Copyright 2014

Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli talks Ontario finances in St. Marys

Waste, mismanagement and scandal.

Those will likely be the Conservative campaign buzz words in the next provincial election.

Nipissing MPP and finance critic Vic Fedeli repeated the mantra several times during a talk about the gloomy state of Ontarios finances on Wednesday at the St. Marys Golf amp; Country Club.

The breakfast event, which was hosted by Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece, drew about 20 people.

Fedeli will be travelling to other communities around Ontario to spread the message during Focus on Finance discussions as the Conservatives begin to gear up for the next election in two years.

We are a province mired in waste, mismanagement and scandal. Those are the three pillars the government is anchored on right now, he said.

Fedeli focused on the unpopular sale of 60% of Hydro One by the province as evidence of those three pillars.

They will tell you its for transit, he said. No one will argue with the needs of the province for transit and infrastructure. Having them tell you the sale of Hydro One is to offset transit and infrastructure is a complete fabrication.

He said the 2015 provincial budget laid out a plan for $130 billion to go into transit and infrastructure, and part of that money would come from gas tax and also some HST. The plan also entailed $3.1 billion in asset sales including GM shares and the sale of the LCBO warehouse.

The next year the Liberals reannounced $130 billion for infrastructure and transit but then needed the sale of Hydro One, he said.

He accused the government of playing a shell game with Hydro One money. Initially it was put into infrastructure but because the money was already there it was pulled out and then used to falsely and temporarily lower the deficit.

Theyre fluffing the books up for June 2018 so the deficit is falsely balanced, he said.

He was also critical of the governments handling of health care. Hospital budgets have been frozen for four years but costs continue to rise. As a result, hospitals have cut frontline health care workers, including 1,400 nurses, he suggested.

In his hometown of North Bay the hospital closed 60 beds.

The hospital is brand new. One-hundred and fifty-eight frontline health care workers are gone from our hospital, he said.

He added the $345 million increase in health care is not what it seems because money from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation that was once used for health care has been pulled out.

The debt continues to climb and costs continue to rise, he suggested. Hydro has gone up 20% in eight months. That kind of increase should have taken a decade, he said.

This month of July Ontario will hit $300 billion in debt, he said.

When the government took office 13 years ago Ontario debt was $139 billion. The government doubled that in 10 years, he said. The financial accountability officer has said by the end of this year the debt will be $308 billion, he added.

Yet the government will be very quick to tell you our deficit is only going to be around $5 billion.

Fedeli urged participants to speak up and let their thoughts be known.

Tell the government youre onto them, youve got their number, he said.

They were also encouraged to go to www.forontario.ca to help form Conservative policy.

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