Liberals deliver fool’s gold forecast

(Queen’s Park): GPO leader Mike Schreiner issued the following statement in response to Ontario’s Fall Economic Statement.

“The Liberal government has delivered a fool’s gold forecast that uses the sell off of Hydro One to make the deficit look smaller than it is. We need the Liberals to be honest with people if Ontario is going to make the investments we need for transportation while balancing the books.

Selling off a valuable public asset like Hydro One will hurt Ontario’s finances. It’s wrong for the Liberals to compound the problem by using Hydro revenue to mislead people on the budget deficit.

Ontario needs new revenue tools to fund essential transportation infrastructure. It’s time for the three parties at Queen’s Park to get together on this. The GPO will continue to support expert recommendations to fund transportation without selling off Hydro One.

We are pleased to see the government move on one of our top priorities: helping people save money by saving energy. It was a mistake for the Liberals to cancel the home retrofit program in 2011. The $325 million green investment fund to support home energy retrofits is a start but should be expanded. This is a drop in the bucket if the province truly wants to help people save money by putting conservation first.

We are pleased that the province is starting to answer our call for investment in safe cycling infrastructure. However, the $25 million over three years is far short of the modest 1% of the transportation budget for cycling that Greens will continue to advocate.

The GPO looks forward to more details on the government’s plan to support the sharing economy. Greens support opportunities the sharing economy presents for innovation, entrepreneurs and local economies.

It’s past time for the Liberals to be honest about funding transit. Shell games like selling Hydro One won’t raise the revenue needed to balance the books and fund transportation. The GPO continues our mission to bring honesty, integrity and good public policy to Queen’s Park.”