May 01, 2014

By Bob Komsic

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Only one real surprise relating to the Ontario budget – and it wasn’t something in the document.

It was the absence of Andrea Horwath.

With practically all of the programs already announced in the media in recent days, everyone was waiting to see if the New Democrats would support the minority Liberals OR join with the Progressive Conservatives and force a June election.

The NDP had said they didn’t want to see anything that increased taxes on the middle class and for the most part the Liberals seem to have met that condition.

The only new tax hikes are on incomes of more than $150,000 a year, on tobacco and aviation fuel.

Premier Wynne says she wants to meet with Horwath by May 8th to discuss if the NDP will support the $130-billion spending blueprint.

Details on the proposed Ontario Retirement Pension Plan were also unveiled.

It would require employers and employees to each kick in 1.9 percent of a workers salary into the fund.

The group CARP – a new vision of aging – played a role in devising the plan.

The Vice-President of Advocacy, Susan Eng, says it’s ”definitely a ballot box issue for the kind of voters who vote all the time, people like CARP members … I think that this is a winning issue for the government and any other party that supports it”.

The Tories have already called the plan a job killer with leader Tim Hudak saying they’d reverse it if they should win the next election.

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