Liberals pass Ontario budget with NDP support; PCs opposed
The Ontario Liberals avoided going to another election with a little help from the NDP on Tuesday.
The provincial New Democrats agreed to support the budget in return for a number of concessions including more spending on child care and Northern Ontario hospitals.
NDP MPPs refused to vote on the budget, so passed by a vote of 52 to 37 with the Progressive Conservatives voting against it.
If the budget had not passed the confidence motion, Ontario would have been plunged into its second election in just over 6 months.
But while the concessions were enough to please the NDP, the changes didn’t please everyone.
Lambton-Kent-Middlesex PC MPP Monte McNaughton and his party voted against the budget. And following the crucial vote, McNaughton wasn’t pleased with the result.
“I certainly didn’t want an election,” said McNaughton, “But on the other hand we are staring in the face of a 30 billion dollar deficit and I won’t support… a government that is spending 2 million dollars more per hour than it is taking in.”
McNaughton was one of many PC members who were nominated to represent their party in case the budget was not passed, a move that Mike Ferguson, president of the Lambton-Kent-Middlesex Provincial Liberal Association, said was “proof that the Hudak PCs are desperately drooling for an election.”