Liberal-NDP Majority Government™ budget (cont'd.)

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Doug

M. Spector wrote:

Governments don't have to borrow money from the rich. They can tax it from them.

 

There's life (and money) outside Ontario. This isn't to say there's no room for additional taxes on the wealthy aside from what was done but it isn't unlimited and isn't likely to be able to eliminate the deficit on its own.

Freedom 55

Boom Boom wrote:

I think it was Fidel who made the astute observation that Andrea should have substantial input into the next Budget in March or April 2013.

Not that I agreed with the premise in the first place, but...

If the Liberals get have their shit together in [url=http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1169520--mpp-elizabe... the NDP could very well find themselves with NO ability to influence next year's budget. This might have been their one and only shot, and they blew it.

Stockholm

The NDP could easily win the byelection in Kitchener-Waterloo too. If the Liberals manage to win it - it will be as clear a sign as any that they would have won back their majority in a province-wide general election.

Freedom 55

I think it's difficult to extrapolate the results of a single by-election into a province-wide trend. And I somehow think the dynamics of a general election would be quite different if the NDP had brought the government down by opposing austerity.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Stockholm wrote:

The NDP could easily win the byelection in Kitchener-Waterloo too. If the Liberals manage to win it - it will be as clear a sign as any that they would have won back their majority in a province-wide general election.

"as clear a sign as any"?

And people accuse me of hyperbole!

Stockholm

Byelections usually go against the government. If the Ontario Liberals manage to win a PC seat in a byelection it will be a remarkably good sign for them and clear evidence that they would have won a province wide election.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

"clear evidence"

LOL!

Unionist

M. Spector wrote:

And people accuse me of hyperbole!

Not all people. Don't exaggerate.

 

Fidel

49.2% turnout. And we want to gamble with the electoral fraud machine seven months later? Why? What makes anyone think Hudak wouldn't slide up the middle? 

And there we would be with Mike the Knife Harris' other cousin, Tim the Knife, creeping us out in a grade b neoliberal slasher flic entitled: Night of the Living Heck in Ontario Part III.  

No ta!

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Fidel wrote:

And there we would be with Mike the Knife Harris' other cousin, Tim the Knife, creeping us out in a grade b neoliberal slasher flic entitled: Night of the Living Heck in Ontario Part III.

Don't forget cousin Dalton the Knife and his new girlfiend Andrea the Axe.

 

 

Life, the unive...

M. Spector wrote:

Fidel wrote:

And there we would be with Mike the Knife Harris' other cousin, Tim the Knife, creeping us out in a grade b neoliberal slasher flic entitled: Night of the Living Heck in Ontario Part III.

Don't forget cousin Dalton the Knife and his new girlfiend Andrea the Axe.

 

 

 

Ah the underlying sexism of so many of these comments comes to the surface.  

NDPP

Look who's opposing austerity in Europe..

"...Wilders walked out of the talks on Saturday, saying his party 'could not live up to' European Union demands, arguing that the cuts aimed at steering The Netherlands back within EU deficit targets would hit the elderly the hardest. So The Netherlands, a country nobody was talking about, is now without a budget, and without a government. Elections will have to be called soon after the coalition breakdown...

There's somethin that's worth noting, which is that far-right parties in Europe frequently have a tinge of economic liberalism to them."

Right Wingers in Europe Just Fired Off Two Huge Torpedoes

http://www.businessinsider.com/geert-wilders-and-jean-marie-le-pen-stun-...

seems even these Euro- rightists can't be as cold and callous as our Liberal-NDP

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

No doubt the Dutch will be furious - just furious! - at having to walk to the nearest polling station yet again to vote on such a trivial issue as the austerity agenda, and they will surely punish Wilders severely! [img]http://i32.tinypic.com/oi5aw2.jpg[/img]

Fidel

NDPP wrote:
seems even these Euro- rightists can't be as cold and callous as our Liberal-NDP

ha ha. Yes Netherland's right are somewhat politically neutered by a system of proportional representation. Their elections tend to be more competitive than the North American system of worstpastthepost.

