Transcript: Debriefing Ontario's 2019 Budget | Apr 11, 2019

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a black suit, white shirt, and spotted brown tie.

He says THE FORD GOVERNMENT CALLED
ITS FIRST EVER BUDGET
"PROTECTING WHAT MATTERS MOST."
LET'S GET STARTED FINDING OUT
WHAT THAT ENTAILS WITH SOME
OF THE BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS.
SHELDON, IF YOU WOULD, LET'S
BRING UP THIS PACKAGE.
YOU'LL BE INTERESTED TO KNOW...

A slate appears on screen, with the title "2019 Ontario Budget. Taxes."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
THERE ARE NO TAX INCREASES IN THIS BUDGET.
IN FACT, THEY INTEND TO
ELIMINATE 3 BILLION DOLLARS IN TAX
INCREASES THAT WERE PLANNED OR
IMPOSED BY THE PREVIOUS LIBERAL
GOVERNMENT.
THERE ARE ALSO 3.8 BILLION DOLLARS
IN CORPORATE INCOME TAX RELIEF
OVER SIX YEARS.
AND THE GOVERNMENT INTENDS TO
CUT RED TAPE BY A QUARTER,
SAVING BUSINESSES 400 MILLION DOLLARS
IN COMPLIANCE COSTS.

A new slate reads "Alcohol."

Steve continues ALCOHOL IS ALL OVER THIS BUDGET.
I THINK IT WAS MENTIONED THREE
DOZEN TIMES.
AND FOR REASON.
THE GOVERNMENT WANTS TO EXPAND
BEER AND WINE SALES IN
CONVENIENCE STORES, IN BIG BOX
STORES AND MORE GROCERY STORES.
IT WANTS TO ALLOW TAILGATING
PERMITS FOR ELIGIBLE SPORTING
EVENTS, AND IT'S GOING TO GIVE
MUNICIPALITIES THE RIGHT TO
LIBERALIZE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
IN PUBLIC SPACES SUCH AS SOME
PARKS AND ALLOW BARS AND
RESTAURANTS TO START SERVING
BOOZE 9:00 IN THE MORNING.

A new slate reads "Transportation."

Steve continues ON TRANSPORTATION, A 28.5
BILLION DOLLAR PLAN FOR FOUR NEW RAPID
TRANSIT LINES IN THE CAPITAL CITY.
THE SO-CALLED ONTARIO LINE, A
RELIEF LINE, A SCARBOROUGH
SUBWAY, A YONGE STREET NORTH
EXTENSION, AND THE EGLINTON
CROSSTOWN WEST EXTENSION TO
PEARSON AIRPORT.

A new slate reads "Child care."

Steve continues GOVERNMENT HAD A LOT TO SAY
ABOUT CHILD CARE TODAY.
THEY UNVEILED A NEW TAX CREDIT
WHOSE ACRONYM IS C.A.R.E., CHILD
CARE, ACCESS AND RELIEF FROM
EXPENSES.
AND HERE ARE THE NUMBERS ON
THAT.
YOU CAN GET UP TO 6,000 dollars FOR
EACH ELIGIBLE CHILD CARE EXPENSE
PER CHILD, UP TO THE AGE OF 7.
YOU CAN GET UP TO 3,750 dollars PER
CHILD BETWEEN THE AGES OF 7 AND
16 OR UP TO 8,250 dollars PER CHILD
WITH SEVERE DISABILITIES.
OVERALL, THE GOVERNMENT SAYS THIS WOULD SUPPORT 300,000 FAMILIES AND PROVIDE THEM UP TO 75 percent OF ELIGIBLE CHILD CARE EXPENSES.
THE GOVERNMENT ALSO SAYS IT
INTENDS TO SPEND UP TO A BILLION DOLLARS OVER FIVE YEARS CREATING
UP TO 30,000 CHILD CARE SPACES IN SCHOOLS.

A new slate reads "Healthcare."

Steve continues ON HEALTH CARE, 3.8 BILLION DOLLARS
ALLOCATED FOR MENTAL HEALTH AND
HOUSING, AND A NEW DENTAL
PROGRAM FOR SENIORS.
SENIORS WITH AN INCOME OF
19,300 OR LESS FOR AN
INDIVIDUAL OR LESS THAN 32,300
FOR COUPLES.

A new slate reads "Northern Ontario."

Steve continues IF YOU LIVE IF NORTHERN ONTARIO,
YOU MAY WANT TO TAKE NOTE OF THIS.
APPLICANTS NO LONGER HAVE TO BE
RECENT POST-SECONDARY GRADUATES.
THIS WOULD ALLOW NEW WORKERS,
UNDEREMPLOYED WORKERS OR
UNEMPLOYED WORKERS TO BE
ELIGIBLE FOR THIS NEW INTERNSHIP
PROGRAM.
I'M NOT GOING TO PRETEND THIS IS
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE
ONTARIO BUDGET, BUT IT DOES SEEM
TO BE GETTING A BIT OF
ATTENTION, SO WE'RE GOING TO
MENTION IT AS WELL.
THE TRILLIUM, THE LOGO FOR THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO IS BEING, AS
THE GOVERNMENT DESCRIBES IT, REFRESHED.
THERE'S THE PICTURE OF THE NEW LOGO.

The new Ontario logo appears on screen. In plain white sans serif font against a black background it reads "Ontario", and next to the word it has a simple black trillium against a white background.

Steve continues THEY ARE GETTING RID OF THE OLD SO-CALLED THREE MEN IN A TUB
LOGO, AND THE NEW LOGO LOOKS
VERY MUCH LIKE THE OLD LOGO.
AND WE'RE GETTING NEW LICENSE
PLATES IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO.
THERE'S A PICTURE OF THAT WITH A
NEW SLOGAN.

The new licence plate has a blue stripe against a black background, the new trillium logo and a slogan that reads "A place to grow."

Steve continues THE SLOGAN IS: A PLACE TO GROW, WHICH WILL REPLACE THE OLD
SLOGAN "YOURS TO DISCOVER" AND
I'M SURE IT'S A COINCIDENCE, THE
COLOURS ARE THE SAME COLOURS AS
THE ONTARIO PROGRESSIVE ONTARIO PARTY.
WE LIKE TO GAMBLE, DRINK AND
TOKE IN THIS PROVINCE.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Debriefing Ontario's 2019 budget."

