As some of you know, I have a deep interest in and am involved with Ottawa’s childcare community. One of the working assumptions we have had in our forward planning discussions has been that Full Day Kindergarten would be fully implemented by 2014 / 2015.
But now, I’m betting that the Government will delay implementation of FDK in the upcoming Budget as a compromise solution… thus throwing some of our working assumptions out the proverbial window!
For the record, I really like his health care recommendations. With a 40% slice of the provincial budget pie, this is the area that needs to be scrutinized and adjusted… but carefully and using evidence-based reasoning.
Drummond report highlights
Posted: Feb 15, 2012 2:49 PM ET
Last Updated: Feb 15, 2012 5:43 PM ET
Highlights of recommendations of the Drummond report on reforming Ontario’s public services:
- The Ontario government must implement all 362 recommended reforms to restrain program spending growth enough to achieve balance by 2017-18.
- Cap growth of health-care spending at 2.5 per cent each year to 2017-18.
- Increase the use of home-based care.
- Make the portion of pharmaceutical costs paid for by seniors rise more sharply as income increases.
- No increase in total compensation for Ontario’s doctors, the best paid in the country.
- Consider expanding health coverage to include pharmaceuticals, long-term care and aspects of mental health care.
- Cap growth in primary and secondary education spending at one per cent each year to 2017-18.
- Cap growth in post-secondary education spending (excluding training) at 1.5 per cent each year to 2017-18.
- Put “strong pressure” on the federal government to fund on-reserve First Nations education equal to per-student provincial funding for elementary and secondary education. Failing that, the province itself should step up to provide that funding.
- Cancel the full-day kindergarten program, or delay full implementation from 2014-15 to 2017-18.
- Increase the average class size from 22 to 24 in Grades 9 to 12 and from 24.5 to 26 in Grades 4 to 8.
- Set the cap in class size at 23 in primary grades and eliminate the other requirement that 90 per cent of classes must be 20 or fewer.
- Reject further employer rate increases to the Teachers’ Pension Plan beyond the current rate.
- Maintain the existing tuition framework, which allows annual tuition increases of five per cent and consider eliminating a newly minted 30-per-cent tuition rebate.
- Cap growth in social services spending at 0.5 per cent each year to 2017-18.
- Decrease program spending in all other areas by 2.4 per cent each year to 2017-18.
- Higher water bills to recover the full cost of water and wastewater services.
- Begin charging for parking at GO Transit parking lots.
- Eliminate the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit “as quickly as possible.”
- Consider having security providers take over police officers’ “non-core” duties.
- Negotiate the transfer of responsibility for incarceration for sentences longer than six months to the federal government, up from the current two years.
- Close one of the two casinos in Niagara Falls and one of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s two head offices.
- Use licence and registration suspensions as a tool to help collect some Provincial Offences Act fines, allow fines to be added to the offender’s property tax bill and offset tax refunds against such unpaid fines.