Liberals try do-over with budget that triggered election

Budget will be presented on Monday

The governing Liberals are presenting their do-over budget Monday, a big-spending plan that triggered the June 12 election after the opposition parties rejected it.

Although a debt-rating agency has signalled concerns about the government's ability to balance the books, the re-elected Liberals say they're not changing a thing and won't even bother to put a new cover on the 368-page book.

Moody's changed its outlook on the province's debt rating after the Liberals returned with a majority government, but the Liberals say the rating agencies are pleased with the election results.

The highlights of the $119.4-billion fiscal plan remain the same: $130 billion for infrastructure over a decade _ including $29 billion for public transit and transportation projects _ a made-in-Ontario pension plan, $2.5 billion over 10 years in corporate grants to lure businesses to the province and $1 billion to build a transportation route to the Ring of Fire mineral deposit in the north.

But there were a slew of details fleshed out during the election campaign that didn't get much attention.

Over the next six years, the Liberals are planning to expand the outer boundary of the Greenbelt _ about 800,000 hectares of protected land that largely encompasses an area from Peterborough around the western end of Lake Ontario to Niagara Falls _ a move
some say will hurt farmers.

The Liberals also plan to regulate crowdfunding, create five new business start-up hubs and provide interest-free loans to expand access of rural communities to natural gas supplies in an effort to quell concerns about higher hydro costs.

Another pledge was changing the building code to allow six-storey wood-frame buildings.

It's about 10 per cent less expensive than concrete or steel, so the move will make mid-rise buildings more affordable and spur more housing development to densify city cores, said the Ontario Home Builders' Association.

 On the health side, the Liberals are pledging to fund 20 more hospices, cap or cut hospital parking fees for frequent visitors and patients and provide more ``culturally appropriate care'' in hospitals, such as different food and better translation services.

They're also focusing on schools, providing more resources to help high-school students plan their path to a desired career, including revamping the curriculum for the mandatory Grade 10 careers class and giving Grade 7 to 12 students access to their own
online career planning tool.

They're putting in $150 million over three years to provide new technology learning tools, like digital tablets, netbooks, cameras and software for classrooms, and spending $10 million on a nine-month paid community work and service program for graduating
high-school students.

They also plan to revamp the Grade 10 Civics curriculum to get students more involved in their communities and introduce voter registration in high schools.

But the Progressive Conservatives say the budget is just a ``hodgepodge'' of new programs and spending that Ontario can't afford.

The New Democrats plan to vote against the budget, which some see as tailor-made for the party, even though it's virtually certain to pass.

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  1. Next stop: Rock Bottom posted on 07/13/2014 12:41 PM
    ALLLLLL ABOARD! This train is heading for Rock Bottom, with stops in Massive Private Sector Unemployment and Economic Ruin on the way.
    1. Winners' Notes posted on 07/13/2014 01:08 PM
      @Next stop: Rock Bottom Rob Ford hates it.

      Doug Ford hates it.

      Stephen Harper hates it.

      Tim Hudak hates it.

      Crristine Elliott hates it.

      Notice a trend here? ... CONS, losers and morons hate it.

      It must be good.
  2. Mark7 posted on 07/13/2014 04:16 PM
    All criminal Fiberal voters are pinheads.
    1. Winners' Notes posted on 07/13/2014 05:53 PM
      @Mark7 So another Con / loser / moron expresses his deep thinking ability.

      Wow ! Thanks for that.
      By the way - you lost the election (badly !).
  3. Common sense posted on 07/13/2014 07:39 PM
    The nice thing is, once people start starving to death because there's no work, because the Liberals killed the private sector, it'll be a nice blank slate for the Conservatives to rebuild a better Ontario from the ground up.
    1. Mark7 posted on 07/13/2014 07:46 PM
      @Common sense I agree with one exception. We will be tunnelling out of the ground first before building from the ground up.
    2. Only Common Sense posted on 07/13/2014 08:05 PM
      @Common sense You Conservatives won't have as much as a sniff at it for another 8 years.

      Ontario owes many thanks to the gods and the intelligent voters.
  4. The Conservative party posted on 07/13/2014 09:46 PM
    The Conservative party will always lose as long as it takes its agenda from the business community. Business runs the party instead of the people of this province.
    So every election we the voters stare at an agenda that is designed to give those who have even more while they pretend they are going to give us more back in return. LOL
    1. Walter posted on 07/14/2014 07:44 AM
      @The Conservative party The key is that the Liberals have morphed into the party of big public sector unions.
      The PC's continue to be the party of small business while the NDP is the party for private sector Unions.

      The million strong public sector was too powerful.
  5. john posted on 07/14/2014 06:55 AM
    i whant a replay of the election cuz i think that hudac is the best prime minster ever .
    1. Karl Burgin posted on 07/14/2014 07:03 AM
      @john You said it, john.

      Just because the platform of the Conservatives was short-sighted and poorly delivered, coupled with the fact that the Liberals did an amazing job of telling the truth throughout, is no reason to doubt the benefits of the Conservative movement.

      You watch the backlash in Toronto in October. I predict that Ford will come third. That should be good enough for him to still be an almost mayor.

      Your insight into the world of politics, like mine, is without peer.
  6. Mark7 posted on 07/14/2014 07:30 AM
    After much thought and reading, I now realize that the Liberals do have it right after all.
    1. Peter posted on 07/14/2014 07:31 AM
      @Mark7 Me too. I have to take back all the rude things I said about the Libs.
    2. Ernie posted on 07/14/2014 07:32 AM
      @Mark7 Me too.
  7. Sonny posted on 07/14/2014 09:07 AM
    The Libs are reintroducing the same budget because they were elected with a majority for 4 more years...
  8. Frankie posted on 07/14/2014 10:02 AM
    Economics 100 - Business generates income, supplies jobs, pays taxes (directly and indirectly through its employees). That's where ALL the money comes from to pay for everything.
    A successful economy treats business well who in turn treat their employees well in order to prosper. Taxes are an expense no different than goods and services.

    Government is not a revenue generator, only a revenue spender.
    This applies to all governments, no matter which party is in power.

    Unfortunately this isn't taught in elementary and secondary schools. Pity!
    1. Karl Burgin posted on 07/14/2014 10:22 AM
      @Frankie Decent economics lesson from Frankie.

      However my solution is better.

      Fix computers part time in your basement while skipping the rent payments and be sure to overcharge and insist on cash only transactions. That way the government will continue your welfare money.

      I learned this from john (except the computer repair part - he's still using a Commodore 64).
    2. Sonny posted on 07/14/2014 10:26 AM
      @Frankie Economics 101; the GDP is made up of Consumer Spending plus Business Investments plus GOV'T Spending plus Exports minus Imports
  9. arthur posted on 07/14/2014 10:42 AM
    not sure i don't have time to read all 26 posts so far. some of us work but probably most commenting are people who voted for the guy who got bitch slapped around good because he had nothing people wanted so you get skunked
    1. john posted on 07/14/2014 11:29 AM
      @arthur the only reason why those dickheads won is by fear mongering thay used that to there advantage .
  10. Angry Bill posted on 07/14/2014 11:15 AM
    I've never been more afraid of a provincial budget in my entire life. And I'm old enough to have been through a few of them.

    I'm trying to dig myself OUT of a hole, not have the libs dig it deeper for me and shovel dirt into my face.

    But, that's what you voted for. Thanks for the less money in my pocket every month, in return for not really much at all. What makes me giggle about all this is, you voted to have less money in YOUR pockets, too. The liberal mind can justify lots of crazy things.
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