Steve continues HERE ARE SOME OF THE REVENUES THAT THE PROVINCE IS ANTICIPATED
FOR THIS FISCAL YEAR 2019-2020.
FROM THE ONTARIO LOTTERY AND
GAMING COMMISSION, THAT'S
CASINOS AND LOTTERIES, 2.4
BILLION DOLLARS IN REVENUE.
WE EXPECT TO SPEND THIS YEAR.
THE LCBO THINKS WE'RE GOING TO
BUY 2.3 BILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF BOOZE,
AND THE ONTARIO CANNABIS STORE,
TOKES FOR SHORT, THEY'LL TAKE IN
80 MILLION DOLLARS THEY ANTICIPATE OVER
THIS FISCAL YEAR.
NOW THE GOVERNMENT WHEN IT
CAMPAIGNS, THE TORIES, I SHOULD
SAY, WHEN THEY CAMPAIGNED, SAID
THAT THEY WOULD BALANCE THE
BUDGET IN THIS THEIR FIRST TERM.
THEY ARE BACKING OFF THAT A BIT.
THE DEFICIT FOR THE YEAR WE'RE
EMERGING FROM, 2018-2019, COMES
IN AT 11.7 BILLION DOLLARS.
THIS FISCAL YEAR THEY ARE
ANTICIPATING SOMEWHAT SMALLER,
10.3 BILLION DOLLARS.
NEXT YEAR, SMALLER AGAIN, 6.8
BILLION DOLLARS.
BUT THE BUDGET, THE TORIES SAY,
WON'T BE BALANCED UNTIL THE YEAR
2023-24.
THAT'S A YEAR AFTER THEIR TERM
EXPIRES.
THE TOTAL DEBT OF THE PROVINCE
OF ONTARIO TO DATE SO FAR: 343
BILLION DOLLARS, THAT'S ABOUT 24,000
FOR EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD
IN THE PROVINCE.
THE INTEREST ON THAT DEBT IS
13.3 BILLION DOLLARS EVERY YEAR.
THAT IS THE FOURTH LARGEST ITEM
IN THE BUDGET RIGHT AFTER
HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES.
AND AS WE SUGGESTED IN THE
INTRO, ADD IT ALL UP, AND THE
ONTARIO GOVERNMENT WILL SPEND IN
THIS FISCAL YEAR, 2019-2020,
162.5 BILLION DOLLARS.
HERE NOW, SOME REACTION FROM THE
OPPOSITION PARTY LEADERS FROM
EARLIER TODAY.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "April 11, 2019."
In the clip, Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath gives an official statement.

She says THIS GOVERNMENT IS DOING A
LOT OF DAMAGE TO EVERYDAY
FAMILIES.
THIS BUDGET SHOWS CLEARLY THAT
THE CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT IS
NOT... DOES NOT BELIEVE THAT
GOVERNMENT IS THERE TO HELP PEOPLE.
QUITE THE OPPOSITE.
THEY ARE CUTTING EVERYWHERE.

In another clip, John Fraser of the Liberal Party gives a statement.

He says THE GOVERNMENT IS MOVING TO
INCREASE CLASS SIZES.
THEY HAVE CUT MENTAL HEALTH
SPENDING.
THEY'VE MADE CHANGES TO OSAP
THAT FAVOUR THE WEALTHIEST WHILE
PUTTING A GREATER BURDEN ON LOW-
AND MIDDLE- INCOME FAMILIES FOR
DEBT.
THEY'VE CHANGED OHIP PLUS INTO
OHIP MINUS.

In a third clip, Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner gives a statement.

He says SO I'M JUST CURIOUS
WHAT... WHAT THE PREMIER, WHY IS
THE PREMIER SO OBSESSED WITH
BOOZE AND GAMBLING AND NOT THE
ISSUES THAT PEOPLE TRULY CARE
ABOUT THAT WILL MAKE A
DIFFERENCE IN YOUR DAY-TO-DAY LIVES.

The clips end.

Steve says ALL RIGHT, WITH THOSE
TABLE SETTERS IN PLACE, JUST
THIS LITTLE NOTE.
IF YOU KNOW "THE AGENDA," YOU
KNOW THAT WE DO LONG-FORM
INTERVIEWS HERE.
WE DON'T DO QUICK HITS.
WE LIKE TO GO DEEP.
WE ASKED THE FINANCE MINISTER'S
OFFICE FOR A 12-MINUTE
INTERVIEW, THE SAME LENGTH WE
ALWAYS REQUEST FROM EVERY
FINANCE MINISTER, REGARDLESS OF
PARTY.
THEY DECLINED.
THEY OFFERED US HALF THAT, SO WE
DECLINED.
THAT SAID, WE'VE GOT
REPRESENTATIVES FROM ALL FOUR OF
THE PARTIES HERE TO HELP US
DEBRIEF THE FORD GOVERNMENT'S
FIRST BUDGET, AND WITH THAT WE
WELCOME:
PETER BETHLENFALVY, PRESIDENT OF
THE TREASURY BOARD OF ONTARIO
AND THE PC MPP FOR
PICKERING-UXBRIDGE...

Bethlenfalvy is in his late fifties, clean-shaven, with short, receding gray hair. He's wearing a black suit, white shirt, and printed yellow tie.

Steve continues SANDY SHAW,
NDP FINANCE CRITIC AND THE NDP MPP, HAMILTON
WEST-ANCASTER-DUNDAS...

Shaw is in her fifties, with chin-length straight chestnut hair. She's wearing glasses, a white blazer and a burgundy blouse.

Steve continues MITZIE HUNTER, LIBERAL FINANCE CRITIC
AND MPP, SCARBOROUGH-GUILDWOOD...

Hunter is in her forties, with shoulder-length curly black hair. She's wearing a gray blazer with a white pin, and a black shirt.

Steve continues AND STACEY DANCKERT, GREEN PARTY FINANCE CRITIC AND FORMER GREEN
PARTY OF ONTARIO CANDIDATE,
KITCHENER CENTRE.

Danckert is in her late forties, with long brown hair pulled back. She's wearing glasses, a gray blouse, a silver pendant necklace and matching earrings.

Steve continues WE'RE DELIGHTED TO HAVE
EVERYBODY HERE TONIGHT.
MR. PRESIDENT, GOOD OF YOU TO BE
WITH US THIS EVENING.
BECAUSE THE MINISTER ISN'T HERE,
I WANT TO SPEND A LITTLE BIT OF
TIME WITH YOU OFF THE TOP TO
GIVE THE GOVERNMENT THE CHANCE
TO SPEAK TO THE BUDGET.
EVERY BUDGET HAS AN OVERARCHING THEME.
WHAT IS IT FOR THIS ONE?

Bethlenfalvy says I THINK IT'S CLEARLY
PROTECTING WHAT MATTERS MOST.
YOU KNOW, MY MOTHER CAME FROM
HUNGARY, WORLD WAR II AS A KID.
HER BEST FRIEND, MY GODMOTHER,
HER FAMILY ESCAPED AS WELL IN
'44.
MY MOTHER'S FAMILY CAME TO
CANADA.
MY GODMOTHER WENT TO VENEZUELA,
AND TWO SIMILAR ECONOMIES IN THE
'40S AND '50S, BUT ONE'S GONE
SOUTH AND ONE'S GONE NORTH.
MY GODMOTHER IS A UNIVERSITY
PROFESSOR.
SHE WORKED HER WHOLE LIFE.
HER PENSION, WHICH IS GOVERNMENT
FUNDED, IS NOW WORTHLESS.
BUT THIS BUDGET IS PROTECTING
WHAT MATTERS MOST.
OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, OUR
EDUCATION SYSTEM, SOCIAL
SERVICES, AND GOVERNMENT
PENSIONS.
WE CAN'T CONTINUE TO GO DOWN AN
UNSUSTAINABLE PATH, SO I THINK
THAT'S WHAT THIS BUDGET IS
REALLY ABOUT.

Steve says I KNOW YOU GUYS
CAMPAIGNED WHEN YOU WERE NOT IN
GOVERNMENT, YOU CAMPAIGNED LAST
YEAR ON BALANCING THE BUDGET IN
THIS YOUR FIRST TERM.
THAT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN NOW.
DO YOU THINK THAT'S A BROKEN
PROMISE?