So if you want to neuter herr Harper and that other wing of the property party, you'd better vote NDP next election.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Right, because if we had proportional representation, Herr Harper's party would be reduced to a tiny unpopular rump in the House of Commons and the NDP would be massively huge. [img]http://i32.tinypic.com/oi5aw2.jpg[/img]

 

mark_alfred

Some here who I suspect are not from Ontario are quick to heap scorn upon Horwath.  I'm from Ontario, and I know the political ethos here (remember, Ontario is the province that is keeping the federal Conservatives up in the polls).  The ethos here is quite conservative, and always has been (it wasn't too long ago that men and women had to sit in separate areas of pubs here).  So, for Horwath to counter the anti-tax sentiment and win approval from the public for a raise in taxes amongst the wealthy, along with reversing the government's intial policy to freeze social assistance rates, and saving some childcare spaces that were to be axed, is fabulous.  Further, the concerns that we have about the budget are acknowledged by the NDP.  No one is saying this is a great budget.  But, given the ethos here in Ontario, the NDP achieved some good results.

NDPP

Canada's Economic Collapse and Social Crisis: Class War and the College Crisis Part 5 - by Andrew Gavin Marshall

http://andrewgavinmarshall.com/2012/04/24/canadas-economic-collapse-and-...

"....So the question for Canadians is this: will you acknowledge the class war taking place around you, your friends, your families, your fellow brothers and sisters, and then seek to fight back; or will you continue to go into credit card debt, student debt, get mortgages and passively accept subservience to a system which treats you like a slave, sub-human degenerates and superfluous, that is useless and expendable?

It is a question of passive acceptance of an evil system or active resistance to forge ahead and creatively construct a humane society. The question is for all; the answer is yours alone."

Freedom 55

 

mark_alfred wrote:

Some here who I suspect are not from Ontario are quick to heap scorn upon Horwath.  I'm from Ontario, and I know the political ethos here (remember, Ontario is the province that is keeping the federal Conservatives up in the polls).  The ethos here is quite conservative, and always has been (it wasn't too long ago that men and women had to sit in separate areas of pubs here).  So, for Horwath to counter the anti-tax sentiment and win approval from the public for a raise in taxes amongst the wealthy, along with reversing the government's intial policy to freeze social assistance rates, and saving some childcare spaces that were to be axed, is fabulous.  Further, the concerns that we have about the budget are acknowledged by the NDP.  No one is saying this is a great budget.  But, given the ethos here in Ontario, the NDP achieved some good results.

 

[img]http://www.anchoredbygrace.com/smileys/lookaroundlightblue.gif[/img] Who?! Who's not from Ontario?!

I disagree. There was plenty of popular support for raising taxes on the wealthy. Raising social assistance rates had significant support even among conservative voters, so settling for a sub-inflationary increase should be seen as an abysmal failure.

Vansterdam Kid

You know, I don't particularly blame the NDP for not getting more out of the Liberals, they're not in government and it's only in the last few polls that they've been competitive. On the other hand this isn't a massive victory either. The French Socialist Party, which isn't known for being overly left-wing, is proposing a massive increase in taxes on the rich, specifically up to a rate of 75% on incomes over 1 million €/year. Yet all the NDP proposed was a 2% increase (albeit on incomes of 500K/year)? I suppose it's nice that taxes are finally rising somewhere in Canada on those who've benefitted most from tax policy in the last 30 years. But this 2% is just a drop in the proverbial bucket. It's one thing to be cautious, or dare I say conservative, in the context of what needs to be done and what can be done. But let's just say that this 2% (temporary surcharge!) is only a timid first step (that applies to the left throughout Canada - not just Ontario, in case it matters).

NDPP

and although Mike Whitney is talking of Europe this is still relevent to the Liberal-NDP Austerity Budget

The Meaning of 'Austerity Measures' - by Mike Whitney

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31190.htm

"...Let's summarize: Cutting public spending and austerity, 'Good.' Raising taxes, 'Bad'. Isn't this the same right-wing blather we've heard for years?

