To make a minority government work, the party in power needs the support of enough members of parliament to pass confidence-vote legislation like the budget. This can be done on an issue by issue basis, or, by coming to an on-going agreement with one or more opposition parties to form a coalition government.
Currently, in Ontario, the Progressive Conservative party under Tim Hudak has been chomping at the bit for an election. They have been uncooperative for some time, looking to gain power for themselves instead of looking to get things done for the people of Ontario.
So, the governing minority Liberals, now under Kathleen Wynne, have been appearing to be willing to work with the NDP to pass legislation. With this in mind, Andrea Horwath's NDP have asked for some things to be added/changed in the upcoming Ontario Budget.
Here is what the NDP demands include:
- Close corporate tax loopholes (while running a deficit, it makes no sense to allow so much potential income to escape)
- Reduce car insurance rates by 15 per cent (Ontario has the highest rates in Canada)
- Introduce new measures to help reduce youth unemployment
- Strengthen health care
- Improve Welfare rules
- Improve support for home care for seniors
- Generally make life more affordable for Ontarians
At first, it seemed, for a while, that the Liberals were going to meet the NDP demands and get a budget passed. However, Horwath has said that recent meetings over the budget have been "unproductive" and that the Liberals have not offered a clear agenda.
The most recent item proposed to meet the NDP demand was a relatively insignificant amount to improve support for home care for seniors.
From the Toronto Star:
On Tuesday, Wynne, Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Health Minister Deb Matthews tried to meet a key NDP demand by announcing $260 million in additional funding for home-care services.“This is not a political game. This is not a ping-pong game about ‘you put out a policy and I’ll put out a policy, and we’ll see which one we can fight about and where we land,’ ” Wynne scolded her rival. “We will not be held hostage to a list, an arbitrary list.“It’s not that it’s a Liberal budget, it’s not that it’s an NDP budget, or it’s a Conservative budget. It’s the right budget for the people of Ontario,” the premier said.Horwath, who told reporters she was taken aback by Wynne’s “arrogance,” said it’s about delivering for Ontarians, not the NDP.“People have told us that they’re looking for change — simple, affordable change — that makes their lives better,” Horwath said. “They’ve been promised it over and over again but constantly find that they’re being asked to pay more and expect less from their government.
It seems apparent that the Ontario Liberals are purposely dragging their feet when it comes to trying to make the government work for Ontarians. This would point to them actually wanting an election, but not wanting to be the ones to seem to bring about an election.
If there is an election in Ontario soon, people should realize it will be the fault of the parties unwilling to make the government work for Ontarians (The PCs for being totally unwilling to negotiate for things for Ontarians, and the Liberals, for being unwilling to work with the only opposition party remaining who IS willing to negotiate for the good of Ontarians).