Bethlenfalvy says NO, I DON'T, AND I'LL TELL
YOU WHY.
WE KNEW THE NUMBERS WEREN'T
EXACTLY WHAT THE PREVIOUS
LIBERAL GOVERNMENT SAID IT WAS.
THE AUDITOR GENERAL SAID THE
NUMBERS WEREN'T CORRECT.
THE FAO, THE FINANCIAL
ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICER, THEY
WEREN'T CORRECT.
SO WE KNEW THEY WERE BAD, BUT
YOU WANT TO WAIT UNTIL YOU'RE IN
GOVERNMENT.
WE GOT INTO GOVERNMENT.
THEY WERE EVEN WORSE.
SO WE ASKED AN INDEPENDENT
COMMISSION OF INQUIRY TO TAKE A
LOOK.
WELL-RESPECTED PEOPLE.
MICHAEL HORGAN, DEPUTY MINISTER
OF FINANCE, GORDAN CAMPBELL, A
FORENSIC ACCOUNTANT, AND THEY
SAID IT'S 15 BILLION DOLLARS.
THAT WAS WAY WORSE THAN ANYONE
EXPECTED, SO WE'RE GOING TO DIG
THE HOLE OUT FROM THE PREVIOUS
LIBERAL GOVERNMENT IN A
RESPONSIBLE, PRAGMATIC WAY
THAT'S SUSTAINABLE.
NOT THROUGH DEEP CUTS.

Steve says YOU HAVE ANOTHER YEAR
TO DO THAT.

Bethlenfalvy says IT'S GOING TO BE FIVE YEARS, AND I THINK THAT'S THE
RESPONSIBLE THING TO DO, NOT ON
THE BACKS OF THE HARD-WORKING
PEOPLE IN ONTARIO, THE
FRONT-LINE WORKERS, BUT IN A
SUSTAINABLE, PRAGMATIC WAY
THAT'S RESPONSIBLE.

Steve says ONE MORE QUESTION IN
HERE BEFORE WE GET EVERYBODY
ELSE INVOLVED.
THE BUDGET ACTUALLY PURPORTS TO
SPEND FOR THIS FISCAL YEAR
ALMOST 5 BILLION DOLLARS MORE THAN THE
LAST LIBERAL BUDGET.
SO MY QUESTION IS: HOW EXACTLY
IS THAT CONSERVATIVE?

The caption changes to "Peter Bethlenfalvy. Treasury Board Secretariat."

Bethlenfalvy says WELL, YOU KNOW, MOVING
GOVERNMENT IS MORE... IT'S NOT
EVEN THE TITANIC.
THE TITANIC WAS A RUBBER DINGHY
COMPARED TO WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO MOVE.
THE LAST FULL YEAR OF THE
PREVIOUS LIBERAL GOVERNMENT
SPENDING WAS UP OVER 8 percent.
WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO DECELERATE
THAT INCREASE, BUT IT TAKES
TIME, AND WE WANT TO DO IT IN A
WAY THAT MAKES SENSE.
I'M RESPONSIBLE FOR A LOT OF THE
EXPENDITURES IN GOVERNMENT, AND
THERE'S A LOT OF WASTE AND
MISMANAGEMENT.
WE OWE IT TO TAXPAYERS TO LOOK
AT THE SPENDING SIDE OF THE
EQUATION, BUT IT TAKES TIME AND
WE WANT TO DO IT IN A
RESPONSIBLE WAY.

Steve says SO YOU'RE GOING TO ADD
40 BILLION DOLLARS TO THE ALREADY
PRETTY SIZABLE DEBT OF THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO.

The caption changes to "Peter Bethlenfalvy. PC MPP, Pickering-Uxbridge."

Bethlenfalvy says WE'RE GOING TO MISS THAT
ICEBERG, WHICH IS REALLY
IMPORTANT, AND WE'RE GOING TO DO
IT IN A WAY THAT'S PRAGMATIC AND
SUSTAINABLE.
I THINK THAT THIS IS THE
GOLDILOCKS WAY TO DO IT, NOT TOO
HARSH, BUT NOT TOO SOFT, JUST RIGHT.

Steve says OKAY.
WE HAVE THREE OTHER PEOPLE HERE
TONIGHT WHO HAVE SOME ADVICE FOR
YOU, SO WE'RE GOING TO GET THAT
ADVICE RIGHT NOW.
LET'S GO TO THE OFFICIAL
OPPOSITION.
YOUR REACTION TO THE BUDGET?

The caption changes to "Sandy Shaw. NDP Finance Critic."
Then, it changes again to "The opposition reacts."

Shaw says WELL, I WOULD HAVE TO SAY,
YOU KNOW, THIS IS A BUDGET
THAT'S SUPPOSED TO PROTECT WHAT
MATTERS MOST TO PEOPLE, THAT'S
NOT DOING IT.
THIS IS A BUDGET THAT HAS REAL
CUTS THAT ARE GOING TO HURT
FAMILIES IN ONTARIO.
AND YOU KNOW, I WANT TO SAY THAT
IT'S A BIT OF A CRUEL BUDGET
BECAUSE PEOPLE IN ONTARIO WERE
LOOKING FOR RELIEF, AND THIS IS
NOT A BUDGET THAT PROVIDES
RELIEF.
THERE ARE SIGNIFICANT CUTS INTO
OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM.
SIGNIFICANT CUTS TO EDUCATION.

Steve says WELL, LET ME JUMP IN
THERE FIRST.

Shaw says YEAH.

Steve says WE'VE GONE THROUGH ALL
THE BUDGET PAPERS TODAY.
THERE ARE DEFINITE CUTS IN SOME
MINISTRIES, BUT THE HEALTH
NUMBER YEAR OVER YEAR IS HIGHER.
THE EDUCATION NUMBER YEAR OVER
YEAR IS HIGHER.
HOW IS THAT A CUT?

The caption changes to "Sandy Shaw. NDP MP, Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas."

Shaw says WELL, IT'S A CUT... FOCUS ON
THE HEALTH CARE.
I MEAN, THE INCREASES IN THE
HEALTH CARE SYSTEM ARE NOT EVEN
KEEPING PACE WITH INFLATION.
AND YOU KNOW THAT WE HAVE A
HEALTH CARE SYSTEM THAT WAS
REALLY HANGING BY A THREAD AFTER
THE UNDER-INVESTMENT BY THE
PREVIOUS LIBERAL GOVERNMENT.
SO JUST IN ORDER TO KEEP UP WITH
INFLATION, I MEAN, IT'S RUNNING
ABOUT 1.9 percent, THE NUMBER FOR INFLATION.
THIS IS A HEALTH CARE BUDGET
THAT'S BELOW INFLATION.
IT'S ALSO BELOW WHAT MOST
ECONOMISTS THINK THAT THE HEALTH
CARE INFLATION SHOULD BE, WHICH
IS 5.5, 5.6 percent.
SO IF THIS IS A BUDGET THAT'S
INTENDED TO BRING MUCH-NEEDED
RELIEF TO PEOPLE WAITING IN
HALLWAYS AND IN HOSPITALS, THIS
IS NOT THE KIND OF INVESTMENT,
THE KIND OF FUNDING THAT IS
GOING TO FIX THAT AT ALL.

