable for Ontarians,” said Fedeli.

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,” added 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.”

“It’s clear the Wynne government does not have a credible plan for the province, now or for the future. The people of Ontario deserve better,” concluded Fedeli.

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