Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator (www.mackaycartoons.net) – Thursday March 29, 2018
Ontario Liberals bet big on seniors’ care, drug and dental coverage in 2018 pre-election budget
Ontario’s Liberals will plunge back into the red for at least the next six years to fund an array of big-ticket commitments outlined in the government’s pre-election budget on Wednesday.
The Liberals already unveiled a number of priority items in a series of commitments in the run-up to budget day, including major investments in health care, pharmacare and $2.2-billion over three years for free licensed daycare for preschool-aged children.
The primary themes of the 308-page budget were telegraphed in a Throne Speech last week that included the word “care,” or some variation of it, upward of 50 times. It was clear that the budget would include substantial spending after Finance Minister Charles Sousa admitted the province would return to deficit to pay for it all, after running a $600 million surplus this year.
Despite Premier Kathleen Wynne’s recent flurry of announcements, there were a number of surprises revealed on Wednesday, many of them geared toward the elderly and affordability.
The budget includes billions in funding for seniors, including a $750 yearly benefit for those 75 and over who still live at home. The “Healthy Home Program” will cost $1 billion over three years. Another $650 million will go toward boosting the number of visits by caregivers to client’s homes.
For seniors in long-term care facilities, the Liberals plan to spend $300 million over three years to hire a registered nurse in every home in Ontario and provide an average of four hours of personal daily care for each resident by 2022.
The Liberals also plan to introduce a program to help cover costs of pharmaceutical drugs and dental care for Ontarians without workplace benefits, regardless of income or pre-existing OHIP+ coverage. (Source: CBC News)
Letter to the Editor
Every Ontarian should be afraid
RE: March 29 editorial cartoon, Hamilton Spectator
I have just read a portion of the 2017 Ontario Auditor General’s Report. One excerpt from this document should scare every voter in this province.
In referring to the province’s accounting practices, she says, “As such, they obscure, or will obscure, the true state of the Province’s annual deficits and net debt reported on its consolidated financial statements at a time when Ontario already has the highest subsovereign debt in the world.”
Knowing this, the present government continues to buy our votes with our own tax dollars with no consideration as to how the next generation is going to pay this debt off. I applaud Mr. MacKay’s editorial cartoon. It really tells it like it is.
Ron French, Hamilton