Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli says the Wynne Liberal budget virtually ignores the Ring of Fire. The Tory finance critic says during the verbal presentation of last Thursday’s budget, the finance minister never mentions Northern Ontario. And Fedeli says the print version of the budget devotes only two lines to the Ring of Fire and that’s it. What’s more, Fedeli says those two lines are copy and pasted from last year’s budget which were copied and pasted from the 2014 budget.
He says this should tell voters that the Liberals can’t move the chromite project forward. The Ring of Fire deposit was discovered about 10 years ago and Fedeli says almost nothing has happened since then under the Liberals. Despite committing $1 billion two years ago to help develop the site, Fedeli says not one penny has been spent on the Ring of Fire. And Fedeli is also telling Ontarians don’t get fooled by what appears to be a shrinking deficit. Fedeli says the Liberals are bragging that they’ve taken the deficit down to $5.7 billion from a high last fall of $8.5 billion.
But he says there is no magic. The Tory finance critic says the Premier took the money from the sale of Hydro One and applied it to the deficit, something they’ll do again next year. He says this is an artificial reduction of the deficit. Fedeli says the real test comes after two years when the Liberals run out of the Hydro One money. He says that’s when they can’t reduce the deficit artificially anymore, and adds since they’re not willing to curb spending, people face big budget problem in 2018.