Steve says MITZIE HUNTER, LET ME
GET YOUR TAKE.
WHAT'S YOUR VIEW?

The caption changes to "Mitzie Hunter. Liberal Finance Critic."
Then, it changes again to "Liberal MPP, Scarborough-Guildwood."

Hunter says I THINK THE CUTS ARE HURTING
PEOPLE, AND THAT'S A HUGE
DOWNFALL OF THIS PARTICULAR
BUDGET.
SANDY MENTIONS THE HEALTH CARE
SPENDING NOT KEEPING UP WITH
INFLATION, BUT ALSO THE SPENDING
IS WAY DOWN FROM THE PREVIOUS
YEAR.
IT WAS 4.3 percent SPENDING ON HEALTH
CARE IN TERMS OF A
YEAR-OVER-YEAR INCREASE, AND
THAT'S NOW DOWN TO 1.6 percent.
SO YOU THINK ABOUT ALL THE
PEOPLE IN THE SYSTEM THAT ARE
RELYING ON GOOD HEALTH CARE AND
THAT WOULD EXPECT IT, THEY ARE
NOW SEEING THAT PUT AT RISK.
I ALSO FEEL THAT THIS GOVERNMENT
STARTED CUTTING WAY BACK.
YOU KNOW, I REMEMBER WHEN THE
ANNOUNCEMENT WAS MADE FOR
CUTTING FREE TUITION PROGRAMS,
THAT WAS HELPING LOW- AND
MIDDLE- INCOME STUDENTS TO GET
ACCESS TO THE EDUCATION AND THE
TRAINING THAT THEY NEED.
AND THAT'S TAKING OUT 700
MILLION DOLLARS FROM OUR POST-SECONDARY
INSTITUTIONS, BUT THAT'S...
LET'S THINK ABOUT THE YOUNG
PEOPLE WHO NOW ARE QUESTIONING
WHETHER OR NOT THEY CAN PURSUE
THAT EDUCATION AT A TIME WHEN WE
KNOW WE HAVE A CHANGING ECONOMY.
WE KNOW THAT AUTOMATION IS
DISRUPTING THE LABOUR MARKET.
WE SHOULD BE MAKING THOSE
INVESTMENTS.
INSTEAD WE'RE PULLING BACK, AND
WE TALK ABOUT GIVING
OPPORTUNITIES TO PEOPLE IN, SAY,
NORTHERN COMMUNITIES AND OTHER
COMMUNITIES, BUT WE'RE NOT
BACKING THAT UP WITH ANY KIND OF
SUPPORT.

Steve says OKAY.
THAT'S THE LIBERAL VIEW.
STACEY DANCKERT, GIVE US THE
GREEN VIEW.

The caption changes to "Stacey Danckert. Green Party of Ontario Finance Critic."

Danckert says WELL, IT'S BEEN REALLY
FRUSTRATING FOR US WATCHING A
LARGE ELEMENT OF DISTRACTION
EVOLVE FROM WITHIN THIS BUDGET
AND PRIOR TO IT WHERE WE'RE
SPENDING A LOT OF... THE
GOVERNMENT IS SPENDING A LOT OF
TIME AND ENERGY ON THINGS LIKE
FIGHTING AGAINST CLIMATE ACTION
FEDERALLY, WHICH ECONOMISTS TELL
US IS THE CHEAPEST AND MOST
EFFECTIVE WAY TO ACTUALLY REACH
THE TARGETS THAT WE WANT TO.
AS WELL AS, YOU KNOW,
RE-BRANDING AND CHANGING ALL OF
OUR ALCOHOL RULES.
WHILE YOU MIGHT WANT TO SPEND
TIME DOING THOSE, AT SOME POINT
WE SHOULD BE RE-PRIORITIZING,
RE-PRIORITIZING TO ADDRESS THE
CLIMATE BREAKDOWN THAT WE'RE
FACING, TO ENSURE THAT WE ARE
SUPPORTING PEOPLE WITH MENTAL
HEALTH ISSUES, WHICH THIS BUDGET
DOES NOT DO A GOOD JOB IN DOING,
AND AS WELL, IN HELPING PEOPLE
FIND AFFORDABLE HOUSING THAT
THEY CAN... YOU KNOW, THAT THEY
CAN AFFORD TO BUY.

Steve says LET ME JUMP IN ON ONE
OF THOSE THINGS.
3.8 BILLION DOLLARS IS IN... YOU KNOW,
THE FIRST CHUNK OF WHICH IS IN
THIS BUDGET ALLOCATED FOR MENTAL
HEALTH AND HOUSING.
AND ADDICTION ISSUES.
THAT'S THE BIGGEST NUMBER I CAN
EVER RECALL SEEING IN AN ONTARIO
BUDGET FOR THAT PURPOSE.
NOT ENOUGH, IN YOUR VIEW?

Danckert says IT ISN'T ENOUGH, AND I THINK
IT'S 1.9 THAT THIS GOVERNMENT
IS ACTUALLY SPENDING.

Steve says MATCHING FEDERAL FUNDS.

Danckert says RIGHT, AND IT WAS SMALLER
THAN WHAT WAS IN THE 2018
BUDGET, AND YOU KNOW, IT'S SUCH
A TINY, TINY AMOUNT RELATIVE TO
THE VAST NEEDS THAT WE FACE IN
OUR SOCIETY.

Steve says ALL RIGHT, LET ME GET
PETER BETHLENFALVY TO REACT TO
SOME OF WHAT YOU'VE HEARD HERE SO FAR.

Bethlenfalvy says I'M WONDERING WHAT BUDGET
THEY READ, BECAUSE THE
INVESTMENTS... LET'S TAKE HEALTH
CARE.
17 BILLION DOLLARS IN NEW HOSPITALS.
YOU MENTIONED THE 1.9 BILLION DOLLARS
MATCHED BY THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT, 3.8 BILLION DOLLARS, THAT'S
HISTORIC.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT FOR
LONG-TERM CARE BEDS, JUST UNDER
2 BILLION DOLLARS.
WE'RE BUILDING 15,000 NEW BEDS.
THERE'S A 32,000 WAIT LIST FOR
LONG-TERM CARE BEDS IN THIS
PROVINCE.
THIS IS A GOVERNMENT THAT'S
ACTUALLY INVESTING IN HEALTH
CARE AND EDUCATION, 1.4 BILLION DOLLARS
FOR NEXT YEAR FOR NEW CAPITAL
FOR SCHOOLS AND REPAIRS IN
SCHOOLS.
THAT'S NEW.
THE LIST GOES ON.
THE LOW-INCOME FAMILY AND TAX
CREDIT FOR LOW-INCOME ONTARIANS
MAKING 30,000 OR LESS, FOR 1.1
MILLION PEOPLE IN THIS PROVINCE,
I'D CALL THAT AN INVESTMENT.
THE CHILD CARE TAX CREDIT.
WE'RE GOING TO SPEND CLOSE TO 2
BILLION DOLLARS TO HELP FAMILIES WITH
YOUNG CHILDREN, AS YOU
HIGHLIGHTED IN YOUR OPENING.
I CALL THOSE INVESTMENTS.
WE'RE INVESTING IN THE PEOPLE OF
ONTARIO.
WE'RE INVESTING IN OUR HEALTH
CARE SYSTEM, MENTAL HEALTH AND
ADDICTIONS, SOMETHING I'M VERY
ATTACHED TO.
AND THE EDUCATION SYSTEM AS
WELL.
SO I THINK THAT BUDGET IS THE
ONE I READ.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Steve says LET'S GET SOME... ALL
RIGHT, YOU HEARD WHAT HE HAS TO SAY.
HE THINKS HE IS INVESTING.

