Ontario budget must fill federal void

March 9, 2009

TORONTO – The province’s upcoming budget needs to make up for the federal government’s failed response to the economic recession, says the Ontario Alternative Budget released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

No Choice But to Lead: Filling the Federal Budget Void says the failure of the federal government to step up with effective measures to stimulate the economy, protect those hit hardest by recession and create a framework for recovery forces the provincial government to fill the gap.

“The federal government left Ontario with no choice but to dig deep into its pockets in this upcoming budget to fill the void left from a federal budget that fell short on stimulating the economy, ignored the needs of people losing their jobs and missed the chance to build a foundation for recovery,” says economist and CCPA Research Associate Hugh Mackenzie.

“The federal government may have solved its short-term political problems with its do-little budget but it didn’t resolve the serious and urgent problems facing Ontario today.”

No Choice But to Lead shows how Ontario faces several key challenges in Budget 2009:

  • The province must make a considerable investment to match funds that will lever all federal infrastructure commitments immediately, to help stimulate the economy at a time when it needs it most;
  • It must support Ontario families devastated by the recession, beginning with a significant investment in its poverty reduction strategy, starting in 2009;
  • It must make strategic investments to position Ontario for recovery in the future;
  • It must resist public service cuts that could worsen the recession and, instead, make a long-term plan for better public services and improved fiscal capacity.

“Ontario’s economy is the canary in the recession coal mine, which leaves the provincial government with no choice but to lead, and to lead boldly in the coming months,” Mackenzie says. “Budget 2009 needs to fill the void left by the federal government or Ontarians will pay the price for years, perhaps even decades, to come.”


No Choice But to Lead: Filling the Federal Budget Void is available at www.policyalternatives.ca.

For further information contact Kerri-Anne Finn, CCPA Senior Communications Officer, at 613-563-1341 x 306.