The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Opposition parties warn Liberals will hike taxes or cut jobs to balance budget

  • Print

TORONTO - Ontario's Liberals may have won a majority June 12, but they have no plan to eliminate a $12.5 billion deficit without cutting jobs or raising taxes, the opposition parties charged Monday.

In the first question period of the summer session, the Tories and NDP pounced on last week's decision by Moody's to lower Ontario's credit outlook to negative while expressing concerns about the province's ability to balance the books by 2017-18.

Both opposition parties said the Liberals have limited options to stem the flow of red ink on schedule: hike taxes, cut jobs or sell assets, but instead plan billions of dollars in new spending.

"This government spending spree will dig us into such a deep hole that some day we won't be able to afford the basic things we all care about, like health care and education," said interim Progressive Conservative Leader Jim Wilson.

"Premier, just be honest ... what other front-line services are you going to cut or what taxes are you going to increase?"

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said "economists are telling people to brace for the worst" because there are big holes in the Liberal budget that have not been explained.

"Does the premier accept that anyone who has taken a look at the numbers behind the Liberal plan sees that there is a major gap," asked Horwath.

"When is the premier going to level with Ontarians about the cuts, the layoffs and the asset sales that they can expect to see from this government's Trojan horse budget?"

Premier Kathleen Wynne defended the Liberal plan to increase spending on public transit, infrastructure projects and corporate grants, and took exception to Horwath's claim that the Liberals have a "huge credibility gap" in their budget.

"She based her plan on exactly the same fiscal foundation as we did, (and) for her to stand up now and to distance herself from that is ridiculous," said Wynne.

"The fact is we know that there are challenges ahead, but we also know that we must make the investments that are necessary in order to build this province up and to help this economy grow."

Outside the legislature, Horwath told reporters the NDP campaign platform had key proposals to increase tax revenues that the Liberals did not include in their plan.

"We clearly talked about closing those huge corporate tax loopholes that are coming next year, and we talked about a slight up tick in the corporate tax rate," she said.

Wynne "dodged" questions about how many jobs the Liberals would have to be cut to eliminate the deficit or what government assets would be sold, added Horwath.

"I'm quite shocked that the premier didn't clearly set out a response that gives people relief over their concerns about those issues," she said.

"Ontarians need to hear from the premier what her intentions are to be able to get to that balanced budget."

Wilson complained that Wynne's refusal to give clear answers on how the books will be balanced was more of "the same Liberal arrogance that we've had for 11 years," and called on the premier to "be straightforward" with the public.

"When most of every dollar spent in government is on salaries and benefits, you can't possibly balance the books without affecting people and their jobs," he said.

"We worried that they're not setting priorities, and are going on a spatter-across-the-board spending spree."

The rare summer session began on a positive note, with all three party leaders congratulating each other and all members who were re-elected last month.

"Premier, congratulations to you and your government," said Wilson. "And best wishes, but not too many best wishes."

The three parties are also fighting over the make up of legislative committees, with the Liberals demanding six of the nine seats on each committee but the Tories and NDP say the government should get only five seats.

Follow @CPnewsboy on Twitter

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Willy wants to get back to winning

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A goose flys defensively to protect their young Wednesday near Kenaston Blvd and Waverley -See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 16 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A Canada goose makes takes flight on Wilkes Ave Friday afternoon- See Bryksa’s 30 Day goose a day challenge- Day 09- May 11, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Are you worried Ebola might make its way to Canada?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google