Students and teachers are facing new and challenging challenges as the province grapples with a record $16 billion deficit.
The Liberals’ new plan to cut spending and increase taxes on the most vulnerable in the public sector is being hailed as a breakthrough in a year of turmoil.
But critics are calling the plan an empty promise and have expressed concern about the impact on students and teachers.
Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said the new plan will make schools and the workplace more competitive in a global economy.
“It’s a way of bringing down our deficit by a significant amount,” he said at a news conference Tuesday.
Sousa has said he expects the plan to save about $500 million in a decade, a figure he said will come down as time goes on.
Critics of the plan say the Liberals are trying to use this as a bargaining chip to win more public sector contracts.
It’s not going to solve the deficit, they say, but it will be a win-win for Ontario.
Many people think this is an empty announcement, Sousas spokeswoman Emily Drennan said.
They think this plan is a way to get rid of the teachers and get rid and cut the deficit.
I think there’s a lot of misinformation about what this plan means and what it’s all about, Drennans tweets.
This plan is the result of a number of negotiations and negotiations have not been easy for the Liberals.
While the Liberals have repeatedly promised to create a new and competitive school system with an emphasis on academic achievement, they have struggled to implement the plan and find savings that make it work.
Last year, the province cut $7.6 billion from public service spending, including $5 billion from teachers.
Sousabas government has promised to spend $4.5 billion on new schools in 2017-18.
Finance Minister Charles Stoney said the government will keep its promise to improve the education of Ontarians by providing more support to teachers.
He also said the Liberals will invest $1 billion to improve schools in rural Ontario.