The Liberal government of Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty delivered its last budget before the upcoming provincial election Thursday afternoon, hitting some of the same notes as the federal Conservatives only a few days before.
The balanced budget included a number of measures aimed at fighting child poverty, helping low income families and aiding the environment. In many ways the Liberals appear to have responded to NDP criticisms on a number of fronts in the hope it will help win votes in the October election.
The centrepiece, leaked several days in advance, is a commitment to keep increasing the minimum wage over the next three years to $10.25. It's become a controversial hot-button issue, with activists saying the province's working poor need a $10 wage now. On the other hand, business owners warn it could cost jobs as they attempt to absorb additional payroll costs on top of the increases to the minimum wage already made over the past few years.
n his budget speech, Finance Minister Greg Sorbara announced a $310-million surplus. He touted the budget as the "the clearest evidence of our economic strength." However, his comments come at a time when Ontario's key economic engine, the manufacturing sector, has lost tens of thousands of jobs and continues to struggle with a strong loonie and a weak automotive sector. Source...