March 28th, 2018

Better to look good than feel good: Wynne’s final, hollow budget

Kathleen Wynne’s final budget is a disappointing, last-ditch pitch for votes – with the details failing to live up to her vote-grabbing hype.

“It’s clear that Kathleen Wynne believes it’s more important for her to look good than for people to feel good,” said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath. “This is why people are disappointed. This is why people are cynical about politics. And this is why Ontarians are looking forward to electing a new premier in June.

“It’s time to replace that cynicism with hope – with a premier that will deliver better health care, and a more affordable life for everyone.”

Wynne’s prescription drug and dental promise turns out to be capped at $50 per child for dental and $300 for mom or dad’s drug and dental combined. $50 won’t cover one dental check-up, let alone a filling.

A section on affordability turns out to include not a single word about making housing more affordable for renters or buyers, and nothing new to ease the pain of sky-high hydro bills, expected to rise again after the election.

And after short-changing hospitals by $300 million in 2017-18, given the chance, Wynne would short-change hospitals again by $100 million in 2018-19 – leaving patients waiting in hallways in overcrowded hospitals.

“The Liberals have had 15 years to get good things done for people,” said Horwath. “Instead, Wynne chose to cut and privatize. She chose to sell off Hydro One and make hydro bills too expensive. She chose to let childcare become the most expensive in the nation. She chose to cut hospital budgets. And she chose to do nothing to deliver relief to the middle class – and even chose to ignore child poverty as Toronto became the child poverty capital of Canada.

“Now, she’s choosing not to offer universal pharmacare. She’s choosing not to offer complete dental coverage. She’s choosing not to offer a plan for a more affordable life for everyone.

“The good news is that this is Wynne’s final budget – because it doesn’t have to be this way. We can do so much better.”