Tag Archives: John O’Toole

Ontario PCs war on public sector continues with Bill 113

For a guy who has spent most of his career working in the public sector, Conservative MPP Toby Barrett certainly has it in for public sector workers.

Barrett introduced Bill 113 in the legislature to carve out a new bureaucracy within the Ministry of Finance. Its job would be to compare public and private sector wages. This Orwellian “comprehensive pay fairness division” is supposed to provide guidance to arbitrators in settling contracts with public sector workers.

Never mind that arbitration decisions already factor in wage comparators and that such a division may be both very expensive and totally redundant.

This is just the latest attack on workers by the Ontario Conservatives who appear eager to reduce the wages of everyone who relies on a paycheque in this province. The end game is not to pass this piece of legislation, but to drum up public antipathy to the public sector. In fact, the proposed legislation didn’t even survive the day before being voted down.

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Tory MPP Hillier supports cuts to hospital in his own constituency

Tory MPP Randy Hillier is the Rob Ford of rural Ontario. He often makes headlines for all the wrong reasons.

His hatred of unions seems to be trumping common sense these days. Hillier recently wrote an editorial in the local media aligning his views with those of Health Minister Deb Matthews. Whereas most MPPs would stand up for their local hospital, Hillier is supporting deep cuts to the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital most likely because it is the local unions that are raising the alarm. It will be interesting to see how this plays out with an election likely on the horizon for 2013.

Hillier has bought Matthew’s inaccurate assertion that hospital cuts simply represent a transfer of services to community-based providers. We see Matthews’ interest is saving her own skin amid the obvious effects of austerity on Ontario’s health care system, but what’s in it for Hillier?

Perhaps Hillier should have a conversation with his own caucus members. Last year fellow Tory MPP John O’Toole characterized the government’s “Home First” initiative as the “Home Alone” initiative during a visit by the Ontario Health Coalition. Have they had a last-minute conversion to the Liberal cause?

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