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.
6. Wage Freeze on Doctors:
I think that is fair until we do get back on our feet. That is only if politicians take a pay cut, include McGuinty himself.
7. Online prescription refills, test results & appointments:
We are in the 21st century. Technology has improved since half a decade ago when universal health care came into being in Canada. Let’s make life easier.
8. Maximum tuition increase of 5%.
Amin. There should be no increase at all. How do they expect us to pay for higher education when we have to go to school full time. At least this would be a starter. I would also want to add getting rid of sabbaticals. Why do professors necessitate leaving to do research when they can do teaching and research at the same time?
9. Close 1 of 2 Lottery corporations (OLG) offices:
McGuinty increases our taxes, but keeps more offices than necessary for gambling? What necessitates this? It’s an addiction that should not be paid out from our pockets.
10. Divert non-acute patients to family doctor and clinics:
This is true as our hospitals are flooded. I was once in a Greater Toronto Hospital where there was 1 doctor for the whole emergency working from 10pm-6am on a Saturday night.