Shaw says WELL, I THINK THE TWO
PRIORITIES FOR PEOPLE ARE HEALTH CARE.
I MEAN, PEOPLE... WE HEAR TIME
AND TIME AGAIN PEOPLE WAITING IN
HALLWAYS, NOT GETTING THE
SERVICES THAT THEY NEED, AND WE
WERE LOOKING FOR RELIEF FROM THAT.
AS I SAID EARLIER, THIS IS A
BUDGET THAT IS NOT INVESTING IN
A WAY THAT WE NEED TO FIX THAT
PROBLEM.
I MEAN, WE ALREADY HAVE A HEALTH
CARE SYSTEM IN ONTARIO WHERE WE
SPEND LESS PER CAPITA IN HEALTH
CARE IN ONTARIO THAN WE DO IN
ANY OTHER PROVINCE.
SO IT NEEDED A LARGE INVESTMENT.
NOT AN INVESTMENT THAT JUST
BARELY KEEPS PACE WITH
INFLATION.
SO YOU KNOW, I REALLY CHALLENGE
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING IS
INVESTMENT IS BARELY KEEPING
PACE WITH THE NEEDS.
YOU KNOW, AND THEN WE LOOK AT
EDUCATION.
I MEAN, THERE'S SIGNIFICANT CUTS
TO POST-SECONDARY IN THERE.
AND YOU KNOW, THEY HAVE TAKEN
AWAY FREE TUITION FOR PEOPLE
TRYING TO... YOUNG PEOPLE TRYING
TO ACCESS EDUCATION.
I MEAN, EVEN THE WAY IN WHICH
THEY ARE TYING THIS FUNDING FOR
UNIVERSITIES TO OUTCOMES.
LIKE 60 percent OF THE FUNDING FOR
UNIVERSITIES ARE GOING TO BE
TIED TO OUTCOMES THAT THE
GOVERNMENT IS SUPPOSED TO
NEGOTIATE.
AND SO REALLY, THE FACT THAT
THIS GOVERNMENT'S REALLY, YOU
KNOW, TAMPERING DOWN ON THE
EDUCATION IS NOT AN INVESTMENT.
IT'S GOING TO MAKE IT VERY
DIFFICULT FOR PEOPLE TO ACCESS
EDUCATION.

Steve says HAVING SAID THAT,
MITZIE HUNTER, MANY SOURCES IN
THE GOVERNMENT KIND OF GOT THE
WORD OUT AHEAD OF TIME THAT THIS
WAS GOING TO BE A VERY TOUGH,
AUSTERITY BUDGET, LOTS OF SLASH
AND BURN AND THAT KIND OF THING.
AND MANY OBSERVERS THINK THAT
DID NOT HAPPEN TODAY.
WHAT'S YOUR VIEW?

Hunter says WELL, MY VIEW IS THAT THIS
BUDGET IS LIKE GOING ON A
SCAVENGER HUNT.
YOU HAVE TO REALLY FERRET OUT
THE TRUTH.
WHEN YOU LOOK AT WHAT'S
HAPPENING IN OUR SCHOOL SYSTEM
AND THE CHAOS THAT IS CREEPING
IN TO OUR SCHOOL SYSTEM, YOU CAN
ACTUALLY FEEL THAT HAPPENING.
AND YOU KNOW, YOU'RE RAISING
CLASS SIZES, EVEN AT THE PRIMARY
LEVELS.
YOU KNOW, YOU'RE SAYING IT'S
ONLY ONE, BUT WHEN IT'S AN
AVERAGE, SOME CLASSES ARE GOING
TO BE QUITE LARGE, AND HOW IS
THAT CLASSROOM TEACHER GOING TO
MANAGE?
AND HIGH SCHOOL IS JUST BEING
DECIMATED.
HOW OUR STUDENTS LEARN AT A TIME
WHEN THEY NEED THE GREATEST
SUPPORT, WE'RE REALLY PULLING
BACK ON THAT FROM 22 TO 28
AVERAGES.
THERE ARE SOME BOARDS SAYING
THEY COULD HAVE CLASSES AS LARGE
AS 46.

Steve says WE DID SEE THAT FROM
HALTON.
CAN I PUT THIS TO THE PRESIDENT
OF THE TREASURY BOARD.
MY HUNCH IS SOME OF YOUR MORE
ARDENT CONSERVATIVE SUPPORTERS
ARE GOING TO BE DISAPPOINTED
WITH THIS BUDGET BECAUSE THEY
DON'T THINK YOU WERE TOUGH
ENOUGH ON SPENDING.
COULD YOU ADDRESS THAT?

Bethlenfalvy says I THINK WE'RE BEING FAIR AND
I THINK WE'RE BEING RESPONSIBLE
TO... TO ADDRESS THE EDUCATION
ISSUE, I THINK ALL PARENTS OF
ALL STRIPES AND THE STUDENTS WHO
WERE FALLING BEHIND IN MATH.
THAT'S WHAT MATTERS.
IN THE LAST 15 YEARS, UNDER THE
PREVIOUS LIBERAL GOVERNMENT,
13,000 NEW TEACHERS WERE HIRED.
9,000 EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATORS.
ENROLMENT WENT DOWN 1 percent IN THE
SAME TIME, BUT WHAT WAS EVEN
WORSE WAS THAT THE MATH SCORES
WENT DOWN.
SO I THINK WHAT ONTARIANS AND
THE PARENTS AND THE STUDENTS,
WE'RE INVESTING IN THEM.
WE'RE INVESTING IN PROVIDING
MORE SUPPORTS FOR TEACHERS TO
HAVE THE MATH SKILLS SO THAT
THEY CAN TEACH MATH.
I'M A MATH GUY.
I SPENT MY WHOLE CAREER WITH
NUMBERS, FINANCIAL LITERACY IS
VERY IMPORTANT, SOMETHING YOU
CHAMPIONED.
WE GOT TO DO A LOT BETTER IN
FINANCIAL LITERACY.
WE HAVE TO DO MORE IN THE
TECHNOLOGY AREAS.
WE HAVE TO DO MORE IN ARTS.
WE HAVE TO DO IT IN A RANGE OF
THINGS, BUT THE PREVIOUS
GOVERNMENT DIDN'T HIT THE
BENCHMARKS.
WE'RE INVESTING IN THE STUDENTS,
AND I THINK THE PARENTS ARE VERY
SUPPORTIVE OF THAT.

Hunter says I JUST WANT TO SAY THAT, YOU
KNOW, AS FORMER MINISTER OF
EDUCATION, THERE IS NO QUESTION
THAT WE HAVE TO DO MORE ON MATH.
THAT WAS SOMETHING THAT I TALKED
ABOUT AND PUT PROGRAMS IN PLACE.
IN FACT, MANY OF THE SAME
CONCEPTS THAT ARE BEING UTILIZED
TODAY, AS IF THEY ARE NEW.
THEY'RE NOT NEW.
BUT WHEN WE INHERITED THE
EDUCATION SYSTEM FROM LONG AGO.

