Arnott: Drummond confirms spending problem

The Drummond report is a wake up call for a Liberal government that has been asleep at the switch for the past eight years, according to Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott.

Released last week, the report contains 362 recommendations on 543 pages outlining how the government can cut costs and find program efficiencies in order to get its budget deficit under control.  

“The Drummond report proves decisively that the [Dalton] McGuinty government has been spending with little regard for the long-term fiscal consequences to the province,” said Arnott.  “It reaffirms what our caucus has been saying all along – we just can’t afford Dalton McGuinty.”

“The key question today is which of these recommendations is Dalton McGuinty going to accept and implement?” Arnott asked. “Will he take immediate action, or is this report just going to gather dust?”

On page 81 of the report, Drummond writes: “The roots of Ontario’s current fix lie in both the economy and in the province’s record of failing to keep growth in government spending in line with revenue growth.”

Arnott said, “It is clear that Premier McGuinty’s overspending is the largest contributing factor to the budgetary mess we’re in. People in Wellington-Halton Hills know that he isn’t the one who can lead us out of it.”

Ontario’s fiscal clock is ticking. With a $16 billion deficit on a spending plan of $124 billion, the province is in effect borrowing $1.8 million an hour. “The longer they wait to take action, the deeper the hole they dig,” Arnott said.

He concluded by drawing a comparison with the private sector: “If the Province of Ontario were a company, the chief executive officer would be immediately dismissed upon receipt of a report like this.”