The Ontario McGuinty government needs to start implementing some of recommendations in the Drummond Report released in February of 2012. It is necessary, if we want to eliminate a projected $30.2 billion deficit by 2017, warns economist Don Drummond. These recommendations serve as a wake-up call to the Premier, who faces a deficit and potential budget cuts. In writing this article, I attempt examine the best 10 arguments.
1. Eliminate cap at 20 students in primary grades:
This was the best recommendation I heard so far. In fact not one school has been able to provide 100% class at 20 students or less. Many schools had to implement the Senior Kindergarten/Grade 1 and Grade ¾ class program to avoid it.
2. More funding for Aboriginal education:
Agreeable! In fact, we’ve seen the dread that occurs on First Nations reserves. The Attawapiskat situation should have been a wake-up call to the Premier about the conditions on reserves. The fact that families are living in tents speaks volumes about his actions or shall I say inactions.
3. Sell LCBO downtown:
This is a good idea. Much of LCBO is in popular development areas. The strategy to replace LCBO with condominiums could save the government $200 million in net profits.
4. Scrap or revamp full day kindergarten:
The program was a good idea. However, it was not well planned out. The guidelines are not really met. There are not a maximum of 26 students per class. In fact some schools have up to 30. Many schools also do not have space to add the growth or the resources. It initially cost $200 million to implement and will cost an additional 300 million next year.
The Drummond report also pointed out a problem with teacher’s pensions. It is unfair how teachers have to pay a large sum of their money toward OTPP. University Professors do not have to pay out much, only 2-3% of their paycheck.