Commission on Quality Public Services and Tax Fairness launches public hearings in response to Drummond study

TORONTO, Jan. 4, 2012 /CNW/ - In the absence of any alternative inquiry into the "reform" of Ontario's public services as proposed by the McGuinty government through its Drummond Commission, the Public Services Foundation of Canada (PSFC) will begin its own study of public services beginning Jan. 5 in Kingston, Ont.

"The Drummond Commission's mandate to reform public services in Ontario is a badly flawed process," said PSFC Chair Judy Wasylycia-Leis, who will serve as Commissioner to the Commission on Quality Public Services and Tax Fairness. "To date, Mr. Drummond is conducting a closed-door investigation into the downsizing and elimination of public services in Ontario. He's been given a free ride with virtually no public scrutiny into his work. The time has arrived to study other ways of sustaining good public services in this province through a tax system that can fund programs and services.

"The Drummond Commission is operating in secrecy; it's not addressing issues of unmet needs and it has been told not to investigate how the tax system can be reformed to provide the funding required to meet public service needs in the future. Our Commission will make every effort to redress Drummond's fundamental shortcomings."

Under Ms Wasylycia-Leis, the Commission on Quality Public Services and Tax Fairness will conduct public hearings and town hall forums in more than one dozen cities and towns across Ontario in January and February 2012 beginning in Kingston on Jan. 5. Expert testimony will be invited from community leaders, frontline providers and clients of public services, experts in progressive tax reform, business leaders and others with a stake in the delivery of good public services through sustainable funding policies.

The Commission will submit a final report and recommendations to Premier Dalton McGuinty and Finance Minister Dwight Duncan in time for the provincial budget in the spring of 2012.

Judy Wasylycia-Leis is a former Member of Parliament (1997-2010) from Winnipeg and previously served in the Cabinet of Manitoba Premier Howard Pawley from 1986 to 1988.  She was appointed Chair of the Public Services Foundation of Canada in June, 2011.

The Commission on Quality Public Services and Tax Fairness will conduct Public Hearings and Town Hall Forums in the following communities:

Kingston  Jan. 5
London   Jan. 10-11
Ottawa   Jan. 16
Peterborough  Jan. 17-18
Oshawa  Jan. 18-19
Thunder Bay  Jan. 23
Toronto   Jan. 30
Hamilton  Feb. 1
Windsor   Feb. 2-3
Owen Sound   Feb. 7
Sudbury   Feb. 9
Sault Ste. Marie  Feb.14

SOURCE Public Services Foundation of Canada

For further information:

Greg Hamara

Media Relations Officer

647-238-9933 mobile

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Public Services Foundation of Canada

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