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Ontario Hansard - 24-April2012
Ms. Andrea Horwath: Thank you, Speaker—
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Be seated, please.
I understand what happened, but I would ask the member to be quick with the question and I ask for a less animated response from some members.
Ms. Andrea Horwath: My question is for the Premier this morning. Since the proposed budget was first tabled, we spoke with thousands of everyday Ontarians, and they told us very clearly that they didn’t want an election but they weren’t happy with the budget. So we made some progress and we put a little more fairness in that budget, and against the government’s will, created some fiscal capacity. But people are still worried, Speaker, especially about jobs, and we’re going to keep fighting for them. What is the Premier’s plan on jobs, Speaker?
Hon. Dalton McGuinty: Well, Speaker, first of all let me take the opportunity—
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Stop the clock. I want the Sergeant-at-Arms to ask our protesters to leave.
We will take a 10-minute recess.
The House recessed from 1055 to 1105.
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Before we start the clock, I would just like to offer a reminder not only to all members but obviously to all of our guests: It is not the case and the tradition and the convention here that our visitors participate in any way, shape or form during the debate. That will be maintained. I thank you for your patience, and I appreciate the opportunity to remind everyone that outbursts will not be tolerated.
We are now on the—the leader of the third party.
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Oh, yes, I’m sorry. Premier, you have the answer.
Hon. Dalton McGuinty: Thank you, Speaker. I want to thank my colleague for the question, but more than that, I want to take this opportunity for thanking her for the work that she did outside of the context of question period, which is understandably characterized by cut and thrust. It has a certain partisan overtone that’s understandable and to be expected, Speaker, but there is good work to be done outside this chamber, I would suggest, by all three party leaders. I extend a continuing invitation to my honourable colleague the leader of the official opposition. There is still more work that we need to do on behalf of the people of Ontario, and we are always at our best when we work together.
Speaker, my honourable colleague knows that, among other things, the budget makes a specific commitment to 170,000 jobs.
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary?
Ms. Andrea Horwath: There are 550,000 people in Ontario looking for work right now, and we won’t find balance in this province if those people cannot find a job, Speaker. Would the Premier agree that the job creator tax credit, which would reward companies when they actually create jobs, is better than rewarding companies that ship jobs away?
Hon. Dalton McGuinty: Speaker, on the matter of the job creator tax credit, I have committed to my honourable colleague to have our new jobs and prosperity council give that very careful consideration so that we might consider it, as a government, with respect to the next budget.
There is some good news, Speaker, on the jobs front. Last month, Ontario created 42,000 new jobs. That’s 56% of all the new jobs created in Canada. Since the depths of the recession, we’ve created over 350,000 jobs. That’s more jobs created in Ontario than the other nine provinces combined. So I think we’re moving in the right direction.
There is clearly more work to be done, but it’s important to understand that an important part of the foundation for a job-creating jurisdiction is to eliminate the deficit, and that’s why we’re so absolutely committed to getting that done too.
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Final supplementary.
Ms. Andrea Horwath: Speaker, the government has been forced to make this Liberal budget a little more fair for everyday Ontarians, but New Democrats know very well that this budget still falls very short for the people of this province. One of the things that’s clear is that this province will not recover until everyday folks are back to work.
We proposed the job creator tax credit, which will reward the companies that create jobs. It’s an alternative to the kinds of tax giveaways that the government has handed to companies that ship jobs away. The Premier has promised that our proposal will be considered by the jobs and prosperity council, and my question to the Premier is: When is that going to happen?
Hon. Dalton McGuinty: Speaker, we are in the process of deciding who it is that should provide us with some leadership, but I can say that on the jobs and prosperity council we want representation from the business community, we want representation from the labour community and we want representation from academia and any other groups that might have something to offer in that regard.
The fact of the matter is, the Ontario economy continues to evolve. I think it’s very important that we develop a broad consensus, in business and labour in particular, as to where it is that we are going to apply our collective muscle. We have some $2 billion that we continue to invest in supporting business development and growth in Ontario. Are we using those monies in the best way possible? If we get more input on the part of labour in particular, I am convinced that we could do a better job together to grow this economy and create more jobs.
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