Bethlenfalvy says A LONG TIME AGO.

Hunter says IT WAS DEVASTATED.
A FULL THIRD OF STUDENTS WERE
NOT GRADUATING HIGH SCHOOL AT
THAT POINT.
SO THE ENTIRE SYSTEM HAD TO BE
RE-BUILT, REINVESTED IN.
YES, WE HAD TO BRING IN MORE OF
THOSE TEACHERS, THOSE CARING
ADULTS INTO THE CLASSROOM, AND
TO INVEST IN OUR STUDENTS.
EDUCATION.
SO YOU KNOW, I DON'T THINK THAT
THIS GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE
TALKING DOWN EDUCATION.
YOU SHOULD BE LOOKING AT THE
AMBITION THROUGH EDUCATION AND
SAYING WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO TO
MAKE SURE WE PREPARE OUR
STUDENTS AND OUR YOUNG PEOPLE
FOR THAT FUTURE.

Steve says LET HIM HAVE A QUICK
WORD BACK NOW.

Bethlenfalvy says WELL, I SYMPATHIZE WITH THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION.
EVERY DAY SHE TALKS ABOUT
BUILDING STUDENTS UP, GIVING
THEM MORE TOOLS.
TAKING CELLPHONES OUT SO THEY
DON'T GET DISTRACTED.
WE'RE FALLING BEHIND NOT ONLY IN
THIS COUNTRY IN MATH SCORES,
WE'RE FALLING BEHIND AGAINST
OTHER NATIONS, AND WE'VE GOT TO
INVEST IN OUR CHILDREN FOR THE
JOBS OF TOMORROW THAT YOU TALKED
ABOUT.
SO I THINK WE'VE GOT A GREAT
STORY TO TELL IN THE EDUCATION
SIDE, AND I THINK THE PEOPLE OF
ONTARIO ARE GOING TO SUPPORT US.

Steve says I THINK THE BUDGET
NUMBERS SHOW, STACY, THAT THE
GOVERNMENT PLANS TO INVEST A
BILLION DOLLARS MORE OVER THE
NEXT SEVERAL YEARS IN EDUCATION,
WHICH THEY WOULD SAY FULFILLS
THE PROMISE THEY MADE.

Danckert says RIGHT.

Steve says WHAT'S YOUR VIEW?

Danckert says WELL, MY CONCERN IS THAT IF
YOU LOOK AT THE FINANCIAL
ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE NUMBERS
THAT JUST TRACKED HOW MUCH WE
SHOULD SPEND TO KEEP UP WITH
INFLATION RATES AND POPULATION,
WE'RE DOWN BY 6 BILLION DOLLARS FOR
EDUCATION IN THIS BUDGET.
AND SO THAT IS, ACTUALLY, QUITE
A HUGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE 1
BILLION DOLLARS.

Steve says SO THE BILLION DOLLARS DOESN'T
GO VERY FAR, AS FAR AS YOU'RE CONCERNED?

The caption changes to "Stacey Danckert, StaceyDanckert."

Danckert says NO, IT'S NOT GOING TO GO VERY
FAR, AND I THINK THAT WE HAVE TO
BE REALLY CAREFUL ABOUT DOING
THINGS LIKE POLITICIZING MATH.
WE SHOULD BE USING
EVIDENCE-BASED DECISION MAKING,
ENSURING THAT WE HAVE EXPERTS
MAKING THE DECISIONS ON HOW IT
IS THAT WE ARE HELPING OUR
STUDENTS THRIVE AND SUCCEED IN
THIS EVER-CHANGING ECONOMY THAT
WE NEED TO PREPARE THEM FOR.

Steve says LET ME ASK THE
OFFICIAL OPPOSITION CRITIC FOR
FINANCE HERE, IF THERE WAS A
MISSED OPPORTUNITY IN THIS
BUDGET, WHAT WOULD YOU POINT TO?

The caption changes to "Sandy Shaw, @shaw_sandy."

Shaw says WELL, I WOULD... WE HAVE
DISCUSSED THE 1 BILLION DOLLARS THAT
HAS BEEN TAKEN OUT OF THE
CHILDREN AND COMMUNITY SOCIAL
SERVICES BUDGET.
SO THE MISSED OPPORTUNITY IS TO
INVEST IN THE MOST VULNERABLE
PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY, IN OUR
CHILDREN.
I MEAN, WE HAVE HAD FAMILIES AND
PARENTS WITH CHILDREN LIVING
WITH AUTISM ON THE FRONT LAWN
PROTESTING, LOOKING FOR REAL
ANSWERS, LOOKING TO UNDERSTAND
HOW THEIR SERVICES ARE GOING TO
BE IMPACTED, AND THERE'S NOTHING
IN THIS BUDGET THAT ADDRESSES
THAT.
THERE'S NOTHING IN THIS BUDGET
THAT GIVES PARENTS RELIEF.
I MEAN, THEY ARE LIVING IN
UNCERTAINTY.
THEY ARE LIVING IN FEAR, AND THE
MISSED OPPORTUNITY HERE WAS TO
PROVIDE REAL RELIEF FOR FAMILIES
THAT ARE CURRENTLY, YOU KNOW,
REALLY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEIR
FUTURE IS GOING TO BE LIKE FOR
THEIR SERVICES FOR THEIR
CHILDREN.
YOU KNOW, IT'S THAT MISSED
OPPORTUNITY TO PROVIDE THE
RELIEF THAT FAMILIES SO
DESPERATELY NEED.

Steve says LET ME GET THE
PRESIDENT OF THE TREASURY BOARD
TO COMMENT ON THAT.
SOME PEOPLE OBSERVED IN THE
LOCK-UP TODAY THAT YOU ARE
CUTTING MONEY FROM THE BUDGET
THAT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MOST
VULNERABLE PEOPLE IN THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO, AND THEY
WONDER HOW YOU JUSTIFY THAT.

Bethlenfalvy says WELL, I CAN TELL YOU THAT
THERE IS A MILLION PEOPLE ON
ONTARIO WORKS AND ON THE ONTARIO
DISABILITY SAVINGS PLAN, AND THE
AMOUNT OF PEOPLE THAT GET JOBS
OUT OF THAT IS ABOUT 1 percent.
WE INHERITED A BROKEN, FAILED
SYSTEM.
WE NEED TO GET THE PEOPLE WHO
NEED HELP THE MOST, MOST
VULNERABLE, THE TOOLS TO GET A
JOB, BECAUSE THE BEST SOCIAL
PROGRAM IS A JOB.
LET ME ALSO ADDRESS RELIEF.
WE PUT 26 BILLION DOLLARS OF RELIEF IN
THIS BUDGET, SO THAT'S A PRETTY
SIGNIFICANT...

Steve says TAX CUTS.

Bethlenfalvy says TAX CUTS, IN TERMS OF
LOW-INCOME, INDIVIDUAL AND
FAMILY TAX CUTS.
I TALKED ABOUT THE CHILD CARE
TAX CREDIT.
THAT'S A 2 BILLION DOLLARS.
RIGHT ACROSS THE...

