Crisis? What Crisis? Four Days, Zero Action: Hudak
30 August 2012
“Our ability to curb our debt addiction is the biggest test faced by Western democracies today. This is more than a financial problem. It’s a moral problem. We have broken our social contract with the generations that come after us, and it’s our duty to restore it.”
- Margaret Wente, The Globe and Mail, June 21, 2012
QUEEN’S PARK – Ontarians duped into thinking the Legislature had been recalled to deal with the province’s fiscal emergency have been left to wonder if it was nothing but government hype, PC Leader Tim Hudak said today, joined by PC Finance Critic Peter Shurman.
“This is the fastest transition from ‘in like a legislative lion, out like a lame duck’ I’ve ever seen in a week in this place,” Hudak said. “Four days in the midst of a fiscal meltdown – and all we have to show for it is a wage freeze on training wheels for one tiny fraction of our huge public sector.”
Shurman said the Ontario PCs began the session hopeful that the government had finally begun to grasp the depth of the hole they’d dug and could be pushed into taking urgent action: “But not only has nothing happened to stop the overspending and start getting our fiscal house in order – our situation has grown worse in four short days because of their refusal to act.”
As evidence, Hudak noted, “The government this week rejected our appeal for a legislated wage freeze, ignored our call to end closed tendering for municipal contracts that grossly inflates costs, and conceded that it had done nothing to shut down lavish public sector bonuses. Otherwise, the only time the Premier won’t spend money is when he is flat broke.”
By contrast, Shurman added, the PCs have acted in good faith to ensure the passage of the government’s teacher legislation to ensure our kids are back in school. “The question now is, what’s next? Will they follow us with bold action to freeze, fix and review government spending? We have asked all week, but the government won’t answer.”
Hudak said it raises the question if this week was just another gimmick to distract Ontarians from their appalling record of debt and overspending, gas plant bribery, Ornge and e-Health.
“Based on current trends, Ontario will have lost 900 more private sector jobs since Monday alone. Further, the government’s own budget figures show they’ll have spent $165 million more than they took in over the past four days, piling up huge debts that put the things we care about at risk – like our ability to afford front-line health care and classroom education.”
That’s why the PCs launched their Freeze, Fix, Reduce campaign, Shurman said: “Start by freezing all public sector salaries and flat-line program spending at 2011 levels. That will buy us time to fix the way government works, with fundamental, structural change. Then on to a Fall Economic Statement that actually begins to reduce spending. Just do something.”