Mixed reactions to Ontario budget announcement

HURON-BRUCE – Mixed reactions followed the release of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government’s recent budget announcement, which local Liberal candidate Shelley Blackmore says is an “election platform, not a real budget that addresses the needs of Ontarians.”

“For those of us who live in rural Ontario, this budget does not offer much in the way of long-term solutions to the issues that matter most to the constituents of Huron-Bruce,” Blackmore said.

Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson (Conservative) issued a statement on April 29, saying the province’s budget is “a plan to get things done.”

“It is a plan that builds on the significant investments our government has made across the province and here in Huron – Bruce over the last four years,” she said.

Thompson said Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy’s 2022 Budget – Ontario’s Plan to Build has five pillars:

– rebuilding Ontario’s economy;

– working for workers;

– key infrastructure;

– keeping costs down; and

– a plan to stay open.

“This is a budget for Ontario and it is a budget for Huron-Bruce,” Thompson said.

Thompson added that “several key components within the five pillars will help deliver better jobs and higher paychecks for workers, help keep costs down for families, and get shovels in the ground for highways, transit, hospitals, and other key infrastructure.”

Thompson highlighted some of the budget components, like an 50-cent per hour increase in the minimum wage, tax credits, lower childcare fees, a decrease in gas prices in July, and billions of dollars in upgrades to hospitals and highways.

“Making historic investments in hospitals with an additional $ 3.3 billion in 2022–23, bringing the total additional investments in hospitals to $ 8.8 billion since 2018–19. The government is also investing $ 3.5 billion over three years to support the continuation of over 3,000 hospital beds put in place during the pandemic and $ 1.1 billion over three years to support the continuation of hundreds of new adult, pediatric and neonatal critical care beds added during COVID -19, ”Thompson said.

Blackmore felt differently about that particular part of the budget.

“Despite being the largest expenditure ever announced by a government, it falls short in so many areas,” Blackmore said, “It is based solely on the construction of infrastructure with no investments in people to improve working conditions and quality of life.”

Blackmore added, “This budget does not address climate change, the long-term care crisis, shortfalls to ODSP, nor support for post-secondary education.

“There are huge investments in transportation in urban areas, but no mention of assistance for the lack of transportation in rural communities.”

Blackmore went on to say that although Ford will build hospitals, he has not addressed healthcare staffing shortages. In addition, while he invests in school buildings, this does not improve student learning because they still need more professionals to support them.

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horvath also commented on the budget,

Instead of fixing what’s broken, Doug Ford is signaling that he’d make at least $ 2.7 billion in deeper cuts to things like health care, long-term care, home care, and education, and do nothing to relieve the cost of living and price of housing, ”Horvath said.

“Now is the time to invest in better care and significant hiring in healthcare and education. This is the time to make it easier for everyday families to afford everyday life. People need homes they can afford and fewer big expenses now. ”

Added Horvath, “Families are struggling with long, painful waits for health care. Our parents and grandparents are living in horrible conditions in broken long-term care and home care systems. And working folks are stretching every dollar to try to keep up with skyrocketing prices – for homes, food, gas, and more.

“But it’s clearer than ever that Doug Ford will keep choosing his buddies over the rest of us, and people will keep paying the price. There’s no plan to make life more affordable in this budget, and Ford is signaling that he plans to cut deeper, pushing health care and education past the breaking point. “


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