Steve says OKAY, BUT TO MY
QUESTION, THE PEOPLE WHO NEED
THE SERVICES OF THE CHILDREN AND
COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL SERVICES
MINISTRY, THEY ARE AMONG THE
MOST VULNERABLE PEOPLE IN THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO, AND THEIR
BUDGET HAS BEEN CUT A BILLION DOLLARS.
WHAT DOES ONE DO ABOUT THAT?

The caption changes to "Coming up. Ontario Budget 2019: Economic Perspectives."
Then, it changes again to "Peter Bethlenfalvy, @Pbethlenfalvy."

Bethlenfalvy says THEIR BUDGET, THE PEOPLE
RECEIVING THE BENEFITS ARE NOT
GOING TO RECEIVE THE CUTS.
IT'S A PROGRAM THAT WE WANT TO
HELP PEOPLE SUCCEED, AND SO THE
RED TAPE AND THE ADMINISTRATION
COSTS MIGHT BE GOING DOWN.
WE'RE FINDING EFFICIENCIES ALL
THROUGHOUT GOVERNMENT, BUT THE
FRONT-LINE WORKERS AND THE
PEOPLE MOST VULNERABLE, WE'RE
DOING THIS SO THEY RECEIVE MORE.
WE'RE PUTTING IN INCENTIVE
PROGRAMS, TRAINING PROGRAMS,
APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM.
WE'RE INVESTING IN THOSE PEOPLE
BECAUSE THEY ARE OUR MOST
VULNERABLE, AND WE NEED TO HELP
THEM.
THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT DIDN'T
HELP THEM.
THE 1 percent JOB RATE COMING OUT OF
THE SOCIAL ASSISTANCE IS NOT A
SUCCESSFUL TRACK RECORD.
WE'RE GOING TO GROW THAT BY
HELPING THEM FIND A JOB.

Steve says THAT'S A SHOT AT YOU,
SO I SHOULD LET YOU COMMENT ON THAT.

Hunter says WELL, YOU KNOW, WE JUST HEARD
FROM THE FAO, WHO DID AN
ANALYSIS, THE FINANCIAL
ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICER, THAT
TALKED ABOUT THE LOW-INCOME TAX
CREDIT COMPARED TO THE 1
INCREASE IN MINIMUM WAGE.
AND CLEARLY MONEY IN YOUR POCKET
THAT YOU SPEND NOW IS MUCH MORE
HELPFUL TO THOSE FAMILIES
EARNING MINIMUM WAGE THAN A
BENEFIT THAT THEY MAY OR MAY NOT
RECEIVE IN THEIR TAXES A YEAR
LATER.

Steve says DID SAY THAT.

Hunter says AND ALSO THIS BUDGET MENTIONS
BEER, WINE AND GAMBLING 46 TIMES.

Shaw says A LOT.

Hunter says POVERTY...

Shaw says NOT ONCE.

The caption changes to "Mitzie Hunter, @MitzieHunter."

Hunter says ZERO.
NOT ONCE DID IT MENTION POVERTY.
SO YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU TAKE A
BILLION DOLLARS OUT OF SOCIAL
SERVICES, WHEN YOU LOOK AT OUR
JUSTICE SYSTEM, MONEY FOR LEGAL
AID, THAT'S WHAT I MEAN BY, YOU
KNOW, YOU HAVE TO REALLY FERRET
OUT WHAT THIS BUDGET MEANS FOR
ALL ONTARIANS.
NOT JUST THOSE WHO ARE IN THE
LINE OF SIGHT OF THE GOVERNMENT.

Steve says I SHOULD LET THE
MINISTER COMMENT ON THAT,
BECAUSE IT WAS OBSERVED NUMEROUS
TIMES TODAY THAT ALCOHOL,
GAMING, EARLY DRINKING HOURS
NOW, DRINKING IN THE PARK,
TAILGATING PARTIES, YOU KNOW, IT
STARTED WITH BUCK A BEER DURING
THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN.
IT WAS OBSERVED THAT THE
GOVERNMENT DOES SEEM TO HAVE
QUITE A FIXATION ABOUT ALCOHOL
AND GAMBLING.
CAN YOU HELP US UNDERSTAND WHY THAT IS?

Bethlenfalvy says WELL, WE BELIEVE IN
ONTARIANS, THAT THEY'RE
RESPONSIBLE, AND WE WANT TO
PROVIDE THEM CHOICE.
AND FURTHERMORE, IT'S NOT ABOUT
THE WORD COUNT IN THE BUDGET
DOCUMENT THAT MATTERS.
YOU KNOW, WE WANT TO... YOU KNOW
WHAT IS A CUT?
12.5 BILLION DOLLARS OF INTEREST
EXPENSE NOW GOING TO 13.
WE'RE GOING TO BORROW LESS SO
WE'RE LIMITING THAT.
THAT REALLY HURTS.
BECAUSE WHEN YOU HAVE 12.5
BILLION DOLLARS, THAT MEANS 30 MILLION DOLLARS
A DAY IT GOES TO INTEREST COSTS.
THAT MEANS THAT WE CAN'T PUT A
DOLLAR INTO A NEW HOSPITAL, INTO
A NEW SOCIAL PROGRAM, INTO A NEW
EDUCATION PROGRAM BECAUSE OUR
INTEREST COSTS ARE SPIRALLING
OUT OF CONTROL.

Steve says WHY THE EMPHASIS ON
ALCOHOL, THOUGH?

Bethlenfalvy says WELL, I THINK WE WANT TO
PROVIDE... WE WANT TO GET WITH
IN NORTH AMERICA THAT'S HAPPENED
AND ACROSS CANADA, AND MORE
CHOICE TO THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO.
AND WE BELIEVE IN THE PEOPLE,
THAT THEY'RE RESPONSIBLE TO MAKE THE
RESPONSIBLE DECISIONS IN THIS PROVINCE.

Steve says WHAT WAS YOUR TAKE ON
THAT, STACY?

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Danckert says THIS IS SOMETHING THAT, OF
COURSE, OUR LEADER MIKE
SCHREINER COMMENTED ON AT THE
SCRUM EARLIER TODAY AND IS
SOMETHING THAT WE NOTICED AND WE
REFERENCED, COMPARED IT TO THE
NUMBER OF TIMES CLIMATE CHANGE
WAS REFERENCED, WHICH WAS LESS
THAN A THIRD OF THAT.
AND YOU KNOW, IT REALLY DOES
SEND A MESSAGE ABOUT WHAT THE
PRIORITIES ARE, AND IT DOES FEEL
A LITTLE BIT LIKE IT'S A
DISTRACTION FROM THE THINGS THAT
ARE REALLY IMPORTANT.
WE TALK ABOUT NEEDING TO CUT THE
DEFICIT, WHICH WE HAVE BEEN
ADVOCATING FOR FOR MANY YEARS,
BUT I THINK THAT THERE ARE MUCH
MORE CREATIVE WAYS THAT WE COULD
BE DOING IT.
FOR EXAMPLE, THE YONGE FARE
HYDRO PLANS COULD BE CHANGED SO
THAT THE WEALTHIEST PEOPLE
AREN'T CONTINUING TO BE FUNDED
IN TERMS OF THEIR HYDRO FROM THE
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT.
THAT WOULD SAVE US 2.5 BILLION DOLLARS
OR SO A YEAR.

