Wynne faces down NDP on transit funding

Controversy over the upcoming budget as Ontario legislature resumes


TORONTO – Despite a warning from NDP Leader Andrea Horwath that she won’t support any new taxes in the upcoming budget, Premier Kathleen Wynne says there’ll be a new “revenue stream” for public transit expansion.

Horwath sent Wynne a letter warning that she “will not support any new taxes, tolls or fees that hit middle-class families” in the minority Liberal government’s budget.

But Wynne says the Liberals are committed to finding a new way to fund public transit, and will decide by budget time whether that will be increasing the gasoline tax, road tolls or some other levy.

The premier says she wants to work with the opposition parties to get the budget passed, but adds she won’t change plans that the Liberals feel are best for Ontarians.

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak says it’s unfortunate that “Wynne sees taxpayers as revenue tools.”

Horwath later refused to say if the New Democrats would actually vote against the budget, which would automatically trigger an election.

Horwath also refused to say if she would support Wynne’s promise to introduce an Ontario Pension Plan, something the NDP first proposed.

The Progressive Conservatives want an election as soon as possible, so the Liberals must secure another deal with the NDP to get the budget passed.

Horwath also would not say what the NDP’s position is on the Liberals’ decision to hike Ontario’s minimum wage to $11 an hour.

The NDP leader’s letter to Wynne said taxpayers see their money wasted by the Liberals on such things as the “politically motivated gas plant cancellations” prior to the 2011 election, which cost up to $1.1 billion.

Meanwhile, the legislature resumes today for the first time in two months, with the Liberals hoping to avoid a trip to the polls, at least for now, after losing two more byelections last week.

There are 20 government bills left over from the fall session, including one to give workers up to eight weeks unpaid leave to care for a sick family member and another to increase penalties for selling cigarettes to kids.

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Wynne faces down NDP on transit funding

  1. Higher taxes, that’ll solve the problem of jobs evacuating the province at an unprecedented rate, won’t it? Of course the Liberals will simply bribe the NDP into supporting their budget, because we’ve seen countless times that the Liberals will spend any sum of money necessary to stay in power. Good luck Ontario, you’re going to need it!

    • Hey, if you want `subways, subways, subways` and the like, you have to pay for it; at least Wynne is being upfront about this. Where I think she`s being lax is in the increasing of money to the people that really need it; those on ODSP like myself who need a lot of money to eat and survive.

      • so ur saying in no way cutting spending could be a substitute to increased taxes?? that means you agree that the Ontario government is 100% (not 99% but 100%) efficient and effective

      • Add up the billions upon billions of dollars wasted by the Liberals over the last decade, and you’re a good way to paying for subways under current taxation levels. That doesn’t even include reversing any of the lunatic policies of the Liberals that have been driving thousands of jobs out of the province.

        • Actually, I don’t want subways-that was just an example. But I do want public transit to be funded better than it has been for a while. And since when did increasing taxes on corporations become a bad thing?

  2. Hudak says it’s unfortunate that “Wynne sees taxpayers as revenue tools.”
    Seems to me that referring to citizens as “taxpayers” is the best example of framing them as “revenue tools”.

    • No, it’s not. The term “revenue tools” indicates that taxpayers are merely a tool at the disposal of the government, whereas “taxpayers” indicates a certain amount of respect be given to how their money is spent. Both are indicative of how the two parties view Ontarians.

      • Taxpayer indicates nothing more than one of the responsibilities that I have as a Canadian citizen. It does nothing to indicate respect.

        • The fact that the term acknowledges your responsibilities infers respect.

    • its like saying customers for a business. when you hear the word customer do you feel insulted??

      calling them revenue tools is like calling customers cash cows

      • When its my gov’t describing me as a customer … yes. My relationship with a business is as a customer. My relatioship with my gov’t is as a citizen.