Drummond Report: Freeze doctor wages, increase class size amid 'harsh reality' for Ontario | News | National Post
Link to the report
Commission on the Reform of Ontario's Public Services
TORONTO — The Ontario government needs to “swiftly and boldly” implement all of the hundreds of recommendations in a massive report released Wednesday if it wants to eliminate a projected $30.2 billion deficit by 2017, warns economist Don Drummond.
“Unfortunately, we’re dealing with a harsh reality in identity here,” said Drummond, the author of the 543-page report and former chief economist with TD Bank.
The audit, which took nearly a year to complete, offered up 362 recommendations in various sectors including health care, education, social programs, justice and labour relations.
In its 2011 budget, the Ontario government had projected its deficit to climb to $16-billion, but Drummond says his projects peg it at more than double that if the province continues its current spending.
To reach the target, Ontario must decrease its total program spending to 0.8 per cent for the next seven years.
The majority of the proposed cuts relate to reducing inefficiencies in how Ontario runs its health-care system.
Currently, it’s projected that the health-care budget costs will jump to $62.5 billion by 2017-18 for an average increase of 4.9 per cent per year. Drummond says to eliminate the province’s debt, it must rein in the spending to an increase of 2.5 per cent per year.
He says he realizes that some of the recommendations will not be considered, but that the government needs to find other ways to come up with other areas to cut to close the gap.