POLITICS

Ontario Budget 2015: Groups React To The Liberal Budget

04/23/2015 06:09 EDT | Updated 06/23/2015 05:59 EDT
TORONTO - Some reaction to the Ontario budget tabled by Finance Minister Charles Sousa:

Canadian Federation of Independent Business: Instead of stimulating job creation and growth in small and medium-sized businesses, the province is hurting independent business owners and employees by moving forward with its pension plan, a disguised payroll tax.

Canadian Union of Public Employees Ontario: Selling Hydro One and merging distribution companies will hand millions in fees over to bankers and lawyers, but will leave the public with less control and higher rates.

Sid Ryan, Ontario Federation of Labour: The government is trying to make the public decide between keeping Hydro One as it is and building public infrastructure and that's a false choice.

Association of Municipalities of Ontario: Billions in transit and infrastructure spending is needed in big centres, but regions outside the Toronto-to-Hamilton corridor need investments in roads and bridges as well.

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives: The budget doesn't do a good enough job of addressing new revenue. The government needs to have an "adult conversation" about taxes.

Canadian Federation of Students, Ontario: Changes to the student loan program will only increase student debt without addressing the up-front costs of post-secondary education.

Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance: Changes to the student loan program mean it will be easier for students to work during school, therefore helping to decrease student reliance on credit cards and private loans to finance their education.

Environmental Defence: Investing in transit and committing to a cap-and-trade plan show Ontario is serious about the need to address climate change.

Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations: There are no new investments in public funding for higher education institutions, calling into question the government's commitment to high-quality education.

Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario: The creation of 75 new nurse practitioner positions in long-term care homes and allowing nurse practitioners to make direct referrals to specialists help improve health care, but the government is turning a blind eye to a trend of replacing registered nurses with less qualified personnel.

Ralph Palumbo, Insurance Bureau of Canada: The government is mandating an auto insurance discount for using winter tires, but since the budget doesn't contain a specific amount, it's not known what the discount will be, company by company.

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