FILE -- MPP Bill Mauro said he doesn't believe anyone wants another election.
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Both local Liberal MPPs are surprised and disappointed in the gutting of the province’s budget bill by the NDP and Progressive Conservatives.
“I am actually quite angry about this,” said Michael Gravelle (Liberal, Thunder Bay-Superior North).
Premier Dalton McGuinty has threatened a summer election, just nine months after his minority government was elected, after the two opposition parties pushed through amendments to limit the privatization of public services.
Gravelle said the sections of the budget relating to the proposed public-private partnerships are crucial for eliminating the deficit by 2017-2018, adding he doesn’t want to see another election any time soon.
“I don’t think anybody wants to see an election,” he said. “When there was a threat of an election several months ago, people were very clear to me they did not want to see an election.”
Saying he was shaken and surprised by the new amendments, Gravelle said his government worked hard with the other parties, particularly the NDP, to come to an agreement, one that they broke.
“Suddenly the leader of the (NDP) is reneging on that agreement and putting in peril, quite frankly, the gains that we’ve made,” he said.
“They very clearly broke their word. I hope there is some way to salvage this,” he added.
Thunder Bay-Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro also said there is a lot at risk if an election is called, including the recent $200 million announcement for Bombardier.
He said it seems that the NDP and Conservatives have teamed up and might be forcing an election.
“I don’t think it’s something people want to see. It’s a $200 million cost,” he said. “We’ve accepted NDP amendments to the budget. There was an agreement in place that it would pass.”
If there is an election, Mauro believes people will hold the opposition parties responsible for it.
However, Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath said she is committed to having the budget pass next Wednesday.
She said she also made the premier and the public aware they would be bringing forward some amendments to the 300-page omnibus bill and they're doing exactly what they said they were going to do.
“What I find disappointing is that the premier has decided that when there is a little bump in the road, instead of working hard to make the minority government work, he’s going to react by threatening an election,” she said.
“I don’t think that’s helpful. I don’t think that’s productive. I look forward to him taking it down a couple of notches and figuring out with me how we get to passing that budget on Wednesday,” Horwath added.
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