John Yakabuski says there’s a lot to like about the provincial budget his government announced last week.
The Progressive Conservative MPP for Renfrew-Nippissing-Pembroke says the record $202 billion budget, unveiled by Premier Doug Ford on March 23, invests in health care and housing, yet still lowers the province’s debt.
The budget projects a $2.2 billion deficit this fiscal year, but the Tories believe they’ll have a surplus within about a year.
“I think the budget really strikes an excellent balance between making sure we’re meeting the investment needs of the province of Ontario while also respecting the taxpayers and ensuring we’re not carrying deficits long-term,” he says.
“I think the federal government probably has a different take on it, but we believe it’s important. If we’re going to pay down debt we first have to eliminate deficits.”
Yakabuski says the announcements of permanent funding for the Renfrew County Virtual Triage and Assessment Centre and investments in Hwy. 17 are notable signs that the province cares about Renfrew County.
He also noted that Ontario’s choosing to invest $224 million to develop skilled trades will pay off, as it will lead to new builds that will benefit health care and the housing industry.
“We’re going to build Ontario; we want to make sure Ontario is the place to be over the next decade; not two years, but the next decade,” he says. “So we’re going to make sure we have the skilled trades to build the homes, build the hospitals, build the schools, build the things we need to build.”