View Full Version : Ontairo Austerity Plan

15th February 12, 05:37 PM
It's about FUCKING TIME!


Austerity vision for Ontario: bigger classes, hike utility bills, pay parking

..TORONTO - Bigger class sizes, higher electricity and water bills and new parking fees at public transit stations are among the bitter pills deficit-ridden Ontario must swallow to avoid the same fate as debt-plagued Greece, economist Don Drummond warned Wednesday.

Unless all 362 of his recommendations are implemented, Canada's most populous province will wind up doubling its deficit by 2017-18 and increasing its debt to a staggering $411.4 billion a little more than half its gross domestic product, he predicted in his long-awaited austerity blueprint for Ontario.

"Ontario's finances do not yet constitute a crisis, and with early strong action a crisis can be averted," the report states.

"The lessons of history and of what is happening elsewhere today are clear: the government must take daring fiscal action early, before today's challenges are transformed into tomorrow's crisis."

Even if the governing Liberals stick to their current plan to slay the deficit by 2017-18, the province will still end up with a $30 billion shortfall, according to Drummond's calculations.

The province's debt is still "relatively small" by international standards and its spending "is neither out of control nor wildly excessive," the report states. But "unprecedented" action must be taken over the next six years before Ontario drowns in red ink.

"Our message will strike many as profoundly gloomy," the report states. "It is one that Ontarians have not heard, certainly not in the recent election campaign, but one this commission believes it must deliver."

Ontario needs to cap annual growth in program spending at just 0.8 per cent, which would slash real program spending by 16.2 per cent for every man, woman and child, the report advises.

Annual spending growth in health care must be capped at 2.5 per cent, education at one per cent, post-secondary education at 1.5 per cent and social programs at 0.5 per cent. Spending in all other programs will have to be cut by 2.4 per cent.

The government will have to rethink everything it does to wring as much as it can out of every dollar spent, the report advises.

About a third of the former TD Bank chief economist's recommendations were directed at health care, which will need to become more efficient in order to maintain services without the generous budget increases of past years.

Ontario should band together with the other provinces and federal government to buy drugs, tie public drug plan benefits to income, allow nurses, physician assistants and pharmacists to provide more services where possible, and divert patients who don't require acute care out of hospitals and into less expensive care and accelerate the adoption of electronic records.

It should follow Nova Scotia and require emergency medical technicians to provide home care when not on emergency calls, have doctors talk to their middle-age patients about end-of-life care such as living wills, give its regional health networks much more power to oversee care in each region and resist the temptation to build more long-term care homes and focus instead on home care.

Household bills could also take a hit, with Drummond recommending that the province scrap a 10-per-cent rebate on electricity bills, charge more to recover the full cost of water and wastewater services and commuters pay for parking at GO Transit stations in the Greater Toronto Area.

Ontario should increase class sizes, reduce per-pupil funding for textbooks and supplies and charge high-school students if they want to do a "victory lap" to improve their grades after completing the required 32 credits.

It should also scrap its new 30-per-cent tuition rebate for college and university students, keep annual tuition increases of five per cent, tie funding to "quality objectives," and have post-secondary institutions examine whether they can compress some four-year degrees into three with summer school.

It should also close one of two Niagara casinos, have the Liquor Control Board of Ontario do more with its buying power, sunset direct subsidies for business and lower the high prices offered through the province's feed-in-tariff programs for solar and wind projects.

Workers in the broader public sector will also have to do their part to reduce the deficit, Drummond said.

Ontario should force teachers to retire later and pay more for their benefits. It should also try to reduce pension contributions, since it matches what the teachers pay in.

Government workers and doctors should have their wages frozen, and doctors shifted to a pay model where fees for service account for only 30 per cent of their compensation.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version reported Drummond predicted debt will rise to $441.4 billion.


Robot Jesus
17th February 12, 05:40 PM

17th February 12, 06:56 PM

Just another government monopoly. We got rid of ours a long time ago. Of course, to get a liquor license in Alberta, it helps to be a member of the PC party...

17th February 12, 09:03 PM
what's a 'victory lap'? what's that about?

Robot Jesus
18th February 12, 12:12 AM
I have no idea, maybe it has something to do with grade 13?

18th February 12, 01:09 AM
Grade 13? That must be like where you fuck around in school and then realize in your senior year you have a 1.0 GPA and aren't going to get a diploma. If this is the case then they damn well should charge those fucks double, if not triple.

Dr. Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative Vermin
18th February 12, 06:46 AM
you tell 'em Jubei

18th February 12, 10:04 AM
Your Conservative stripes are showing , Feryk.

