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> Monday, March 5th, 2012 > Opinion > Drummond Report: Need to Know
Drummond Report: Need to Know
Click here to read more Interrobang articles written by Kirsten Rosenkrantz
Published: Monday, March 5th, 2012
In the middle of February, the former Chief Economist for TD Bank, Don Drummond, released a 665-page, two-volume report containing 362 recommendations for how the Ontario government can balance their books. As it stands, Ontario's debt is $215 billion and Drummond estimates that number will hit $411 billion in five years, taking the government's deficit from the current $16 billion to $30 billion by 2017/18. Here are a few of the recommendations made by Drummond:
- Cap growth in primary and secondary education spending at one per cent each year to 2017/18. The current increase in primary and secondary education is three to five per cent.
- Cancel Ontario's all-day kindergarten (the province has already said they will not adopt this recommendation).
- Cap growth in post-secondary education spending (excluding training) at 1.5 per cent each year to 2017/18.
- Maintain the existing post-secondary tuition framework, which allows annual tuition increases of five per cent.
- Reshape the 30 per cent tuition grant to create more assistance for low-income students who need it most.
- Work with post-secondary institutions to reduce bargained compensation increases to align them with more recent settlements in a broader public sector. Salaries, wages and benefits currently account for 72.2 per cent of college and university expenditures, with scholarships and bursaries at nine per cent, buildings at 6.1 per cent, interest at .5 per cent, and other at 12.2 per cent.
- Establish multi-year mandate agreements with universities and colleges that provide more differentiation and minimize duplication (e.g. not every college needs degree-granting authority).
- Create a comprehensive and enforceable credit recognition system between and among universities and colleges. This twoway credit transfer system is also required for students who go to college post-university and those who go to university postcollege.
- Cap growth of health-care spending at 2.5 per cent each year to 2017/18. Healthcare spending in Ontario currently rises by almost seven per cent each year.
- Increase the use of home health care in order to reduce costs (e.g. for recovery from procedures such as knee and hip surgery).
- Expand LCBO locations while folding the two Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation head offices into one, and close two casinos in Niagara Falls.
- Increase water bills to recover the full cost of water and wastewater services.
- Eliminate the Ontario Clean Energy Benefit, cutting the 10 per cent rebate on electricity bills.