Despite tempers as hot as this week’s weather, Ontario’s budget passed at the legislature Wednesday and a summer election has been averted.
Prince Edward Hastings MPP Todd Smith reports the vote on third reading of the budget repeated the second reading, with the governing Liberals voting in favour, the opposition Progressive Conservatives voting against and the NDP refusing to vote.
The New Democrats made a deal for budget amendments including a new wealth tax on incomes over $500,000 and increases in welfare payouts in exchange for abstaining from the vote.
Premier Dalton McGuinty trotted out the possibilty of a July 19 election after the PCs and NDP voted together to amend elements of the budget.
Today at noon, 52 liberals outvoted 35 conservative MPPS who wanted to defeat a budget they say is not ‘strong action for Ontario.’
Smith questioned the need to plunge the province into pre-election hysteria over the weekend when nothing changed during the actual vote.
“The vote today was identical to the vote at second reading,” Smith said. “The two other parties knew this would be the result when we got to Wednesday but they decided to give Ontarians a bad weekend soap opera just the same. For many at Queen’s Park, the budget never really seemed to be in peril, in spite of threats by both the premier and the leader of the NDP over the weekend.”
Smith says the budget delivers tax hikes and no action for Ontario.
“The premier and the finance minister refuse to acknowledge that over the last eight years they’ve spent Ontario into a black hole. So, we have a plan from the premier that contains more tax hikes, more spending, more deficits and more debt. Instead of actually dealing with Ontario’s looming debt situation, the government chose to kick the can down the road.”
Filed Under: Local News
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