'Austerity' amounts to an attack on social models and aims to roll back the progressive advances of the last century. There's nearly universal agreement that belt tightening doesn't lead to recovery, but just makes matters worse. Trimming deficits in the throes of a recession is a surefire way to choke off economic activity and foment social unrest. [not in Ontario, we swallow everything - especially if its our poor neighbour that's going to get it, not us - yet..]

Still, policymakers seem oblivious to the political firestorms they've touched off. They remain focused laser-like on their primary objective, which is to make sure that a bigger share of the national wealth moves up the income chain.

The way they do this is by demagoging the fake 'debt crisis' while their political lackeys and 'technicians' slash pensions, health-care, and subsidies to protected industries; hack away at state budgets, reduce their federal workforce, crush organized labor remove tarrifs and taxes on capital, and privatize more public assets and services.

Smaller government means less activity, fewer jobs, weaker demand, and greater hardship for working people. In other words, austerity achieves exactly what it was mean to achieve; bigger profits for the 1% and zilch for everyone else...

The real purpose of austerity is not to cut deficits or spur growth, but to stuff government into a fiscal straightjacket so that private industry and big finance get a bigger slice of the pie. Isn't that what this is really all about...?"

We should be on the streets, doing what the students are doing in Quebec, not passively accepting cannon-fodder status for self-serving, highly paid professional politicians. What is especially noxious is no difference party strategic thinking that the bite of austerity measures on the poor will only increase their chances at government next election. You think they'll rollback the 'austerity' measures they just consented to? I don't.

 

Freedom 55

NDPP wrote:

You think they'll rollback the 'austerity' measures they just consented to? I don't.

 

My guess is that's when the excuse for acting over-cautious shifts from getting elected to getting re-elected. You know... we can't afford to do anything too drastic that would scare Bay St. and moderate voters 'cause a backlash might elect the next Mike Harris.

NDPP

it's a class contrick - they persuade you to forego your own interest in the interest of theirs...like I said, the students of Montreal have shown the way forward...

"Austerity is suicidal public policy warns US economist Joseph Stiglitz. There has never been any successful austerity program in any large country.."

Nobel Economist Stiglitz: Europe, US Austerity Drive is Suicidal

http://www.presstv.com/usdetail/238601.html

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:

Right, because if we had proportional representation, Herr Harper's party would be reduced to a tiny unpopular rump in the House of Commons and the NDP would be massively huge. [img]

 ">http://i32.tinypic.com/oi5aw2.jpg[/img]
 

Herr Harper would not have a majority today if the electoral system invented before electricity was updated to reflect 21st century democracy.

Canadians are not politically conservative, and neither are Americans. The true majority are held hostage by mathematically absurd electoral systems in both countries.

And if you happen to agree with the need for PR in general, then why would you want to allow far right neoliberals in Hudak's party another try at what amounts to games of chance for rich people? Why would you risk subjecting the poor in Ontario to another round of right-rightist fanaticism in the style of Mike Harris and Jimmy Flaherty? 

You might want to wager the poor and unemployed as your casino chips, but I don't. There was a worstpastthepost election seven months ago costing $100 million. Let's quit while we're ahead. Andrea is in the game, and it is the fact that a non-approved party is even at the table that bothers Bay Street and "the market." Let's hear more of the NDP's demands between now and next budget. I don't know about you but I am sick to death of the property party and its two right wings garnering media attention and spotlight for decades on end.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I think "make the rich pay" is far more popular than many assume, particularly as resentment grows over shitty working conditions and shitty pay and shitty benefits, from the middle class on down.

Aristotleded24

mark_alfred wrote:
Some here who I suspect are not from Ontario are quick to heap scorn upon Horwath.  I'm from Ontario, and I know the political ethos here (remember, Ontario is the province that is keeping the federal Conservatives up in the polls).  The ethos here is quite conservative, and always has been (it wasn't too long ago that men and women had to sit in separate areas of pubs here).  So, for Horwath to counter the anti-tax sentiment and win approval from the public for a raise in taxes amongst the wealthy, along with reversing the government's intial policy to freeze social assistance rates, and saving some childcare spaces that were to be axed, is fabulous.  Further, the concerns that we have about the budget are acknowledged by the NDP.  No one is saying this is a great budget.  But, given the ethos here in Ontario, the NDP achieved some good results.