18th February 12, 10:10 AM
Fuckers want to raise my Hydro bill..fuck them !
Why don't the fatcats reduce their goddamn pay and put a freeze on MP's salaries. That will take care of the deficit !
The Liberals have been trying to get their shit together with this electronic health care records thing for over 5 years. They've already wasted over $60 million dollars and achieved nothing - plus there was a huge scandal to boot.
I'd be happy to see the LCBO go down, but bigger classes means less teaching jobs and lower quality of learning. I can't abide by that.

21st February 12, 04:43 PM

Make that a small 'c' conservative, and you'd be closer. I'm actually more of a libertarian than anything. My initial 'HAH!' has to do Ontario's attitude of fiscal idiocy. They have massive infrastructure problems, huge health care issues, etc. His policies have increased Ontario's debt load without really accomplishing anything substantial AFAIK. The problem is that the New Democrats in that province are SO left that the Liberals appear moderate in comparison.

This is not an endorsement of the Ontario conservatives, either, btw. Their leader looks like an idiot too. Just a different kind of idiot.

The issue we have is that if Ontario has a debt crisis, then it becomes everyone's problem pretty damn quickly. It was nice to see a senior economist finally shine a light on something we have all known would be a problem.

Robot Jesus
21st February 12, 06:50 PM
Grade 13? That must be like where you fuck around in school and then realize in your senior year you have a 1.0 GPA and aren't going to get a diploma. If this is the case then they damn well should charge those fucks double, if not triple.

It's university prep, but apparently it's been abolished already.

21st February 12, 07:06 PM
The austerity plan makes predictable cuts using the metric of a conservative thinker. I don't have a problem with that but the impacts from the cuts Mr. Drummond is advocating for are going to have long lasting consequences for everyone in the province. Before we take any drastic measure I would like to have a secound opinion on the economic action plan that might involve a few other sources.

From the top of my head i can think of doing away with the money we waste on trillium grants and other community donations.

How about we stop giving away millions of dollars in grant money to yacht clubs, school marching bands and other stupid community groups looking for handouts. If the communities need these groups so badly then the local community should fund them. I'm sure they're nice and all but dont really compare to the importance of our education and healthcare system.

I would also raise the capital gains tax from 15% to 30%, and fuck all those tax dodging numbered company faggots

Robot Jesus
21st February 12, 11:24 PM
this is what awaits you when you privatize the booze shops

skip to 0:30

there is a cellar, a basement theatre, and an open kitchen where they do food pairing parties; not shown.

Every Friday and Saturday they do free tastings; enough that you could get about 3 full glasses of wine, a shot of spirits, and half a glass of beer. although the number of stations varies from week to week.

They also have a bottle of most of the upper middle price scotches in a cupboard you can try if they thing you're serious about dropping a c note or so.

22nd February 12, 02:29 PM
Last I heard, the nuclear plants in Ontario have a $25 Billion infrastructure deficit. The roads and highways have more. Health Care costs are rising faster than Ontario can handle. There are many things that need to be corrected, and soon, to keep Ontario solvent.

22nd February 12, 09:42 PM
Jeez, are we becoming a 'have-not' province ?
Usually its the East Coast provinces that gain that distinction..but now they've found oil out there.
No more fish, but now there's oil.
Lots of people I talk to are considering moving to Alberta. Its the land of plenty right now..eh, Feryk ?

22nd February 12, 09:56 PM
There is one considerable downside to living in Alberta.

I don't think i have to point it out.

Robot Jesus
22nd February 12, 11:04 PM
The cowboy Muslims?

23rd February 12, 04:11 PM
Live in one of the major cities and you'll be fine. We haven't had a cross burning in years.

And don't be so afraid of the political climate. As our population grows (mainly through immigration from eastern provinces), the politics are becoming more mainstream. Myron Thompson and Stockwell Day do NOT represent the totality of Albertan politics.

And, btw, we are currently busy spending our money as fast as we make it, and burning through the Heritage Fund, so no, Alberta isn't the land of milk and honey it used to be. The current provincial government seems to feel that they have a divine right to rule, and act accordingly. I'm hoping they get proven wrong in the next election.

However, it has 3.5% unemployment. If you can't get a job out here, Ozz, it's because you have an attitude problem. If you are willing to work, you'll work.

23rd February 12, 05:56 PM
There is one considerable downside to living in Alberta.

I don't think i have to point it out.

The Calgary Flames aren't that bad, jeez..

23rd February 12, 07:02 PM
Oh, but the Oilers are. Trust me. Breaks my friggin' heart around the All Star Break each year.

24th February 12, 11:19 AM
Oh, but the Oilers are. Trust me. Breaks my friggin' heart around the All Star Break each year.

Yeah well, they shut out the Flyers last night. We need POINTS right now too, FUCK !

24th February 12, 04:52 PM
Well, you know, the highest paid goalie in the league should probably be able to stop a few pucks.

My guess is that we lulled them into a false sense of security. Who would've expected the Oil to shut out the Flyers?