It seems strange to have a provincial budget that spends close to $200 billion in the coming year and ignores the most vulnerable among us. It is a budget that will increase the provincial debt by about $33 billion and raises no taxes. You have to remember that this is a conservative budget in a country locked in an outmoded constitution.
With provinces committed to funding education and health care, they have the excuse of the pandemic to fall back on. There are few savings in education as we struggle with opening and closing schools and the variables of computer education that are devolved to the caregiver—often a working-from-home parent. At the same time, the costs of health care grow exponentially as covid 19 rapes the system and as millionaire ophthalmologists and radiologists continue to play the system.
There is small relief for small business. They were hit the hardest by the lock downs that we are not even sure are over. And there is a little extra help for families with little ones.
Where the greatest needs were ignored was in the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). More than 360,000 Ontario citizens are being forced into desperation by a program that does not and cannot meet their needs. At a time when food banks are desperate to try to continue helping, and both shelter prices in Ontario and grocery prices are rising, these people were ignored.
The conservative budget also ignored the plight of personal support workers who had received a temporary increase in wages to try to keep them working with long-term care. There was not even a continued increase for these workers. The government forgot all the promises that had been made.
Thankfully, the conservatives forgot to mention the new Highway 413 that went from nowhere west of Georgetown, through wetlands and built-up areas to crowded highways north of Toronto. If it continues to be forgotten, we will be pleased about that one aspect of the current budget.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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