I'm not from Ontario either, but I'm glad an NDP in part of the country was able to get some taxes on the wealthy raised. Even if it's not as far as it needs to go, it's a first step. It's far more than what we'd see in Manitoba, where our (supposedly) NDP government has made it clear that raising taxes on the rich isn't even on the table here.

Freedom 55

Fidel wrote:

Why would you risk subjecting the poor in Ontario to another round of right-rightist fanaticism in the style of Mike Harris and Jimmy Flaherty? 

You might want to wager the poor and unemployed as your casino chips, but I don't.

 

Why would you want to subject us to another round of austerity in the style of Dalton McGuinty and Dwight Duncan?

I'm sure there's plenty of divergence of opinion amongst Ontario's poor. I know there are many who have been so beaten down by freezes and meagre sub-inflationary increases that they'll accept any increase - no matter how small (the increase in this budget is less than $0.20/day for OW, and just over $0.36/day for ODSP). But it's also true that many of us wanted Horwath to defeat this budget and let Ontarians vote on whether or not we want austerity. None of the folks on social assistance that I've talked to in the past few weeks wanted this budget to pass, although I'm sure there are those who did.

Personally, I would have gladly wagered my 36 cents for a chance to redo the budget. Now, not only do we not get to vote on austerity; but when there finally is an election, there is no party who can credibly run on an anti-austerity platform.

I can't speak for the collective poor of Ontario, but neither can you. No one can. But I, and many other people on social assistance have looked at the McGuinty-Horwath budget and rejected it. We don't need people telling us that it was a necessary evil to protect us from the theoretical possibility of a Hudak government. Don't try to tell me that austerity is in our best interest.

You suggested that M. Spector (and presumably anyone who wanted this budget defeated) wants to gamble with the lives of poor, when in reality, it's all three parties who are gambling with the poor in their bids to win or hold on to power.

Fidel

Because I disliked the Harris-Flaherty regime that much, I think Hudak is cut from the same cloth. 

And they are Tories in official opposition at Queen's Park not the NDP. Ontario is historically a conservative province not an NDP one and only in recent years have voters returned the Liberal Party to power.

And these NeoTories could benefit by a possible vote split between the Liberals and NDP. That's the nature of the bad electoral system - it rarely produces what voters want.

So if you can't justify another Mike the Knife neoliberal government in phony-majority dictatorial power for the next four years, which is more realistic than an NDP government, then you haven't much reason to force a snap election for short-term political gain. It makes little sense.

Grandpa_Bill

Freedom 55 wrote:

I'm sure there's plenty of divergence of opinion amongst Ontario's poor. . . .  None of the folks on social assistance that I've talked to in the past few weeks wanted this budget to pass, although I'm sure there are those who did.

Here's my anecdote.  I live in a building with 90 or so tenants.  Many are low income, many did not vote, many who did vote chose Liberals, many speak of the NDP as unionists/socialists/communists/anarchists and all those nasty folk.  Or at least they did so speak until Horwath started getting TV news coverage with her "tax the rich" proposal.  Some of them have changed their tune.

Will some of those who didn't vote in the recent election vote in the next election?  Will some of those who voted for other parties vote for the NDP?  Questions of interest to those who believe that there is some point to electoral politics. 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Grandpa_Bill wrote:

...many speak of the NDP as unionists/socialists/communists/anarchists and all those nasty folk.  Or at least they did so speak until Horwath started getting TV news coverage with her "tax the rich" proposal.  Some of them have changed their tune.

I guess calling for more taxes on the rich proves one isn't really a unionist/socialist/communist/anarchist after all!

