Tbnewswatch Local News
Tuesday June 30 2015
5:22 PM EDT
2014-07-13 at 11:14

Budget talk

Minister of Northern Development and Mines and Thunder Bay-Superior North MPP Michael Gravelle.
Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com
Minister of Northern Development and Mines and Thunder Bay-Superior North MPP Michael Gravelle.
By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- Two months ago the provincial budget was unveiled and resoundingly defeated by the opposition parties, triggering a spring election.

Once again the Liberals will present the exact same piece of legislation, but this time are a lot more confident the motion will pass.

That’s the impact a majority mandate will have.

That budget, which formed the centrepiece of the Liberal platform that led to a re-election victory on June 12, will be re-introduced at Queen’s Park Monday.

Michael Gravelle, the returning Minister of Northern Development and Mines, said there are numerous elements of the budget that will benefit Northwestern Ontario.

“There are some very significant pieces in that budget I am very keen to see passed,” said the Thunder Bay-Superior North MPP last week.

“I look forward to it passing I hope before the end of July.”

Highlighted among those pieces is a $1 billion infrastructure investment into the Ring of Fire, which is expected to have different conditions than when it was announced during the first version of the budget.

The May budget presentation had the funding contingent upon matching federal dollars but Premier Kathleen Wynne announced during the election campaign the contingency clause would be removed.

Other components that Gravelle mentioned for the region included a continuation of four-laning the Trans-Canada Highway between Thunder Bay and Nipigon as well as raises for personal support workers and child care workers.

The spending announced in the budget is expected to increase the deficit to $12.5 billion.

The Liberals have announced they intend to balance the provincial books in three years, though details on how exactly that will happen remain vague.

But the ballooning deficit has raised alarms throughout the financial sector.

Moody’s recently gave the province’s credit rating a “negative” outlook, though the rating was not downgraded.

Last month federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver urged his Ontario counterparts to begin work now on bringing the ledgers back into the black, rather than increasing spending now.

Gravelle shrugged off those concerns, insisting this budget is a “balanced, responsible document.”

“Our government is very conscious that while we are indeed excited about many of the economic development benefits that are in that budget, let alone the social benefits, there is also a clear path forward to reach a balance in 2017-2018,” he said.

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The Beaver…. says:
Gravelle shrugged off those concerns, insisting this budget is a “balanced, responsible document.”
This is what you voted for folks
more than double the $138.8 billion debt or 27.5 per cent of the economy) in 2003/04 when the Liberals came to power.
7/14/2014 5:58:14 PM
The Beaver..... says:
Lori you should not be so proud of the Liberal accomplishment.. and here is why.
this year's deficit to grow to $12.5 billion ($1.2 billion higher than last year's projection). At $12.5 billion, Ontario's deficit will be larger than the combined deficits of the federal and all provincial governments. And while the government maintains it will balance the budget in 2017/18, without any meaningful reforms or spending reductions, the plan lacks serious credibility.
Seven consecutive years of deficit spending has fuelled growing government debt. Ontario's debt will hit $289.3 billion this year and is projected to reach $324.5 billion (almost 40 per cent of Ontario's economy) by 2017/18, more than double the $138.8 billion debt or 27.5 per cent of the economy) in 2003/04 when the Liberals came to power.
Once you comprehend these numbers then you must agree there is something very
wrong here, and your Liberal love affair does not cut it. Its easy to spend the Tax Payers money including yours
7/14/2014 11:50:27 AM
YellowSnow13 says:
This was a bad budget the first time. It was more of an election bribe. Business is going to hurt with that additional tax. If you are looking for a raise, you got one because of the new tax. But you will be taking home less. Funny how the Liberals got that one. And what happens to the money that was collected if the person dies at 66? I'll bet the spouse gets none of it. But Ontario voted for this so I guess there is nobody to blame but EVERYBODY! (Well, not me. I didn't vote for them!)
7/14/2014 9:02:19 AM
lori says:
shocking that folks are so ill informed or so intentionally misleading. The lowest tax rate is in Ontario for the first level of taxation and the amount that it is applied to, meaning the amount you can earn, is the highest in Canada but again with folks who post on this site, don't let the facts get in the way of a good opinion.

And the pension cost to business will be phased in and does not start for 3-4 years so truth is 0 for 2 on his issues so far.

anyhow, as for music ferret--- I have been supporting the liberals on this site for quite some time BUT, I agree completely with your sentiment. Cut some from the budget and get us to zero quicker although you can be sure some will criticize that if it happens.

