QUEEN'S PARK, ON, June 16, 2012 /CNW/ - The Horwath NDP went back on their word and broke an agreement for the second time to help pass the final Ontario budget. They joined the PCs to gut the budget bill beyond recognition, putting Ontario's fragile economic recovery at risk:
"It's understandable that Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty is so frustrated as to consider asking voters for a new mandate. Having afforded major concessions to the third-party NDP, notably a new tax on the highest income earners, Mr. McGuinty thought he had a deal to pass the budget. Instead, the New Democrats introduced amendments at committee this week to strip the budget bill of key provisions aimed at cost-cutting..."
(Globe & Mail Editorial, June 16, 2012)
"Ms. Horwath has a lot to lose here. She has wrestled some gains out of the Liberals, and all that will be lost - plus her new reputation as a bridge-builder - if the province is thrown into an election."
(National Post, June 15, 2012)
"The New Democrats whine that others must put water in their wine - then quietly boost the alcohol content...The NDP unilaterally voted to not just amend, but delete major portions of the budget in a legislative committee hearing. These were not "friendly" amendments to merely fine-tune the budget, but substantive changes from a party that had already negotiated a quid pro quo with the Liberals."
(Martin Regg Cohn, Toronto Star, June 16, 2012)
"Does anyone believe the New Democrats will be able to control government and growth and spending, given their DNA? Nothing they said during the election campaign amounts to credible evidence to the contrary...The government has a financial plan. It's not perfect. But it is a plan. The other parties don't even have that, and are less credible on debt and deficit reduction than the Liberals. Ontario doesn't need an election..."
(Howard Elliott, Hamilton Spectator, June 16, 2012)
"When the NDP and PCs joined forces in committee to make last-minute changes to the budget, Premier Dalton McGuinty was understandably frustrated. It seems Horwath won't stop at negotiations; she'll also do whatever she can to undermine the Liberal agenda. And as far as that goes, at least, the PCs and the NDP seem to be of a mind."
(Ottawa Citizen Editorial, June 15, 2012)
"Tim Hudak's Progressive Conservatives have offered nothing constructive...If anything, the New Democrats look worse. In April, it seemed that NDP leader Andrea Horwath had forced the Liberals to amend their budget - and raise taxes on the wealthiest Ontarians - in return for safe passage of the legislation. Sorry, Horwath says now."
(Waterloo Region Record Editorial, June 16, 2012)
"Horwath insists she always reserved the right to make changes. But it strains credulity to extract concessions in a bilateral negotiation, then impose unilateral changes after the fact. That's called having it both ways."
(Martin Regg Cohn, Hamilton Spectator, June 16, 2012)
"The party with the most motivation to sort it out should be the NDP. They should give themselves a shake... they run the risk of ending up without official party status if they force an election."
(John Tory, CFRB, June 15, 2012)
"The Liberals have already accepted many changes to their original budget proposal and have a right to expect co-operation."
(Luisa D'Amato, Waterloo Region Record, June 16, 2012)
For further information:
Liberal Caucus Service Bureau