Grandpa_Bill

M. Spector wrote:

Grandpa_Bill wrote:

...many speak of the NDP as unionists/socialists/communists/anarchists and all those nasty folk.  Or at least they did so speak until Horwath started getting TV news coverage with her "tax the rich" proposal.  Some of them have changed their tune.

I guess calling for more taxes on the rich proves one isn't really a unionist/socialist/communist/anarchist after all!

Darned if I know what to make of it, Spector.  Your own "I guess" leads me to believe that you are a confounded as I am.

Grandpa_Bill

A comment on the Progressive Economics Forum: Quebec Tuition: Between a Rock and a Hard Place 

Comment from Keith Newman
Time: May 1, 2012, 5:01 pm

"A province can raise taxes to pay keep student fees low, or do other things no doubt - no problem there. I believe Quebec has a much lower level of student debt than other provinces as a result of its low fees. I live in Quebec and in addition to somewhat higher tax rates I also pay a solidarity tax to help low income people, and a special health tax as well. I believe Quebec has the lowest inequality in after-tax incomes in Canada. I have no problem with that. In fact it's one of the reasons I would never leave Quebec. There is a strong sense of social solidarity and it's a remarkably vibrant place. Nonetheless the constraints of a monetary system the province does not control are real."  (emphasis GB)

Greater income equality is being achieved via progressive taxation in Quebec and can be achieved elsewhere in Canada.  Closing the Gap using progressive taxation (the approach in Sweden) is not a poor relation to Closing the Gap using constraints on pre-tax income (the approach in Japan).  There is no royal road to social justice that all must travel.  Cool 

Fidel

Good post, Grandpa_Bill.

Nick Falvo wrote:
Thus, I would argue that the current "crisis" in Quebec over tuition fees has been largely created by successive federal governments that have defunded Canadian universities, indeed putting provincial governments "between a rock and a hard place."

Falvo and Arun Dubois also mention MMT or modern monetary theory as a means to funding social spending without focusing on raising taxes. But that;s monetary policy which falls under the heading of 'Federal' jurisdiction. No less than a parade weak and ineffective federal governments are responsible for their own political impotence in that regard. We need the NDP in Ottawa.

Grandpa_Bill

There are currently 17 posted comments to the Rock and Hard Place thread at Progressive Economics Forum.  Here is an exchange between two participants:

Comment from M. J. Coldwell
Time: April 30, 2012, 12:16 pm

Great discussion. I think Keith and Nick have much of the argument. Obviously, as they say, as Canadian provinces are not currency issuers, they can only pay for their program spending through federal transfers and revenues they accumulate through taxation. . . .

Comment from Keith Newman
Time: May 1, 2012, 4:49 pm

Re Francis Fuller and provinces issuing their own currency:

Under current rules the only issuer of Canadian currency is the government of Canada (with its Bank). Provinces cannot do that, nor can you or I or we go to jail for counterfeiting.

A province could issue a bond that is used to extinguish Canadian dollar tax liabilities to the province. Maybe that could operate as a provincial currency.

-----

The discussion is fascinating, even from the perspective of someone who is little more than a keen observer.

Fidel

Ontario's NDP government promoted savings bonds in the 1990s. And the other two parties in government have worked to undermine savings bonds ever since. I think the feds may have to step in at some point to back Ontario's debt. These Liberals and Tories before them are bankrupting the province. If Harris, Flaherty and McGuinty had been CEO's of corporations performing the way they have, they'd have been fired off the job well before they got started.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

The other two parties haven't done a very good job of undermining Ontario Savings Bonds. [url=http://www.ontariosavingsbonds.com/en/index.html]They're still readily available for investment.[/url]

Fidel

And that's a lot better than non-interest bearing money and credit according to you. Happy?

Moody's downgrade threatens Ontario's fiscal plan

Hoodeet

Fidel wrote:

Yes it would be funny if it wasn't so sad. 

They are using tear gas to breakup demonstrations in Greece. Tear gas was declared illegal even for military use by a UN order under the terms of the Paris Convention agreement in 1993.