however, I would like someone to tell me what they want the gov't to cut from the budget for the north to help get the deficit down but I still agree it needs to get done.
7/13/2014 10:12:14 PM
Eastender says:
One of the places the Libs can start with to reduce the deficit, is right here in good old Thunder Bay. No money for a glorified Hockey Rink. Hockey rinks are not necessary infrastructure.
If you are going to finance the Ring of Fire, then get a plan in place that includes the federal govt. and the mining companies who will profit. The plan should then include the whole picture, right to the first ton of ore being shipped, not just a road to nowhere, and then hope someone picks up the ball and runs with it. Its got to be a joint effort, not just a one man show!
And yes you will have to adopt some of Hudaks platform, even though you ran against it and gave the impression he was the evil one. You know in your heart he was on the right track. You got a second chance, if you screw up you will be relegated to a postion much worse even than the federal liberals.
7/14/2014 3:45:58 PM
trevor316 says:
Ontario will reap what sewed in the last election....brutal, just plain brutal....dragging the rest of the country with them.....thanks
7/13/2014 5:53:16 PM
Truthandjustice says:
Oh great, more taxes that I get to pay. I estimate another $1,500 personally; when they bring their dreaded pension plan i certainly won't be expanding my workforce and with the added payroll cost there won't be raises coming to my staff. I don't think people realize how much money they will be giving up in the future. Easy to promise all of this spending when this government does not seem to care that the debt incurred will be a burden for our children for years to come.
7/13/2014 2:47:59 PM
pc says:
this is a headline I read recently. Kind of scarey when you think about it.

It will take 9,300 years to erase Ontario's debt: Expert
7/13/2014 4:52:25 PM
tsb says:
If your personal income taxes are going to raise by $1,500 in a single year, I am sure you could afford help your employees out by sacrificing a little at home, since you're clearly doing very, very well compared to 99% of us.

Either that, of you're the only one you're giving a raise to... Just a thought.
7/13/2014 7:32:08 PM
Truthandjustice says:
It's amazing how some people always assume that when a socialist liberal budget decides to pick more money from small business by raising payroll costs that these people automatically assume that the owners are exploiting the staff and are taking all of the profit. How do you know my costs. When you are labour intensive raising payroll costs has a devastating effect on my costs. It's always easier to support raising taxes on someone else. The amount of tax that I pay and my business pays is ridiculous. I don't mind paying more than my fair share but not so that this government can continue to waste it with all of their scandals. This government loves to pit one income paying group against another. Why are we one of the highest taxed province? Don't be surprised later when these free spending liberals start to cost you money indirectly.
7/14/2014 6:57:04 AM
TBAY Opinion says:
Be very happy if it is only $1,500 out of your pocket I believe it will be more. Pass the beans and rice, time to hunker down.

7/13/2014 9:20:18 PM
Just sayin' says:
This legislation itself is making me think about outsourcing my work overseas and a lot of companies that were thinking about bringing manufacturing jobs back just eliminated that thought in their mind.
7/14/2014 12:05:41 PM
musicferret says:
Wynne should be taking this opportunity to start some form of spending reduction. Maybe a billion $ that wasn't cut from the original budget? Some token amount to show Moody's and the other rating agencies that she understands their concerns and isn't just a drunken spender.

Failure to do so could could precept a credit downgrade, which would result in a further 2-3 billion $ in interest charges PER YEAR. Sooooo..... why not cut a little to reduce the likelihood of a downgrade?

If you knew you could spend $1b less to prevent an ongoing annual cost of $2-3 billion, why wouldn't you?

Hoping Wynne steps up and shows some leadership to do what is required.
7/13/2014 1:25:25 PM
bttnk says:
@musicferret - I agree that Wynne needs to spell out her plan for deficit reduction, but to cut a line item representing $1 billion from the budget would fly in the face of everyone who showed up to the poles to vote for the Liberals based on their budget plan. Remember this is the platform they ran on and got a majority on. They can't pull something that material out of the budget now. They should pass the budget, then spell out clearly how they intend on eliminating the deficit in just 3 years.
7/14/2014 9:34:57 AM
joey joe joe jr. shabadoo says:
and how far will a $1 billion infrastructure investment really take us?

1/2 the road?
1/4 of everything else??

too many people believe EVERYTHING they hear!
7/13/2014 11:39:30 AM
pc says:
Now they are talking about selling property and the LCBO.
If I recall the Libs were dead set against Mike Harris talking about doing the exact same thing many years ago.
They want to keep spending our money with no thought of getting the deficit under control.
With our lost jobs and unemployment up we are bringing the country down with us.
But this riding and Toronto wanted you back so now they can live with forced pension plans which will in all likely hood go into general revenue or be used to bail out the gov.
Higher hydro rates and taxes on taxes for fuel.
You got what you wanted now all of us have to live with it.
Thanks a lot.
7/13/2014 11:33:43 AM
Tiredofit says:
The PC's were going to sell off the entire Province had they been elected, it's the PC way to do things. If the Lib's sell off property I see nothing wrong with that, especially if it's not being utilized by them directly. As for the LCBO, I doubt they'll dump the cash cow, mind you the bulk of it comes from taxes on the products, those will continue to come in regardless.

Hudak got exactly what he asked for.. a swift kick in reality, because he was in a whole different world. Not to mention he was going to download dam near everything on the cities which would equate to more taxes.

Face it, PC's have a horrible legacy in this province and it's going to take a miracle to get rid of it.
7/13/2014 6:49:21 PM
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