Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday August 9, 2022
Ontario legislature session begins as Doug Ford’s government pushes ahead with new mandate
Opposition parties and critics are calling on the Ontario government to provide more relief to tackle rising inflation while also expediting solutions for hospital staffing woes when the legislature returns and the provincial budget is tabled this week.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government will again table its 2022-23 budget on Tuesday, originally introduced in April and put to the test as a main plank of the PC platform during the June election.
After being re-elected, Mr. Ford said the budget would remain largely intact with the addition of a 5-per-cent increase to Ontario Disability Support Program rates that the party campaigned on, as well as a pledge to tie future annual increases to inflation. The budget promises $4-billion in additional spending for highways and roads and $10-billion for hospital infrastructure over 10 years.
But with the cost of living on the rise, inflation surging over 8 per cent and hospitals facing significant staffing shortages, critics say more measures need to be introduced to provide support for Ontarians.
Official Opposition NDP interim leader Peter Tabuns said Friday his party is calling for a new budget that increases spending for health care and education, as well as raises wages for public-sector workers. Mr. Tabuns said this would mean repealing Bill 124, introduced by the government in 2019, capping public-sector wage increases at 1 per cent for a three-year contract period. (The Globe & Mail)