The Ontario Director with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation Jasmine Moulton called the unanimous decision by the province’s parliamentarians to vote against a motion to reduce MPP salaries to CERB levels “shameful and completely tone deaf.”
Independent MPP Roman Baber, who was kicked out of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario for protesting the government’s lockdowns, introduced a bill on Thursday to slash salaries for MPPs to $500 per week.
The motion was unanimously shut down and instead House Leader Paul Calandra put forward a motion to reduce only Baber’s salary. Calandra’s motion did pass but was later ruled out of order by the speaker.
“These politicians should be working for the Ontario taxpayers who pay their salaries – not spending their time in the legislature mocking an MPP who suggested they take a pay cut,” Moulton told True North.
“Ontario Premier Doug Ford was elected to bring the province’s spending under control and promised to restore respect for taxpayers. Well, former premier Kathleen Wynne’s government was adding $40 million to the debt every single day before it was defeated. Before the pandemic struck, the Ford government continued adding over $40 million to the debt every single day. Now, it’s adding $122 million to Ontario’s debt every day. Debt today means higher taxes tomorrow, so every single Ontario taxpayer should be extremely concerned about this government’s spending.”
On Thursday, it was also reported that Ontario shed 355,300 jobs in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdowns.
Critics have accused Premier Doug Ford of unfairly targeting small business owners while allowing big box stores like Costco and Walmart to operate without the same stringent lockdown measures.
As reported by True North, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business blasted Ford on Friday for extending strict lockdown orders in Toronto, Peel and North Bay.
“With today’s announcement of extended lockdowns for Toronto, Peel and North Bay until at least March 8, the Ontario government has once again chosen to use small business as cannon fodder, renewing its reputation as the least small business-friendly government in the country during the pandemic,” wrote the CFIB.
“Almost every other province opened schools and businesses—or didn’t close them in the first place—while COVID-19 numbers continued to fall. In fact, Ontario businesses—particularly those in the GTA—have been locked down longer than the vast majority of jurisdictions around the world.”
According to Moulton, world politicians should be inspired to take pay cuts in order to show solidarity with those impacted by government restrictions and to accrue moral authority in order to make the hard decisions required to weather the virus’ impacts.
“Politicians should take a pay cut not only to show solidarity with the struggling taxpayers who pay their six-figure salaries, but also to give them the moral authority to do what needs to be done next: reduce government-wide employee compensation which has grown out of touch with reality,” Moulton told True North.