Ontario Budget Deal Close?
Published: April 20, 2012 9:52 pm ET
Last Comment: April 23, 2012 3:26 pm ET | 14 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments
Premier Dalton McGuinty will meet with NDP leader Andrea Horwath on Monday to discuss final concessions in an attempt to gain support for the Ontario budget.
According to an article on Canadian Business, McGuinty has agreed to two of Horwath’s budget requests of increasing support for child care and the Ontario Disability Support Program. McGuinty says he will find the costs associated with those demands of $242 million and $33 million, respectively, from the education budget and savings on changes made to public drug plans.
"Over the weekend, we'll continue to analyze how else we may be able to work together to make the budget stronger," McGuinty said in the statement. "I've asked Ms. Horwath to meet on Monday and have requested that she come prepared, on behalf of her party and caucus, to reach an agreement."
Among Horwath’s list of demands include helping industries affected by the budget such as horse racing, although she has said she is not drawing a line in the sand in regards to which concessions will be enough to win her party’s support.
On Tuesday, MPPs will vote on the budget for the first time. It is one of two votes that will happen in the next little while on the budget that could defeat the government.
In March, the Liberal government and the OLG announced a modernization strategy that will end the province's slots-at-racetracks program as of March 2013. Both opposition leaders Horwath and PC's Tim Hudak, and even members of the Liberal party, have expressed support for Ontario's horse racing industry, responsible for 60,000 full and part-time jobs and over $2 billion in provincial economic impact.
(With files from Canadian Business)