By: Laura Steiner
Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown brought his message to Milton Thursday. In a speech to local business leaders he touched on infrastructure, Hydro, and the province’s debt.
“We are the most indebted sub-national government in the world,” Brown said. Ontario’s debt is projected by the Fraser Institute to be $318 billion this year. They’re forecasting that the Liberals will balance budget in time for the 2018 provincial election, but continue to add an additional $9 billion on an annual basis afterward. 11% of that is interest. “We now spend more on interest payments than we do on healthcare, and education,” Brown said.
Brown has heard a lot about the ongoing Hydro prices. He told of the story of Stanpac, a packaging company in Smithville Ontario with a plant in Bernham,Texas. Their hydro bills are an estimated $50,000 higher than in Texas. They want to open a second plant. “They’ve told me it’s not going to be in Ontario,” Brown said. The Ontario Liberals have recently announced plans to lower hydro prices by 25%.
Metrolinx has pushed the idea of two-way all-day Go Transit Service on the Milton line to beyond the 2041 deadline specified in their “Big Move.” That has left the town with the twin problems of parking at the GO Station, and service. Brown feels the question of why is a key one. “Why is this a secondary priority for the government?” he said. Milton has been designated one of Ontario’s Places to Grow with a population expected to hit 400,000 by 2041. The province is planning to add 15 minute service during morning, and evening rush hour by 2025.
Brown Addresses Lack of Candidate for Milton Riding
As of the 2018 provincial election the town of Milton will be its own riding. The change is reflective of federal boundary changes that came into effect for federal ridings. The presumed Liberal candidate is likely to be M.P.P. Indira Naidoo-Harris. No candidate has been nominated for the Progressive Conservatives. Brown says his party is ahead of the game, having nominated candidates in 50% of the ridings. “I know there are multiple candidates here in Milton, and the riding association, and the memberships will decide when they have that nomination. There was a nomination meeting called for November, 2016. It was cancelled, and no rescheduled date has been announced.