LONDON, ON: To slay the deficit and keep Ontario competitive, The London Chamber of Commerce believes the government must seriously consider the package of reforms coming out of the Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Service (the Drummond Report).
The Chamber supports the innovative nature of the report as it takes a systematic approach to change in very challenging economic times. It attempts to manage fiscal realities as it seeks to return the province to fiscal balance without sacrificing investment in future innovation.
The London Chamber has been asking the government to get the province’s fiscal house in order by setting out a deficit reduction plan, negotiating a new fiscal deal with the federal government, finding efficiencies in service delivery and managing public sector compensation. This report responds to those ideas, while calling on the private sector to play a role of its own.
“The business community is certainly willing to do their part and welcomes the invitation to contribute to service delivery”, said Gerry Macartney, CEO of the London Chamber. Now more than ever, the government needs to look to the private sector to partner in the delivery of services and financing of public projects. It is this push towards innovation that will increase productivity and provide Ontario with a sustainable economy in the 21st century.
However, the window of opportunity will not be open to us for very long and if the government doesn’t respond to the majority of these recommendations we are on a certain collision course towards a $30 billion deficit by 2017, a cumulative debt of +$400 billion, and a debt-to-GDP ratio of 51%. That’s exactly the same track that Greece, Spain and Italy were on this past decade.
“The Ontario Chamber of Commerce supports the spirit of the Drummond report as it sets the stage for Ontario’s future competitiveness,” said Allan O’Dette, the President/CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “It advises a fundamental shift in the way Ontario does business, yet offers a pragmatic approach to productivity based on innovation and collaboration.”
This is a radical but informed report and, as a province, we need to put Ontario on a new path towards competitiveness and prosperity.
Indeed, all sectors and all Ontarians need to play a role in balancing the provincial deficit and moving Ontario into its next great economic era.