Wynne says transit, infrastructure plans will be cornerstone of Ontario budget
Sales of Crown credits to pay for billions of dollars in new transport and infrastructure projects will be a focal point of today’s Ontario budget, also expected to include details on a new provincial pension plan.
The Liberals last week discharged two key elements of the budget by announcing plans to sell 60 per cent of Hydro One and to impose a new tax on beer to raise $100 million annually while allowing 350 grocery stores to sell beer.
When asked about the budget, Premier Kathleen Wynne left the door open to tax boost which she said would extend on last year’s plan to spend $130 billion over 10 years on transit, roads, bridges and other infrastructure.
Wynne said there are certainly other things in the budget that the government has not yet announced, but she declined to offer any details.
The New Democrats warn Ontario’s already high electricity rates will “go through the roof” if the government sells a majority stake in Hydro One, the giant transmission utility.
The Tories question the Liberal government’s ability to cut spending and keep its commitment to eliminate a $10.9 billion budget deficit by 2017-18.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is worried the budget will include cuts to health care that will force hospitals to lay off more nurses. She also expects to see cutback in education funding.
Horwath said that the Liberals made no referral of selling Crown corporations like Hydro One during last year’s election, accusing Wynne of implementing the campaign platform that the Progressive Conservatives ran on.