Hoodeet (JW)

I agree with you, Fidel.  But I wish we would all stop calling it "tear gas", as if it were the original noxious substance that made one's eyes run.  The newer, improved weapon is far more noxious and more toxic, with longer-term effects, apparently.   Wouldn't you agree it's perpetuating the myth of a mild irritant?

Fidel

Hoodeet wrote:

Fidel wrote:

Yes it would be funny if it wasn't so sad. 

They are using tear gas to breakup demonstrations in Greece. Tear gas was declared illegal even for military use by a UN order under the terms of the Paris Convention agreement in 1993.

Hoodeet (JW)

I agree with you, Fidel.  But I wish we would all stop calling it "tear gas", as if it were the original noxious substance that made one's eyes run.  The newer, improved weapon is far more noxious and more toxic, with longer-term effects, apparently.   Wouldn't you agree it's perpetuating the myth of a mild irritant?

 

I did not realize that. I've never been tear gassed, so I wouldn't know what it feels like. But I imagine they will have a plan b prepared. There is always a plan b.

NDPP

Cohn: Dalton McGuinty, Tim Hudak, Andrea Horwath Take Turns Playing Nice

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1173738--horwath-take-turns-p...

"...As winter turned to spring, McGuinty needed (and heeded) Horwath's NDP to pass his budget - adding a tax hike on the rich and a welfare hike for the poor [ both negligible]. In secret phone calls and private meetings, the two leaders thrashed otu a deal they could sell to their own parties - and the public. How did they get along? Famously according to both of them. 'I thought she brought the right mindset to the table,' McGuinty recalled...

Horwath was equally effusive. 'The premier is a very cordial person,' she told me..."

The right hand washes the left, and both wash the face. May the day come soon when the people rise up and rid ourselves of the bloodsuckers and their accomplices.

Fidel

And the very real possibility for a vote split in old Tory Ontario (drumroll):

Ken Gray Column: Tim Hudak And The Common Nonsense Revolution Tory leader Tim Hudak's Changebook election platform has all the ingredients that made Greece the model of fiscal prudence it is today.

Tories Changeling book promised make one year residency a requirement before anyone could even apply for welfare.

Let's face the WorstPastThePost reality of the situation - the Tories stood a good chance of winning a phony-baloney one in old Tory Ontario.

Grandpa_Bill

Question for NDPP and Fidel . . . and anyone else:

Health Minister Deb Matthews is getting press for her proposals to reduce OHIP payments to some medical specialists:

Deb Matthews slashes fees for OHIP services to save $338 million

Meanwhile, the NDP is still banging the This-Minister-Must-Go drum.  What's the good of that?  What's the point of focusing on who the minister is, rather than on what the minister is doing?

Seems to me that it would be better to let McGuinty decide whether Deb must go and, instead, support or oppose what she is doing:

  • support the OHIP fee reduction;
  • call for a cap on total payments to all physicians.

 

Fidel

I think the Harpers should go, end of. Since 1995 or so Ottawa has cut health care transfers to the provinces by somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 billion. And all the while our population is aging and needs health care.  They don't want increasing population or to allow some healthy inflation. Canadians need to demand more from federal government. Ottawa has been derelict of their duties for about 30 years and counting.

NDPP

I think the NDP strategy is quite intentionally focused on who rather than what so as to appear oppositional without any real chance of succeeding. As you say, the focus should clearly be on contesting the cuts not the Minister. But having surrendered that position by supporting a fuck the poor austerity budget, we are left only with bad ndp theatrics.  Once again, this is complicity masquerading as opposition. Run with hare, hunt with hounds - it's what the no difference party does best.

Fidel

NDPP wrote:
Once again, this is complicity masquerading as opposition.
 

Complicity in creating the current situation are two right wings of the same property party in Ottawa conspiring to blow up the national debt since 1975 while shirking their obligations to fund a social lien owed to the provinces. This is a real conspiracy with actual political parties with actual records in power at the highest levels of governance for you to examine and critique. Avoiding to identify the real problem only delays arrival at real solutions. The provinces can only do so much operating within a fiscal shoebox imposed by those we choose to ignore and vice versa for the last 35 years. Smile

Grandpa_Bill

Well, well, well.  Fidel says:  "I think the Harpers should go, end of [story]. . . .  Avoiding to identify the real problem only delays arrival at real solutions."

