With prices continuing to rise due to inflation, every day is budget day for most Ontarians.
But for the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, “Budget Day” came on March 23.
The presentation of the provincial government’s taxation and spending plan for the fiscal year ahead is one of the most anticipated days on the legislative calendar.
Each year, no matter which party is in power, there are months of research, planning, preparation, and consultation prior to the budget speech being presented in the House. All Ministers and their staff in the Ministries are involved— sharing their spending priorities for the years ahead. Government and Opposition MPPs alike offer thoughtful suggestions, as do countless organizations and individual citizens. Ultimately, it is up to the Minister of Finance to set priorities, make the final decisions and then table the budget papers document in the House.
On March 23, Government MPPs maintained the budget is a targeted, responsible plan that helps businesses and people, while recognizing the reality of economic uncertainty and the need for long-term prudence for the sake of future generations.
Official Opposition MPPs called attention to the need for more investments in public health care, affordable housing, and education. They added that everyday Ontarians feel like they are being overlooked.
Independent opposition MPPs raised questions about the size of the contingency funds being set aside. They also highlighted concerns about the increasing cost of living, unaffordable housing, the province’s healthcare system, mental health resources, and climate change.
In Wellington-Halton Hills, we need approval to allow Halton Healthcare’s Georgetown Hospital redevelopment planning to move ahead. We need help for Town of Erin residents to affordably hook-up to the new wastewater system. We need the Highway 6/Morriston bypass to proceed as a priority. And, the County of Wellington’s innovative Continuum of Care seniors’ housing project needs government support. I continue to advocate for these projects and others that have emerged in recent months.
Ontarians expect their Government to treat every day as budget day—just as they do — making sure every dollar is invested responsibly in the goods and services needed most.