Thousands rally outside of Queen's Park as Liberals and NDP enter final budget negotiations.
WHERE: Queen’s Park
WHEN: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
WHAT: Today, Andrea Horwath and her advisors enter into final talks with Premier Dalton McGuinty, in the hopes of reaching agreement on the 2012 budget; if they fail and the Liberal budget is defeated, it’ll automatically trigger an election. Saturday, at a CUPE rally in front of Queen’s Park, Horwath chose her words carefully, maintaining that the budget was flawed but that she didn’t want to send us to the polls if she didn’t have to. (Several in the crowd interrupted her to shout “Vote it down!”) McGuinty has already agreed to two NDP requests—increasing child-care funding as well as support for the Ontario Disability Support Program—and Horwath has backed down on her demand that home heating bills be exempted from the HST. The key outstanding issue is whether to implement a tax increase for those earning more than $500,000, as Horwath, with the support of some Liberals, wants.
The Ontario Legislature votes on the budget Tuesday.
Photos by Stephen Michalowicz