How will labour react to Ontario’s budget? (Guest commentary)

Outcome depends on whether public service accepts budget deficit burden
By Chris Bosch
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/04/2010

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s latest budget emphasizes jobs, growth and a plan for better fiscal management in the face of a $19.7-billion deficit. There is a sense “we are all in this together” because the recent economic downturn has touched each of us.

Ontarians look to their government to see how it will steward this province’s resources towards the common good. We ask: What do we think of this government’s plan to return the province to prosperity? Where are the laurels and the losers in this budget? How are workers and their families made better or worse?

Workers should be encouraged by the increase in the minimum wage to $10.25 per hour on March 31 (now the highest rate in Canada) and the one-percentage-point decrease in the lowest tax bracket to 5.05 per cent on the first $37,106 of income. As part of a poverty reduction strategy, these are considerable measures.