Rinaldi: Liberals feel it’s the right time to make major investments
The Liberal MPP for Northumberland-Quinte West says the 2018 budget addresses a number of issues across the province and locally.
As part of the province’s budget consultation committee, Lou Rinaldi says he heard about the need for investments into healthcare, childcare and mental health initiatives and this budget addresses those needs.
Rinaldi tells Quinte News it’s the right time to make those investments, with the economy rebounding from its recent struggles.
Rinaldi says plans for free child care and better drug coverage for seniors are among the highlights of the plan.
Smith: 2018 Liberal budget “not fooling anyone”
While the provincial Liberals say the budget is aimed at “making life more affordable for Ontarians”, the local Progressive Conservative representative says the spending plan “isn’t fooling anyone”.
Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith tells Quinte News the Liberals have changed their tune from trying to balance the budget to running a multi-year deficit, by announcing spending for a number of different programs.
Smith says the timing is suspect with an election around the corner.
Smith says the Liberals have already put the province’s hospitals in a crisis because of cutting funding and haven’t spent on mental health services when they knew they should have been.
He adds they’re just trying to recover from mistakes made previously in mismanaging the province’s finances.
CDCQ: Provincial budget hits the mark
Ruth Ingersoll from Community Development Council of Quinte says the provincial budget is a win locally in her mind.
One of the things she was happy to see come down was the pension benefit guarantee.
Another item Ingersoll was happy about was the broadband announcement for rural and northern communities.
She says they hear that people in areas like Bancroft are still on dial-up which is a huge issue.
In terms of our vulnerable populations, Ingersoll says the OHIP expansion is good for our seniors and the childcare funding announcement will be very beneficial as people are working two or three jobs just to afford daycare.
She says the budget is big and she will wait to see the fine print, but she says there was a lot announced that will benefit people in this area.
One thing she was disappointed about was the social assistance announcement. She would have liked to see a more significant increase, as the three percent increase “is low”.