Mr. Speaker, in my riding of Hamilton Mountain the budget is being greeted with trepidation and reservation. Voters in my community remember only too well the minister's record when he was part of the Harris government in Ontario whose budgetary policies gutted health care in our province.
The Conservatives threatened to close the Henderson Hospital, jeopardized access to home care and did nothing to address the unprecedented shortages of family doctors in our community. In fact, they laid the foundation upon which Premier McGuinty is now building his P-3 hospitals and justifying the privatization of health care.
I had hoped that the Minister of Finance would have learned from his mistakes in Ontario and not repeated them here. However this budget did nothing to expand public home care which not only impacts the most vulnerable families in our community, but is directly linked to opening up beds in our acute care system.
The budget did nothing to reduce wait times for surgeries which would have meant investing in training and skills, upgrading for health providers, particularly nurses and nurse practitioners. The budget did nothing to act on the recommendation of the provincial premiers by enacting a national drug plan which could have saved Canadians $2 billion a year. This budget is simply a missed opportunity.