Leader Patrick Brown Outlines Recommendations for Upcoming Budget

Published on February 17, 2016

QUEEN’S PARK – Today, Leader of the Official Opposition Patrick Brown alongside members of the Ontario PC Caucus outlined three recommendations the people of Ontario deserve to see represented in the upcoming budget, which is set to be released on February 25th. These recommendations will be debated in the Legislature next week, after they are introduced through an opposition day motion.

The three recommendations are a credible plan to make energy affordable in Ontario, ensuring proper management of Ontario's health care system, and a credible plan to balance the budget.

“I have been travelling every corner of the province and listening relentlessly to the concerns of average Ontarians. Most recently, this included knocking on doors and talking to constituents in Whitby-Oshawa,” said Leader Patrick Brown. “The most common themes I am hearing center around Ontario’s skyrocketing energy prices, cuts to front-line health care services, and Ontario’s unsustainable and growing debt.”

“I hope the government seriously considers all of the valuable input they received through pre-budget hearings, public consultations, and the recommendations brought forward by the opposition parties,” concluded Brown. “The three recommendations the PC Caucus has outlined are very reasonable requests which will make life more affordable for Ontario families, and improve health and social services. I look forward to working closely with the Government to ensure this budget is in the best interests of all Ontarians.”

Key Points

Recommendation #1: A credible plan to make energy affordable, which shall include halting any further sale of shares in Hydro One.

  • Ontario has among the highest energy rates in North America. Since the Liberal Government was elected, hydro costs have increased by more than $1,000 per year on the average family, and an additional 42% increase is expected between 2013 and 2018.

Recommendation #2: A plan to properly manage Ontario’s health care system which shall include reversing the current and planned cuts to doctors, nurses and hospitals.

  • Cuts to health care in Ontario have meant that patients are not receiving the quality health care services they deserve. In Ontario we have seen a $815-million cut to physician services, $50-million in cuts to physiotherapy services for seniors, the loss of 50 medical residency positions, and a total cut of $54-million in health care funding from the 2015 Spring budget.

Recommendation #3: A credible plan to balance the budget, and immediate action to pay down the debt.

  • The Financial Accountability Officer’s report on the economic and fiscal outlook of Ontario found that the Liberal Government has no real plan to balance the budget. If revenue and spending continue as they have for the past four years, the Liberal Government will run a deficit of $3.5 billion in 2017-2018. Ontario government’s debt has grown by 91 per cent in less than 10 years — the highest rate of growth of any federal or provincial government in Canada. The interest on Ontario’s debt for 2015-2016 is estimated to be $11.3-billion, which is the equivalent of a year of long-term care for 222,043 seniors, 44,120 beds in a palliative care unit for one year, 40,347 hospital beds for one year, 169,052,488 MRI scans.