Mr. Speaker, as an Ontario MP I have been hearing a lot of whining from Mike Harris and his chorus line in the Reform Party. They are trying to blame every cut in Ontario on the federal government.
They are tossing out accusations that Ontario's transfers have been cut by over 40 per cent. The fact is, when this government assumed office, total transfers to Ontario, cash and tax points, amounted to $10.3 billion. This year it is $9.1 billion.
The real reduction is 11 per cent, which only represents 2.5 per cent of provincial revenues. The 1996 budget includes a plan to start increasing transfers once again.
How much has Mike Harris cut? More than $6 billion from hospitals, schools, municipalities, social assistance and shelters for battered women. And why has he had to make these cuts? To pay for an irresponsible $5 billion tax cut for his rich friends.
Reformers can say what they like, but my constituents do not buy their sudden belief in medicare. I look forward to pitting our record and commitment to social programs against these right wing relics of the past.