I puzzled over you remark, then hit on what seems to me a reasonable explanation for it: You're a friggin' ophthalmologist, albeit obviously a very progressive one, eh?!  You can now do, in 15 minutes, surgeries that formerly took you hours. But instead of using your free time to do many more surgeries and wildly increase your personal income, you generously use your free time to post on Babble.

Many thanks, Fidel, many thanks.  But do consider this:  if, instead of posting here at Babble, you do those additional surgeries, then you can make pots of cash and donate it all (or most of it) to the party.  Of course, you won't be giving it to the provincial wing, since you think all the action is at the federal level--or have I greatly misunderstood you?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Liberals Bury "Unprecedented Power Shift" In Ontario Budget

At a press conference on Monday, CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn and lawyer Steven Shrybman cited that, in their legal opinion, an act buried in the Ontario Liberal government's mammoth budget bill makes sweeping changes that open the door to privatizing almost any crown corporation or government service, and will lead to more back-room deals. Hahn, president of the The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario, unveiled this legal opinion written by Shrybman, a partner at Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP practicing in public interest and international trade law, on Schedule 28 of the budget legislation, Bill 55.

On Monday, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath referenced this legal opinion during Question Period as Premier Dalton McGuinty tabled a motion to limit clause-by-clause debate on the budget to 13 hours. McGuinty reiterated on Monday his desire to implement the entire bill and the New Democrats try to get more time to debate the budget's controversial proposals to outsource some services to the private sector.

"This morning, we got a real example of why exactly we need to look carefully at the government's omnibus 300-page bill," said Horwath.

McGuinty stated that while the government has looked into privatization of assets like Hydro One and the LCBO, "There will be no fire sales." Finance Minister Dwight Duncan told reporters that CUPE's legal opinion is "full of holes."

- snip -

CUPE Ontario is calling on all three parties to remove this disastrous Act from the budget bill immediately.

"The Liberals are taking a page from Stephen Harper's playbook. They're attacking the foundations of our democracy, and hiding the legislation in a huge budget omnibus bill," said Hahn. "We believe the public has a right to know what its government is doing, and has a right to have a say in how services are delivered. Schedule 28 takes the last requirements for accountability and transparency and throws them out the window. That's something that should be seriously debated in the house."

NDPP

If the NDP had any political savy or sense, it would now do what it should have done before - take advantage of the continuing Liberal politrix to pull the plug on this government and go for election gold.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I think I agree, but I haven't seen any polls lately.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Environmental laws are too important to be changed without public debate

excerpt:

Recently, Ontario's current Environment Commissioner has sounded the alarm about the Liberal government's decision to change many laws protecting the provincial environment, as part of the omnibus budget bill presented to the legislature this spring by Finance Minister Dwight Duncan. This approach is eerily similar to federal Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's budget bill that proposes gutting federal environmental assessments and protections as well.

By including important changes to many of Ontario's environmental laws in the provincial budget bill, the McGuinty government is effectively bypassing the public consultations and transparency required by the Environmental Bill of Rights.

Digging down into the details, the bill includes significant changes without public consultation to seven environmental laws, including to the Endangered Species Act, the Crown Forest Sustainability Act and the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act. The Liberals claim these changes are necessary to save money but are not intended to undermine environmental protection. However, closer inspection reveals otherwise.

The proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act would mean that industries could harm endangered species without considering alternatives, and that logging companies could be exempt from the current requirement to prepare forest management plans or adhere to sustainable harvest limits. These exemptions could give private companies the permission to do as they wish on public land without regard for wildlife and other values.

janfromthebruce

And BB, it would also mean that they could put industrial wind turbines in the Great Lakes without public consultations and done deals behind the scenes - the liberals are as disgusting as conservatives.

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