Liberals must show they're serious about reining in costs: Shurman
26 October 2012
QUEEN’S PARK – The Ontario PCs are ready and willing to take action to tackle the Liberals’ made-in-Ontario jobs and debt crisis, but before anything can get done, the current government must show they’re serious about getting down to work, Ontario PC Finance Critic Peter Shurman said today.
“Since the last election, the PCs have been clear that we need urgent action to kick-start the economy to create jobs and to rein in the outrageous size and cost of government,” Shurman said. “We’ve been clear with the Liberals with what policies we can and cannot support, and we certainly can’t support a weak bill that fails to freeze government employee wages.”
When Dalton McGuinty shut down the House, he claimed this would allow the government to negotiate with both public sector unions and work with the Ontario PCs to freeze government employee wages. “Despite the fact no wage freeze legislation can pass without a sitting Legislature, the Ontario PCs reaffirmed their continued willingness to enact pro-growth policies and laws that would create jobs and balance the books,” Shurman stated.
Shurman referenced a letter he sent to Finance Minister Dwight Duncan on October 19, calling on the government to recall the House in order to pass wage freeze legislation. To date, the letter has gone unanswered.
“The Liberals have been saying they want to move forward and address the province’s ballooning government employee wage issue, but so far their actions prove otherwise,” Shurman stated. “For starters, they’ve provided no date as to when they’re willing to recall the House to pass legislation.”
Secondly, the Liberals have not provided any framework for negotiations, Shurman continued. “It’s simply not possible to negotiate with both unions and the Opposition at the same time. Any concessions made to union leaders would obviously affect the position of the Ontario PC Caucus.”
And finally, there is no guarantee that any legislation agreed to with the current government will be honoured by the next Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, which is exactly why the Legislature must be recalled now.
“With 600,000 women and men out of work and the province hurtling towards a $411-billion debt, it’s time for the Liberals to step up immediately,” Shurman concluded.