Liberals running roughshod over Ontarians
(September 25, 2015) As many of you know, the Ontario Legislature resumed sitting on Sept. 14.
For the PC Party of Ontario, as the Official Opposition, it means a chance to grill the Wynne Liberals during Question Period, pointing out the shortcomings of the government – and there are many to note.
One issue that immediately comes to mind is the recently released Hydro One preliminary prospectus. The Liberal government's alarming compensation packages to Hydro One executives total $24-million. This is in conjunction with the Hydro One fire sale, which is quite frankly a slap in the face to average Ontario families who can't afford to pay their electricity bills or make ends meet.
The Ontario Energy Board sets electricity rates based on the cost of running Hydro One – a cost that will now surely increase because of these exorbitant salaries, severances and gold-plated pensions.
Clearly, Premier Wynne is out of touch with families. She has no clue about the daily struggles they face, including the challenge to keep the lights on.
If the premier had any respect for the people of this province, she'd listen to the thousands of Ontarians who believe this hydro sale will only lead to higher electricity bills.
And let me just point out, Ontarians never gave the Liberals a mandate to sell Hydro One.
Besides the hydro issue, we now have to deal with Liberal cuts to health care, one of the cornerstones of our society. Sure, the Liberals talk a good game when it comes to health care across the province, but the facts tell us what's really going on.
Starting Oct. 1, the Liberals will cut an additional $235-million from physician services. This is in addition to the government's recent decision to cut 50 medical residency positions over the next two years.
And this disappointing news comes as many communities throughout the province struggle with physician shortages. In fact, an estimated 800,000 people in Ontario still don't have a family physician. It's disgraceful.
Ontarians deserve a government that invests in frontline health care workers and makes the health of patients a top priority.
However, this is the fourth consecutive year of frozen hospital budgets, resulting in cuts to nursing staff, fewer beds and reduced operating time.
The shoddy treatment of our health care system is evident in other ways too.
For example, approximately 20,000 seniors are waiting for long-term care beds in Ontario. These people have worked hard all their lives. They've paid their taxes. But now they can't get the care they need.
How long does it take to get a person a long-term care bed?
I could go on, but I'm sure you can see that all is not well in Ontario.
Thankfully, steps are being taken to fix things in the province. It started just a few weeks ago when Progressive Conservative Party Leader Patrick Brown won the Simcoe-North by-election.
To Patrick, I extended my sincerest congratulations and best wishes.
Jim Wilson is the Progressive Conservative MPP for Simcoe-Grey.