Wynne agrees to another NDP demand
TORONTO - Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is agreeing to one of the NDP's three post-budget demands, rejecting another and offering a compromise on the third as she hopes to secure a deal to avoid a spring election.
Wynne says the government will introduce legislation this fall to create the position of a Financial Accountability Officer to provide analysis and advice on the province's finances and the costs of proposed spending initiatives.
The premier released a statement this morning saying the government would also introduce new accountability measures across the health care system, but stopped short of agreeing to the New Democrats' demand to give the ombudsman oversight of hospitals.
However, Wynne said the Liberals intend to stick to their plan to allow motorists without passengers to pay a toll to drive in car pool lanes, something the NDP condemned as “Lexus lanes” and demanded be dropped from the budget.
The statement notes there will be legislation on creating the so-called high-occupancy-toll, or HOT lanes, so the NDP and Progressive Conservatives would have a chance to outvote the minority Liberals and kill the idea.
Wynne also said she wants to meet with NDP Leader Andrea Horwath next week so they can work together to make sure the budget passes before the legislature breaks for the summer in early June.
(The Canadian Press)