Steve says I SHOULD SAY, IN THE
LOCK-UP TODAY, YOU KNOW, THEY
LOCK UP THE REPORTERS DURING THE
DAY AND THEN THE LEADERS COME IN
AND THE FINANCE MINISTER COMES
IN, AND I THINK THE CONSENSUS
WAS, ANDREA HORWATH HAD THE BEST
LINE OF THE DAY, WHICH WAS IN
ASKED TO COMMENT ON THE NEW
LICENSE PLATES THAT ARE GOING ON
THE BACK OF THE CARS, SHE SAID
SOMETHING LIKE THERE'S GOING TO
BE A LOT OF REAR ENDING NOW THAT
DOUG FORD'S EGO IS ON THE BACK
OF EVERY CAR.
I'M NOT GOING TO PRETEND FOR A
SECOND THIS IS THE MOST
IMPORTANT THING IN THE BUDGET,
BUT GO AHEAD.
YOU WANT TO RESPOND?

Bethlenfalvy says WELL, I THINK IF MY LIBERAL
AND NDP COLLEAGUES WOULD HAVE
NAMED IT, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A
PLACE TO OWE VERSUS A PLACE TO GROW.
I THINK THAT THERE'S TWO THINGS
ON THE LICENCE PLATE AND THE
LOGO.
WE'RE GOING TO SAVE MILLIONS OF
DOLLARS.
FIRST OF ALL, ON THE VISUAL
IDENTITY, THE AMOUNT OF
BRANDS... YOU MENTIONED IT AT
THE OUTSET.
WE HAD SUB-BRANDS OR' INHERITED
A BUNCH OF SUB-BRANDS, WHICH
MEANS ALL KINDS OF LOGOS, AND
OVER 2 MILLION DOLLARS WAS INVESTED IN
THOSE SUB-BRANDS OVER THE LAST
FIVE YEARS, SO WE'RE GOING TO
SAVE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS BY
GOING TO ONE VISUAL IDENTITY,
ONE LOGO, WHICH WILL BE LESS
CONFUSING FOR CONSUMERS AND
CITIZENS.
I MEAN, THIS IS ABOUT BETTER
CUSTOMER AND CITIZEN SERVICE,
AND COMING FROM THE PRIVATE
SECTOR, THAT'S VERY IMPORTANT.
WITH REGARD TO THE LICENSE
PLATES, THEY ARE GOING TO BE
DONE IN A WAY THAT'S MORE COST
EFFECTIVE, SO WHEN THE OLD ONES
RUN OUT, WE'RE GOING TO SAVE
MILLIONS BY GOING TO THIS NEW FORMAT.

Steve says IT'S GOING TO BE BACK ONLY?
ARE WE GETTING RID OF THE FRONT
LICENSE PLATES?

Bethlenfalvy says I'M SURE WE'LL CONTINUE TO
CONSULT ON THAT.

The new licence plate appears on screen briefly.

Steve says THAT'S WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE.
IS IT JUST A COINCIDENCE THAT
THE PLATES ARE IN BLUE NOW?

Bethlenfalvy says HAVING WALKED INTO THE DAVIS STUDIO HERE, THEY'VE ALWAYS BEEN
BLUE, SO WE'RE JUST BEING CONSISTENT.

Hunter says THERE'S MORE BLUE, AND I
WOULD SAY THAT, YOU KNOW, THIS
IS ABOUT THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO.
IT CANNOT JUST BE ABOUT ONE
MAN'S EGO, AND YOU KNOW, HAVING
IT PLASTERED EVERYWHERE ON
BILLBOARDS, ON LICENSE PLATES.
YOU KNOW, WE'VE GOT TO GET
SERIOUS IN TERMS OF THE NEEDS OF
THE PEOPLE IN THIS PROVINCE AND
ALL OF THE PEOPLE IN THIS
PROVINCE, AND YOU KNOW, I
NOTICED THAT THE ENVIRONMENTAL
BUDGET WAS ONE OF THE BIGGEST
ONES THAT WAS REDUCED.
THE INDIGENOUS BUDGET AS WELL.
EVEN AGRICULTURE.
YOU KNOW, WHY ARE THESE BUDGETS
BEING REDUCED?
SO WE'VE GOT TO TAKE THE TIME
AND REALLY EXPLORE WHAT THIS
MEANS, AND THESE CUTS ARE GOING
TO HURT ONTARIO FAMILIES, AND
THIS IS A SERIOUS STATE THAT WE
ARE IN THE PROVINCE.

Steve says BECAUSE THERE ARE
THREE OF YOU AND ONLY ONE OF
HIM, I'M GOING TO GIVE HIM THE
LAST WORD HERE.
THERE ARE MENTIONS IN THIS
BUDGET THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF
ONTARIO CONSULTED WITH LITERALLY
TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE TO
GET IDEAS FOR THE BUDGET.
AND I'M WONDERING IF YOU CAN
TELL ME ONE THING THAT ENDED UP
IN THIS BUDGET BECAUSE OF
SOMETHING SAID TO YOU BY A
CITIZEN IN ONTARIO.

Bethlenfalvy says OH, BOY.
WHERE DO I GO?
THEY WANT TO GO DIGITAL.
SO FOR EXAMPLE, THE... WHICH
CAME OUT USED TO BE PRINTED,
THOUSANDS, TENS OF THOUSANDS OF
PAGES, DIGITAL.
NOT ONE PIECE OF PAPER THIS
TIME.
AND CENTRALIZED PROCUREMENT.
WON'T MAKE THE HEADLINE ON TVO,
BUT CENTRALIZED PROCUREMENT WILL
SAVE, WE THINK, OVER A
BILLION DOLLARS... AT LEAST A BILLION DOLLARS WITHIN FIVE YEARS.
THOSE WERE IDEAS THAT WE GOT
FROM THE PEOPLE.

Steve says ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT
MAYBE GOING DIGITAL FOR THE BUDGET?

Bethlenfalvy says WE PRINTED LESS OF THEM, BUT WE KNOW HOW IMPORTANT IT WAS FOR
YOU TO HAVE THE COPY IN THE LOCK-UP.

The caption changes to "Producer: Harrison Lowman, @harrisonlowman; Producer: Steve Paikin, @spaikin."

Steve says I DO ENJOY MY SOUVENIR COPY.
I WANT TO THANK EVERYBODY FOR
COMING IN TONIGHT AND HELPING US
OUT WITH THIS.
PETER BETHLENFALVY IS THE
PRESIDENT OF THE TREASURY BOARD.
HE'S THE PC MEMBER FOR PICKERING UXBRIDGE.
SANDY SHAW... FORGIVE ME.
MITZIE HUNTER IS THE LIBERAL
FINANCE CRITIC, SCARBOROUGH GILLWOOD.
SANDY SHAW IS THE NDP FINANCE
CRITHIC FROM HAMILTON WEST, HWAD
AS WE CALL IT BACK IN PEEL CITY,
AND STACEY DANCKERT IS THE GREEN
PARTY'S FINANCE CRITIC AND THEIR
CANDIDATE IN KITCHENER CENTRE.
GOOD FOR ALL OF YOU TO JOIN US
ON TVO TONIGHT.
THANKS FOR COMING TONIGHT.

The guests say Thank you.

Watch: Debriefing Ontario's 2019 Budget