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Liberals Keen to Consult, but Have No Plan for Jobs or Economy

(October 25, 2013) It’s a given that governments need to be able to set priorities and make tough decisions in order to secure a stable economy and create jobs.  They need focus; they need a plan and they need someone that can get the job done.

In nine months, Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne has created 36 different panels, reviews and consultations and has had a lot of, as she calls it ‘conversations’, but has done nothing to address the deficit or Ontario’s unemployment crisis. In fact, her government has only passed one piece of legislation so far this entire year.   

As Ontario’s debt continues to barrel along adding to the $259 billion it is today (taken this morning from the running debt clock on my website (www.jimwilsonmpp.com), this government continues to launch endless, and expensive, consultations as a way as it seems to more of less postpone making any real decisions at all.

They have created a panel to find new taxes and fees to pay for transportation infrastructure, a panel to learn how to be more open and transparent after hiding the $1.1 billion price tag of the gas plant scandal, an expert panel to study the health of bees and a so-called horse-racing panel to save an industry that they themselves destroyed two years ago by ending the ‘Slots at Racetracks’ program. To see the full list of the Liberal panels (click here).  

Don’t get me wrong, I believe consultation is important, but not when it only serves as a shell game for Liberal interests. Remember this is the same government that removed local decision making authority over the construction of 500 foot industrial wind turbines in our communities like the one proposed on the flight path of the Collingwood Airport; that has closed down both Shale Beach and Springwater Park without notification; that has introduced a more stringent Drive Clean test even though the Auditor General reported that the program no longer has an impact on the reduction of vehicle emissions; that continues to collect the debt retirement charge on hydro bills even though the Auditor General confirmed the debt has been paid off; that recently implemented a whole slew of new taxes including the tire tax, the trades tax, eco fees and increased WSIB premiums to name a few. The list goes on and on.

And, the Liberals have set up all these new panels, yet haven’t introduced a plan to reduce the deficit or create jobs at a time when there are over half-million men and women out of work and Ontario is spending $9 billion more a year than it takes in.

The people of Ontario deserve better than this.

As a way to try to get the government to shift focus to jobs and improving the economy, I successfully introduced a programming motion to expedite the passage of eight agreeable pieces of legislation—five Liberal, three PC—that all parties agreed with and were being used by the Liberals as distractions from more pressing issues.

My motion should have paved the way for the Liberals to get down to business, but instead Premier Wynne continues to engage in more self-styled conversations and the establishment of even more panels.

Enough is enough.

Over the past decade Ontario has lost 300,000 good paying manufacturing jobs at the same time we added 300,000 government jobs to the public sector payroll. This trend needs to change.


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